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SI Northern England – Programme Action In the Region

Poems in a Pandemic Competition – –

A Northern Soul virtual dance party

was arranged by clubs in the Northern England region, to raise money for our international project, Empowering Girls in Nepal.  Inspired by the 2.6 Challenge concept (after the cancellation of the London Marathon due to the Covid-19 pandemic) our event was planned for 26 June, where we would play 26 tracks and ask for a donation of £2.60.  It advertised widely through social media and shared with family and friends, as well as club members.

The proposal of arranging a “virtual” fundraiser was enthusiastically received by Regional Officers, because fundraising during Covid-19 lockdown was becoming much more difficult than usual.  Agreement was quickly reached that the beneficiary should be our International Charity, Empowering Girls in Nepal (EGIN), as it was common to all. 

Several members had met its founder, Philip Holmes, and been very moved by the back story to the charity and were inspired to work very hard to raise significant funds to help the women and girls it was supporting. 

We were concerned that Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were a barrier this, so it was hoped an online event, with broad appeal and potentially a global audience, would help boost our fundraising.

The project was arranged by Northern England’s Regional Programme Action Officer, using her links with the music and entertainment industry.  A playlist of 26 Northern Soul tracks was created by Reflex Records, Newcastle and arrangements made for it to be played on an internet radio show, The Thursday Night Show, on 26th June.  The technical side was expertly co-ordinated by DJ Roger Newbrook of Club 30-80 fame.  An online donations page was set up with Virgin Giving, containing photos and the background story to the Nepal project.  The event was promoted and shared across various Club networks media channels for a full month, to maximise the donation window. Instructions were sent to club members to explain how to log onto the website prior to the event.  Alternative arrangements were made for those members who were not able to make donations online.

At the point of writing and including Gift Aid, the event has raised £1,042.83, which smashed our target of £260.  We were also able to tell many other people about Soroptimism and introduce them to the projects we carry out.  It also raised the profile of our international charity, Empowering Girls in Nepal, to a much wider audience.  One young woman was so impressed, she personally donated £100 to our cause.  The event gave members something to look forward to during lockdown and enabled us to have fun together, even though we were still socially distancing.

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