Virtual business bingo fundraiser raises more than £500 for Banbury area children’s hospice

Business leaders, friends and family came together to play virtual bingo to raise money for Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice last night (Wednesday April 14.)

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 1:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th April 2021, 1:08 pm
Business leaders, friends and family came together to play virtual bingo to raise money for Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice last night (Wednesday April 14.)

The virtual bingo fundraiser, organised by the informal networking group Business Buzz was free to attend. Players were encouraged to make a minimum donation of £8 each but surpassed this to raise a total of £522 for the children’s hospice.

Although the 90-ball traditional bingo game has been popular in the UK since the First World War. It was previously primarily played for fun or fundraising. For Hospices, as much as 85 per cent of their income to cover running costs comes from donations. Sadly, many of them were operating at a deficit even before the pandemic.

A child’s death is every parent’s worst nightmare, but nobody ever thinks it will happen to them. Helen & Douglas House helps local families cope with the challenges of looking after a terminally ill baby or child who will die prematurely.

Alison Hooker with Helen & Douglas House said: “Fundraising is crucial to the continued survival of a charity. A virtual bingo night is a fun way to bring people together safely whilst helping us continue our essential work.

"We are grateful to Business Buzz and all the players and donators for supporting us to make this event happen.”

The event attracted 36 players and hosted on Business Buzz’s innovative online platform in a relaxed, pub-like setting. Players sat at the bar, in tables of six or lounged on virtual sofas to chat while the numbers were called and verified electronically.

Lisa-Marie Mallier, regional lead for Business Buzz Oxfordshire, said: “We’re all missing our networking and social events, so this was a great opportunity to bring people together from the comfort of their own homes. We believe we can achieve great things in business and for our local community by working together.”

Players were welcomed with a unique bingo poem written for the occasion by one of the networking group’s local partners for its Chipping Norton event

Dale Mitchell of Azets Accountants Witney said: “I started writing poems to form part of my introductory speech at my local networking event, which people don’t expect from an accountant. I was thrilled to be asked to verse a special little ditty for the bingo night and help raise money for such a fantastic cause.”

Those who were unable to attend and or who would like to contribute to the fundraiser can still donate through the following JustGiving webpage:

The networking group’s next charity fundraiser will begin on May 17. Its team of Charity Ambassadors and anyone else wanting to join in will walk 95 miles (7,000 steps a day for 30 days) the distance from each of its eight face-to-face meeting venues - Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Chipping Norton, Oxford, Thame, Wallingford, and Witney.

For more information or to sponsor a Buzz charity event, call Lisa on 07789 002149 or email [email protected] To find out more about Business Buzz and its 40+ networking operating nationwide, visit