Today’s blog is all about a coffee morning Rory attended held in Bristol on Saturday the 19th of November, which was hosted by AKU Patient Ann Kerrigan.

Last weekend, Rory travelled to Bristol to take part in the first of our 2016 Garrod day coffee mornings. The entire event was organised by Ann Kerrigan, a patient and vocal advocate for The AKU Society.

Garrod Day is a national AKU awareness day, coined by the AKU Society to celebrate Sir Archibald Garrod’s birthday, the man who discovered the world’s first genetic disease (AKU) back in 1902. Last year we held our first coffee morning to commemorate this important figure for AKU and to raise funds along the way. This year we have coffee mornings being held in Jordan, Australia, Germany and all over the UK. The event in Bristol was the perfect way to kick off our celebrations.

Rory’s day started on the train from Cambridge to Bristol and the most notable event was someone watching the Paddington Bear film, whilst sitting in Paddington station.

It was a rather gloomy start in Bristol with grey skies and drizzle but things soon brightened up as things kicked off at Saint Bernadette’s parish hall. Ann worked tirelessly to make sure that things were ready just before the doors opened. Everything was in place for when people started to arrive at 10:00 am. After half an hour the grey skies cleared and the sun brought along a swathe of people.

The centrepiece of things being sold was a special 12” AKU cake that looked too good to cut into. They were also able to sell Christmas cards and raffle tickets, as well as a variety of cakes and hot drinks. The most popular cakes were ones that Ann baked herself, with a carrot cake disappearing particularly fast. Thanks to the efforts of Ann and other volunteers, over £120 was raised for AKU patients.

It was also a great event for telling people about the disease, with many people stating that they hadn’t heard of it until the coffee morning. Such events are crucial for spreading knowledge about AKU, which is especially important for such a rare disease. Adults and children had a nice time eating cake and learning about our cause. After his congregation, the priest even came along to enjoy a brownie and some carrot cake.

It was inspirational to see Ann work so hard and enthusiastically. Rory had trouble keeping up with her as she moved from one thing to the next. She said that she would probably not be able to move the next day but that didn’t stop her from completing the great event.