Nervousness was creeping in. Would it all come together? Would the shops and locals help us? At the beginning of September, Maree and Chris walked around Torquay centre talking to the shopkeepers. By far the majority were in a position to help, and special thanks go to Ladbrooke’s and Primark who were fantastic. Armed with a list of t-shirt sizes and shops that were happy to help, Jo, who’d never been into the town centre before, set off to deliver t-shirts. She parked at the top of town, and had shirts to drop off all the way down to the harbour! Her arms could not take this, so after looking like an injured puppy, she went into Tesco’s and managed to borrow a shopping trolley for her deliveries. If only we had photographs!
Debbie, whilst walking on the beach one day, had stumbled across a drum band and had arranged for them to drum up interest for us outside of Primark. They were late, but after frantic phone calls they turned up and were great. We had the high street covered with iLIVEiGIVE t-shirt wearers giving out leaflets. We were able to answer queries for people about organ donation, so all in all a good start. Half of the iLIVEiGIVE t-shirt team were busy in and around Plainmoor, visiting local pubs and giving out leaflets. The football fans started to arrive and more leaflets were given out. There was also some TV coverage from Spotlight.
The moment came for the teams to warm up, and this was the time they were going to wear our iLIVEiGIVE t-shirts. We had originally only asked Torquay United, but both managers were happy for their teams to wear the t-shirts, so United and Argyle came onto the pitch wearing the shirts. It was quite an emotional moment. It really felt that our journey to raise awareness about organ donation had started. Lottie, our “covergirl” unfortunately couldn’t make the afternoon as she had just had some surgery, but she did appear in the match programme.
Debbie worked hard producing press releases and this increased our media exposure and some radio interviews followed.
We were elated and exhausted after the launch. But there was no rest, Facebook and Twitter needed to be attended to. We now had pictures of people having fun whilst wearing the shirts – fantastic!
We made contact with some amazing people who had very personal reasons why they supported organ donation. T-shirts were quickly sent and action shots of the t-shirt were duly shared for all our friends and followers to see.