With this years’ event finally completed we are delighted to announce a total amount to send to Brain Tumour Support raised by our 2020 Event.
Back in December we opened entries for this year having sold out once again in 2019. In January we learned our event had been awarded an industry recognised gold award for runner ratings and for a good deal of time during the voting process Hilly Helmet had stood as top rated off road event for GB for the year. We were left feeling proud at the recognition and humble so many had taken the trouble to help us achieve this .
We made plans to put on another event you’d love again this summer and quickly had backers in place, some existing right from year one and some who were keen to back us for the first time. The Covid-19 pandemic came along in March and really put the cat among the pigeons. Many thought it would all be over very quickly but when my work started asking me to complete an 8 week diary for which days I would be going in and which I would be ‘working from home’, I was left feeling not so sure. I decided to watch and wait but make a plan B.
Charities were suddenly being hit the hardest and with some people quickly having less disposable income in the short term and an uncertain financial future, every penny counted on a personal level. Added to this, non essential shops, which included charity shops, were closed until further notice and worst of all, pretty much all charity fund raising events were now having to be cancelled due to the infection risk large gatherings brought. Here at Orange Helmet Events, we had few choices, hang on and hope our published date for Hilly Helmet would be safe, cancel for 2020, or try something else.
By the end of April it felt like August would still be too early for a mass participation event, so we looked at offering a virtual event instead. The first thing we did was write to all our entrants up to that point and ask them if we could convert their entries to virtual ones and the response was a resounding yes.
We planned Hilly Helmet in your town, running in your own neighbourhood during your daily exercise period we were all allowed. For the first time we also extended the entries to families, giving people something to do together during the lock down period. Creating helmets and running together as families seemed a really good idea so we gave it a go. Everyone taking part was to submit their evidence and a picture of them in the headgear. Prizes for adults and kids would be on offer as well as mementos to everybody taking part.
We spoke with our event partners too, should we refund their donations or roll them over to next year? We would still have some expenses to meet but less than a mass event on the night, but all our backers just told us to keep the money and use whatever we needed to then give the charity what was left. We also had money donated specifically to buy some feather banners for use at our finish line as well as promotional use during the build up to our events in the future.
Once a few people did their runs and sent us their pictures, more started to sign up. As lock down eased, people started to come to the actual hill at Westbury to do their runs. Of course we advised that large groups were still not allowed but people proved to be very sensible and just came in small groups of less than six and it was great to be able to meet and run with a good number of them and take pictures. There were many walkers around the locality who had a smile brought to their faces by our runners and walkers adorned with all manner of headgear, all in the name of charity. In the end we had an amazing 158 sign ups for our virtual effort.
We also decided to open a just giving page for anyone wishing to donate as we also would not be able to have an on the night raffle. We often get casual donations along the way and on the night too, so the page was an ideal way of supplementing this years’ fund raise.
Having come through all the challenges we’re therefore very pleased to announce to final total raised by this years’ event is £2518. This includes entry money, money donated through Just Giving and excess funds after event expenses. At time of writing, the Leighton Recreation Centre is still not open for business, so it would seem our virtual event decision was the right one. Many, many thanks to everybody who has helped us to achieve this brilliant total.
Finally we’d like to thank our event partners:
Stampede Sports for technical support and funding
Kyna Software for financial, administrative and web support as well as helping fund feather banners
Martin Pearce for assistance with publicity
Stark Ecology for financial support
Mike Sargeant Dry Stone Walling for financial support
Terri Duddy for helping fund feather banners
The West Wilts Magazine for financial support
Wessex Water for provision of drinks bottles to all entrants.
White Horse Pottery in Westbury for creating our unique mementos to mark your achievements once again this year.
As it stands we hope to be able to bring you a proper ‘on the night’ event you’ll really enjoy once again next year. We can’t thank you enough for supporting us so well against all the odds this year and helping Brain Tumour Support once again. P
We’d really like to push the boat out so please watch this space as we plan Hilly Helmet 2021, our 5th anniversary event. If you’d like to be an event partner next year or donate prizes for our raffle or help in some other way, please do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org