Report on Glasgow Impact48 – August 2017

hampden-park-2.jpgWe had a fantastic weekend and achieved a lot due to our volunteers. Being hosted at Hampden Park during a match was the perfect backdrop to be hacking the challenges of women and girls accessing exercise.

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Carol shared the trailer of the documentary which is at the heart of this campaign to set the scene for the volunteers. During the weekend she also created this new video to encourage people to join Mimi on the journey by doing their own 53 day challenge.

#MimiAndMeFor53 – Let’s Get Moving! from Carol @ Scrumptious Productions on Vimeo.

The website and community at will run for a further 53 days after Mimi completes her challenge allowing people to join in at any stage in the journey. Find out more by clicking here.


One large part of our achievements was for our young volunteers to research, script and film a short documentary about accessing exercise. As soon as it has been edited by Carol from Scrumptious Productions we will share it on the site here. But here are some images from their work.Swapna, Susie and Kim worked hard on the website for the campaign – MimiandMefor53.   They were taught about WordPress and BuddyPress so that they can update and manage the site.

Kim (aka The Fair Bod Mother) and Carol created a detailed workout, bodcast and lifestyle hints plan that everyone who joins the 53 day MimiandMefor 53 challenge gets access to. Sign up here if you want to follow Mimi Anderson who is running two marathons a day across the USA from 7th September to set a new world record.

The team also learnt about updating the Twitter (@mimiandmefor53) , Instagram ( and Facebook  ( ), and the website will soon have new plugins sharing these feeds thanks to volunteers.

Neil popped in to give us Facebook promotion tips. Jess worked throughout Saturday gathering contacts and links to good reference material to promote the campaign. Finally Maureen McGonigle from Scottish Women in Sport shared their wonderful anthem which you can view by clicking on the image:



Impact48 in Glasgow with MimiandMefor53 – Access to Exercise Hackathon

I’m incredibly excited to announce the next Impact48 event! This time we are working on the MimiandMefor53 campaign to get everyone moving following Mimi Anderson run across the USA in 53 days!

What is Impact48?

  1. A small team of talented volunteers and a great social campaign get together.
  2. The chosen project presents their work in detail and talks about some of their challenges or goals which they want help with.
  3. We discuss and agree something concrete that we can do to help using our skills.
  4. After 48 hours of energy the campaign is better empowered than when we started!

What is MimiandMefor53?

This is a campaign and a documentary film that is inspiring people (especially women) to exercise by following Mimi Anderson run across the USA in 53 days in September and October 2017.

MimiandMefor53 is the brainchild of an amazing entrepreneur, Carol Cooke, who is an award winning film maker. Carol want to use Mimi’s run and her film to encourage and enable more people to get moving through the campaign.

The campaign includes providing funds to a charity called Free To Run.

Our Impact48 with MimiandMefor53

The event will take place at Hampden Park, Glasgow.

We will kick off on the evening of Friday (25th August)) when we’ll learn all about what help is needed and identify ways we can help them do even more! Saturday and Sunday will then be all about doing something that is complete and real; including making the MimiandMefor53 community live and running a round table on Access to Exercise.

We’ll then have a celebratory presentation (and drink) on Sunday evening and reflect on our impact.

Get involved!

We are looking for anyone with:

  • WordPress and BuddyPress development skills
  • Social media knowledge about what content to create and how
  • Time to help out and learn about social media and wordpress
  • Opinions on how to help people access exercise.

Come along and have a challenging, rewarding and really fun weekend helping a great campaign get launched.

Register at our Eventbrite Page

Unable to attend?

You can still get involved as we have a virtual volunteer ticket on EventBrite or:

Impact48 with Orphan Impact, Vietnam

I’m incredibly excited to announce the next Impact48 event! This time we have the honour of working with Orphan Impact in Vietnam.

What is Impact48?

  1. A small team of talented volunteers and an outstanding charity get together.
  2. The charity presents their work in detail and talks about some of their challenges or goals.
  3. We discuss and agree something concrete that we can do to help using our professional skills
  4. After 48 hours of energy the charity is better empowered than when be started!

Who are Orphan Impact?

Orphan Impact prepares Vietnamese orphan children for the tech dependant job market they face when they leave the orphanage at 19 years old. Since March 2009 Orphan Impact have provided high quality computer and internet training programs to more than 1,000 orphans from among 16 orphanages in Vietnam.

