Gemma Norris talks us through our Christmas Appeal day 2013

Yesterday saw the return of The Lowry Christmas Appeal day, as staff and volunteers came together to have fun, unleash competitive spirits and raise lots for money! This year the appeal is going towards a literacy project for young parents in Salford, so our staff pulled out all the stops for this worthwhile cause. People from all areas of the building got involved with a whole host of activities from singing in the staff choir, baking cakes, decorating our desks and running a swap shop, all in the name of charity.

The day started bright and early for lots of staff who were busily setting up their desks for the Best Dressed Desk competition. It will be no surprise to hear that we are a creative bunch here at The Lowry, and a lot of effort went into making the desks, and indeed some entire offices, look the part. Community and Education quite literally blew us away with their North Pole themed decorations, while our Development team set up an authentic German Christmas Market on their bank of desks. There were some amazing entries but in the end my team, the Marketing Department, beat off the competition with our Home Alone themed office. We don’t do things by half and the end result was described as ‘an immersive theatrical experience’ and was complete with a few real booby traps, just like the film!

In other parts of the building the first ever Lowry Staff choir were assembling and beginning preparations for their performances. Lead by professional choir master Jeff Borridaile, the keen group learnt a selection of cheery Christmas songs and also got to grips with a 4-part harmony piece. No mean feat with just two hours rehearsal, but they did it with gusto, and we were treated to a performance in our foyer and again on the stage of the Quays Theatre later in the day.

By lunch time everyone was just about ready for something sweet as The Great Lowry Bake Off judging began. Weeks of preparation had gone into some of the cakes, and with prizes for Best Taste and Best Decoration, the stake were high. Our Head Chef, Oliver Thomas, had some tough decisions to make as the ‘blind tasting’ took place. In the end our Chief Executive, Julia Fawcett, took the prize for Best Taste with her Rudolph’s Rocky Road, while the Finance Team, who had created a whole Winter Wonderland edible village won Best Decoration. All the cakes and creations were then sold and auctioned off, raising even more for The Lowry Christmas Appeal.

The finale for the day was the Christmas Quiz, held in the Quays Theatre. It was a real highlight, with lots of laughter and it was wonderful to get everyone together and see so many of our colleagues having a really great time. I should mention that nearly everyone wore Christmas jumpers for the day with some of them being homemade, so prizes were awarded for the best jumper too! The effort that was put in to make the day a success really paid off as we raised over £900 to go towards the appeal. It’s very easy to be proud of your job when you work at The Lowry, but it’s days like these that really make you feel lucky.

To find out more about The Lowry Christmas Appeal 2013, follow this link

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