THE music is on, the wine is chilling and the nibbles are set out in preparation for the guests’ arrival. But this is no ordinary night in with your nearest and dearest – this is all in the name of charity.
A Really Good Night In is the latest fundraising drive by Macmillan Cancer Support to encourage people to raise cash for charity without the need for outrageous or physically exhausting activities.
The premise is simple – organise a night in with your friends and family instead of a night out, and donate any money saved in the process to Macmillan.
It follows in the footsteps of the charity’s successful World’s Biggest Coffee Morning events, which see around 22,000 participants from across the UK take part each year, with 138 from Edinburgh alone already signed up for the next one in September.
With charities nationwide struggling for donations, such novel ways of drumming up funds are a necessity.
However, the charity is hoping to tap into the younger market through A Really Good Night In – primarily women aged between 18 and 45 – in a bid to raise more funds.
So far, 99 people in Edinburgh have signed up to host a good night in - most of whom have a personal reason for wanting to give something back to Macmillan.
BBC Radio 1Extra presenters Alana and Lisa Macfarlane – aka The Mac Twins – are exactly the kind of young women Macmillan hopes the event will appeal to.
The twins, who grew up in Buckstone and attended Boroughmuir High, are hosting their slumber party-themed event with their two flatmates next week.
The charity is one that’s close to their hearts: their grandma Rita Muir died from breast cancer when the twins were just six years old and their grandad and “best friend” Jim Muir died two years ago from lung cancer.
Alana, 24, says she and sister Lisa – who have DJ’d for Liam Gallagher and count singer Ed Sheeran amongst their band of celebrity friends – will be promoting the event through their Twitter and Facebook pages.
“I think that a lot of the time charity can be aimed at older people with money, so asking people to sacrifice about £30 or £40 on one night out is a great way to encourage younger people to get involved,” she says.
“Everybody benefits from charity work and this is a fun way to get involved with helping to raise money so I would encourage everyone to do it.”
Jayne Forbes, Macmillan’s fundraising manager for Edinburgh, says charities have to constantly come up with unique ways to raise money in this difficult economic climate.
“We are always trying to think of new ways to engage people and support our work and it’s important to offer every different opportunity,” she explains. “A lot of people who are taking part have supported our coffee morning event in the past.
“It’s in a very similar vein to the coffee mornings as it’s an easy and fun way to raise money that doesn’t involve getting sweaty.
“It will appeal to our existing coffee morning hosts who tend to be a little bit older, but we hope to get younger people involved as well.
“We wanted to think of another easy and relaxed stress-free way to support our work.
“All it’s about is coming together with friends and having a lovely night in with them.”
Those signing up to host A Really Good Night In – which takes place on April 26 – receive a “night in kit” with hints and tips on what they can do.
From a simple cheese and wine evening to cocktail making, and from pamper evenings to craft sessions, Macmillan Cancer Support has a variety of ideas to help hosts stage the perfect night.
The Mac Twins’ Really Good Night In will see them watching Disney DVDs, eating nachos, drinking prosecco, putting on face masks and listening to Harry Potter audio books.
Fundraising manager Jayne adds: “We are very passionate about having a broad spectrum of events as we feel our cause is a very important one to support. This is our newest event and it is really quite exciting for us.
“Hopefully this will be an event that will grow in the future.”
Around 17,000 people across the UK have signed up for A Really Good Night in so far.
• To get involved, visit http://nightin.macmillan.org.uk