Orphan Impact logoThey say: “We do not believe that by simply bringing computers and internet into Vietnamese orphanages we will magically help each child to be successful. But we do believe that with the right balance of fun and challenge, mentoring, encouragement and discipline – as well as a carefully planned curriculum and properly trained teachers, we can begin to help the children develop many of the crucial skills they are currently missing to be prepared for today’s fast moving and tech-focused society. With each new orphanage partner, we try to ensure the orphanage leadership is interested in working with us to help work towards these goals.”

Find out all about this inspiring charity at

Our Impact48 with Orphan Impact

The event will take place in Ho Chi Minh City (venue TBC) between March 20th and 22nd, 2015. We will kick off on the evening of Friday (March 20th) when we’ll learn all about Orphan Impact and identify ways we can help them do even more! Saturday and Sunday will then be all about doing something that is complete and real; something the charity can take advantage of immediately. We’ll then have a celebratory presentation (and drink) on Sunday evening and reflect on our impact.

We will not be working directly with orphans, rather our goal is to find ways to help Orphan Impact reach their goals.

Get involved!

We are looking for anyone with business, marketing, design, technical or writing skills to join us. Come along and have a challenging, rewarding and really fun weekend helping Orphan Impact have even more impact!

Request your invite for the weekend

Unable to attend? You can still get involved:

The Readerthon – one month on

We had so many expectations and hopes for this weekend, but our focus was to support The Reader Organisation prepare to launch a programme called Liverpool – City of Readers. The quirkiest part of our weekend is that everyone involved was recorded reading for the Readerthon to create material to promote the weekend. All the links for the team are connected to their youtube video but videos and tech support created this website.

Calderstones Mansion House was a marvelous base for the weekend. I was based in a B&B nearby and walked through the Calderstones Park each morning to start work. Whilst the weekend had some torrential rain and freezing winds, the mornings started clear and cold. once inside we had a huge open plan room with space for everyone to work, with the exception of the reading recording and the room decorating. The Mansion House was full of volunteers and staff all weekend, because in addition to over 50 volunteers popping in and out, The Reader Organisation were running a children’s reading group and supporting a tour of the park too.

The core team was simply amazing and there will be some mini-blogs about each of them appearing soon. But with so many volunteers I cannot mention everyone by name so please check out the YouTube channel that records their input in a unique way. The core team with their video links (where I could find them) were:

  • Emma Melling – project manager of Liverpool City of Readers
  • Hakim Cassimally – volunteered to build an app for city tours
  • Paddy Morrison – kept us all fed and was a video editor whiz
  • Hayley Trowbridge – volunteered from We Heart Tech CIC and trained up the team in WordPress
  • Pauline Doyle – volunteered to get the plan sorted and stayed all weekend
  • Jane Davis – Director of City of Readers led the room decorating effort
  • Leon Brown – volunteered to create an app to gamify reading
  • Karen Leigh Anderson – general facilitator and runner

The results of the weekend were a launch website and a project website for Liverpool City of Readers, loads of videos of reading and an initial marketing and operational plan for the year. Alongside this the project office was painted out and two fun applications were started. The project launched last Friday softly, allowing the team to test everything before promoting it too widely.

Dan Lynch joined us for the presentations at the end of the weekend – which entailed loads of people popping up to share their fabulous achievements. This was reflected in Emma’s thanks to the volunteers:
“Just to say a big thank you to you all for your support over the weekend.  The sharing yesterday showed some real progress and we look forward to launching City of Readers in March with much of this progress.”

Edinburgh Cyrenians Weekend: three months on

This week we met up with Phil Reilly from Edinburgh Cyrenians to hear how the charity is getting on… three months after they took part in Impact48. 

Firstly, how did you got involved in Impact48?
I was at the very first Impact48 weekend with Music in Hospitals in April 2013. Barry, Impact48 founder, approached Edinburgh Cyrenians as the next Impact48 charity.

Edinburgh Cyrenians weekend team

What were your expectations; and did the Impact48 team meet them?
After our pitch for the weekend, we hoped that the team would pick up one of our ideas and run with it.  Not only did they choose one; they picked up several of our ideas.

Looking back, what did you enjoy most about the weekend?
Seeing what could be achieved in just 48 hours.  I really enjoyed the whole weekend, but one particular highlight was the final presentation to a panel including Edinburgh Cyrenians’ Interim CEO.  She bought into everything that had been created and suggested – which was exactly the response we were all hoping for.

How does the long-term impact of Impact48 compare to the initial buzz of that final presentation?

