Blogger: Lex Gardner, RSPB Volunteer

My name is Lex and I recently managed to raise just over a hundred pounds for Operation Turtle Dove.

When I first set out, I wanted to think of a different and possibly challenging way to raise some funds. I had a little experience working in music and gigs so, naturally, I put two and two together. I quickly found I might have bitten off more than I could chew because I was used to the performing side of music, not event coordinating!

At first I had to find some acts who were willing to play for free. Given the friendly and receptive music scene in Norwich, this actually turned out to be fairly easy. My line-up was altered eventually, but the original bands were Jack Pout, who is the singer, guitarist and main-man of local angry-folk band Jack Pout and The Dirt level. Second was Vikki Osbourne, a small girl with a big voice. Lastly I had Deadbeats, a smart indie act.

As with all events, something had to go wrong eventually and I found myself faced with several line-up changes and pullouts. Jack stayed, Deadbeats dissolved into Dan, the bassist and singer of the band. Kamilla Lovvett replaced Vikki and we also added a man known simply as Sam to the list, who pulled out a ‘heart-on-your-sleeve’ acoustic-indie set.


Getting the right venue was my top priority for this event. I considered several places and visited a few but it wasn’t until I got a suggestion from Jack Pout that I chose the Ten Bells. If you haven’t heard or been to this place, and are ever a visitor to Norwich I highly recommend it if you’re also a fan of friendly staff, a comforting atmosphere and refined whiskey. Of course, the Ten Bells allowed us to play for free so... many thanks to them!

Now we had the music, how do we add the turtle dove to the mix? Well my first idea for promotion was via digital form. We live in the age of technology, so why not? I managed to get most of my people through a Facebook page but I also asked a friend and poster designer, Adam Barnard, to draw up a quick promotional poster. I hung this classy flyer in a local music college called Access to Music. I like to think at least one person came from it!

So, everything was there; the people, the venue and the music. All I needed was the fundraising. With the help from Gena and Lili from the RSPB, we came up with some great ideas in the form of a ‘lucky dip’ that could be used by anyone after a suggested donation of just one pound. You didn’t win every time, but if you did you could choose anything from a butterfly notebook to a Ten Bells drinks voucher (one prize which disappeared quickly!)

In the end I had a lot of fun organising this event. We raised a fair amount of cash which went towards saving a very iconic and special British bird. I look forward to fundraising for Operation Turtle Dove again soon and have an idea of a sponsored bike that I will tell you about in my next blog post. I’d highly recommend anyone to get involved themselves and try some fundraising, you never know how much you can help!