Calendar of Annual Events

If you are a Speakers’ Corner Committee looking for a topic for a debate or an organisation to take the lead in it – or if you are a local group looking for a platform, the following calendar of events could be an invaluable aid. In it, you will find a detailed schedule of literally hundreds of ‘days’ or ‘weeks’ or longer periods, many of them recurring annually, designated to mark a wide range of issues and campaigns which could provide an ideal and often newsworthy basis for a debate. SCT is grateful to Julia Hagan of Nottingham City Council’s Community & Culture Department who prepared the calendar.

The United Nations maintains a list of annual commemmorations and an alternative list can be found on Wikipedia.


Month Event Description Date(s)
January World Braille Day Opportunity for blindness organisations to promote Braille literacy, showcase their work and raise public awareness of blindness issues. 4th January (every year)
World Religion Day To foster the establishment of interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasising the common denominators underlying all religions. 3rd Sunday in January
Food Allergy and Intolerance Week To raise awareness about the many people who suffer from food intolerances to ingredients such as wheat, dairy, eggs and gluten. 21st – 25th January 08
Cancertalk Week Focus on emotional and practical issues of the impact experienced by people living with cancer. 21st – 25th January 08
Be Loud (Loud Tie Campaign) A major awareness and fundraising campaign for the national bowel cancer charity, Beating Bowel Cancer w/c 26th January 2009
Holocaust Memorial Day 27th January (every year)
National Storytelling Week 31st January – 7th February 2009
February UNICEF Day for Change 6th February (every year)
WOW (World Orphan Week) Chance to make a difference to orphaned children around the world by raising money and awareness for SOS children. 9th – 15th February 2009
National Marriage Week Celebrated in churches and communities across the country. 7th – 15th February 2009
International Childhood Cancer Day Aim is to help children with cancer get the best possible treatment and care, no matter where they live in the world, by raising both awareness and money 15th February 2008
International Mother Language Day To promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. 21st February 2008
Student Volunteering Week Raising profile of student volunteering 25th February – 2nd March 2008
Fair Trade Fortnight Opportunity to think about where food comes from and how we can help people in poorer countries. 25th February – 9th March 2008
Eating Disorders Awareness Week To raise awareness of issues around the problems encountered by people who are affected by an eating disorder. 22nd – 28th February 2008
24 Hour Tea or Coffee Break Held during Fair Trade Fortnight and aims to highlight plight of poor farmers throughout the world. 29th February 2008
March The Great Daffodil Appeal Marie Curie Cancer Care’s annual flagship campaign 15th February – 31st March (every year)
Veggie Month Celebration of vegetarianism and campaigning in inform schools, retailers, restaurants, community groups and others about the benefits of a veggie diet.
World Book Day 5th March 2009
International Women’s Day Provides opportunity to focus upon and remember the struggle of women throughout the world. 8th March (every year)
Commonwealth Day Annual event during which all 54 members of the commonwealth celebrate their links with each other. Second Monday in March
National Ideas Week Focus on creativity and innovation in the workplace. 9th – 15th March 2008
No Smoking Day Second Wednesday in March
Red Nose Day 13th March 2009
World Storytelling Day Global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. 20th March (every year)
World Poetry Day To promote reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world. 21st March (every year)
World Day for Water Raise public awareness, focus attention on the vital need to protect and conserve water resources and supplies of drinking water. 22nd March (every year)
World Theatre Day 27th March (every year)
April National Pet Month Supported by Iams but run by charitable trust and brings together animal welfare charities and professional bodies with common goal of improving welfare of pets.
International Children’s Book Day Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books. 2nd April (every year)
World Health Day Thousands of events across the world to mark the importance of health for productive and happy lives. 7th April (every year)
International Noise Awareness Day To inform the public of the necessity of creating a quiet home, school and recreational environment. 16th April 2008
Welly Week Organised by HDRA to raise funds to help educate and inspire people about organic gardening, farming and food for a sustainable future. 19th – 26th April 2008
Global Campaign for Education Action Week 21st – 27th April 2008
International Turn-off TV Week Campaign to get us off the sofa 21st – 27th April 2008
Earth Day Part 2 – Global event 22nd April (every year)
World Malaria Day 25th April (every year)
RSPCA Week Major fundraising and profile raising opportunity. 27th April – 3rd May 2009
International Dance Day To increase the awareness of the importance of dance among the general public, as well as to persuade governments across the world to provide a proper place for dance in all systems of education. 29th April (every year)
International Make-a-Wish-Day 29th April 2008
May National Museums and Galleries Month
Local and Community History Month To increase awareness of local history, promote history in general.
