Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

A whole lot of LOVE supports local ‘Community Meal’

A local marketing agency owner was overwhelmed with support after asking her own community of friends and business colleagues to support her recently.

Dawn Spendlove, Founder of Love Marketing needed support as she had sponsored a project to provide hot meals for the homeless and lonely local community. The ‘Community Meal’ project ran by the YMCA Derbyshire and Head High, a local mental health organisation is held on the last Friday of each month at YMCA Derbyshire’s London Road Campus, with the aim of bringing people together from different backgrounds to enjoy a welcoming space and food to nourish both body and mind. Through such community gatherings, communication can be improved, which in turn has a positive effect on loneliness, a major cause of mental health problems amongst adults.

However, as Dawn who celebrates 10 years in business this year works alone, she needed help to buy, prepare, cook, serve and clean up meals for up to 120 local people. So emails were sent, calls made and a rallying cry of ‘we would LOVE to help’ was answered.  Friends along with current and former colleagues from Derby County Football Club, Derby County Community Trust, AIM Awards, Belper Hockey Club, Sonara Singers Ladies Choir, Tesco’s along with the YMCA’s resident chef John - all donned hairnets and pinnies to help support Dawn and this amazing project.  Derby County Ambassador, Roger Davies was chief pot washer and did a sterling job along with fellow ambassador Michael Johnson who made a song and dance whilst mashing potatoes! 

Dawn really wanted to do more than just raise funds and felt taking part in a community project that really helps local people, some of whom struggle with mental health challenges, would be the perfect fit.  The team came together and helped prepare and serve a hot 2 course meal for over 80 guests at YMCA Derbyshire’s London Road Campus.

Dawn Spendlove, Owner, Love Marketing said:

“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported me by giving up time to come along and help me on the day. When I committed my support to this fantastic project I knew I would have to call in help, luckily I have a brilliant, loyal network of friends, colleagues, clients as well as my hockey club at Belper. I was therefore quietly confident they would support me by turning up, peeling a mountain of potatoes (thanks Derby County Community Trust!), mashing said potatoes, pot washing and serving (Thanks DCFC & Belper Hockey Club), chopping an endless supply of onions, garlic and chilli (Thanks AIM Awards) as well as having over 30 puddings made by friends, colleagues and my local community."

Amanda Solloway, who founded Head High, said:

“There are times in our life when we can feel alone or lonely and it can be so difficult to get out and meet people. So we at Head High started this joint venture with YMCA Derbyshire to say to people ‘come along, join us for some good food and welcoming company… ‘One small act of kindness can send ripples throughout the community’. We are delighted that Dawn and her team of helpers chose to support one of our Meals."

Sarah Crane, Fundraising and Communications manager at YMCA said:

“The guests thoroughly enjoyed the meal, having a choice of not only mains but several puddings were a real treat with many having seconds. The fun the team had was apparent and quite a few of the guests recognised Roger and Michael and couldn’t believe they were cooking for them! We really hope other local businesses support this project to help the YMCA continue to provide this service."


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