Oyez! Meet the Town Criers fundraising for Shout

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Photo: Caroline Williams and Paul Gough. Credit: Bishop's Stortford Independent newspaper.

This year we have seen some incredible and creative fundraising campaigns for Shout 85258 from the general public, but there has been a particularly unique fundraiser that we really wanted to ‘shout’ about.

The Loyal Company of Town Criers are hosting a virtual Championship - in silence! - all in aid of Shout 85258.

Town Crier of Bishop’s Stortford, Carole Williams said: "As a Town Crier and charity volunteer worker in my hometown, I was so impressed by what Captain Tom had managed to achieve that I also wanted to try and give help. Whilst on the way to the supermarket I happened to see a poster of a person in obvious distress on an advertising hoarding; the caption was 'Abusers Always Work From Home'... just the thought took my breath away.

“Once back at home I searched the internet for a charity that I thought would be able to help in the sort of awful crises that some folk have found themselves in during the lockdown, and came across Shout. Not only an appropriate name for Town Criers but a charity offering 24/7 text help in very difficult situations.

“The idea came to me that it wasn't beyond the realms of possibility that I could instigate a 'Silent' Championship Competition to help a 'Silent' charity and The Loyal Company of Town Criers Virtual Championship for 2021 was born!"

The contestants have submitted their cries in a written form and they will be judged by a panel of four judges, including poet and BBC Radio 3’s Ian McMillan, as well as a member of the Shout team. The winner will be announced on the 14th May and you can read the submissions here.

Since we launched, Shout 85258 has taken over 700,000 conversations with people across the UK who are struggling to cope and need in the moment support. Our trained volunteers are there to support people with issues such as anxiety, loneliness, suicide, depression, relationship problems and many more. All donations to The Loyal Company of Town Criers’ fundraiser will help us be a lifeline to more people across the UK who are struggling with their mental health.