News & Events

Rare Reach Festival 2021

Last Reviewed 16/12/2020

By Kate Walton

Showcasing digital storytelling

*UPDATE: Rare Reach Festival 2021 has now been postponed due to Covid-19. The festival will now launch over the weekend of Rare Disease Day, 28 February 2021. Please check back soon for more information.

As part of Rare Disease Day 2021, we are launching our first ever, Rare Reach Festival to celebrate the online storytelling by the genetic, rare and undiagnosed community. 

Storytelling is powerful

By posting their real-life stories (funny, sad, inspirational and everything in between) on social media, people affected by rare conditions share their day-to-day experiences to help raise awareness of how their lives are impacted by their condition. They can also reach out to others in the same situation offering solidarity, hope and community.

For Rare Disease Day 2021 we want to celebrate and encourage this storytelling.  We are inviting everyone in the community to dig back through their social media archives to share their existing content and/or produce new that represents the themes of Rare Disease Day 2021 – Rare is strong, Rare is many, Rare is proud.

Rare Reach Festival competition entries

For those who wish to, they can also enter their storytelling into our competition with the winners being announced over the weekend of Rare Disease Day 2021. Our judging panel will choose the most engaging, inspiring and powerful submissions that raise awareness of rare conditions to receive awards across seven categories. 

People’s Choice vote

The shortlisted entries will also be entered into a People’s Choice vote where people can vote for the entry that inspires them the most. The submissions will be shared across all our social media platforms and we will encourage everyone to share and widen the reach to tell these amazing stories. 

Who can take part? 

Anyone affected by a rare condition (person with a condition, sibling, parent /carer) or the groups and organisations who support them can take part. We really want to encourage everyone to get involved and share their real-life stories (funny, sad, inspirational and everything in between). 

Alongside the wider festival we will be running our festival competition with the winners being announced over the weekend of Rare Disease Day. The festival competition is open to UK-based individuals affected by a rare condition (person with condition, sibling, parent/carer) or the groups and organisations who support them.

Rare Reach Festival Categories

  • Best storytelling by/via a voluntary group.
  • Best storytelling by/via a small charity.
  • Best storytelling by/via a larger charity.
  • Best storytelling by a family member of someone affected by a rare condition.
  • Best aspiring young influencer (aged 13-25, young person with a rare condition).
  • Best aspiring young influencer (aged 13-25, sibling of a young person with a rare condition).
  • Best storytelling by an individual (over 25).

How to take part?

For the wider festival share your content (own and other’s) using the hashtag #RareReach2021 alongside the #RareDiseaseDay2021 hashtag, and if appropriate, one of the Rare Disease Day themes – #RareIsStrong, #RareIsMany, #RareIsProud.

For the festival competition we are asking entrants to submit social media content (video, photos, blogs) from anytime in the last two years that represents one or more of themes of Rare Disease Day 2021:  Rare is strong, Rare is many, Rare is proud.

Submission guidance

You can submit a maximum of two submissions per person per category, and these include the following:

  • Video (maximum of three minutes).
  • Blog post (maximum of 1500 words).
  • Photos – can be a single image (with or without captions) or a series of images up to a maximum of five images published as part of the same post/story.

Why take part? 

Help celebrate the stories of the rare community, connect with each other and utilise the power of social media to increase the visibility of everyone affected by rare conditions. 

For more information please email [email protected]

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