I have many passions in life but top 3 on my list must be 1) my business jellybean, 2) my sport golf and 3) doing good whilst having fun.  No offence to my partner Ian or my dog Kenzo they of course are right up there too.  Last Friday I had the opportunity to combine all three of these passions by sponsoring and organising a ladies charity golf day at Sunningdale Heath where we raised much needed funds for the Ukraine Crisis Children’s Appeal via Plan International.

The Cause

Plan International UK is a global children’s charity working to create lasting equality for girls and protect the rights of all children. Its work spans education, healthcare, humanitarian response and more. In times of crisis, it strives to keep girls and boys safe and supports communities to recover, rebuild and develop their resilience.

The devastating conflict in Ukraine is forcing families under fire to flee. Millions of children have left their homes behind and are living in fear and uncertainty. Their childhood is under attack. Plan International UK is supporting children and their families leaving Ukraine as they seek refuge in neighbouring countries. It is protecting them from the threats they face as refugees, including the increased risks of trafficking and abuse, and providing psychological first aid to children witnessing the horrors of war.

What became clear in the first few weeks of this crisis is that the scale of support required to help children and families fleeing Ukraine is huge. There are gaps in provision of child protection, psychological first aid and safeguarding, all of which Plan International are experts in. It is working with local organisations in Moldova, Romania, and Poland to identify and meet the needs of refugees as they arrive in these neighbouring countries.

Plan International is working around the clock with local partners to:

  • Provide mental health first aid and specialist psychological support to children and their families who have suffered the mental scars of war.
  • Set up safe spaces in transit centres for children to play, recover and enjoy a supportive environment.
  • Support the urgent need to register children at border points so they stay safe from harm and get the specialist support they need.
  • Help distribute educational materials like electronic tablets so children can connect to Ukraine’s online school – a platform developed during the coronavirus pandemic.

What better cause to support when it came to organising my charity golf day which went something like this…

The Course

Sunningdale Heath is a reminder that short is sometimes sweet. On native heathland, this Harry Colt designed course is an attractive mix of mainly par 3s and a few short par 4s, which deliver a wonderful test of every element of your game.

The Chef

We were privileged to enjoy food from Roman Zalabo, who previously worked as a Sous Chef at Michelin-starred level for over 4 years, including the Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park, before combining his love of travel to inspire his work and moving to the position as Head Chef at Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at the Savoy Grill. Roman certainly added his own unique flair and creativity on the most delicious BBQ which included:

Canapes – ham & piccalilli crostini, smoked salmon, herb crepes, lemon cream cheese, tomato & basil arancini, beetroot, horseradish creme fraiche and apple tartlet

Mains – pil pil prawns, pesto barbecued chicken, Thai marinated tuna, pork chop with persillade

Salads – charred broccoli, Romano peppers, curried leaf and coconut, Mediterranean grilled vegetables, halloumi and pesto, heirloom tomato, basil, and mozzarella

Desserts – mini carrot cake, almond financier, raspberry, and chocolate brownie

The Theme

The theme for the day was ‘Summer Nights’ and thankfully the weather gods obliged and we played and partied in the most glorious sunshine.

The Funds

I am absolutely thrilled that jellybean sponsored the day and that with entry fees, raffle tickets, donations, and pledge cards we raised an incredible £5,050.80 for the Ukraine Crisis Children’s Appeal and the charity is massively appreciative of these much-needed funds.  This sum is enough to provide 208 children who’ve fled Ukraine with an education kit including all the equipment they need to get back to school, or could provide 91 children with tablet computers, so they can continue their learning online. This was only made possible by the unbelievable generosity of all the ladies who came along to support this event.

The success of this day just goes to prove how passion and purpose can drive performance both in the workplace and at play and do good for those in need.

PS if you would like to make a donation to the cause plan-uk.org/donate/make-a-donation