Champion Mark and his fellow East Essex Champions organised an online festival for World Mental Health Day.

Written by Mark, East Essex Champion

What was the activity?

The activity was an online event to celebrate and promote World Mental Health day on YouTube. We showcased Champions' music, poetry and art as well as Champions sharing stories about their own lived experience. 

What was involved in planning?

  • Virtual planning meetings where we assigned roles to people such as organising the content, producing the event and designing it. 
  • Champions who were performing or sharing art or poems were given a brief and asked to provide prerecorded video for us to use.

What resources did you use?

  • We set up a YouTube channel to broadcast the event.
  • We  also used Zoom for the meetings to organise the event.
  • We were lucky that we were able to get some money from the Champions Fund run by Time to Change East Essex for expenses like data costs for people uploading their videos to their computer, any general costs incurred by volunteers for the event and a thank you payment for the artists who played music at the event.
  • We organised prizes of gift vouchers to attendees picked at random who provided feedback on the event.

How did you promote the activity to get people to come?

  • We set up an eventbrite page and we also promoted the event via our twitter, Facebook and Instagram page 
  • Our regional Time to Change coordinator sent out an email to champions in the region with the link to the eventbrite and YouTube channel

How did the activity go?

So far we have had over 500 views to the YouTube page so it’s been really amazing we had a record 150 people sign up via eventbrite! We feel it’s been a great success! 

Highlight of the activity?

Our main highlight was using our own champions creativity in presenting a great amount of Art for the day and a second highlight was Jo Loughran, the Time to Changes Director, who recorded a special message for us to show at the event.

Anything you would do differently next time?

There is but it’s nothing major but it always good to have more time. We started organising the event just over a month before World Mental Health Day however even though I say more time the event did work so it would be only little tweaks in what we already did.

What are your top tips for running an online activity?

  • Plan ahead for technical issues.
  • Don’t panic if there is a technical issue these are normally minor.
  • Do a dry run of the activity first and always be open to change something that isn't work.
  • Enjoy the experience!