National Share-a-Story Month The Federation of Children’s Book Groups celebrates the power of story.
International Firefighters’ Day 4th May (every year)
Deaf Awareness Week Aims to improve understanding of different types of deafness and methods of communication. 5th – 11th May 2008
Red Cross Week Celebration of the organisations work and services to raise money and recruit. 6th – 12th May 2008
World Red Cross Red Crescent Day Anniversary of founder. 8th May (every year)
Europe Day Anniversary of the day when the European Union was conceived. 9th May 2008
World Fair Trade Day Second Saturday in May
Christian Aid Week Door to door fundraising drive. 11th – 17th May 2008
Limerick Day Celebrates the birth of writer Edward Lear who popularised limericks in 19th Century. 12th May (every year)
Foster Care Fortnight Annual recruitment campaign. 12th – 25th May 2008
World No Tobacco Day To draw global attention to tobacco epidemic and preventable deaths and disease. 31st May (every year)
June National Osteoporosis Month
Everyman Male Cancer Awareness Month Set up by The Institute of Cancer Research to raise awareness of and funds for prostate and testicular cancers.
Volunteers’ Week Events held nationally to recognise, reward and recruit volunteers. 1st – 7th June 2008
Recycle Now Week 2nd – 8th June 2008
International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression Acknowledges pain suffered by children throughout the world and affirms a commitment to protect the rights of children. 4th June (every year)
Heart Week 4th – 10th June 2008
World Environment Day Used by the United Nations to stimulate awareness of environmental issues. 5th June (every year)
World Oceans Day Celebration of the planet’s marine environment. 8th June (every year)
World Blood Donor Day Commemorates the birth of Karl Lansteiner who discovered the ABO blood group system. 14th June (every year)
National Bike Week A week of events to highlight real alternatives to the car. 14th – 22nd June 2008
Refugee Week Events to celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK and encourages better understanding between communities. 16th – 22nd June 2008
Child Safety Week 23rd – 29th June 2008
July World Population Day To raise awareness of global population issues. 11th July (every year)
National Parks’ Week 28th July – 3rd August 2008
August National Road Victim Month
Marine Week 2nd – 17th August 2008
International Youth Day To draw attention to youth issues worldwide. 12th August (every year)
September Bear Necessities Month Organised by WSPA to raise funds and awareness for mistreated bears.
National Organic Fortnight 6th – 21st September 2008
International Literacy Day Focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. 8th September (every year)
Heritage Open Days Celebrates England’s architecture and culture. 11th – 14th September 2008
International Day of Peace Calls for full day of peace and ceasefire throughout the world. 21st September (every year)
World Car Free Day 22nd September 2008
British Food Fortnight 20th September – 5th October 2008
European Day of Languages Celebrate language and cultural diversity. 26th September (every year)
World Heart Day Run in over 90 countries. 28th September 2008
October Black History Month Promote a greater understanding of UK’s diverse cultural heritage.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
IFAW Animal Action Week Largest animal-focused event in the world. First week in October
World Animal Day Events organised to raise awareness of animal issues. 4th October (every year)
World Space Week International celebration of science and technology. 4th – 10th October (every year)
World Teachers Day 5th October (every year)
World Architecture Day Set up by UN for the world to reflect on the state of human settlements and basic rights to adequate shelter. First Monday in October
World Habitat Day First Monday in October
National Children’s Book Week First full week in October
National Poetry Day 9th October 2008
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 11th October 2008
World Arthritis Day 12th October (every year)
World Food Day To commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO). 16th October (every year)
Trafalgar Day Celebration of the victory of Nelson’s fleet at Battle of Trafalgar. 21st October (every year)
United Nations Day Marking the anniversary of the founding of the UN. 24th October (every year)
November Vegan Month
Shout About Climate Change Friends of the Earth’s annual activity project for 11 – 13 year olds. TBC
Dyslexia Awareness Week 7th – 13th November 2008
National Stress Awareness Day 5th November 2008
National Adoption Week 10th – 16th November 2008
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Third Sunday of November
International Day of Tolerance 16th November 2008
World Philosophy Day Promoting awareness and reconsideration of the important role that philosophy has played in public life and in our adapting to social changes. Third Thursday in November
Universal Children’s Day 20th November 2008
World Television Day 21st November (every year)
World Hello Day Demonstrates the importance of personal communication to preserve peace. 21st November (every year)
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Towards Women 25th November (every year)
December World AIDS Day 1st December (every year)
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2nd December (every year)
International Day of Disabled Persons 3rd December (every year)
International Volunteer Day 5th December (every year)
Carers Right Day 5th December 2008

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