A year ago my Grandad was living independantly but within a year his diagnosis of and decline from dementia has rocked my family. I've had wonderful support from both Alzheimer's Society and Lilian Faithful Homes so have decided to write my second book to raise money for these organisations.
I successfully crowdfunded my first book in 2015 (and my Fire Kitchen in 2016) and I've once again got a great team behind me. I'm running things a little differently this year in that this crowdfunding runs alongside some other fundraising I'm doing. On 27th May, I raised £415 from a launch party and over on my website I'm running a raffle. I have five events planned so far for the month so there'll be plenty going on.
The book in a nutshell
I run my restaurant, Gloucester Studio, from a Kota hut in my back garden. As seen on Hidden Restaurants with Michel Roux Jr, it's one of the smallest restaurants in the world and is a quite magical space. I love my hut and so do the thousands of others who own these quirky buildings. I'm been in touch with many of them and they've kindly given me their photos which Jonathon Watkins of Photoglow Photography will be editing for me. It'll be a gorgeous lifestyle book full of cosy pictures and the history and growth in popularity of what I call Hygge Huts.
The reason I'm taking the approach I am is because this is the best way to leverage my time to raise the most amount of money. My story with dementia is not unique and I want to offer meaningful pledges rather than simply ask for money. What I do promise is that I will not profit from this project and I will be completely transparant about what is spent and how much is donated.
The launch party tickets sold for £75 each and generated £600 in total. I was upfront about £50 from each ticket going to the charities (thus raising £400) as my restaurant has high overheads and while I was donating my time and the food, I wanted to do just more than one meal. By covering some of my costs I can do far more events which will generate more money for the charities than if I simply donated the entirety of a single meal.
I'll be publishing a full report at the end of the project.
In addition to the book, I'll be creating hampers with copies of the book, candles made from wine bottles from Gloucester Studio, my smoked salt and beautiful handmade salt cellars. The Hygge Hut day is an opportunity to indulge yourself in hygge at Gloucester Studio; making candles, smoking salt and cooking over fire. It'll be a magical day.