A festive fund-raiser to collect ho-ho-hoards of cash for Aidan

Amina Begum with Aidan Jackowiak Smith and his parents Vikki and Karl.
Amina Begum with Aidan Jackowiak Smith and his parents Vikki and Karl.

A kind-hearted restaurateur has put fund-raising on the menu with a festive-themed initiative to cook up cash for a brave tot – and she is urging other businesses to join in.

Amina Begum, who owns Mivesi Indian Restaurant and English Cafė, in Alnwick, is organising an Advent Calendar Auction, to help three-year-old Aidan Jackowiak Smith and his family.

The seasonal scheme is designed to run for 24 nights in December, with the aim of collecting a sack-load of Christmas cash for the Alnwick youngster who has Cloves Syndrome, suffering swelling to his face and body.

To make the fund-raiser a success, Amina is making a plea to other businesses to come forward and offer items to be auctioned off.

She said: “The idea is simple really. Each night, at 8pm, we will open a giant advent calendar and inside will be two envelopes. One will be from Mivesi to a lucky table in the restaurant – it may be a free starter or desert or even a free meal voucher. The other envelope will be a product or service donated by a local business which will be auctioned on the night to a lucky diner. We hope to raise a considerable amount by the time Christmas Day comes.”

Aidan’s family are regular customers at the Market Place eatery and Amina wants to raise cash to help them.

His mum, Vikki, and dad Karl, regularly have to pay for costly hospital trips, including to Newcastle as well as London’s Great Ormond Street. Meanwhile, the Gazette, in conjunction with Alnwick-based MKM Building Supplies, is running the Aid For Aidan appeal, which is a community-campaign to renovate the property Aidan’s family has recently purchased.

The DIY SOS-themed initiative is to revamp the Fire Station Cottages house to make it suitable for Aidan’s needs. Businesses that donate to the advent calendar fund-raiser will have their names displayed throughout December on a large poster in the Mivesi window that overlooks the Market Place. They will also have their own allocated sponsorship night during December and will also be named in the Gazette. Aidan’s mum Vikki said: “We are astounded by how kind the people of Alnwick are. I would like to thank the business community in advance for taking part in this charitable activity. It’s great that people can have a great night out with good food and help Aidan at the same time too.”

To donate items to the cause, contact Amina on 01665 606947.