This week: the warmest week of Mechelen

If you happened to be in Mechelen last week, you may have noticed all the activities and constructions at the Vismarkt and wondered what was going on. It was the preparation for the big annual charity called “De Warmste Week”.

From Saturday the 18th until Friday the 24th, the whole week is dedicated to raising as much money as possible for charity, with a new theme every year. This year is a social theme, with the slogan: “Kunnen zijn wie je bent, dat verdient iedereen”, meaning “To be who you are, everyone deserves that”. With the live radio studio at the Vismarkt, you can donate money for one of the causes and request a song of your liking.

The location of the event changes every year and because it’s in Mechelen now, Thomas More is one of the official partners of this year’s Warmste Week. Even though they give their own share every year with a radio programme of their own, it’s even more special with the charity being in Mechelen. Again, Thomas More hosts its own radio programme this Thursday, where you can donate money for one of the 200 projects and request a song after it.

Tom Rumes, professor in Storytelling and Directing at Thomas More helps with the project happening this Thursday.

‘For more than 15 years, we organise a very big event during De Warmste Week, but because of COVID it’s not possible this time,’ Rumes explains. ‘It would give off a weird message if we would organise a grand party so we’re not going to do that. This year we bought a caravan and the radio programme of Thomas More, Radio Roem, is going to make live radio.’

Because of the worsening COVID situation, there’s almost no audience allowed. Radio Roem took that into account.

‘We adjusted the radio programme in a way that the audience has no change in getting too big. We don’t want 700 people to join out of the sudden, so we made it the least sexy. You can also follow it online, to donate and request your own song. I already requested André Hazes’ “Een beetje verliefd”, the opening dance at my wedding.’

Besides making money for a good cause, it really is a “warm” week, with festivities as far as COVID allows it. One last peak, a quite literal one: when you look at the Rombouts cathedral at night, you’ll see a nice surprise during De Warmste Week.


Text: Manon Botterblom, final editor: Anke Vandeweyer
Photo: Manon Botterblom