SMS fuels the fire

Famous for their unique bonfire charity events, the Torrington Cavaliers are a long established fundraising group based in the town of Great Torrington, England. The group was first established in 1970 and has since dedicated their time and efforts to raising money for local charities and beneficiaries. In 2010, the Cavaliers raised over £60,000 by setting fire to a man-made medieval castle, an event that benefitted over 100 local charities and good causes.

Torrington Cavaliers

Building bonfires is only a one part of the Cavalier activities, with an active membership of over 40 people, the Cavaliers also play a major role in enhancing the town; setting up various projects, such as Christmas lights. Being an organisation that relies heavily on teamwork and communication, Nick Hallam, Secretary of the Torrington Cavaliers, realised that he needed a way to communicate directly with the members. He initially used email but soon realised that this would not be an effective channel as more than half of the members did not even have an email address.

Nick turned to SMS hoping to not only increase, but improve, communications between the members and the organisers. He started using the BulkSMS Web to SMS platform in 2006 and has been using it ever since. Nick believes that “SMS was the obvious choice because all of our members have mobile phones and it allowed us to communicate with each one of our members as and when needed using a reliable and trusted channel”.

Nick mentioned that a further reason he chose to use SMS is because it allows for 2-way communication between himself and the members. This means that message recipients can respond directly to any incoming SMS messages. This aspect of SMS is essential to ensuring that Nick and the volunteers know exactly what is needed or expected for each task or community drive. “SMS is a vital tool to informing members of events, meetings and working parties” says Nick.

Nick has found SMS to be an invaluable communications tool to the Cavalier group. “Not only is SMS vital to our communication efforts, it is integral to the organisation of each event. We’ve been using SMS for over 10 years now and it has proven to be reliable and far more effective than any other communication channel” says Nick.

“It is great to see volunteer organisations such as the Torrington Cavaliers making use of our service. The fact that SMS wins again and again over email as a more reliable and accessible communications channel demonstrates its ever resilient nature” says Dr. Pieter Streicher, managing director of