Ordinary people doing extraordinary things: Martyn's Story

Heroes emerge at uncertain times and Martyn's story emphasises this, highlighting the real meaning of "Aberdeen Together." 

Read below Martyn's story, in his own words, of how a small idea has had a big impact. 

Martyn's Story

At the very outset of lockdown it was obvious that a lot of people were going to be detrimentally affected in terms of being furloughed or losing their jobs, and therefore there would be even greater demand for places such as foodbanks. With that in mind, I thought I would do something small via Facebook to raise funds for Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE). It was a pretty simple concept – a lottery bonus ball competition, £2 per number with the winner getting £75 and the remaining £43 being used to buy food to donate to CFINE. I thought if I did two or three competitions then CFINE would get a reasonable donation of food, and there was always scope for the winner to donate some of their winnings to boost the donation. 

It seemed to strike a chord with people and the first competition sold out quickly. The winner donated the £75 prize so I was able to buy £118 of food which was collected by CFINE. The second competition was a similar success and the winner also donated the £75 prize. I’ve also been running some online bingo for Polmuir Bowling Club (which I’m a member of) and although the two things aren’t connected, some people donated their bingo winnings to the CFINE fundraising effort, therefore I was able to buy £200 of food the second time (photo attached). I was reluctant to keep going with it in case people were fed up of me asking for money but I needn’t have worried as a lot of people started paying me for another competition before I’d even announced one!

The third competition has just concluded and the winner donated her £75 prize to the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund as a result of her Mum being admitted to hospital a few weeks ago and in recognition of the excellent job they’ve done caring for her and keeping her safe while the family have been unable to visit during lockdown. And with some extra donations from the bingo added, I transferred £71 to CFINE to enable them to buy food directly. To date, the running total for CFINE is £389, and £464 to charity in total with the donation to NHS Grampian included. A fourth competition is close to selling out, therefore we’ll definitely get past the £500 mark and if people are happy to keep taking part and contributing I’m sure I’ll do another few competitions over the next few weeks and months.

As I said it’s something relatively small but it has grown and people have really embraced it. Unfortunately there is no end in sight in terms of lockdown and social distancing so there could be a lot more pain to come for people and families. This is a drop in the ocean really but if it has helped just a few people during these very challenging times then it is has obviously been worth it. 

If anyone reading this would like to get involved, please contact me at martyn_orchard@hotmail.com 

* information correct as of 13 May 2020

Martyn Orchard CFINE
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