The Big Swap

“Start with a Pin…”

People love to be part of the game. Combine this with the opportunity to support a charity, and you’ve got yourself a fundraising event!

‘The Big Swap’ is a week-long event, topped and tailed with a participants event. Participants will be set the challenge of swapping  and reswapping an item as many times as they can over a week, to up-swap and improve their item as they go. At the end of the week, you should have something pretty amazing and will certainly have some interesting stories to tell along the way.

“Excuse me, I’m playing a game as part of a charity event. I have to swap this item for something as good or better. Have you got something you’d like to swap?”

Our CEO has played this game a lot, and found that people really enjoyed being part of the process. A cello, a light-aircraft ride (including taking the wheel) and a teak bench, were just three of the swaps along the way. He sold the bench for £100 a couple of years later, and the idea was born.

Why Do We Do It?

All of our programmes have our seven life and learning skills weaved through them: resilience, confidence, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, goal-setting and curiosity. We feel that our fundraising events should also embody these skills, allowing others to experience them, helping to bring home how and why they are so important. How do you feel about walking up to someone in the street and starting a conversation? How would you deal with the challenges you may face along the way? How might you enthuse those you swap with and ignite their curiosity in what you’re doing and our charity? Maybe you’re great at all of these skills and you can see how having them allows you to achieve the things you want in life. Maybe some of them don’t come so easily to you and you can therefore see why our programmes are so beneficial. Taking part may give you the opportunity to learn about your own skills and build your own confidence along the way. We hope so!

How do we fundraise through this event?

We’re signed up to eBay’s charity programme. This means that you can sell any item on eBay and tick the box to donate the income directly to us. Easy really. So once you’ve completed the week’s swaps and shared your final swap with the other participants at the celebration event, you can sell it on eBay. When setting up the sale details, search for ‘Wider World’ and assign us to your sale. If you don’t have an eBay account, you can sell it another way, perhaps via Facebook or Gumtree and donate the money you make via our website using the Donate button on the homepage.

The people you interact with along the way may want to donate too, seeing as you’ll hopefully tell them a little about us. Give them our Text Donate number and they can donate instantly from their phone.

Who to Swap With

You can swap with anyone you like, as many times as you like. In practice, this could be with friends and family, colleagues, classmates and the general public. A great way to continue to do some high-quality swaps and promote the work of our charity is to head into the city centre and approach people with a smile on your face. Some may not want to play, but many do. Once you’ve got over the initial, “who are you and what do you want?” phase and you’ve mentioned the words, “I’m playing a game, do you want to be involved?”, people generally soften and become interested. Get some photos of your swaps to show us the fun you’re having along the way.

Signing Up

If you’d like to be part of this event, you can sign up here. You’ll need to commit to taking part throughout the week and attending the Starter and Celebration events. We’d like you to aim to raise between £50 and £100, plus the text donates from your swap partners. For now, you can express your interest in taking part in our next event, and when we have the details finalised we’ll get in touch.

Starter Event

Our Starter Event will take place at a venue near you, yet to be decided upon. Here we can answer questions, play a mini-swap game and talk through some of the details, expectations and support on offer.

Celebration Event

Big Swap participants will have one week to up-swap as much and as many times as they can. At the end of that week, we’ll all come together to share our final swaps. There’ll be a certificate for the best swap item and one for the best swap photo. We’ll let you know how much you’ve raised through Text Donate, and also remind you about how you can monetise your final items via eBay or other selling sites.


We’d like to run our first Big Swap game in October 2020. We’ll probably start and finish on a Saturday or Sunday. When we have a date fixed, we’ll let you know.


We operate in Bristol and also have links in Bath so it could be that we run across both cities of just one. We’ll know that very soon. 

Take Part from Somewhere Else

Maybe you’d like to take part but don’t live nearby. Well, you can of course still get involved, but perhaps you won’t be able to attend either the Starter or Celebration event. Whether you live in Bristol, Brighton, Bognor Regis, Bournemouth or Bangkok, you can still do you swaps in the same week, share your story digitally with us via our website and social media accounts and sell and donate via eBay.