Tuesday, 8 October 2013

London Loveiosa: A History

WARNING: This post is going to be cheese-tastic, continue on at your own risk....I'm not even sorry.

Cast your mind back to LeakyCon London, what's that you say, there was a time before clicking? Apparently. 

 At the first Harry Potter Alliance panel, it was revealed that there were no chapters in the UK. How is that possible, we thought, the UK is the home of Harry Potter!

We all immediately signed up and a few weeks later, Jessica, who would go on to be our great and powerful leader, organised the first meeting.

7 people attended that meeting. We were all a little nervous, no one knew what to expect, but the LeakyCon spirit still resided in each of us. We united in the fact we all wanted to make a difference to people in London. In that first meeting we decided on a name, a mission and committed ourselves to the chapter.

With the plan in motion to start a book drive at Platform 9 3/4, we started the daunting task of finding charities to donate the books to. We were quickly overwhelmed by the positive response and the knowledge that children were anticipating the arrival of books they could read.

By the next meeting, we had a much bigger attendance. Safe behind the curtain to our very own room in a King's Cross pub, there was excitement in the air. While things were still a little tentative, we were able to start discussions and handout job roles. With our flyers and collection buckets, we took to the street after the meeting in an attempt to raise money. This was mainly unsuccessful. I remember one man generously donated 12p. What a champion!

Soon after that meeting, things started happening VERY quickly. We were given the date of our book drive launch, which was to be only two weeks after that second meeting. Madness ensued, and instead of singing to each other in the Google hangouts we were actually organising things almost as if we were grown-ups or something!

We bought and built a book case, I say we, but really Laurène deserves all the credit. She was a bookcase building machine! We painted it and spent the rest of the day organising prizes for the raffle which would take place at the book drive.

 Then before we knew it, it was D-Day otherwise known as that day I woke up at 6am and put a bookcase into a florist's van (again, who am I kidding, Terri lifted everything including Jessica at one point)  

The first day of the book drive was honestly one of the best experiences of my life, and that's saying something because as some of you know I've performed at Newcastle Theatre Royal! ( Yes, I know I overuse that joke, Jessica ) 

Back to the story, any lack of sleep was completely forgotten when we saw the excited faces of the children who won the raffle. It was such an incredible feeling when the little girl won the Hogwarts Library Set and her dad said, “these books will change your life.” Too right they will.

I double dare anyone to try and forget the two boys at the end who won the Studio Tour ticket, Hermione’s pen and a 9 3/4 keyring. I don’t think I ever will. 

For those who weren't there, Natasza perfectly captured their excitement, and is just generally the best baker/photographer/dancer we have. 

The next day the book drive continued and collected more books than my flat can sensibly hold. Fact. It was also the day Jessica and I first performed the official London Loveiosa song; Remix to Alliance, fittingly, outside the Potter's house used in Philosopher’s stone.

Exactly a week after, was the Clicking Party. This consisted of a lot of singing, and hours of clicking. We are so wild. We also found a fan in Emmanuel, although its up to you whether or not he was a welcome one. 

I think everyone who attended would agree that our last meeting had a very different feel to those previous. Although the majority of the time was spent on official clicking business, there was such a relaxed and friendly environment. I felt London Loveiosa becoming a family.
 (I told you it would get cheesy, you can't say I didn't warn you)

Then what did we go and do, only freaking win the Chapter Cup.

During the Google hangout that immediately followed the result, I think we were all very close to tears. The odds had not been in our favour, we were a brand new chapter with only about 15 active members. Even when we lost the lead and were down by 6,000 we persevered.

Guys, we got 80,000 clicks on Sunday.

That's like, a lot.

We suffered many a minor emergency and even a couple of major ones and yet still came out on top. 

Every single time Jessica begged on Facebook for money, someone came to the rescue, no questions asked.

Something this experience has taught me is that hard work will get rewarded. Cheryl donated so much money and time and as a reward we bought her Hermione's wand, the thing she wanted most in the world.

Jessica, as you all know, is the solid bones that keep this chapter standing, (NOT a reference to your abnormal hip bones, Jessica, just a metaphor!) and as a result of her hard work has gained the respect of all the HPA staff.

Most of us have dedicated our time and sacrificed valuable sleeping hours and it has not gone unnoticed. We have the support of the entire HPA, Evanna Lynch said she was proud of what we have achieved and YA authors David Levithan and Maureen Johnson dedicated signed copies of their books to us. 

Most of all I am proud of the support we have for each other. 

As I'm writing this, members are sending in videos of themselves singing Bet on us, our parody of the classic Zefron hit, Bet on it. Like what? It's a completely ridiculous request but everyone has jumped on board so easily. I don't know of another group of people who would have responded the same way.

In regard to the Chapter Cup, we never gave up. Perhaps we were scared what Cheryl would do to us if we did, but I think it's more than that.

To quote that great philosopher, Rachel Berry, being a part of something special, makes you special. London Loveiosa is special and we made it together.

We have so many exciting things coming up including delivering the books to our chosen charities, London Loveiosa: The Musical, our sponsored walk and a trip to the Studio Tours. Plus the THING THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED and the House cup competition which will be taking place next year.

 Two months. 123,123 clicks. Over £500. Over 1000 books. 

There is no doubt that the future is ours.

Rebecca xx

No comments :

Post a Comment