Interview with Communicare Fundraiser Abi Barnes

Interview with Communicare Fundraiser Abi Barnes

We interviewed the wonderful Abi Barnes. Back in June, Abi and her husband organised a garden sale and raised £150 for Communicare!

On the 4th September, Abi will be hosting another garden sale to raise funds for us, followed by running the Southampton half marathon the next day. Abi is truly inspiring and so please be encouraged as we hear from Abi on her experience and her motivation.

What motivated you to fundraise for Communicare?

I’m excited to be running my first Half Marathon in September and wanted to run for a local charity.  I was pleased to find Communicare had places available! I am very aware of the huge benefits that their volunteers play in supporting the lonely and isolated in the local area of Southampton and I am pleased to be raising money for this great charity.

Why did you choose a Garden Sale?

My mother in law and I have many items in our homes which we have either never used or items which are “as new”, especially my mother in law. Having given many donations to charity shops after lockdown, I thought that a specific Sale in my front garden was a great way to raise money, see neighbours and friends in a safe setting, have fun and have a clear out! Things for sale included stationery, jigsaws, brand new bedding, t-shirts, games, books, kettles, Lego, new water filters…

What preparation did you do?

In terms of preparation I checked the weather! I thought that a Saturday morning in late Spring would work best, contacted all neighbours on our WhatsApp group plus my husband designed some A5 flyers for other local neighbours (and a few for the lampposts too!)

I added it to our church Facebook Community page the night before and texted other friends…

I checked beforehand the RRP price of brand-new items and cut the price by 50%. I had a small float of money and on the day my husband put up bunting and I made a large cardboard sign advertising who we were supporting and thanking people for their donations. This was also a talking point for those passing by.

How did the fundraise go?

In my opinion the morning went well. My husband likes to talk to people and make people feel welcome. As we knew practically everyone who came, it was a lovely chance to meet safely face to face outside. People went away with bargains and some neighbours simply wanted to come and donate money, which was kind. Another neighbour was so pleased with the kettle for her elderly mum that she came back and donated a further £5! In the end we raised £300 which we shared equally between Communicare and my mother in law’s chosen charity. A great amount!

If you hold another Sale, what would you do differently next time?

I’m planning on holding another Sale on 4th September! Publicity is key, I think, so I will widen publicity through Communicare. I will ask neighbours for good quality “as new” items they may like to donate, too. After all, who hasn’t had a good sort out recently, and is trying to tidy their home a bit! Having a wide variety is useful and attractive.

What would you say to someone considering doing a Garden Sale?

Find a variety of items at various prices, say from £1-£15, pick a dry morning or afternoon, advertise locally but widely, wear a smile, be positive and friendly and go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Thank you so much Abi for all that you do for Communicare, thank you for the huge difference that you make!

Abi’s next garden sale
Saturday 4th September
9:30am – 12pm
3 Luccombe Place, Shirley SO15 7RL

If you are interested in running your own garden or garage sale, please get in touch with us. We also have a new fundraising section of our website which includes garden and garage sales. Please click here.

In the Southampton half marathon Abi is aiming to raise £400.00 for Communicare. Can you sponsor Abi in her first ever half marathon? If so, please click on the button below.

Abi's Virgin Giving Page