Last weekend saw my first ever event – a barre class to raise money for Mental Health UK. It was a really exciting opportunity to fundraise for a great cause and to test the waters when it comes to fitness event planning.
Did you know that mental illness affects more people each year than cancer or heart disease, with one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year? Mental Health UK is a network of four charities (Rethink Mental Illness, Support In Mind Scotland, Hafal, and MindWise) who work to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness, supporting more than 60,000 people nationwide. Their early intervention and support can help to reduce the impact of poor mental health, guiding people through crises, to live independently, and to realise they aren’t alone.
Find out more at https://mentalhealth-uk.org/home/
So when Sav Devillez, a crazy friend hiking Snowdon, cycling from the Peak District to Birmingham, and running a half marathon across three consecutive days, asked me to help her organise a fundraising event for Mental Health UK, I was delighted to help out.
We organised a BarreBodyLondon class, which is a ballet-inspired workout designed by Chiara Pellegrino to target every major muscle group in the body. I’ve been teaching barre now for a year, after having taken dance lessons from the age of four until eighteen and then continuing to perform at university, and I absolutely love it. It’s a fun workout with ballet, pilates, yoga and resistence training movements that you’ll definitely feel the next day (no matter how many classes you go to, trust me…)!
The Detox Kitchen very kindly donated their beautiful studio for the class, and we managed to round up a collection of gorgeous gifts for the goody bags. With my passion for more conscious consumption, I wanted to make sure all of the brands we reached out to had a great social and/or environmental purpose. Here’s a little bit about the wonderful companies we were lucky enough to get support from:
- Sundried tote bag – this sustainable sportswear company strives to minimise the carbon footprint of everything they do, using innovative fabrics and reusable packaging
- Nourish cleanser – certified organic and vegan skincare made in the UK
- Lola’s Apothecary body oil – natural beauty products with a wellness purpose handmade in England
- Dash water – sparkling spring water infused with wonky lemons and cucumbers
- Ombar chocolate – raw, organic chocolate you’d never know was vegan!
- Willy Chase’s fitcorn – air-popped corn made at their farm in Herefordshire
- Happiness Planner 100 day diary – inspirational stationery designed to help you cultivate happiness through positive thinking, mindfulness, and self-development
- Lumie light for wellness guide – bright light designed for seasonal affective disorder and other conditions
- Veryan discount card – organic apparel and accessories from Europe made in the UK
- Sports Philosophy discount flyer – an ethical activewear brand raising money for the charity they established to fight child labour across the world, Freedom for Children Foundation. You too can get 15% off with discount code: ZARA01SP
We also rounded up excellent prizes for the best Instagram event posts, including:
- Liforme eco yoga mat – read more about eco yoga mats here
- Lumie BodyClock – read more about the benefits here
- Veryan organic beauty bag
- Lola’s Apothecary ‘breath of clarity’ oil
- Willy Chase’s apple cider vinegar
- Detox Kitchen wheatgrass and spirulina powders
We managed to raise a total of £165 for Mental Health UK so thank you to all of the amazing attendees and supporting brands for making this happen!
We’re hoping to organise another event in October so let me know if you’re interested by commenting below or follow me on Instagram at @zaralwilliams