Man with headphones

How to do a sponsored silence

Actions speak louder than words, so organise a sponsored silence to raise money and support people living with cancer.

We all know actions speak louder than words. How about a bit of peace and quiet while raising money to support people living with cancer?

Choose your style of silence

Digital silence

There are so many social media sites we use every day, so having a digital detox from Facebook, TikTok and Instagram can be quite a tough challenge. Giving these up for a week – except in emergencies – is a good challenge, especially for younger people.

Get sponsored to stay silent over social media. That means zero access to social media or messaging platforms. You could go even further and not use the Internet at all! You'll be surprised at how hard it is to have a complete digital silence.

Keep quiet!

Could you stay quiet for a few hours, a morning or even the whole day? A classic no-talking (or whispering-only) sponsored silence is a great idea to try as a class at school or in a youth club.

You could try to think of other ways to communicate with your friends or family for the day or hours of your silence. Make your silent spell more fun by planning some silent games and have a countdown to the end of your sponsored silence where you can celebrate your success with a loud cheer!

For an extra-hard challenge, why not combine a digital silence and a keep-quiet challenge and go without social media, the Internet, or speaking at all for the duration of your sponsored silence?

Plan your sponsored silence

How long should your sponsored silence last?

How long to stay silent for will depend on whether you're doing it alone, as part of a group, or in your workplace. The age of the people taking part and how regularly you meet are also things to consider. Make it realistic but slightly challenging for all who take part.

Who will be taking part?

Think about if you want to tackle your sponsored silence alone or get others involved, which is a great way to get even more support for people living with cancer. Make sure the type and length of the sponsored silence is suitable for everyone who does join in with your challenge.

Why not ask friends, family members, or colleagues to join you by taking on a sponsored silence themselves, or suggest other ways they can get involved and support your efforts? For example, they could set you small challenges to complete during your silence – some of which might make keeping your silence even harder.

Sponsored silence with children and young people

If you're planning to hold a sponsored silence with your children, school or youth group, there a few things you might want to consider. Decide how long you want to stay silent for – 30 minutes for very young children could be quite a challenge. To keep children entertained, you could run silent games with pens and paper, such as Pictionary. Count down the last minute to get the children excited about finishing – and being able to cheer!

Brian on hosting a sponsored silence

"When I worked at a primary school, I came up with the idea to host a sponsored silence. We set different times for the different age groups of the children. As a nursery child will not keep quiet for an hour! The response from all of the children and staff was fantastic. The teachers LOVED the quiet time and we raised a few hundred pounds each time."

Promoting your event

Set up an online fundraising page

The easiest way to collect sponsorship donations is by setting up an online giving platform. You can decide whether participants will be sponsored individually or as a group, and set up a team page so everyone knows your fundraising total.

Find out more about setting up your online fundraising page.

Tell people about your sponsored silence

Promote, promote, promote! Give supporters plenty of time to hear about your sponsored silence so that they can sponsor you, or even sign up to take part. Create and put up posters in your local area, tell people on your social media channels, and tell the local press if you can. The more people supporting the event, the quieter it will be, and the more money you'll fundraise.

We have more information on how to promote your event through social media.