Good News from Harbour Hospice

July 2, 2020 Eve Heidemann

The Lockdown Baking Battle and the Tour de Backyard 

Harbour Hospice ran two new innovative online events during lockdown:  The Lockdown Baking Battle and the Tour de Backyard.  These virtual events had the benefit of low overheads, engaged with current supporters, gained new supporters while providing fun entertaining activities and raised vital funds to support patient care.


In early May, due to COVID-19 Harbour Hospice was forced to postpone a key fundraising long lunch hosted by Jo Seagar.  In addition to this our major fundraising event of the year, Vintners’ Brunch, usually held in August with 500 people, was also cancelled. The cancellation of these two events left us with a huge funding gap. Due to strict rules in place for large gatherings and events, we turned our focus to creating fun, digital-based events where families and individuals could get involved from the comfort and safety of their own bubbles.  


The Lockdown Baking Battle was a great community engagement event, fronted by Jo Seagar and run through Facebook. The 2-week campaign resulted in 314 participants, reached over 25,000 people and added 90 new supporters to our database. 

The Tour de Backyard raised over $15,000 with family teams, furry friends and individuals completing daily dashes around their neighbourhood, farm or village while raising funds for hospice.  We used the Peer to Peer fundraising platform of Everydayhero for this virtual event. Teams invented creative ways of completing their tour including wearing costumes and providing incentives to encourage engagement and larger donations.

Events take several months to plan. Faced with the effects of Covid we needed to be agile and innovative to progress quickly with our ideas. Both events were in  market within weeks of original concept.  We relied heavily on Social Media and provided regular newsletters to participants to keep up momentum.