Ten years of Moonwalking in Scotland

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Nina Barough explains why the Edinburgh Moonwalk is still a success ten years after it first brought scantily clad fundraisers to the capital

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2nd March 2015 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

I had a dream. My dream, almost 20 years ago, was to power walk the New York City marathon in a decorated bra, raising money for breast cancer. I had no idea why, I didn’t know anyone with breast cancer, and had never done any fundraising. 

And here we are in 2015. I’ve power walked the New York city marathon in a bra countless times and still head up grant-making breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, which I founded all those years ago. We now run the iconic MoonWalk – a night-time marathon challenge for women and men all wearing our trademark decorated bras – in London, Iceland, New York and of course our famous MoonWalk Scotland in Edinburgh. And I’ve survived breast cancer myself – that wasn’t in my dream. 

2015 is the MoonWalk Scotland’s 10th birthday, so far it’s raised an incredible £18 million. But, why is the MoonWalk still so successful, still helping people with cancer across Scotland, still making a difference? I gave it some thought and here are 10 reasons.

Nina Barough

Nina Barough

1. Our reputation preceded us – when the MoonWalk Scotland started in 2006, we already had a hugely successful brand in The MoonWalk London.

2. We have a unique selling point. Where else could you walk through the streets of a stunning capital city at midnight wearing decorated bras and having lots of fun!

3. Such is the support from the whole community, our Edinburgh event has become known as MoonWalk Weekend. People travel from all over Scotland and the world to take part. As the city is flooded with our amazing supporters, businesses unite, and buildings across the city light up pink to give our walkers a huge collective hug.

4.  This community support is reflected in the discounts we are able to negotiate with local businesses. This acute awareness of costs means that we can aim to grant a higher percentage of our fundraising to breast cancer charities.

All of us at Walk the Walk guarantee that the heart of the charity remains just as strong today as it was 20 years ago

5. Rather than awarding many small grants, we give fewer large grants, meaning we really can make a difference. We’re the principal funders of two Maggie’s Centres, we’ve also renovated the mammography unit, breast cancer ward and helped build an operating theatre at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. Hospitals across Scotland have also been granted funds to buy scalp coolers, machines which help some patients having chemotherapy avoid losing their hair.

6.  With these significant grants, our walkers can see they are making a huge difference.

7.  Our walkers and volunteers are incredibly loyal, and many return year after year.   

8.  The Walk the Walk team makes every supporter feel special. Our staff are focused on providing the very best advice, support and care. At the MoonWalk, nothing is taken down on the event site, until the final walker has crossed the line.

9. Great importance is placed on attention to detail. Our walker packs include a quality bra, t-shirt, cap and training guide, with a uniquely designed medal for all those who cross the finishing line. 

10. The tenth reason? I had the dream, and still being the founder and chief executive means I am constantly looking to improve and evolve what we do. We support our walkers and volunteers, but also ensure that all of us at Walk the Walk guarantee that the heart of the charity remains just as strong today as it was 20 years ago.

Nina Barough CBE, is founder and chief executive of Walk the Walk Worldwide.

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