Written by Alex Hughes, Shift Momentum.

When I first looked at putting on a 24-hour live stream a year ago, I had never intended for it to be either a charity event or one to support mental health. I had always wanted to ensure the event’s impact was high, but it was going to be more business and marketing focused. 

However, with the last year being such a huge challenge for society and the turn of the year being so hard mentally for us all, I just had to activate this idea and make it into something broader and support a charity that reflected those issues. 

So, it was decided; we would be doing this Liveathon, and it would be to support CPSL Mind, our chosen charity – but when? Well, what better platform for this event than Blue Monday, not because we wanted to buy into this concept of the “most depressing day of the year”, but to combat the idea and reinvent this day as a positive light for the future instead. Blue Monday itself was a concept first developed by a travel company in 2005 and was a marketing campaign used to sell holidays. Since then, it has become associated with this horrible sense of impending doom – not anymore! 

With almost 20,000 views of our live streams combined across the 24 hours, almost £5,000 raised for the charity and the feedback received around how uplifting and impactful it was, we feel we did the right thing here. 

What did we learn? 
No matter how much you plan before these events; you have to go with the flow of the speakers! With almost 40 guests joining me, I had prepared mentally for what I wanted to talk to them about, but I soon realised by speaker number 4, that the work we had done before to frame the event, had been done for us. They were more than willing to share their stories and did not need too much from me to prompt them. The challenge quickly became much more about managing my own emotion and supporting them through that moment.   

Another lesson I picked up from this was sustaining my energy. It quickly became a key focus and what I found worked for me was that in the short 4-minute breaks I had to move, stretch, stick my head out the window and eat little and often. I reached out to the Shifties Community for advice; however, there is always so much conflicting advice regarding diet. For me, it was smoothies, coffee, nuts and a nice care package from Elsie May’s for lunch was superb to snack on throughout the day.  Oh don’t forget the Mrs D’s Doughnut for the evening!

The final lesson I learned was more of a reminder. You need to ask if you want people to do something! When I saw momentum slowing on the viewers, I asked and reminded those watching to like, comment, share and do what they could to keep this at the top of the Facebook feed locally. Shortly after getting a result or two with this, I kept pushing hard on this message and then naturally, the donations followed from the value they got when they arrived.

As of 29th January 2021, the stats that matter for the event:  

Number of views of the videos – average 5,800 views across the 3 videos (17,500 views total) 

Number of #SpeakUp2021 mentions – 2907 Engagements (posts, reactions, comments, reposts) 

Total money raised for CPSL Mind – £4590 (ex GiftAid) £5257.25 (inc GiftAid) 

My favourite moment? 
There were so many unforgettable moments throughout the event, but selfishly it was the 7-hour stint I had from midnight with Dave Duker. I was most nervous about this time as I knew it would test our creativity and energy to maintain momentum into the rest of the day. I must say that our raw conversation about life, our journeys and an entertaining, inspirational quote battle was the perfect setup for the rest of the event. Plus, it allowed for all the technical challenges to be found early in the event whilst we just had the hardcore Shifties tuned in (you were the real favourite’s!)

My biggest takeaway? 
The power of positivity and connection has never been so crucial for small business owners. We already know it’s a lonely beast of a journey, but seeing these people in the raw and at their most vulnerable supported the approach we like to take in Shifties – to be ourselves unapologetically. If we can maintain that opportunity to share real stories, personalities, and inspiration through our events in 2021, we will not go far wrong this year.  

We saved lives on Monday, 18th January, the money raised, and the links made across communities will ensure that. It is a weird thing to say that we saved lives, but an important reminder to all that have been involved in this campaign and I want to thank every single one of you that have been involved at any level.

You saved lives on Monday 18th January! 

We will be back next year, and I am confident it will at least equal the impact of #SpeakUp2021. No more ‘Blue Monday’ we say!  

If you want to watch the individual interviews from this year, please head over to www.shifties.co.uk/speakup and don’t forget to follow our social media pages to get involved in the other events planned for the rest of this year.

I want to thank everyone involved this year and do, so I credit them below. When you see your name, please remind yourself of that one big takeaway: you saved lives by speaking up or supporting others speaking up! 

Thank you to everyone that generously donated on the JustGiving Page.

The Speakers

Aina Gomez 

Anne Bailey 

Brett Redman 

Christine Griffey 

Dan Jones 

Danielle Bridge 

David Duker 

Dee Duchemin 

Ed Goodman 

Jack Scarff 

James Hume 

Jamie Archer 

Joe Glover 

Justin Leigh 

Kenda Macdonald 

Kirsty Goddard 

Lee Kearns 

Lee Smith 

Lenka Koppova 

Luke Newman 

Lynnette Ellison 

MariaElena Cusick 

Michael Kirsop 

Naomi Rose 

Neil Bharadwa 

Rachel Hales 

Sarah Anthony 

Sarah Loddick 

Sarah Lovatt-Ellis (who was scheduled to appear but unfortunately had to pull out due to Covid recovery) 

Stephen Ferguson 

The Team @ CPSL Mind 

Tim Richardson 

Victor Sacks 

Prize Donations

Aina Gomez @ Razzamataz Oxford/Family Momento 

Alex Richards @ The Bagel Box 

Anne Bailey @ Form the Future 

Brett Cooke @ Pure Defiance PT 

Cameron Paul @ Spinifex Accounting 

Caroline & Tim Richardson @ Art & Soul Cafe 

Chris Hughes @ RG Taylor Engineering 

Concetta Laquintana @ Conchi The Home Coach 

Craig @ Fine Norwich 

Dan Jones @ Runesilk 

Debbie Richards @ Nature’s Posy – The Flower Farm 

Dee Duchemin @ Mrs D’s Doughnuts 

Evelyn Fujar 

Fiona Gladley

James Hume – Your Digital Marketing Ally 

Justin Leigh @ Focus4growth 

Lauren Burke @ The Mama Collective 

Lisa Fensome @ The Pure Skin Clinic 

MariaElena Cusick @The Whole You 

Mathew Setchell @ MSH Support 

Matthew Power Photography 

Naomi Rose @ Elsie May’s 

Neil Bharadwa @ The Cambridge Fruit Company 

Nicola Rata @ Diamond Domestic Cleaning 

Paul Pankhurst @ Dylbert Ltd 

Russ Edgar @ Velocity Marketing 

Sarah Brand 

Sarah Loddick @ Leaders in Flow 

Scott Davies @ SD Training 

Shift Momentum 

Shifties 

Silvertone Cleaning Company 

Snuggeries 

Som Parkash @ Som’s Salon 

The Team @ Bohemia St Neots 

The Team @ Claws & Clippers 

The Team @ CPSL Mind 

The Team @ Smiling Grape 

The Team @ St Neots FC 

The Team @ Urban&Civic 

Victor Sacks @ VS Associates 

Wendy Chamberlain @ The Ironing Shop 

Zoe Parnham Photography 

PR/BTS

Alex Elbro 

Brian Dobson 

John Bridge 

Kate Matthews 

Katie Williams 

Markie Reeds 

Matthew Power 

Mike Scialom 

Ollie Jenkins 

Paul Gibbons 

Sadie Parr 

Ste Greenall 

Sue Walden 

Tom Fordham 

Theo Chikomba 

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