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Cancer Research UK turns Race for Life mass group events virtual with live streaming

Cancer Research UK turns Race for Life mass group events virtual with live streaming

Cancer Research UK ran its first live streaming series for Race for Life earlier this year, adapting its mass group events into live-streamed interactive campaigns.

Live streaming agency Groovy Gecko supported Cancer Research UK with the first ever Race for Life at Home Facebook live stream series, producing and streaming it over several weeks in April and May 2020.

This saw celebrities including singer Jake Quickenden and TV presenter Chloe Madeley lead workouts directly streamed into people’s homes, while viewers were able to submit questions and share personal experiences in a private pop-up box on-screen that were then moderated by the hosts.



These events were followed by Facebook Live event ‘A Very 2020 Race for Life’, which was hosted by TV presenter Alex Jones on Saturday 26 September. 55,000 viewers tuned in to the Race for Life Facebook page to experience elements of an event day, including hearing from people affected by cancer, a minute’s silence to remember loved ones and a warm up routine. After the live stream participants were invited to set off on their own 5k in local parks and neighbourhoods.

Altogether, the Race for Life Facebook Live events have seen 280,000 total views and over 2,600 comments sent in.

Jake Ward, Business Development Director at Groovy Gecko, said:

“Taking events online has to include a huge amount of interaction, or it’s never going to fill the void that is left from the Race for Life mass participation events. Cancer Research UK wanted to ensure the community spirit of the event series shone through with interaction being possible from different viewer locations. By inputting our REALM Live Questions tool into the live streams, we enabled viewers to interact while taking part from home.”

Sarah Pickersgill, head of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life marketing added:

“As a result of Covid-19 our Race for Life events were unfortunately cancelled this year, and this will have a huge impact on Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. But we’re determined to keep making progress for people affected by cancer, who have never needed us more.

“We wanted to bring our fantastic Race for Life community together and with Groovy Gecko’s expertise, we were able to encourage our supporters to join a series of live stream events that were fun, engaging and heartfelt, keeping with the spirit of our Race for Life events.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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