HAVENS Hospices is celebrating after clinching an international award for how it uses the wonders of modern technology to keep raising money through the initial coronavirus lockdown.

The south Essex charity’s #BareYourRoots campaign has been announced as the winner of the Best Innovation in Virtual Events category at the Charity Virtual Events hosted by agency Fundraising Everywhere.

The award was announced via Zoom by pop star Lily Allen.

Havens’ #BareYourRoots initiative was launched back in March, a week after the country’s first lockdown period was announced, and encouraged supporters of the charity to embrace their natural hair by growing out their hair roots or doing a DIY cut while the hairdressers were closed.

Lydia Plews, senior business development officer at Havens, initiated the campaign and was thrilled to seal the award ahead of stiff competition from around the globe.

She said: “When we found out that we had won in this category, we were absolutely over the moon.

“So much hard work went into putting the campaign together quickly at a time when the future of the charity’s fundraising income was uncertain.


“For us, winning over the amazing charities like Longfield Community Hospice, ABF The Soldier’s Charity, Blue Sky Society Trust and Marie Curie in this category was incredible.”

“Of course, a huge thank you must go to our supporters and all our local hairdressing businesses that helped us promote the campaign.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without their continuous support and generous donations which help us continue making every day count for everyone we care for.”

Havens’ series of virtual quizzes was also shortlisted in the category for the Best Stewardship award, where they found themselves up against the likes of Unicef and Versus Arthritis.

The charity is still experiencing a downturn in fundraising income as all public and face to face fundraising has been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic’s restrictions on social distancing and social gatherings.

On average, there has been a 41 per cent drop in donations and sponsorship.

To donate, visit havenshospices.org.uk.