Business Charity Awards - Charity Partnership, Sport, Travel & Leisure: Festival Republic with ActionAid

For an outstanding partnership between a company in the sport, travel and leisure sectors and a UK charity

Latitude Festival
Latitude Festival

What is the partnership?

The event organiser Festival Republic’s 16-year partnership with ActionAid stepped up a gear when the company’s managing director, Melvin Benn, visited the charity’s projects in Kenya’s Korogocho slums in Nairobi. After Benn witnessed the impact of poor sanitation on women and girls in the slums, particularly when they have their periods, the partners discussed expanding ActionAid’s presence at the Latitude Festival. The result was the first ever Festival Republic Toilet Takeover.

What did the company do?

Festival Republic provided a bespoke ActionAid toilet block next to the BBC 6 Music stage. ActionAid and Festival Republic engaged festival-goers while they queued for the toilets with light-up pillars highlighting myths about periods. As people exited the toilet area they were able to leave messages on a wall installation shaped as a giant sanitary pad. ActionAid also held workshops such as African bead-making in the ActionAid World Cultures tent, which transformed into a secret comedy venue in the evenings.

Why did it win?

The partnership engaged 30,000 festival-goers, with a further 105,000 reached through digital media. The charity smashed its campaign targets: 532 people signed up to become ActionAid supporters and 11 celebrities supported the campaign through their social media pages. The Toilet Takeover campaign was so successful it has been extended for another two years.

What did the judges say?

"A really interactive way to raise awareness and get people to experience the difficulties faced by women around the world," said Clare Beavan, foundation manager at the DWF Foundation. "A good focus on behaviour change and long-term engagement."


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