Not-for-profit PR firm launches high-profile Sherlock campaign

Tony Hallwood of Leeds Bradford Airport and British Airways flight crew pose in the cockpit for a Sherlock selfie. (S)
Tony Hallwood of Leeds Bradford Airport and British Airways flight crew pose in the cockpit for a Sherlock selfie. (S)

A Harrogate agency that works for the not-for-profit sector has come up with what must rank as one of the regional PR industry’s highest-profile campaigns – and all for a Yorkshire charity.

Cause UK is trying to smash the Guinness World Record for the Most People Dressed as Sherlock Holmes – and the campaign has gone viral, galvanising support from as far afield as Chile and Japan.

The aim of the attempt, to take place on August 31 at Temple Newsam, Leeds from 12 noon, is to raise money for the Yorkshire Brain Research Centre at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Cause UK’s managing director, Clair Challenor-Chadwick, who is appeal director of the Brain Research Centre, came up with the idea after finding out that the fictional detective’s character was born in Yorkshire.

She said: “Sherlock is the perfect fit for brain research, as the brainiest detective of all time was born in Yorkshire. He is helping us raise awareness of this much under-funded area and to help patients with dementia, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and MS.”

The world’s biggest Sherlock party will include a big stage featuring comedy, music, dance, cosplay, circus and theatre. The entry fee is £15 and every participant will receive a Deerstalker hat, pipe and magnifying glass on the day of the event. The minimum number of people required to set a new Guinness World Records title is 250.

A spokesperson from Guinness World Records said: “We’d like to wish everyone participating in this attempt the very best of luck. It’s for a great cause, and hopefully by the end you’ll be official Guinness World Records holders.”

Cast members of Emmerdale, players from the Huddersfield Giants Rugby League team, British Airways and Leeds Bradford Airport are all on the case.

The best #sherlockselfie pic will win return BA flights to London, a night at the five star Royal Horseguards in a river view executive room with breakfast and a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street. Sherlock fans have already been tweeting #sherlockselfie photos from as far afield as China and Australia.

Harrogate philanthropist Sir Robert Ogden CBE LLD is Patron of the Yorkshire Brain Research Centre and kick-started the appeal with a donation of £250,000.