Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Taylor Tuxford Volunteer - Michelle Tuxford

Michelle, as well as being the Principal Architectural Designer at Taylor Tuxford Associates, volunteers for an independent fundraising group named Blucrew, who primarily raise money for the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice located in Dinnington.  

Christmas is their busiest time for fundraising and this year has been no exception, with three full stage shows, three separate carol singing events in Meadowhall Shopping Centre, Carol singing at the Wickersley Lights switch on event, Carol singing at Crystal Peaks, Waitrose in Sheffield and at a care home in Sheffield, as well as several other supporting functions (eg. assisting in setting up a grotto for the Bluebell Wood Children) all within the space of 5 weeks in the run up to Christmas!

Michelle has just had a very busy weekend supporting Blucrew and so we thought we’d tell you how it went: -

Saturday night saw Michelle at Silverwood WMC by 6.45pm to find the room looking very festive thanks to the efforts of other members of the Crew in readiness for their second full Christmas variety show of the season.

It can be a very nervy 5 minutes in the changing room as they wait for the introduction music, then they’re on with the show! There’s no time to sit back and relax between acts either as they are constantly checking what’s coming up next, what should they be wearing, what order do we need to go on stage, etc, etc? It certainly keeps you on your toes. Although they very nearly had one cast member singing O Holy night in a grass skirt and coconut bra!!!
Blucrew mini panto cast Dec 2015
The performance was over by 10.30pm and everyone seemed to have had a really good night, the Audience joined in with the fun and games there were lots of smiling faces, a very good result all round.

Of course, now the show was over (and once comfy shoes were on sore feet) they set about dismantling the stage set, lighting, sound equipment, tables, etc. There really is no one specific role for individuals in Blucrew, everyone mucks in, and so, ten minutes after taking their final bow the team were busy carefully packing away.

Sunday morning saw Michelle up bright and early (well, maybe just early) as she had offered to help set up the backdrop and up-lighters at a Hotel in Sheffield, where Bluebell Wood were holding a Christmas Party for the Children, she arrived there for 8am and after a quick set up was away by 9.30am. She then travelled to Meadowhall Shopping Centre to set up for carol singing on the Mall outside Next and was ready for action by 10.30am (ish!)

It was a lovely atmosphere in the Mall and the Centre Management was very accommodating assisting with cordoning off the cables runs so no-one could trip over them. Although, during a song where one of the singers was performing a solo (so she has stepped forward out of line) two shoppers walked straight through the back of the performance area and through the line of singers, completely oblivious to what they were doing!
Blucrew carol Singing at Meadowhall Shopping Centre Dec 2015
Blucrew carolled until the mid afternoon to a very appreciative crowd and were congratulated by the staff at the adjoining Love Koffee who had had to listen to their songs at least 3 times!

They then dismantled the set again and loaded the car back up. Michelle then jumped back in her car and returned to the Hotel to dismantle the backdrop and lights after the Children’s party and so didn’t arrive home until 6.30pm feeling very happy that they’d had such an enjoyable, if not tiring, couple of days. Later that evening the team received an e-mail advising that the Elves had counted the takings from the previous night’s show and the donations from the carol singing that day, and that the two events had raised approximately £3000! It all makes the hard work so worthwhile to have a result like that, which is one of the reasons Michelle volunteers, and they’re all completely blown away by everyone’s generosity.

In closing we’d like to take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, whatever you are doing, and we hope that you all have a happy and prosperous New Year!

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