Inspired by the Exeter Kindness mural, which will feature a Charlie Mackesy illustration, an amazing team of ladies hosted a ‘Kindness tea party’ on Saturday 10 June. The theme was The Boy The Mole, the Fox and the Horse with tables featuring the four characters from the best-selling book.
Organised by Jeanine Rose-Gibson at Rediscover Church Exeter, the Kindness Tea was able to accommodate about 65 ladies who raised £1,200 towards the charities in the Crossline Building which is the home of the mural. The charities include the Exeter Soup Kitchen as well as Kondanani UK, which is providing charitable status for the project.
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea,” Jeanine quoted at the start of the event, recalling how the idea of the mural project was conceived at a tea party in the home of Sue Burbage.
While the Kindness Tea was for ladies there were a few men there to assist with the set up and clear up; audio visual services, financial oversight and to speak about the project. The visionary behind the project, artist, Paul Colsell enthralled the audience with his humorous insights and how he received permission from Charlie Mackesy to reproduce one of his iconic illustrations on the wall of a listed building.
Paul (82) said he never wanted to be the face of the project even though he was compared to Captain Tom who raised so much for the NHS during Lockdown. And he certainly isn’t going to wait until he is 100 to get the job done! Even so, he and the team have raised several thousand pounds to make Kindness happen in Exeter. 5,381 was raised through Crowdfunder and we aim to supplement this through other fundraising efforts. Not only will the mural deliver an ongoing message of generosity but we will continue to raise funds for the charities in the building and orphans in Africa.
Kondanani UK trustees, Al Gibson and Tim Davies were there to support Paul and represent the charity. “It was amazing seeing all the ladies having such a lovely time together,” said Tim who is the project’s financial manager. “Us guys were blessed to share it with you all. Well done Jeanine and all the ladies who worked so hard to make it happen. We raised an incredible £1,223 this afternoon 👏👏👏”.
Kondanani UK primarily supports Kondanani Children’s Village. The orphanage was founded in Malawi by Annie Chikhwaza. Al is the author of the book ‘Mother of Malawi’ which tells the story of Annie’s life. He told the audience how she started with one HIV/Aids baby and has since been a mother to hundreds of children.
Al’s business Countdown Creative has sponsored our website and the PR for the project which has had significant media impact. He teased the audience with the possibility that we may host a Exeter Kindness unveiling party once the mural is complete and invite Charlie Mackesy!
Jeremy Burbage sang the beautiful song, Kindness by Stephen Curtis Chapman at the Kindness Tea Party. This really touched people’s hearts. The words are incredibly powerful. “So, when they stand and tell the stories, of who we are and what we’ve done, of a thousand things that we could leave behind us, If they say just one word, well, let that word be kindness.”
In addition to a fabulous spread, the ladies played games, there was a quiz, raffle and spot prizes aimed at celebrating kindness in our community. Paul, ably assisted by Gwenllian Riall chose the winning Raffle prizes.
Kindness Tea Party feedback
“Today, I went to afternoon tea in support of the Exeter Kindness Mural. What a wonderful time it was,” Liz Moore wrote on Facebook. “Professional, hospitable, friendly and above all, KIND. Themed tables displayed, the boy, the horse, the fox or the mole and all were laden with cake and sandwiches.”
Another lady wrote: “Many thanks for inviting me, it was a wonderful event, you have such lovely friends 😌 and the tea was delicious. I hope lots was made to boost funds. Please could you let me have the details of the song that was sung, it was so good, I’d like to print the words out and put them on my kitchen wall.”
“A triumph! Jeanine is a force to be reckoned with. Big personality! Big creativity! Big heart! Thank you each one! A privilege to be connected!!”
For those who haven’t yet participated in this exciting venture you can donate via PayPal at this website. Let’s celebrate kindness as we support the Exeter soup Kitchen along with the other charities in the building who make such a big difference.