Cults ‘carnival’ atmosphere at pop-up charity cafe day

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A massive effort by a Lower Deeside community recently has raised £3000 in aid of Parkinson’s disease - all in one single, day-long event.

‘Pop In For Parkinson’s’ was organised by Rachel Soplantila of Cults and took the form of a huge drop-in morning and afternoon tea party in Cults gardens, followed by an evening party attended by dozens of families from the neighbourhood - and even Aberdeen Football Club mascot, Angus the Bull, dropped by!

Rachel, whose father David Welton suffered from Parkinson’s disease for the last 14 years of his life and passed away in February aged 76, felt she wanted to celebrate his memory and came up with the idea of the fundraising event in aid of Parkinson’s UK.

She said: “My idea to do something positive for Parkinson’s UK was inspired by my father’s outlook on life. He was a retired design and technology teacher, head of department at Gordonstoun School.

“He was the most positive person I have ever known, brave innovative and adventurous, and had a tremendous zest for life. Dad never grumbled and always viewed life with excitement and optimism despite being very poorly over the last two years of his life.”

Having decided on a pop-up cafe and small street party event, Rachel was supported by her “wonderful friends and a really fantastic community” to make the event happen.

Rachel’s support network included two very important people - her mum and Parkinson’s sufferer Sheila Moir.

People were able to call in at any time and enjoy some delicious food plus great entertainment by singer/guitarist Dylan Fowlie and magician Paul Rae. Rachel’s friends agreed to help collecting donations and suggested a craft stall, raffles, tombolas.

Many other local people and companies decided to chip in to make the event. Local churches lent tables, chairs and crockery, the Cults 21st Scouts lent big gazebos.

Superb raffle prizes flowed in such as an iPod, a painting from the Jack Tierney Gallery and a huge teddy from Cala Homes, while Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Shell all provided vouchers.

Rachel said: “It just snowballed from there, the atmosphere on the day was almost like a little carnival! The Pop In For Parkinson’s Team were incredible, everyone worked really hard at the event and for the weeks beforehand. It is amazing what you can achieve when you have a great team and a fabulous community supporting you.”

Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, Paul Jackson-Clark, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Rachel and the Pop In For Parkinson’s team for organising such a fantastic and entertaining event.

‘‘ We really are incredibly grateful.’’