Creating the Neon Night Walk

Posted by Unseen Team on the 25th November 2016 in Unseen, Fundraising, Events, Donors

Unseen Intern, Anna Nash, gives us an insight to the planning and preparation that helped to make the Neon Night Walk a real success.

For the last six months, I have had the pleasure of helping Unseen establish its first mass participation event – a Neon Night Walk – to encourage people to come together and raise vital funds for Unseen’s work.

The Neon Night Walk took place on Saturday 22nd October in Leigh Woods, Bristol, and the aim was to walk as many times as possible around a 2.5km course, between 6pm and midnight – the time of day that survivors find particularly difficult to cope with. The date was chosen to coincide with Anti-Slavery Day on 18th October and the launch of a new national Modern Slavery Helpline, being run by Unseen.

As a recent Law graduate with a keen interest in human rights - albeit limited experience in marketing - I didn’t realise the amount of planning and detail that goes into a charity fundraising event. Six months later, and with over £6,000 raised, I am pleased to say the event has been a success.

In the months leading up to the event, the planning and marketing success was delivered with the help of our Kiwi volunteer, Jill. We advertised the event through Eventbrite, Facebook, Twitter, Unseen’s Neon Night Walk webpage, local churches and businesses.

The Walk itself

First to appear were law firm Clarke Willmott’s team. They decorated their gazebo with bright pink balloons which co-ordinated perfectly with their t-shirts, and they later clinched the ‘Best Decorated Gazebo’ prize.

An amazing team of volunteers helped set up the woodland course and by 5.30pm, 40 determined participants had signed in and were registered: the Garberoonies, Wallis Wanderers, Team ASP, Silver Stars, Synergy’s Brightest, The Walkie Talkies and We Love To Walk. Just as the light was fading, everyone gathered for what looked like an 80s disco but was in fact a ten-minute warm-up in preparation for the six-hour challenge ahead.

The race began at 6pm, with every participant - whether running, walking or relaying – attempting to complete as many laps as possible before the midnight deadline. It wasn’t long before the suspended neon glow sticks became the only guidance in the dark.

The ‘Best Neon Outfit’ prize went to the Neon Noodles. Not only did they have a superb team name, but the flashing lights on their pink tutus meant you could see them appearing from afar like a pair of jellyfish in the depths of the ocean!

The competition was fierce for prize of ‘Most Laps Completed’ and was almost a tie. However, the prize of Fairtrade chocolates (kindly supplied by the Co-op) went to Team ASP who completed the most laps. The Silver Stars dazzled us with their fundraising effort winning the ‘Top-Fundraisers’ prize.

As an intern, what have I learned?

Having spent the last six months helping to organise the Neon Night Walk, I have taken away enhanced knowledge, skills and lasting satisfaction that I have made a difference. However, the most important factor for me is the recognition that there are many other people dedicated to social change. A community event such as the Neon Night Walk can be an invaluable way of ensuring like-minded individuals have the opportunity to meet and support one another with the aim of social progression.