Dawn Walk Frequently Asked Questions
What is Dawn Walk?
Dawn Walk is a sponsored virtual walking event for Samaritans. Participants are challenged to walk 5k or 10k, anywhere they like, at sunrise on Saturday 18 September 2021.
What's the date of the event?
The official event date is Saturday 18 September 2021, but if you can’t take part that day, you can walk any other day in September. Sign up now, start your fundraising and encourage others to join the challenge too.
Is there a registration fee?
No – it’s FREE to take part! We’d love it if you took the opportunity to set up a fundraiser to help raise money for Samaritans. All the money you raise will help us reach more people who need our support.
Will coronavirus affect Dawn Walk?
Dawn Walk is a virtual event, which means you take place wherever it’s best for you. We therefore hope that everyone will still be able to take part within any local or national restrictions. We’re closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and following advice from Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland.
Getting fresh air and exercise is crucial for wellbeing, and Dawn Walk is a great way to get some time outside, either alone or with friends, family or colleagues. Please just make sure you follow the latest government coronavirus guidelines and above all else, stay safe.
Do I have to be super fit to take part?
No, Dawn Walk is for everyone! You can cover the distance as quickly or slowly as you like. If you need a break, that’s fine – you could even take a breakfast picnic or some coffee in a flask. In fact, there’s a lot to be said for a slower, mindful wander first thing in the morning. And if you’re a wheelchair user, you can complete your chosen distance in a way that is a challenge for you.
Is there an age limit for taking part in Dawn Walk?
No – anyone can take part! But, if you’re under 16 you will need a parent or guardian to sign you up or email [email protected] with permission from your parent or guardian.
What is JustGiving and how do I use it?
JustGiving is an online fundraising platform. Once you sign up for Dawn Walk, a JustGiving fundraising page will automatically be set up for you.
You can then personalise your page and share with friends and family to let them know what an incredible challenge you are taking on for Samaritans. At the end of the challenge, any sponsorship money received via your online page will come straight to Samaritans, saving time and effort for you!
Can I take part in Dawn Walk as a member of a team?
Yes, absolutely! Once you have signed up and created your personal JustGiving page, you can then create a Dawn Walk team page too.
When your friends, family or colleagues sign up to take part in Dawn Walk, they can join your team during the registration process. For more information about how to set up your Dawn Walk team online, please head here. Don't forget, you need to have registered to take part in Dawn Walk before you can join or create a team.
Can I invite other people to join my Dawn Walk team?
Once you have set up a team, you’re automatically made the Team Leader, which means you can invite people to join. On your page you will be able to invite whoever you want (if they have their own page set up).
What promotional materials are available to help me publicise my challenge?
We’ve created posters, social media badges and more to help you promote your challenge – check out our resources page and use as many as you like. If there’s anything you’d like that isn’t downloadable, please email [email protected].
Who can I speak to if I need more information?
If you have any questions or queries, please email[email protected].
How can I plan a route or track my distance?
There are lots of apps that can help you plan a route or track your distance, such as Strava, OS Maps, Komoot and Google Maps. If you’d like to learn how to plan a route using a traditional map and compass, OS Maps have created some handy video tutorials about navigation to help you. You can also roughly calculate your distance using a pedometer – 1,320 steps is around 1k. So 6,600 steps works out at approximately 5k, and 13,200 steps is approximately 10k.
Where should I walk?
You can walk anywhere you like – starting at your front door, ordoor or starting at a much-loved scenic spot. Please just make sure you follow any coronavirus travel restrictions that may be are in place on the day. Lots of people are aiming to be somewhere where they get a good view to the east at the time of sunrise, so they can see in the new day. Don’t forget to check the sunrise time in your location too.
How far is Dawn Walk?
You can choose between 5k or 10k for your Dawn Walk. Simply choose a distance to suit you or those you’re walking with – you can make it as relaxing or challenging as you like!
What if it rains?
We can’t always trust the British weather, can we?! If it rains, as long as you feel it’s safe, you can carry on with your walk. Just make sure you’re prepared for the weather on the day – wear appropriate footwear and grab a waterproof jacket and/or trousers to take with you if needed. You can often pick these up in charity shops, if you don’t want to spend a lot on new gear.
What do I need to take?
It’s a good idea to make sure you have appropriate clothing to suit the weather conditions, including waterproofs if it’s looking rainy. If it’s hot, don’t forget sun cream and a hat, and if it’s chilly, a woolly hat might even be needed!
You’ll also want to take a copy of your route, and potentially a map and compass if you’re going somewhere more adventurous. You can find useful tutorials on how to plan routes and read maps online. A lot of people also use GPS phone apps to track their route and distance, but if you use one of these, you might also want to take a battery pack with you, as they can use a lot of power.
What time is Dawn Walk?
