The winds are picking up & any moment now I feel as though we’re going to go spiralling into another dimension! Better get the bubble wrap & start wrapping up the teapots. Speaking of, the latest Oz film is on & they’re at the part with the teapot village. Dream town Dan says. He’s not very wrong. Quite fitting then, that it’s only 2 days away from our 2 year anniversary of one of the biggest events we’ve pulled off to date! Our Wizard of Oz open day in honour of supporting Autism Awareness.
2 years ago, on a rainy & slightly blustery day in the middle of Sutton Coldfield, we packed our bag (boot-fulls!) of tricks, including a specially built 6ft Emerald City (complete with its own yellow brick road) & began the setup of something we were honoured to be asked to be a part of! It was an opportunity to use our skills for good & be a part of a day that we hoped would not only raise awareness of Autism, but also help those who were in need, whether it be helping them to find the resources they required, or even just to spend some time with people who understood what it was they may be going through. The day proved a big success & something we’re so happy to have been a part of.
Before we begin, I just need to clarify - we don’t own the rights to Oz, (as much as we wish we did! The day itself was in aid of charity, so we were hoping we might be able to get away with using those ruby slippers!)
Given the fact that our “Travelling Afternoon Tea” business prides itself on bringing the fun & festivities to you, we found it quite fitting that the premise ‘No Place Like Home’ felt a little like our mantra for the day.
The day itself was a collaborative effort with local Councillor & Autism Champion Louise Passey - who made the day possible! It was about trying to bring resources to Sutton Coldfield & to raise awareness of Autism & ultimately to try & help those affected by it.
We were honoured to have the day opened by the Sutton Coldfield Mayor at the time, Charlotte Hodivala as well as local MP Andrew Mitchell.
Lilies Funeral Directors brought along balloons & doves and made the day even more special! When the event was opened, we were thrilled to see that our advertising efforts had paid off & the day was well attended!
We even had the pleasure of Autism West Midlands in attendance.
The day was off to a winning start! We needed to stick the kettle on, fast!
As well as bringing our vintage china, we also created bespoke props for the day including Oz character-themed hats; Glinda Bubbles & our own Emerald City! We made sure we also had plenty of food & drink of course. The tea was flowing, & we also provided our skull & pumpkin dispensers with themed straws for the little ones!
We even had our very own rainbow ribbon to match our theme upon the opening of the event! Our Oz sayings fitted perfectly & were used to decorate the hall.
We chose The Wizard of Oz as we thought the ideals fitted perfectly with the message we were trying to get across. The rainbow themed worked brilliantly too & we think it was a success with the kids (and grown-ups!) Thanks to some fantastic local actors, we even bagged ourselves a cast for the day!
Left: We even had our very own Tin Man on hand to assist on our Colouring Station!
Right: Our hashtag allowed us to collect any photos from the day! We even crafted a few props for the little (& big ones!) to play with & keep them entertained. We kept the entertainment in separate sections, & The Toy Library were even kind enough to bring a Sensory Tent with them for children to have some time out if they needed it! (I was tempted to get in there myself!) There were also separate rooms available for use if required.
We had “Lollipop Guild” lollipops decorating our “Over the Rainbow” chocolate cakes; sherbet lemons, Rainbow Drops; Melted Witches; Rainbow Cupcakes & Baum’s sweet shop treats! We even created bespoke newspapers (‘posted direct from Oz!’) that we used to wrap cones out of to give out our sugary supplies.
I think these were my favourite thing from the day! Our graphics department created gifts from Oz! Small chocolate bars in 2 designs that guests could take away with them from the day! How cute are they?!
Overall the feedback from the day was super positive, & we hope we were able to help people in the local community.
Thanks so much for reading about our journey to Oz! It’s fab to look back on something so exciting & that was for such a good cause! Here’s to many more opportunities to do the same.
Thanks for stopping by!