It seems like just a few days since I last wrote about the activities surrounding Fly Cup Catering, but it has been six weeks, and here I am once again with my fingers on the keyboard.
Welcome to Edition 3 of "The Natter"
In brief, since Edition 2, we have all had a very productive and busy time here at Fly Cup, those trainees undertaking their NVQ's are progressing well. Everyone has been inspired to try new things in the kitchen and the bakery, and we have made use of the coffee shop in a variety of new ways. I am delighted to introduce new volunteers and to update on how you support us, and...
You will remember from my last edition how much we enjoyed decorating the Christmas cakes for our customers. So what more excuse did we need than to get the ribbon out again and help our customers with their little surprise valentines presents. These lovely packed Fly Cup Shortbread Hearts were very popular with our coffee shop customers, I think a few of took them home for loved ones as well.
Creative in the Bakery
It is such fun to be in the bakery, especially when the bakers decide they are going to try something new. If you are a regular you may have already sampled the delicious chocolate digestives available in our Coffee shop but hopefully soon to be part of our retail range. The fudge and tablet comes in a variety of flavours but I particularly like the Nutella flavour
Creative in the Kitchen
I must give everyone credit though, because it isn't just the bakery that is being creative. Our trainees, supported by the staff team, have been tasked with preparing and cooking the lunch time specials a couple of times a week. Customers have been tempted by Sausage Pasta Bake, Chilli and Baked Potato and Savoury Croissants during the past few weeks.
Nicola and the trainees in the kitchen are also responsible for outside catering orders, the choices included mixed sandwich platters, soup, sausage rolls and healthy fruit. This platter was delivered recently to a local organisation, I hope the recipients enjoyed it !
With the growing creativity in the bakery, the coffee shop is bursting with delicious cakes such as Chocolate and Marble Madeira Cake, Victoria Sponge, Ginger Load and Fruit Cake. This week I notice that scrummy looking Viennese fingers had found their way onto the table, Oh and the cheesecake, yummy ! (don't you pit my poor waist-line). However, do not fret, the tray bakes are still in abundance and the morning smell and taste of fresh baked scones can still be experienced on a daily basis.
Not just a coffee Shop !
As you are aware Fly Cup Catering has been supported by Marks and Spencer's Fundraising team for the past year and at the beginning of February, Julie and her team brought life to the Coffee Shop on A Friday evening when they hosted a Bingo and Stovie night. A first for our coffee shop, it turned out to be an excellent venue raising a staggering £612.00 toward Fly Cup funds.
The support from our trainees, customers and families was excellent. It was especially nice to see that Fly Cup trainees were winners throughout the evening, with Yvonne scoring on the Bingo and Moira on the Raffle. Although, Coffee Shop staff member Katrina was the star of the show with two Bingo wins - well done to everyone and thank you for your support.
"Lunch on the Fly"
At the beginning of March, Aberdeenshire Council funded Fly Cup Catering to provide an afternoon of food and fun which would help to establish whether there is a requirement for a regular social and befriending afternoon for older people living in and around Inverurie.
The afternoon was advertised locally and we had over 50 people booking to come along. Unfortunately we could only invite 30 and had to put everyone else on a waiting list.
Supported by staff, volunteers and trainees we all felt the afternoon was a huge success. The two course lunch was followed y coffee and live music. Requests ranged from traditional Scottish music to songs from the post war era, fifties and sixties, (not that I remember those of course!)
Since the lunch I have completed an application form for funds to run such events on a regular basis. I will let you know how we get on.
Following the successful "Lunch on the Fly" the team have been investigating ways in which we may increase the use of the facilities available in the coffee shop outside opening hours. I was delighted on Friday evening to welcome a private booking from three ladies who had been on the journey of a lifetime and wanted to share the experience with their friends and colleagues.
Their guests, some who were making their first visit to the Fly Cup, were entertained with a talk, finger food and drinks and a (Audrey special) Victoria Sponge.
