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On Wednesday 27th November, in collaboration with open-mic night specialists Special Guest, £1,180 was raised for Restless Development on an evening when it was entirely down to our audience to steal the show.


“Special Guest is the open mic night where anything goes… so you’re never quite sure what to expect. This night had it all, from tales of dates gone wrong to a Christmas sing-along, and peppered with personal stories about HIV that rooted the event in the reason we were all there: to raise funds in support of Restless Development”

Special Guest

How did it work?

We asked an audience of over 80 people to expect an open-mic night where anything goes.

Our guests were encouraged to come up to the stage at the famous Backyard Comedy Club, in East London, to talk about anything they wanted for 60 seconds. From pre-planned, powerful stories and spoken word, creative talks, shower thoughts, true stories, hidden talents, searching questions, new ideas, party tricks and deep and meaningfuls, to spontaneous calls for action – we heard it all.

Here’s a few highlights:

Why did we run this event?

We work with young people so that they can lead in solving the world’s biggest challenges, including supporting communities to prevent HIV.

As well as providing a platform to raise money for Restless Development, Special Guest was a key moment for us to recognise World AIDS Day (1st December). 

Alex Causton-Ronaldson was a fantastic event host. Alex volunteers for Youth Stop AIDS, the youth-led movement run by Restless Development, as a tour speaker, trainer and campaigner, helping young people to drive action and change.

He helped our audience feel empowered and inspired to take the stage and to speak about anything they wanted. He explained why we are at such a crucial period in the campaign to end HIV/AIDS:

More Restless Development events are on the horizon. Stay tuned to our website and social media for further updates. 

A huge thank you to the following people for their support with this event:

  • The volunteer Events Working Group at Restless Development (Annie, Claire, Danielle, Hannah, Helena, Lauren, Rosie Sarah and Tiff)
  • Matt and the team at Special Guest
  • Our generous raffle prize donors: Backyard Comedy Club, Experience Days, Propercorn, MOB Kitchen,The Real Greek, Unwind Wines
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