11 Jun 2020

Inspired by kindness: SBS winners give back to their local community

When we started our inspired by kindness campaign many of the companies that inspired us where those businesses who despite their size, or scale of difficulties they were facing due to being in lockdown, were truly thinking of others before themselves. This period of time has forced us all to consider the welfare of others before our own needs.

This week we saw the fantastic fundraising efforts of Sandwick Bay Candles and were reminded yet again of how one small action can really gain momentum and make a significant impact.

One of the benefits of being based out of Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides(!) is that there is a small, close knit community. In April, Megan Macdonald and her family decided to create a candle hamper and raffle it off and donate the proceeds to a Bethesda hospice, which held a special place in their hearts, and to many of those on the Island. When they launched this simple campaign, they couldn’t have imagined they would have expected to exceed the £700 fundraising target by quite as much as they did.

It only took one other small business to approach Megan and ask if they could donate some sea glass jewellery to the hamper and help their fundraising efforts, for the snowball to start.  What started out as a simple gesture really captured the hearts of over a hundred other small businesses both on the island, and on the mainland, and before long they had over 140 prizes to raffle off via a live Facebook live draw!

Some of the amazing prize donations included self-catering stays, haircuts, beauty vouchers, carpet and home decorating vouchers, art work, Harris Tweed, seafood, food and restaurant vouchers, driving lessons. However, the prize that got people talking, and donating, was the offer of FREE food for life for one person from the Crown Hotel in Stornoway!

Before long this was picked up by local news and shared so widely that what started out as a simple raffle for a candle hamper turned into a virtual draw that raised almost £70,000 from 32,000 separate donations.

What we love about this story is that it sum’s up the spirit of many of our local communities who given the chance have gone above and beyond to help the people around them, and how one small action can make a significant impact.

When we first saw the entry for Sandwick Bay candles when the Autumn Fair team were judging the #SBS competition to select the 12 small businesses who would win a stand at Autumn Fair 2019. They were an easy decision for our team to shortlist and invite to exhibit at Autumn Fair, the product was beautiful and we knew this was right up the right street for the home and gift buyers attending the show.  But often, it’s the people behind the businesses we do business with, and we cant help but be inspired by the team at Sandwick Bay Candles.

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