Virtual fundraising: Bringing people together when we have to stay apart

29 October 2020

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic and during the national lockdown earlier this year, it suddenly got harder to see the people who matter most to us. Darren decided to host a special game night fundraiser so that he could stay connected with his friends no matter the distance.

Darren and Dianne
Darren and Dianne

Virtual fundraising with Quiplash

Adjusting to life in lockdown meant that Darren had to get used to a significantly smaller social world. Missing the special moments from a typical night out with his friends and troubled by the immense pressure faced by the NHS because of the pandemic, Darren and his partner Diane joined forces to create a virtual fundraising event.

And so, about two weeks after national lockdown measures were imposed, they hosted their first virtual games night that would bring his friends together no matter how far apart they were.

Darren challenged his friends to a game of “Quarantine Quiplash,” where each player had to come up with the wittiest response to a series of prompts to win, and a virtual karaoke night on Twitch.

“Our karaoke night was fun, especially when we realised that we could add extra challenges for people to complete during our songs. On one occasion, we had to sing like a whale, and on another, we had to speak each line like Christopher Walken.”

The games were the highlight of the evening for Darren and his friends. Although there weren’t prizes for coming out victorious, the winners did get bragging rights and the joy of seeing their friends look silly.

Knowing how many extra pressures his peers were facing during lockdown, Darren wanted to make sure that his fundraising gave them an opportunity to unwind.

“It’s already a really stressful and nervy time with everything going on in the world. So many people think you have to run marathons, do swims, or do something that takes you out of your comfort zone to fundraise, but it doesn’t need to be so intense.”

Instead of pushing himself to his limits, Darren made a point of finding things that he and his friends enjoyed and that were mindful of the impact of pay cuts or furlough on donations.

“Mostly it’s about having fun and letting your friends get involved whilst you struggle your way through something by Mariah Carey,” jokes Darren.

Making children feel at ease

Darren chose to fundraise for Evelina London after hearing about it from a colleague, whose family relies on its specialist care and support.

“My colleague cannot speak highly enough about Evelina London,” explains Darren. “They love the service provided by the hospital, the amazing job the nurses do, and how at ease the environment makes you feel.”

As a dad himself, Darren can imagine how much of a difference the specialist care at Evelina London can make.

“Parents worry about their children, especially when they have to visit the hospital. I would hate for my son to be scared when visiting the hospital, so it’s comforting to know I’m helping contribute towards alleviating any fear or stress children and their families might feel.”
“If our fundraising has helped at least one child and their family, it is money well raised.”

Find out how you can bring all your friends and family together to fundraise for Evelina London during the pandemic here.