RUGBY CHRISTMAS CRACKER
By Ann Evans
Photos courtesy of Rugby Cracker.
Rugby Cracker, the charity that raises money to help people in the developing world and young people in the UK begins it’s month long money raising push today and continues through until Christmas Eve.
This year sees the project’s 24th year. Over the years it has raised tens of thousands of pounds, as well as helping countless young people in this country to develop skills and gain experience that will help them in later life.
The person behind the Rugby Cracker is Katie Thomas who works as a dietician, but at this time every year she takes her accrued month’s holiday so that she can devote all her time to the charity, doing everything from baking cakes and making soup; cooking and serving gourmet meals in the evenings; and training volunteers in a host of relevant skills.
Katie and her willing volunteers of young people and adults, run the Crackerteria – a daytime café, and an evening Á La Carte dining experience at the same venue, offering a 5-course gourmet meal, with all the profits going to the charity. Additionally they run Cracker Radio which gives young people the chance to train and get experience working in radio.
With each of these three initiatives, the volunteers are given full training and work experience which helps them to develop skills for the real world. For example they are trained in food hygiene, waitering, food preparation and the importance of healthy living, all of which come in useful for later life. The radio volunteers take part in a workshop on how to create a great radio programme, combining their own creativity with the technical training. Many of those who have volunteered in the past have gone on to have successful careers in retail, catering and the media.
In particular, Rugby Cracker’s Crackerteria and the gourmet meal evenings goes to the charity FWH Creations. FWH standing for Fashion With Heart. Katie said: “The money raised goes to help women from the slum areas of India to learn how to sew and make dresses, soft furnishings and even wedding dresses and so make a living for themselves and have a better quality of life.”
Katie went on to explain: “FWH Creations are striving to break the poverty cycle in India. Their aim being to give women from the slum areas training in tailoring skills so that they can earn a living and so support their families. The production unit, Jacob’s well, produces goods from orders all over the world and has become a sustainable business. Girls are given the opportunities to also have education in English and computer studies providing life changing education for them. What is vital to them is the training and investing in lives so that people can work effectively in the business world and maintain sustainable employment and security.”
Rugby Cracker rely upon a small army of support staff to give up as much time as they can to assist in the day to day operations. Katie explained that there are positions to suit all skill and experience levels. She added, “By giving us your time and effort you are helping build a better world and learning skills you can use in employment.”
You will find the Crackerteria at Unit 8 The Swan Centre, near Asda, Rugby which opens at 10am each day – except Sundays, until Christmas Eve. After 6pm the Crackerteria begins its Á La Carte service – which gained a 5 star food hygiene rating in 2013 which still stands today. They produce an exquisite 5 course gourmet dinner for customers with their dedicated waiting staff delivering a silver service to compliment the evening’s experience with them. The suggested donation for this gourmet meal is £15-£20 per head, and again all profits go to FWH Creations.
To find out more, volunteer to help, get involved with Cracker Radio or book an evening gourmet meal, full details are on their website: http://wp.rugbycracker.org.uk/