otrbristol | 8th April 2020

How to support OTR throughout the pandemic

A blog post from our Community Champion, Sylwia, about how you can still support OTR through the Coronavirus disruption:

I would like to say a huge thank you to those of you who decided to continue fundraising for us during these challenging times. Thank you so much for your kind calls, emails and messages on social media – you are truly our friends and we appreciate all your support. 

Some of you have asked for a list of fundraising options for supporting OTR during the pandemic, so here is what you can do for us. You can still make one-off and recurring online donations, donate your Facebook Birthday to us and text to give. You can still set up payroll giving too, just talk to your HR team. You can still run fundraising campaigns for us. In terms of campaigns, you can make the most of online tools in two core areas: virtual events and smaller, individual physical activities. 

Virtual fundraising is not new, but the current situation has inspired a lot of industry professionals to share their insights with us all and we are collecting them for you. It has also inspired some fantastic creative ideas. We see artists sharing their music during live performances, professionals sharing their skills for free, local groups connecting around virtual pub sessions and gamers doing more and more live streams to raise money through Twitch and JustGiving. JustGiving team published a fantastic webinar on this topic here. I would also recommend this webinar if you are planning an online event. The core tools, such as JustGiving, Twitch and Zoom are pretty intuitive to use, but please remember to be clear about supporting us (mention our website, charity number if needed). In online spaces, it is essential to be transparent about the supported cause. We see a lot of creative initiatives that bring people together and ease off the impact of social isolation, so we cannot wait to see your ideas! 

We are very pleased to see the JustGiving team reacting fast with their insights on moving physical activity indoors and to shorter daily walks. They have recently integrated the Strava sports app with their platform so we see really interesting ideas to fundraising through physical activity. This is at the moment very limited but we see people move marathons to their gardens, hikes to their homes and bike rides to their short local park rides. Some people, including myself, are challenging themselves to do the couch to 5K training indoors. Stava team have published a handy list of indoor activity apps here. You can join our group on Strava and use JustGiving too. Connecting with us on Strava also means that you can feel healthier, but also more connected to our team and our friends. Please join us there. Please follow the national guidance on staying indoors and limiting your daily walks, of course! Let’s take this on as a creative challenge and see how we can save lives, stay healthier and support our favourite causes too.   

Here is a short list of useful links for virtual events and indoor sports:

I hope you have found this post useful. Please get in touch if you need anything and please do follow us @otrbristol on Facebook and Instagram for more tips and mental health support from us. 

Thank you for being such a supportive, fantastic community of kind people. Thank you for keeping our spirits high! Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected.