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.

hampden park 120170827_120249


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

Ambition lab needs you!

Here at Impact48 we are busy preparing for some exciting events in 2014.  In the meantime we’d like to share the work of some other organisations that we find exciting; check out Ambition Lab:

AmbitionLabCalling all techy people with different skills sets to make an impact on the Ambition Lab Hackathon (happening in Strathclyde), from 12pm Fri 29th to 6pm Sat 30th. Everyone will work together to create digital solutions to help young people to achieve their dreams.

If you cannot make the start – don’t worry! The node will be recapping the project throughout the evening so feel free to join us after work or university!

The winning digital concept design will be rewarded with £1000 cash prize and a day visit to Cisco head office.

Visit to find out more and to register.

Any enquiries please contact

The Edinburgh Cyrenians Weekend: 48 Hours And A New Journey Begun

The dust has settled on another Impact48 weekend. The volunteers have dispersed (and hopefully recovered), the presentations are over and the hard work is done. Let us look back on what was achieved over the weekend and what will hopefully remain for The Cyrenians long after.
The Impact48 weekend was all about creating something that was complete and real; something the charity could take advantage of immediately. The team had decided on three areas to pursue. These were:
  • The online finance reporting project
  • The “Give in Kind” social enterprise development
  • A project to achieve quick but important wins on the current website

So after 48 hours, a round of pastries, 4 pizzas, 2 crates of beer, 4 loaves of homemade bread, 4 batches of delicious soup, 6 bags of crisps, (some) fruit, a whirlwind of tweets, a whole lot of coffee and more cake than we care to remember, what impacts were made?

The “Give in Kind” social enterprise development

The challenge for the volunteers was to facilitate the development of the “Give In Kind” social enterprise by providing a basic functional webpage/site and a system which would enable the posting of requests for unwanted items as well as the transaction of these goods between a private individual and recipient registered with the charity.

  • Design: Our designer Scott Burns was able to work up a brand, iconography and full website design in a (long!) day. Scott had to work fast in order to give the developers the most amount of time possible to work on the functionality. The charity desired a standalone brand that still fitted with their existing main brand. See his awesome designs here!

Our web designers extraordinaire deep in concentration

  • Development: The developers job was to build out the “Give In Kind” social enterprise site and to try to tie all the functionality together in a ridiculously short amount of time. The functionality of the website had a lot of moving parts and this wasn’t really a project anyone could finish in a weekend. However our team astounded us with how remarkably far they had gotten for the past 48 hours and on very little sleep too!
  • Marketing: Jennifer Tough & Kathryn from the Cyrenians worked together on a 3 phase marketing plan including online and offline activities, as well as the Give in Kind elevator pitch. For this they worked up a Prezi to capture the concept of the social enterprise in a visual and engaging way. Jennifer also set up a blog for “Give in Kind” over the weekend, which meant that Kathryn could start blogging about the project’s progress straight way!

Check out the Prezi!

  • Knowledge shared: Although amazing progress was made with the “Give in Kind” site we wanted to make sure that we provided The Cyrenians with something which would allow them to test the feasibility of the social enterprise project right away. Therefore Karen spent some time showing Kathryn from The Cyrenians some existing online tools, such as Basecamp, which could be use to help with the project’s feasibility study at an eariler stage.

Online Finance/Impact Reporting Project

The challenge was to increase the success of and awareness raised by the online Financial and Impact reports by the addition of new formats and interactive elements. All charities have to produce an Impact report and can struggle to present that information. Improving these online reports was identified as vital in furthering the Edinburgh Cyrenians cause as these reports contain valuable information at a detail not presented anywhere else on the website.

Development: Barry developed a micro site specifically created to host and display these reports. The micro site was designed to fit with The Cyrenians brand and allowed more flexibility in presenting the new reporting style and format.

Design: An infographic was created using and was designed to capture the vast array of services offered by The Cyrenians in one image – not an easy task! This infographic was created as the centerpiece of the new micro site’s homepage to help visitors better understand all that The Cyrenians do.


Knowledge Shared: Karen also identified other infographic tools which were free and could be used by Phil at Cyrenians to better communicate the valuable information from the Edinburgh Cyrenians’ accounts. Data was taken from the two annual reports, the Financial Accounts and “Impact” report and transformed into something new and exciting! Check out a sneak peak below.

impact report

See the full micro site here!

Improvements to the current website

In addition to the two bigger projects being undertaken over the weekend the team identified quick, but important wins to be had on The Cyrenians current website. A few tweaks made were:

  • Embedding The Cyrenians’ twitter feed onto their homepage – to increase social engagement and increase the chance of that all important “follow.”
  • Displaying a link to the new micro site and Impact and Account reports on the homepage – to get more people exposed to and reading the hard facts and numbers which emphasise just how valuable and important The Cyrenians are in the work they do.

Knowledge, Information & Insight Share

There were little (but important) ripples of impact over weekend too! A major theme in the feedback gained from the Impact48 weekend with Music in Hospitals was the importance of the knowledge shared over the weekend. So this time around we made sure the information sharing and learning aspect for The Cyrenians was a focus. It was a rare opportunity for The Cyrenians to have a diverse and skilled group of people in one room and valuable knowledge on tap. Over the weekend we made sure they had the chance to take advantage of all sorts of advice, insight and information shared by the volunteers. Aside the various tools and technical knowledge passed on, The Cyrenians also received tips on communication, email marketing and social media. And it wasn’t only the Cyrenians who benefited from this either, information and expertise was passed from volunteer to volunteer too!

