On September 3rd, the Always Be Content team took to the seven hills of Edinburgh along with the Edinburgh Business Beats Cancer Board. We walked 21 kilometres in solidarity with those fighting the uphill struggle against cancer – and smashed through our fundraising goals.
Our Lou Kiddier, Co-Founder and Head of Content Production at Always Be Content, is on the board of Edinburgh Business Beats Cancer (EBBC). EBBC is a collaboration of business leaders working together to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
Following Lou’s leadership, the entire Always Be Content team have been volunteering as creative partners for EBBC.
As we pondered potential fundraising ideas for 2021, we thought about all the highs and lows we’ve experienced over the past few years.
This summer in particular, we saw a global pandemic keep the world in its grips against the backdrop of record heatwaves brought on by climate change. Making a bad pandemic worse, funding for cancer and other medical research had taken a hit too.
Yet, at the same time, we received life-saving vaccines, enjoyed easing lockdown restrictions and revelled in the thrills of the Summer Olympics.
No doubt, it’s been a strange mix of ups and downs.
It was precisely this thought journey that brought us, and the EBBC Board, to the idea of our next fundraiser.
After all, what better way to illustrate the highs and lows of battling cancer during these strange times than to climb up and down the seven hills of Edinburgh?
We crunched the numbers and found that climbing 7 hills would mean we’d have to walk 21 kilometres across 600 metres of elevation. Ambitious and daunting as it may be (unless you’re a Munro Bagger), we knew this would be possible to do in a single day.
This is how the Take On 21 challenge came to be.
The only thing left was to roll up our sleeves and get to work:
We crafted and designed a series of branded emails Board members could send out to colleagues, friends and family to invite and inform them about the event.
We created static and animated social posts for both Always Be Content and EBBC to keep everyone up to date on our fundraising progress.
- We published EBBC story filters on Facebook and Instagram, so participants could share their experiences on the day of the hike.
- We designed branded snoods for participants, plaques to use for photo ops at the top of each hill, and digital medals to send out as keepsakes.
- We even designed and published a slick and interactive DigiMag containing the route and some helpful hiking tips to help participants prepare for our all-day hike.
It was an all-out effort for a great cause – and the results show it.
We hit our fundraising target even before we set a foot on a single hill. By the end of the day, we achieved 130% of our original target.
In total, we raised over £18,000 for cancer research!
We know that ‘cancer research’ and ‘fundraising’ seem like abstract concepts – and people tend not to engage with abstract things.
More than that, it is difficult to face cancer. It is difficult to learn that someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes – or that tens of thousands of people put off their cancer treatment because of the pandemic.
So, to make our success and our message of hope truly resonate, we made sure to highlight that the funds we raised would go to scientists at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre who work on life-saving developments in cancer research.
Specifically, our funds will help Professor David Cameron run clinical trials on breast cancer treatments. They help Professor Malcolm Dunlop study bowel cancer, and Dr Steve Pollard and Dr Sara Erridge study new treatments for brain tumour.
Indeed, it’s fair to say that all the trekking up hills in solidarity with those fighting the uphill struggle against cancer was real, tangible work for a great cause.
When you think about it, it’s remarkable what a bit of creative group effort can accomplish to make the world a better place.
Although our Take On 21 challenge has ended, our fundraising efforts continue. If you’d like to support Cancer Research UK, our fundraising site is still accepting donations.
In addition, the EBBC Board are hoping to host a fundraising event in March 2022.