14th June 2024

50th anniversary golf day fundraiser success

Monday 10th June was a really special day for Broadway Lodge. It was our 50th anniversary golf day fundraiser at fantastic venue, The Bristol Golf Club. The space and rooms in the clubhouse were perfect, staff were helpful, the food was very tasty and the panoramic views over the course to Wales were stunning. The day was a huge success and would not have happened without one of our trustees, Chris Jelf, who worked extremely hard to reach out to contacts to encourage teams to sign up, to gain sponsorship and to secure ten high value auction prizes and an array of raffle prizes, with all proceeds from the day to go to Broadway Lodge. Chris was joined by his wife Julie and friends Chris, Hayley, Kay and Greg who volunteered so much of their own time to help make the day run seamlessly and we are so grateful to them all. We are awaiting the final total of the money raised from this event and will be updating this post as soon as we know. Keep reading to find out what happened on the day and to see photos…

The turnout was what we were hoping for – 94 golfers from the south-west and beyond made the journey to Bristol, with some even travelling from as far as London and Surrey. Arriving in the morning, their day included bacon rolls and catching up with friends and colleagues, a practice on the driving range followed by an 18-hole round of golf in small teams. The weather forecast kept changing in the days previous, mainly featuring rain throughout the day. But luck was on our side and although there was a chill in the air, the sun kept making an appearance and there was just one sharp shower in the afternoon.

By the time all of the golfers returned to the clubhouse, it was gone 5pm and more guests arrived who were invited to join for the evening including the Broadway Lodge trustees, the senior management team and seven excited, and slightly nervous, former clients which was so special. It’s always incredible to see the changes in people when they have lived in recovery for a while compared to when they were staying at Broadway Lodge. Sometimes they are unrecognisable. Whenever the team and former clients get together, there is always such a special feeling of union, connection, respect, warmth and happiness, which is exactly how it felt.

There was time to mingle with everyone and catch up for a couple of hours until we all headed into the dining room to begin the evening schedule, starting with a superb 2-course meal.

We were very honoured and lucky to also be joined for the evening by ITV West Country newsreader, Alex Lovell, who was delighted to help with the auction later on. But first, it was time to feature some of the Broadway Lodge elements we had planned in order to demonstrate the difference that our charity can make to people’s lives, after all, it’s the reason the golf day was being held.

We started with two wonderful and heartfelt speeches from trustee Chris Jelf, who explained his reasons for his involvement and passion for Broadway Lodge followed by a speech from CEO, John Aizlewood, who also read a very touching and poignant speech and provided an overview of the charity. We then showed a short 4-minute video produced specially for the golf day which featured a number of former client testimonials, demonstrating how Broadway Lodge helped them to change their lives and what’s happened since their stay with us.

It was time for Head of Treatment, Counselling & Aftercare, Markkus, to introduce the first former client to the audience who courageously stood at the front to talk about his experience of addiction and how Broadway Lodge helped him. It was very emotional and while he sprinkled his talk with humour, everyone in the room respected his story and were sat in awe of how he has turned his life around. With just 10 minutes, he touched on his addiction to heroin and how devastating it was to him and his loved ones. But he had some hope and a childhood dream of being a paramedic one day. When he declared how he is working for the ambulance service now and well on his way to fully qualifying as a paramedic, the room was filled with cheers, claps and a standing ovation. It was such a special moment and hard not to feel emotional.

The second former client to talk was Pamela, who had travelled all the way from North Wales to be at the event. She has so much love and affection for Broadway Lodge and Pamela is one of the people who is unrecognisable today, two and a half years after leaving Broadway Lodge. Lee, our Registered Manager, introduced Pamela to the audience and explained how she was heavily involved in arranging Pamela’s very carefully planned admission into Broadway Lodge at age 27, because she was one of the most poorly clients we have ever treated as a result of alcohol addiction, with a very real prospect of dying before reaching the age of 30 if she didn’t get sober and have a liver transplant. Listening to these stark words whilst seeing Pamela stood next to Lee, looking so smiley, glowing and healthy like any other young adult was surreal, because you just can’t imagine how she was that close to death. To show the audience the transformation, Pamela arranged for photos to be placed on every table of how she looked before Broadway Lodge. Pamela then talked and expressed her gratitude for her life being saved and said that not only is she much healthier today, her liver is healing and she is no longer on the liver transplant list. This news was again praised with loud clapping and a standing ovation. The audience certainly gained more understanding about the illness of addiction and the work of Broadway Lodge after these speeches.

With the video, speeches and former client shares finished, it was time to move into the evening’s fundraising activities. There were 10 exclusive auction prizes available including time at holiday homes in Devon, Cornwall, Spain and South Africa, all with golf courses close by. There was also a signed print of “The Old Course at St.Andrews” by gifted artist Paul Barclay, dining experiences and exclusive golf experiences at renowned courses. The auction was exciting to watch and raised an amazing £11,000 for Broadway Lodge alone!

It was soon time to find out the winning teams (and losing team) from the day’s golf. There were some useful golf related prizes for the teams in first, second and third place. The team of three with the losing score each received a small prize which Chris Jelf amusingly declared was a towel, so they could wipe their tears. After this, the raffle commenced where 12 lucky winners picked their preferred gift from the remaining prizes. There was a closing speech from CEO John and trustee Chris Jelf and the wonderful day was wrapped up at 10pm.

We cannot express our thanks enough to everyone who joined on Monday, raising funds for our much-needed and important work to transform lives addiction has taken away. We’d also like to thank the organisations who sponsored the day. These were:

In addition, the whole team at Broadway Lodge would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Chris Jelf, Julie, Hayley, Kay, Chris and Greg for helping to organise the day and run a brilliant event. We’d also like to thank everyone who generously donated an auction lot, raffle prize or last, third, second and first place prize for the golfers, as well as a big thank you to Alex Lovell for supporting the evening, The Bristol Golf Club, and our trustees and former clients for joining. It was an unforgettable day and all of the Broadway Lodge team who were there thoroughly enjoyed it, and we all met some lovely people.