This Guest Article was written by Ben Searle, CEO of Spotlight
The Spotlight Challenge is a 5km and 10km run in Regent’s Park held each year in September as an opportunity for everyone in the entertainment industry to take part in a fun, active event. This year’s event takes off at 10am this Sunday.
People from across the world of stage and screen have signed up to run or have volunteered to help. There’ll be casting directors, agents and performers including Samantha Bond, Julian Glover, Jenny Agutter and Hugh Sachs all taking part on the day. There are teams of people from The Mousetrap, The Railway Children, and @HonestActors podcast among many others.
Anyone involved in the theatre industry is welcome to take part in the event, whether that’s cheering people on or leading from the front. Just come along on the day and your support will help our runners across the line. There’s something for the whole family, with a children’s activity zone and a doggy day care if your furry friend isn’t up to running the whole way!
The event was founded after there was a series of high-profile suicides in the industry a few years ago. We felt that it was important to better understand the mental health challenges that many people in our industry face, and look at the ways in which we could offer more support. After doing research into how we could raise awareness of the difficulties facing performers, we started two new initiatives. The first was artsminds.co.uk, a website dedicated to offering support and advice for people within the performing arts. The other was the Spotlight Challenge, which was introduced to encourage health, wellbeing and strong social connections for everyone in our industry.
The Spotlight Challenge is in aid of Acting for Others, a group of charities which provide support for people of all ages who have worked in the entertainment industry. They are people in need as a result of illness, accident, old age or low income families. Acting for Others also assists with benefits and debt advice and can offer retraining grants to those already working in the profession. You can support the event by donating to Acting for Others via Virgin Giving.
The Spotlight Challenge is a great opportunity to have a fun day out with your colleagues and enjoy a run in one of London’s most beautiful parks. Working as an actor often involves long hours and the nature of the work is quite transient, so getting involved with an event such as the Spotlight Challenge is an opportunity to get away from the stresses of work and life, and develop real friendships with people in our community.
To find out more about the Spotlight Challenge event, head to spotlightrunners.com or pop along to Regent’s Park on the corner of the Broad Walk and Chester Road on Sunday morning to mingle with the world of stage and screen.
You can watch a video of last year’s event here.