Phil Reilly presents the Cyrenians' new infographicWe received very positive reactions from colleagues to the work produced during the weekend.  We’d achieved so much and they could see that instantly.  I had lots of requests for an infographic created during Impact48.  It tells the whole Cyrenians’ story and shows all of our services – which can be tricky to explain!

“We came away with something ‘complete’ that could be presented and shared immediately.”

The finance reporting microsite is being visited and used. Last year, Edinburgh Cyrenians were shortlisted for a Charity Online Financial Reporting Award by ICAEW.  We’re hoping to stand out from the crowd again and the microsite will absolutely help.  It’s changed the way we look at financial data. Our accounts don’t have to be exclusively for funders but can be made accessible and attractive to others too.  We came away from Impact48 with something complete that could be presented and shared immediately.

The “Give in Kind” project proposal has been put on hold for now, following a feasibility study.  The Impact48 developers have kept in touch and are still working on the system with us.  We don’t want to lose the work that has been done and hope we can pick the project back up in the future.

What are the challenges of taking part in Impact48?
It was intensive and tiring, but worth it in the end.  We were prepared – which was important.  An Impact48 weekend is potentially a huge resource so make the most out of it by coming with ideas, staying the whole weekend and be flexible too.

“Impact48 got us thinking, sparked new ideas and gave us the incentive to spend more energy on our website and social media”

Were there any unexpected outcomes?
One unexpected outcome of Impact48 was that it has changed the way Edinburgh Cyrenians think about digital and social media.  We’re focusing more on our website now; keeping it up-to-date, rather than seeing it as something that just sits there.  We’ve identified and are encouraging staff who enjoy tweeting and posting to Facebook.  There’s still work and training to be done, but Impact48 gave us the incentive and ideas needed – we know that social media is not something that’s going to disappear.

Over the Christmas period we held several events for our service users – who can feel particularly isolated at this time of year.  Our over 65s befriending service had a big get-together in Edinburgh.  Music in Hospitals provided us with a band for the event.  We met through Impact48 and hoped to connect again like this in the future.

Finally, what would you say to any individual or charity thinking of getting involved in Impact48?
Do it!

Thanks Phil – chatting to you has us even more excited about future Impact48 weekends!  Stay tuned for the Reader Organisation weekend in Liverpool that kicks off tonight.  Even if you’re not in Liverpool you can still take part.  Follow @RealImpact48 or join us on Facebook for more info.

If you would like to find out more or volunteer for future weekends please get in touch with us! Email and sign up to our newsletter.

Small steps for big impact

We’ve just finished our Impact48 weekend event with In Search of Sanuk in Bangkok. Bangkok is in the international news this week for a big political protest, the “Bangkok Shutdown”, a mostly peaceful protest which has been marred by some violence.  Luckily our event was no-where near the protest areas so we were able to concentrate on the job in hand.

“I feel that we’ve done more in the last 48 hours than we’ve ever done… ever”. Michelle, In Search of Sanuk volunteer


In Search of Sanuk are a truly inspiring group that directly provides food, shelter, and educational support for survivors of torture and trauma, focusing special attention on at risk women and girls.

Dwight and his volunteers work tirelessly to care for hundreds of people and entire families that might otherwise be reduced to prison, forced prostitution or slave labour.  They house, feed and support these families, including children of all ages.  More than that; they work to bring opportunity, dignity and fun to those that have none.  “Sanuk” is the Thai word for fun and enjoyment.

And they do all this almost exclusively on a volunteer basis.

Continue reading

A Readerly Impact48

The Reader Organisation creates their unique impact on the world through great The Reader Organisationliterature and reading groups. Their groups have a few key characteristics:

  1. There is a Reader in Residence who is trained to create the right vibe and facilitate people reading out loud
  2. There is always reading going on between people, either one-2-one or in a group
  3. There is a Readerly Place – this could be a bookshelf, a room or even the Calderstones Mansion
  4. There is great literature being read.

They have found that their groups change people’s lives and have a great website which shares these stories.

In 2014 they want to make Liverpool a City of Readers and would love some volunteers to give just 48 hours to make a difference in setting this project up. To find out more and register click here. The Readerly Impact48 will take place at Calderstones Mansions and be accompanied by great food, fun and a lot of books (4,800 to be collected).

Get Involved!

Register if you can volunteer or pop along with some books or to do your reading excerpt. See you on 24th January.

Calderstones Mansion House

Calderstones Mansion House: the stunning venue for Impact48