The Presentations


So at around 6pm on Sunday, the tools were downed and the beers were cracked open in anticipation for the evening’s presentations and judging. The guests and judges began to gather in the Attacat office. Two of our very special guest were The Cyrenians CEO Carol-Anne Alcorn and Peter Taylor OBE, one of Scotland’s most respected and celebrated successes in the hospitality and tourism industry. No pressure team!


Cyrenians’ Phil Reilly presented the new micro site designed for their accounts over the weekend.

Peter Taylor seemed very impressed with the micro site homepage stating “A picture tells a thousand words.” 

While Cyrenians CEO Carol-Anne said of the micro site’s homepage “It works to answer one of our biggest questions, what do the Cyrenians do?”


Scott reveals his Give in Kind web design.

The guests and judges were absolutely delighted with the result of Scott’s design work. Scott received a tremendous amount of praise, with guests and volunteers tweeting about his work – and his colleagues at IfLooksCouldKill and those at ConfBuzz couldn’t help but take notice.


They were also visibly astounded by the speed and genius of the development team’s work. The phrase “in awe” was actually used when considering what the developers and designers  had achieved for the charity in a very short amount of time.


Impact48 participants presenting the weekend’s work

A new journey begun

What an incredible weekend! It was clear to see the passion of the individuals behind The Cyrenians and this weekend’s outcomes have been designed to be easy for current and future staff and volunteers to take forward. We just can’t wait to see how the impacts made over the weekend will develop. We can’t wait to see the “Give in Kind” social enterprise take off and what impacts will be made from injecting some life into their annual reports! Perhaps another shot at a COFRA (Charity Online Financial Reporting Award.)


And the impact doesn’t end there! Jeff Chang had said he hopes to “keep helping out with the project if the Cyrenians decide to continue and expand “Give in Kind” over the year to come.” It is safe to say that The Cyrenians would be all the better for having his genius (and seriously amazing work ethic) on board! And we are sure he is not alone.

Time can only tell how big the ripples of impact made will grow. These impacts may not take the form we envisioned and we may have made impacts we didn’t realise we had, but we have hopefully helped The Cyrenians take a step in the direction they want to travel. We hoped to address important issues the charity was interested in tackling but didn’t have the resource to do so. What will come from the weekend’s impact in the future we can’t tell but what we can know now is that we managed to bring a variety of ideas and skill together and set the ball rolling for these projects to grow and develop in the way The Cyrenians want them to. In the 48 hours we had to work with The Cyrenians, they managed give back to the team more than they probably realise. They inspired us with their hope and compassion. The Impact48 weekend was our way of contributing, however small, to the kindness and goodness that Cyrenians spread. We hope you keep on inspiring.

We just want to say a huge thank you to all the amazing people involved and to all who made The Cyrenians Impact48 weekend possible.

Until next time!

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

Meet Our Volunteers: Kara Brown, Human Rights and Communications Enthusiast

As the Impact48 Weekend draws to a close, it’s time to say hello to our final volunteer – Impact48 blogger Kara Brown. A law graduate and writer with a passion for all things humanitarian and creative, Kara has spent the past few years working with NGOs and charities in India, Africa and at home here in bonnie Scotland. Here’s her take on Impact48.

karabrownKara Brown, Social Media & Blogger for Impact48

How did you hear about the weekend?

A colleague recommended I get involved, after hearing about it from her friend – Impact48 blogger Lara.

What attracted you to Impact48?

I had a look at the Impact48 website and blog and instantly knew it was something I had to be part of. I’m always on the look out for new ideas and initiatives within the third sector, I enjoy experimenting with digital and social media and am inspired by the work of Edinburgh Cyrenians.

Describe yourself in three words.

Passionate. Happy. Thinker. 

Aside from Impact48, describe your work in a nutshell.

I research, I write, I blog, I run events and I help organisations develop and implement social media strategies. Right now I’m gearing up for a Masters and looking for a new opportunity to work with a charity or NGO in Edinburgh. 

What have you been working on this weekend?

Aside from blogging, tweeting, eating Karen’s delicious homemade bread and taking photographs, I’ve been helping Edinburgh Cyrenians improve their email marketing and social media activity.

What have you enjoyed most so far?

I’ve met some lovely, talented people. I’ve also discovered just how much a group of enthusiastic, dynamic volunteers can achieve in a short space of time. The 48 hour deadline helped me to focus on the tasks at hand and I think this is the most productive weekend I’ve had in a long time.

Lastly and most importantly – What is your favourite home baked treat?

Ooh, my Mum’s malteser cake. It’s addictive.

With only minutes to go and the judging panel arriving a little later this evening, we can’t wait to see the final result of the Cyrenians Weekend. Stay tuned throughout the homestretch by following us on Twitter @RealImpact48 (use the Twitter hashtag #impact48) or liking our Impact48 page on Facebook.

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