Belinda's Safe Tea Extravaganza

McAuley Community Services for Women pays tribute to volunteer Belinda Lim who is organising a mega High Tea.

Belinda Lim dreams cup cakes and scones these days. As her May 28 Safe Tea for McAuley Community Services for Women looms closer Belinda can think of little else. It’s no small task organizing a high tea for at up to 400 people.

“Last year we were novices, but this year the team helping me know what we are doing and it is coming together,” Belinda said.

The Safe Tea will be held at Camberwell Primary School Hall, 290 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, on Saturday May 28 at 3pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Last year she expected 60 people and 120 turned up, paid out their money for a delicious high tea, raffles and other prizes and helped raise $8000 and donated about $2000 worth of goods including linen, towels and other homewares used at McAuley’s 24/7 safe house. This year’s goal is $10,000.

Belinda is overwhelmed, not just by the willingness of the team of volunteers helping organise the May 28 event, but by the generosity of people wanting to support the Safe Tea.She recently attended an event at her old school, Methodist Ladies College, and met about a dozen people keen to come and who are willing to bring others along.

Belinda threw her support behind McAuley Community Services for Women last year after seeing a small advertisement in the newspaper and discovering it ran Victoria’s only accessible 24/7 safe house and refuge service which kept a total of 496 women and children safe.

“Another great benefit of running this event is that it creates an awareness of the issue and a chance to make an immediate and direct response. The money raised helps keep the safe house going and that’s what influences a lot of people who are thinking of coming or donating money,” Belinda said.

Belinda said a 30-year career as a lawyer has made her cynical sometimes about human nature, but running a public High Tea event has made her realize how many good people are in the world.

“We have the capacity to have 600 people and everyone can be sure of a marvelous afternoon,” she said. “Our afternoon tea has had a ripple effect. We have gone back to the people who came last year and asked them to be "pebbles in a pond" and to create and widen the ripples of support and bring people with them and they have responded.”

The cooks are not only Belinda’s friends and fellow organisers, but a lot of friends of friends. Left overs will be packaged up in take-away containers and given to people for a donation, a successful fund-raising ‘tactic’ used last year.

The mega raffle includes bottles of wine, four three-month yoga memberships, a full set of pots and pans, and many pamper packages and other great prizes.

“I think I drive my friends and family crazy in the lead up to the High Tea, but if we are going to do it, then let’s do it as well as we possibly can and raise even more than $10,000,” she said.

Safe High Tea Details

Where:Camberwell Primary School Hall, 290 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, (access via Reserve Road)

When: Saturday 28th May 2016

Time: 3.00pm

Cost: $30 per person, $15 for students and under 25s (feel free to donate more)

Payment: Pay on the day or here on Trybooking

 High Tea update

Congratulations to Belinda and her remarkable team. They raised an astonishing $16,621.77 for the safe house. As well boxes and boxes of new and lovely linen, towels, toiletries, clothing, underwear, children's clothing, jumpers and scarves nwere donated.