Although I was hidden away in my office writing this edition of "The Natter" the sounds of ooh and ahh coming from the coffee shop, followed by laughter told me that the ladies in question had enjoyed quiet a fund time on their world tour.
Their evening seems to have gone very well, and although they will be billed for accommodation, refreshments and cake I know that they enjoyed the experience of having everything prepared, ready and on hand and then being able to pack up at the end of the evening and leave (although these ladies were kind enough to help me with the dishes and sweeping up)
There is certainly an opportunity for Fly Cup Coffee shop to be used at times other than Monday to Friday during the day, if you would like to discus with me any networking, private dining, children's party or fundraising events, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. I know you will not be disappointed.
You - supporting our Charity.
Following my last "Natter" we can now show off our new coffee shop aprons, with our logo embroidered on them, thank you to Jenny Beattie for the donation and to Moira (Pictured) for modelling.
A very generous gift of a laptop and desktop has been received from one of our trainees parents. Paul Skinazi was good enough to donate the equipment along with a black and white laser printer. I thank you so much, Carol and I cannot wait to have the new software installed and be able to part with the computers we are currently using, which, although served us well, really do need replacing.
As a charity we could not function without grant funding such as those awards I have written about in previous issues of "The Natter" and whenever we (The Management team and I) write a grant funding application we can identify exactly how the money would be used. But, the donations and small gifts that we receive from our customers and friends make the difference when it comes to alternative and sundry needs. Each month the donations box is counted and all ad-hoc funding (including fundraising events) is ring fenced for much wished for equipment and resources.
I know, I have mentioned this before, but I asked the staff and trainees what they would do with £1000.00 The list was eclectic and included things they just dream about (Ipads!). However, some of the items were more realistic and would make life a little easier (especially the cleaning which everyone dislikes)
As we draw t the end of the financial year, it is time to spend the surplus donated funds and therefore I am currently revisiting the desired list, which includes steam cleaners / hoovers and other cleaning paraphernalia. Watch this space for an update in the next edition.
We are appreciative of all donations, thank you everyone for your generosity.
The Staff and Volunteer Team
It is surprising how quickly things change at Fly Cup, with regard to staff and volunteers. Audrey, who had been working in the coffee shop on Thursdays and Fridays decided that she would like to spend the days in the bakery where she felt better suited. As a result, Claire (who I mentioned in Edition 2) moved into the slot vacated by Audrey in the Coffee Shop. Consequently, there was suddenly a gap left by Claire, who had been floating around the various departments helping out wherever needed. Just when I thought the customers would have to serve themselves, a few angels appeared.
We have been delighted to welcome Janette to our volunteer team. Janette joins us each Monday and has already proved to be a huge help, I recently discovered her at the ironing board, spotted her in the coffee shop and then a little while later up to her elbows in hot water at the sink.
There are always opportunities for volunteers at Fly Cup, and in addition to Janette, I know the bakery department are absolutely thrilled with their new volunteer. Paul has taken to the challenge of working in a busy department with enthusiasm and ease. His efforts are much appreciated by Helen, Audrey and June when he joins them twice a week.
Very Proud of our Trainees
Fly Cup Catering is here to provide training, learning and employment opportunities for adults with learning difficulties. We are so proud of them as they progress through each stage of a training programme. The young people are always learning something new, whether as part of an NVQ supported by Lorraine from the college who visits our premises weekly, or our own Fly Cup modules supported in-house by staff. They all work very hard and deserve the certificates they achieve. keep up the great work guys, you are doing fabulous. !
As March comes to an end so does our relationship with the fundraising team from Marks and Spencer. As Julie and her group move onto their new venture we would like to thank them so much for the support they have given us during this past year. The final total of money raised will be announced over the coming weeks and I will update here next issue. However, a couple of events before we part company, on March 23rd a Quiz Night here at Fly Cup will be followed by a Bag Pack on 29th at the Inverurie Store. Anyone wishing to get involved should contact me as soon as possible.
The bakery is now produce a range of bakes, and we have displayed them in a different way, let us know what you think !
Until my next "Natter" take care, and if you are in the Coffee Shop remember to say hello !