A Huddersfield businessman responsible for operating one of the world’s most iconic coffee brands in the UK has come up with a great twist on the traditional coffee morning.

Raj Beadle is staging a charity fundraiser featuring some of Huddersfield’s best known singers and choirs and livestreaming it so people can watch anywhere in the world and have their own coffee fundraisers at the same time.

Raj, of Edgerton, has been managing director for Gaggia UK and Ireland’s domestic operations for 30 years which is based on the Lowfields Business Park in Elland.

The 68-year-old attends Lindley Methodist Church which has supported an African charity helping young children for many years.

Raj has set up a fundraising concert at the church featuring Marsh Ladies Choir, Gledholt Male Voice Choir and Musica Senior String Ensemble with a couple of solos from well-known Huddersfield singer Thom Meredith.

Although 200 people can attend the concert on May 11, Raj will also be live-streaming it on Zoom, asking people to pay £10 to watch with all the money going to the charity as the concert’s costs have been sponsored by Gaggia UK.

The charity is the Riziki Children’s Organisation based in Nakuru, Kenya, which rescues young children, usually orphans, trying to survive by scavenging on a rubbish tip just outside the city.

They then live in dormitories at the organisation’s centre where they grow their own food and vegetables.

Riziki also pays school fees so the children can go to a nearby school to help them on their way to a better life. The schooling can lead into higher education, including universities.

Raj is also encouraging people to help their own charities. They can livestream the concert for £20 to two or more people but can also charge anyone else who attends their venue to raise money for their own charity and, hopefully, have a cup of coffee or two while watching the music.

Raj first got the idea for live streaming events during the pandemic when he discovered Zoom.

“People couldn’t come to our showroom any more so we, like so many other people worldwide, suddenly discovered Zoom on the internet,” he said.

“We realised it was a highly effective way to show our coffee machines but that quickly branched out into online barista courses and now our engineers give advice to customers on Zoom too if they ever have a problem with their machines. It’s really boosted the business and is getting the Gaggia name out there even more.

“But it also got me thinking and I realised it would be great to use Zoom to take our fundraising to a wider audience and also showcase the great music that comes from Huddersfield to the world at large.”

Raj has already held an online raffle for a gold-coloured coffee machine and sold 79 tickets for £10 each with the money going to Riziki. The winning ticket will be drawn out at the concert.

The concert will be on Saturday, May 11, at Lindley Methodist Church starting at 2.30pm.

Gaggia holds a charity coffee morning on the third Friday of the month at its Elland base.

For tickets and more information go to https://www.gaggiadirect.com/gala-concert.html

To watch an 11-minute video on the Riziki Children’s Organisation go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-sXA7JNdBU

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting. 


What’s On in Huddersfield in May 2024 with concerts, shows, music, street food and great vibes