Candy Rafferty - Radio Borders ‘Cash for Kids’
Can you tell us about the charity ‘Cash for Kids’ and how did Radio Borders become involved?
Radio Borders Cash for Kids supports children aged 0-18, who live in the broadcast area of the radio station and are at a disadvantage of some kind. This might be as a result of poverty, illness and disability or a particularly traumatic event in their lives. Radio Borders belongs to a global media group called Bauer, which, alongside their radio and television networks, publishes over 50 magazines. Cash for Kids is Bauer’s charitable arm if you like, with a branch working out of each of the UK radio stations. We have a key difference to most national charities though; Cash for Kids only raises and spend funds within our own broadcast areas, keeping it totally local.
What is your role?
My role is to manage the charity in our transmission area, which reaches from Peebles all the way down to around Alnwick. Myself and my assistant Rebekah, both part time, work all year round, with the aim of raising enough money to fulfil the applications coming in to us from both individuals and other children’s charities or organisations in the area. Our campaigns are so much fun, and really engage companies and the general public, which helps with both awareness and funds. The generosity of people living across the Borders and North Northumberland is epic. Some campaigns here have been more successful than in huge cities like Liverpool or Glasgow, and I’m convinced that is because we are lucky enough to still have a proper community. Take Happy Street for instance a UK wide competition that pitched streets against each other in a month long fundraising competition to win a street party hosted by your local radio station. The city stations struggled with finding enough people in one street who actually knew each other and were cohesive enough to work together, but here in the Borders, all the high street retailers, or village residents were a real unit. They came together and worked their socks off raising over £17.500 for the charity, a lovely touch was that the winning community Lilliardsedge, invited all the other finalists to their party, which says it all.
They are all crazy! But a real stand-out one happened this year. A lovely TV presenter called Woody Morris who had moved to the Borders with her family, asked if her children could come in and help with our 2016 Mission Christmas appeal. When she saw the scale of it, and realised the number of children here whose families were struggling (over 14,000 in the Scottish Borders alone), she burst into tears and vowed to do something to change it. With little experience of horses, she set herself a terrifying challenge to ride in a professional race at Kelso by the end of 2017. Several broken ribs and a punctured lung later, she achieved her goal, racing against Ryan Mania and a field of 10 other riders. And by the end of that day she had raised an astronomical £64,000. Woody is still fundraising for us until the end of the year and has agreed very kindly to join our Executive Board.
Describe your perfect weekend?
My ideal weekend would be incredibly boring - just a normal one. I don’t get too many of them!
Name 5 items you can’t live without?
I don’t think there’s much I feel I could live without except the real basics, like family, shelter, food, water, heat. Nothing brings you down to earth more than seeing so many parents having to make choices between these, especially here in a rural environment where you don’t expect it.
How can people get involved with ‘Cash for Kids’?
There are many and varied ways of getting involved with Cash for Kids and being attached to the no 1 local radio station does have mutual benefits. Radio Borders reaches over half the adult population here, so sponsoring one of the charity’s campaigns gives rise to fantastic PRopportunities. Many companies adopt a charity over the course of a year which is a great way to get to know us. We have just launched our Christmas campaign and are looking for volunteer drivers to help us get the donated toys to our Mission HQ to be sorted and equally, if you live here, and you know of a child in need, or a project that benefits children in our region, please get in touch about funding.
What’s next for Radio Borders & Cash for Kids?
After Christmas we’ll be starting on our bid to raise £143,000 in 2018. The first campaign is 500 Faces where we are tasked with finding 500 local people or small companies who will pledge to raise just £100 over the course of the year. This is a campaign which again demonstrates how privileged we are to live amongst such a giving community, and Sandie, you’re a shining example. You took part in this year’s Faces campaign, and totally smashed through the target of £100, raising an incredible £200+ to date. As a devoted mum as well as a successful business owner, you totally get what Cash for Kids is all about. We never forget it is entirely thanks to people like you we are able to make such a difference to the lives of many hundreds of children here.