Every April, Smile Train is excited to launch its favourite annual fundraiser, the Big Smile Tea Party – which encourages friends, family and colleagues to come together over a cup of tea and some freshly baked goods, whilst raising awareness and funds for children with clefts globally.
At this unfamiliar and uncertain time, when seeing friends, families and colleagues is not possible for many people, we decided to give our 2020 Big Smile Tea Party a tea-riffic new twist – to help lift the nation’s spirits, keep people connected and spread smiles at a time when we need them most.
To officially mark the start of our usual Big Smile Tea Party month, on 1st April we asked people across the UK to take part in a new nationwide virtual tea party – ‘The Big Virtual Cuppa’.
Taking part in The Big Virtual Cuppa was very simple. Between 3pm and 6pm – at traditional ‘teatime’ – people were encouraged to switch on their mobile phones and laptops, boil their kettles, nibble on their favourite cake or biscuits, and have a ‘good old natter’.
When the day of The Big Virtual Cuppa came, we were delighted to see that the tea party had such a fantastic response; with friends, families and businesses from all areas of the country tuning in to take part.
Not only did we receive more than 70 tagged tea-party posts, but The Big Virtual Tea Party was also supported by high profile celebrities and influencers – including Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha, the UK’s favourite puppet duo, Sooty and Sweep, leading parenting influencer, PinkPeonyHome and popular lifestyle influencers, WeAreTwinset.
Many children around the world with clefts do not have access to proper treatment, which can impact their ability to eat, breathe, speak and ultimately thrive. To tackle this issue, at Smile Train we empower local medical professionals with the training, funding and resources that is needed to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children living in their communities. All monies raised through The Big Virtual Cuppa will allow us to continue this life-changing work, giving more children the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives.
Thank you to those of you who tied up your aprons, put the kettle on and invited your friends and family to join you for The Big Virtual Cuppa. Your support will help us to create even more forever smiles for children in need, globally.
For more information about Smile Train and the work that we do, please visit: smiletrain.org.uk