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Businesses back Family Centre candle effort

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Candle collaboration: pictured, from left, are Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, owner of Lili Bermuda, Sanche Simmons from People’s Pharmacy, Sarah Dunstan and Martha Dismont from The Family Centre and Anne Lindo from Gorham’s (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Businesses have come together to help the Family Centre to sell branded candles for the holidays to raise funds for the charity’s counselling services.

Lili Bermuda, Kitson Group, People’s Pharmacy and Gorham’s are all taking part in this initiative.

Although they have their donor partnerships and fundraising, Sarah Dunstan, development director of the Family Centre, believes that the fundraising landscape in Bermuda has become increasingly challenging.

“With a budget of over $2 million, we are always looking for new, unique ways to bring in funds to support our critical programmes and services,” she said. “We have been brainstorming a product that we could sell for this purpose and Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, owner of Lili Bermuda, suggested the idea of the candles.

“We immediately loved it and have added family-focused quotes, such as ‘Be the light in a child’s life’, on the label of each candle so that our mission of strengthening families is a central part of the initiative.”

Ms Dunstan stressed that without reliable funding from Government and with the merger activity that has reduced the number of companies to support the charitable sector, it has become increasingly important for the Family Centre to find revenue streams.

The candles have a warm, vanilla scent ideal for the holidays and there is a choice between pink, blue and purple labels with different quotes on each.

“Ultimately, we hope that people love the candles but also that they think of the importance of considering the needs of children when purchasing them,” Ms Dunstan said.

“We want the candles to serve as a small reminder of our goal of ensuring that wellbeing is a reality for all children in Bermuda. Of course, it would also be great if this could become an annual revenue line for us,” Ms Dunstan said.

Ms Ramsay-Brackstone said: “This was a fun project. Martha and Sarah came to see me with the idea of creating a product for Family Centre.

“I thought that we should develop something that is fragrant, happy and that ties in with making family time special.

“Then, to decorate our candle, we thought of including inspirational messages about family, light and children which would make the candle unique.”

She added that in the summer she hosted an apprentice, Lola Ranarivelo, a perfume student at ISIPCA in Versailles, France.

“Lola has many talents and she designed the labels for the candle and made them so pretty,” Ms Ramsay-Brackstone said. “I really hope everyone enjoys using them for their special family time, and enjoys giving them away. They are the perfect gift and they smell delicious.”

Kitson Group of Companies offered to sponsor the initiative, covering the costs of developing the candles and bringing them into Bermuda which was wonderful and allows each dollar of the candles sold to go directly towards supporting counselling services. Ms Dunstan added: “Once we had the product and sponsorship confirmed, we needed to find outlets to help sell them. Tamara Richardson of People’s Pharmacy and Andrew Mackay of Gorham’s were both incredibly receptive to the idea and have allowed the candles to be sold in both locations with 100 per cent of the proceeds from candles sold coming to Family Centre.

“From start to finish, we have found amazing partners for this project and we are so thankful to everyone who has helped along the way. It is very exciting seeing the candles on shelves available for sale,” Ms Dunstan said.

Candles are $20 each and are on sale now at People’s Pharmacy, Gorham’s and at Family Centre’s office at the Sunshine League House, at 27 King Street.

Charity boost: The Family Centre candles (Photograph by Akil Simmons)