Sharing is Caring - The Big Collection Big Success

As I mentioned in my previous blog before the weekend- Be Awesome Be a Volunteer. This last weekend just gone was the big event in the diabetes calendar- the Diabetes UK and Tesco partnership Big Collection and it was seriously awesome! Nearly 7,000 people volunteered to collect money at a Tesco near them, in one of 530 locations across the UK. Over 3 days thats 34,000 volunteer hours given and the reason why nearly half a million pounds was raised (the official total is still to be announced).

The idea of the weekend was that as many Diabetes UK volunteers as possible got together at their local Tesco food store on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the weekend. Armed with collection buckets, funky hats and beautiful banners the volunteers were located at the ends of check outs and the fronts of stores in order to collect money from generous shoppers. And it wasn't just people with diabetes that kindly gave up their time to support the cause. The fundraisers included family members of those with the condition, employees of Tesco stores who have been inspired by the stories that have come from the partnership and of course people with the condition of diabetes. It was great to see the interactions of these people after they'd completed their time volunteering- on social networking sites.

Social media played a massive part in the organisation of volunteers, updating us on how much was being made and advertising the event details such as where it would take place beforehand. On a personal note I'm always interested in considering how many people can be reached with the use of social media. Many of the volunteers were contacted via email to participate in the weekend. It was so nice being able to see the photographs of my friends that were able to attend the weekend, in their fabulous outfits and collection banners. Some had the hilarious 'smurf hat' as I like to call it. Its a white head band style hat with dark and light blue Diabetes UK colour hair, that sticks up like the trolls I used to have as a child.

Twitter with its instant messaging was great in finding out how much people had raised day-by-day at their designated Tesco. It was lovely being able to see my local stores and choose one to go down to myself to make my donation. And Instagram was another great photo sharing app that allowed us to share the message of the Big Collection with people that you might not know as well. But who are interested in hearing about what's going on. So hopefully the diabetes cause will have a few more followers after this weekend!

But although social media is great in keeping up to date and seeing what's going on whilst also increasing followers, there's nothing like meeting people in person. I saw so many moving comments on social media this weekend about the people shopping that had stopped to talk to the volunteers doing the collections. Some volunteers commented on how shocked and surprised they were by the sheer amount of people that now knew someone with diabetes and that was why they were giving. And some were shocked and saddened by the fact that there were people supporting the weekend that had even lost people because of diabetes. But commented that it was wonderful that diabetes had managed to bring them together in a hopeful way.

I went down to a Tesco Extra about a half an hour drive from my home, I chose that one as it's one that I go to on a regular basis. And because I'd noticed on a previous shop there, how much care and attention the people working in Tesco had taken to make in-store displays and notice boards as soon as the partnership was announced. So I thought, why not give my support and money to them as they've already given so much to the diabetes cause. I took the photo shown below at the store of my sticker I got for donating, which I'm now proudly sporting on my jacket! I shared it on Instagram and got nearly 100 likes. But the likes and shares are nothing compared to the amazing experiences and the generous donations that were given and shared at the Big Collection this weekend. It's heart warming to see how big peoples hearts are and how much they've embraced the cause of diabetes to make the event a Big success.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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