Ertugrul Themed Charity Event for The City Retreat


10 days before Boris grounded us, we were planning a charity event due to last years success. We had our pens and papers out, put our thinking caps on, and started thinking of themes, who we would choose to sponser us, ticket prices, how much we were aiming to make for the charity, how much we would need from our own pockets. It was crazy because now the pressure was worse. We had to beat last year’s event to keep our status.

The event would have been on this weekend coming. However God had another plan for us

For our initial trial we put up a post on instagram to ask our followers if they would be interested, the response was crazy, it would be silly of us not to do anything….. and evan more silly if we didn’t go all out again.

I was sopposed to write a post about the organising and planning of our new upcoming event…. instead I am left to tell you a little of the madness that happened last year….

The venue we used is the City Retreat, as this was who we were raising money for. The City Retreat is a model centre located in the heart of Leicester city providing a warm, inviting and vibrant space to bring people from all walks of life together to explore, discuss and share faith, values and common humanity. More information on the retreat can be found here

The theme we decided on last year was ‘Ertugrul’ because we ourselves are Ertugrul crazy- and we can only put passion into something we love. Ertugrul for all the people that dont know (seriously how do you guys sleep at night?!) is a turkish series on netflix on the founders of the Ottoman Empire. It is the life of Osman’s ( the founder) father – Ertrugul and grandfather Suleyman Shah. It has a lot of real life events in it aswell as fictational as you gotta keep the viewers entertained right? But damn is it Good! and Addictive! and Obsessive. For all the Game of Thrones fan- Ertugrul is for you- it is Game of Thrones -Halalified! (meaning minus the nudity).

This was actually our first time hosting a full on party. We are event planners and we have catered for weddings with 1000 plus people…. but this was different. This wasnt just putting up a display that wowed people and walking away…. we had to keep our guests entertained throughout. And that is something I cant do….. I can write, ill carry on for years writing, but speaking to people, a group of people. Looking at me. Waiting for me to speak. Looking at me. Speaking Out loud. Looking at me…….. (*Breathes*) …..I go blank.

For the event we needed Guest speakers, we needed ‘Insta Famous’/ or Influencers to pull the crowd in and we needed Food! Tick those 3 boxes and Hey Presto- we had a sucessful charity event!

And heres a little of how it went:

Our poster went out 3 weeks before the event, just to get the engagement and curiosity in. We stuck Halime Sultan on the front because she is a warrior and Ertugruls one and only true love. We knew this would attract all Ertugrul fans, and we were right.

We initially were looking at round tables for people to sit and eat on, but that really wasnt working for us. In the series people eat whilst sitting on the floor, and they sit on cushions…. I wanted that look and thankfully a shisha place- Bukhoor Lounge, offered us there cushions for our event for free….. without this we never would have pulled off our vision…. A big thankyou Bukhoor Lounge for the seatings.

For Guest speakers we had Ustad Davina Kanani who spoke to us about the coming of Ramadhan and how to make the most of our time, this was a very enriching talk, and very informative because in a week ramadhan was starting. This was followed by Nafisha Kara from the Islamic History Project who spoke about the Ottoman Empire (the non fictational part) once again it was informative and educational. And for the influencers we invited Farah Ferrero who is a leicester blogger and a huge Ertugrul fan, and Flawless by Sumaiyah, another leicester blogger and PA to Zukreat the make up artist, both of whom were delighted to come and also speak at the event. And they did not dissapoint. Thankyou so much ladies. You guys were amazing.

The beautiful Flawless in Action

We also had a suprise visit from Sakina Aleem which was such a delight. My god is this woman a gem, and she evan dressed up for the Part. Thankyou so much for your attendance Sakina Aleem. It was so lovely to meet you and your speech was so beautiful and heartwarming.

Here’s the whole gang starting from left- Me, Afsha, Farah Ferrero, Flawless, Sakina Aleem and Banu.

What is a charity event without food? as the ticket sales started flying, so did our anxiety. We needed food… turkish food to keep up with the theme, we couldnt possibly cook, dress up, set up, and entertain in one day… it was not possible, and Id like to say a huge huge Thankyou to all our sponsers:

We had Nazar bbq house (the best Turkish food in leicester without a shadow of a doubt) who gave us nans and all the delicious mezes including olives.

Wrap and Roll, with there sheesh kebabs in nan! I ate one before event and Yum!

Chaiiwala forever helping out in any events- with their signiture tea

Mother Hubbards– those chicken bites were delicious…

and lastly the team (aka:Me) and Made by Afsha with the set up of all the food which included mocktails, canapes, turkish delight, fruit display and dessert display, as well as the set up of the whole event.

And here’s a short video of the set up before event started,

And a picture of the turnout….

Id just like to say a huge thankyou to each and everyone of You, You all made this possible! (also a big thankyou to my lovely friends who turned up at sillyoclock in the morning to help with the chopping. Would not have done any of this without you)

There are more pics on my instagram highlights. Have a look see how it all went. Just here.

And heres hoping for another event soon.

Love and Regards


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10 Responses

    1. Obsessed with it. We have started watching it all over again from season 1. Thankyou for the read and hopefully on the next one you can join us?.

        1. I love Selcan. To this day I absolutely love her. She comes on to the next series Osman. You started watching that? It’s good. But miss the old faces.

          1. I like Selcan too. She comes in Osman??? 😃 I just finished Season five two days ago so haven’t yet started Osman, but hope to do it soon. 😭😭😭 I’m so sad to leave Ertugrul, most my family don’t want to start Osman! But I’ve heard its very good.

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