With reports of domestic abuse and violence across genders rising to over 700% since the beginning of lockdown, an entrepreneurial mum of 3 from Preston who’s a domestic abuse survivor, was driven to ‘do her bit’ during Covid-19. As a result, she has already raised over £16,000 for domestic abuse charities.
Last week, (June 5th) Preston-based mum of three Dani Wallace, 36, hosted a mammoth 12-hour charity event ‘The Big Festoon’ from her home office which attracted over 20 global entrepreneurs and celebs to chat with Dani live on air. She called the event ‘The Big Festoon’ as she encourages us all to link arms, like bees do, when building their comb, to support those in need. This incredible online event has already raised over £16,000 for domestic violence charities Women’s Aid & galop; whilst also supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs whose livelihoods are being threatened.
Dani is a highly sought after international speaker and speaker coach, as well as a professional singer – she hosted the 12 hour charity chat-a-thon on 5th June featuring celebrities and entrepreneurs, coming together for ‘real talk’ around how they have chosen to thrive not just survive life in lockdown.
The festoon line up included; Six-time Olympian Tessa Sanderson, Nicole Jacobs, the UK’s first Domestic Abuse Commissioner and BBC Eastenders’ Toby- Alexander Smith who is currently playing a perpetrator, BBC Radio’s Alix Fox & Stephanie Hirst, Apprentice star Jessica Cunningham, Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton, Emmerdale star and Founder of The Capsule Natalie Anderson and TV’s Jenny Powell… The festoon was also supported by top level entrepreneurs and global business leaders, including; the UK’s #1 Motivational Business Speaker Brad Burton, serial entrepreneur and author Dan Meredith, Business Coach for Ambitious Entrepreneurs Lisa Johnson and Emma Sayle, one of the UK’s leading ‘sex-entrepreneurs’…to name just a few.
Dani said; “Reports of domestic abuse and violence across genders has risen by an insane 700% since the beginning of lockdown. I just knew I NEEDED to help and do my bit. As someone used to filling line-ups on stage, and with my background as an entertainer I pledged to use these skills to create something fresh for my community -and it grew and grew from there! Within three weeks, we had a huge charity event on our hands. I am so overwhelmed by the success of the event and delighted that we have currently raised over £16,000 for domestic violence charities and this keeps on growing… and just because this event has finished, it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to raise more. Now is the time where those of us in a position to do so must do our bit – to inspire, motivate and uplift each other but also to support those more vulnerable than ourselves.”
When Dani was 4 months pregnant, the relationship she was then in came to a violent head and after one particular incident whereby she was almost strangled, with the help of DV services, Dani was able to escape the relationship.
Dani is now the Leader of the I Am The Queen Bee Movement (#IATQB) helping thousands across the world to Show Up, Wise Up and Rise Up, with her free advice and motivational teachings. Hit between the eyes one day with her purpose, after watching Bee Movie with her kids, Dani heard this message: “According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. It’s wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway, because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible” – and ever since she has been on a mission to help others who shouldn’t be able to fly, to fly anyway. Dani continues: “This situation has been tough on us all so I knew I wanted this event to hit some truth bombs and not sugar coat it as the Mary Poppins Insta feed of lockdown life can leave us all feeling like failures – the day was real, raw, but also enabled us all to be inspired and equipped to continue lifting each other up, as we CAN all learn from this, and rise up – as my motto says, no matter what we can choose to Fly Anyway.“
This charity event was driven by her passion and purpose to support those who need it from the 2 sides of the coin of her life – those suffering as domestic violence victims and those suffering as entrepreneurs trying to cling on to their livelihoods -as both have been threatened by COVID-19.
The Virgin money page is still live for anyone who would like to donate – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/thebigfestoon
One of the charities being supported is Women’s Aid, a grassroots federation working together to provide life-saving services and build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated. Faye Connelly, Fundraising Manager at Women’s Aid said: “We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Dani and all celebrities and entrepreneurs who were involved in this exciting event! In recent months, we have all witnessed the spread and impact of Coronavirus and the threat that it poses to women and children experiencing domestic abuse. Many women will now be isolated at home with an abuser, with little safety and no way to access face-to-face support. Every penny raised will make a huge difference to our work responding to this crisis and reaching more women who need our support.”