Self Help Africa UK / London Irish Centre Case Study

“Strictly Come Dancing” Style Event (600 attendees).

Self Help Africa is an international charity that works on long-term rural development, food and agricultural projects in Africa. The long-established Irish charity Gorta merged with Self Help Africa in 2014, and the new organisation now has fundraising operations in the USA and UK as well as Ireland. Self Help Africa is proud to provide practical assistance and support to rural communities across Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa and Zambia.

Having worked successfully with the Hijack Events team in Ireland, Self Help Africa was keen to replicate that model in the UK. For the launch of its operations in London, the charity decided to hold a “Strictly Come Dancing” style event, called “Ballroom Battles.” The goal of the event was twofold: to raise funds, and to increase awareness of Self Help Africa in the UK. The “Ballroom Battles” event was held in St Marys, Marylebone, London, in conjunction with the London Irish Centre, an organisation which has represented and helped the Irish community in London since 1954.

In the five weeks running up to the show, the Hijack Events team helped to train up the 28 participating dancers. On the night of the “Ballroom Battles,” the team was responsible for setting up and dressing the venue, and for the stage management of the event. The team seamlessly managed all aspects of the show, co-ordinating the dancers and dancing routines, the music, interviews, judging, voting, the final dance off, and the prize giving ceremony.

Both Self Help Africa UK and the London Irish Centre were delighted with the results of the “Ballroom Battles,” replicating, as it did, the great success of similar events in Ireland. As well as raising a considerable sum of money, the event helped to establish and boost the profile of Self Help Africa in the UK. The show also demonstrated Hijack Event’s ability to organise and deliver events on an international stage.