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We held a virtual brunch to remember our amazing dad

Lockdown and COVID-19 couldn’t stop Lisa from bringing her family together (virtually). She held a virtual brunch to raise money, and a cuppa, in memory of her amazing dad, Alan.

Every year our family and friends get together and raise money to support the vital work of the British Lung Foundation through the Big Breakfast (now the Great Virtual Brunch). This would normally be a large group of around 30 people, who come together to raise money (and cups of tea) to our amazing dad, who we lost to lung disease back in 2013.

My dad had sarcoidosis and COPD, even though he was a non-smoker. His lungs deteriorated over a period of time until he was on oxygen 24/7. Throughout his battle, he never complained, was always positive, and continued to put everyone else before him. He was amazing. Everyone who knew dad described him as a ‘true gentleman’. He was kind, funny, selfless and loving and will be forever missed.

Preparing for our virtual brunch

We wanted to hold our event last November, as we have done every year, but due to lockdown, we had to do things slightly differently. We decided on a date and time, and sent round invites to join our Facebook Messenger group to the usual crowd.

In the weeks leading up to the big day, each of Alan’s ‘children’ (myself, Sarah, Serena and Craig), took the lead on organising a game each that could be played in the build up and raise some extra cash for the BLF. We promoted these games in the Facebook group so people had the chance to get involved and get excited for the day. We played:

  • Guess the sweets in the jar – picture of the jar was shown in the group and a jar of sweets for the winner
  • Guess the teddy name – winner wins the teddy
  • Football sweepstake – this one was a hit and we needed x2 guess sheets
  • Guess the number of Cheerios in the jar – boxes of sweets and chocolates as prizes

This was really fun, and everyone got involved, emailing their guesses to the group and our fundraising total soon went up.

On the day

We still wanted to bring everyone together, so this time we did it remotely, with each household dialling in to a video chat on the Messenger group, while my mum joined my sister as part of her ‘bubble’.

Each year, we take it in turns to host our brunch, with everyone turning up in their pjs (which the kids love) and have a buffet style breakfast with items such as bacon cobs, croissants and pancakes. This year, we retained the pyjamas dress code, but everyone was responsible for sourcing and making their own breakfast. My house took the chance to go all out, opting for the full monty breakfast – there were enough restrictions in 2020, so why not!

It was a great way for everyone to see each other’s faces, share some food, and most importantly, discover who the winners of the games were! This worked really well and brought us all together, including one guest who was in hospital as she had just had a knee operation, so we had her on the video call eating a slice of toast!

COVID-19 didn't stop us raising money

All the adults paid £5 to attend and this was all topped up with people’s donations to participate in the games. Each house collected their own money in a ‘pot’ and then one person collected all money and distributed the prizes whilst socially distanced.

We are proud to say that we raised a massive £212.60 for the British Lung Foundation and had a really special day in the process. COVID-19 did not stop us raising money and raising a cuppa in memory of our amazing dad.

Hopefully next time we can all be together again but we know we can still help raise important funds if not.

To find out more and organise your very own Great Virtual Brunch, please click here. 

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6 March 2021