You can check the sunrise time here as it varies across the UK. You can finish your walk wherever and whenever you like, depending on your speed and distance.
Can I organise a Dawn Walk with others?
Yes, that’s fine to organise a walk with others… part of the joy of Dawn Walk is being able to spend quality time with friends, family or a group! We recommend that you test your chosen route in advance to make sure it feels safe and manageable for the people who are coming along.
If are planning to walk with people outside of your household, it can be helpful to talk about what safety measures people are comfortable with beforehand. Having a clear plan can help everyone feel more comfortable and at ease on the day.
What support will Samaritans provide for Dawn Walk?
Can I walk in memory of someone?
Absolutely – Dawn Walk is a really special way to do something in memory of a loved one. You can use the time outside to reflect on their life or to think about what they meant to you. Some people are carrying photos of people they’ve lost, too. If you’re fundraising, you can personalise your fundraising page to help tell your story or share your experience, if you’re comfortable doing so. It’s entirely up to you how you take part in memory of someone, but if you’d like any guidance, please contact us at [email protected].
How can I contact other participants taking part in the challenge?
Join our Dawn Walk group on Facebook and keep up to date with all the latest chat! We’d love you to share your sunrise pictures on the day too!
Is there a fundraising target?
There’s no fixed target, but we’d love you to raise as much as you can. Every £5 can help fund a call for help, while £75 could help us respond to 15 people through our online chat service. Thank you for supporting Samaritans and if you need any support with your fundraising, please email [email protected].
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a government run scheme that allows charities to reclaim some of the tax that you have already paid to HMRC. Currently, this is equal to 25p for every £1 that you give. Gift Aid does not cost you any extra and can make your donation worth an extra 25% to us, so it is a fantastic way of ensuring your donations go as far as they possibly can.
What advice would you give about fundraising?
When you complete your registration to take part in Dawn Walk, an online fundraising page is automatically created for you. There are a few key things you can do to make the most of your fundraising page, including:
- Uploading a photo: you can personalise your page by adding photos and making it feel unique to you.
- Setting a target: this is a great way to motivate yourself and to encourage others to help you reach your goal.
- Sharing your story: make sure you tell people why you’re taking part in Dawn Walk and explain how their support makes a big difference to Samaritans and the people we support.
- Promoting your page: you can email a page link to your friends and family and share it on social media. This will help you raise awareness of your Dawn Walk and kick-start your fundraising.
- Keeping everyone updated: don’t forget to update everyone once you’ve completed your challenge and please do thank them, on behalf of Samaritans, for their donations.
For more top tips, take a look at our fundraising resources.
How do I submit money that has been raised offline?
- Pay in online: samaritans.org/donate/pay-in
- Pay in by cheque: send a cheque made payable to Samaritans to: Samaritans, The Upper Mill, Kingston Road, Ewell, KT17 2AF. Remember to include your name and address details so we can thank you.
- Pay in by BACS: contact us directly and we will provide you with our bank details. You'll be given a unique reference, so we can track your donation.
- Pay by phone: to make a donation over the phone, call our supporter care team on 03709 00 00 32.
How will my money help?
As a charity, our ambition is that fewer people die by suicide. Every day, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help and your fundraising will help us answer more of these calls. For every £1 donated to Samaritans, 85p goes on our services and just 15p is invested in raising the next £1.
Is there a deadline to complete the fundraising?
All JustGiving fundraising pages will be closing on the 31 October. After this date, you will no longer be able to receive any more donations on your page, but you can still submit offline donations.
I’m not based in the UK, can I still take part and fundraise for Samaritans?
Yes, you can! Please note that because this challenge was set up in the UK, your fundraising page will display your fundraising total in British pounds, but donations from outside of the UK will still be processed as normal.
Is there a Dawn Walk Facebook group?
Yes, there is! Head to the Dawn Walk Facebook group and chat with other participants about the event.
What are the fees associated with setting up an JustGiving page?
To setup a JustGiving page there is no cost involved – it’s completely free! The only cost of using the platform for charities is a small 1.9% per transaction processing fee plus £0.20 payment processing fees and 5% Gift Aid – this will be charged on every donation made to your page. If the donation is made in another currency, then the processing fee is 2.9% + £0.20.
Samaritans branch fundraising
Can I sign up to Dawn Walk to fundraise for my local branch of Samaritans?
As this is a pilot event for 2021, we’re unable to separate branch fundraising from central fundraising, but we hope to be able to do this in future. If you’d like to raise funds for your branch, please contact them directly before registering. We are unable to change where the funds are allocated once you have completed your registration. All the money raised supports Samaritans to be there for anyone struggling to cope, right across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
What’s the best way to let other volunteers in my branch know that I’m taking part in Dawn Walk?
The best way is to share your fundraising page with volunteers and add an email banner on your email signature.