Thursday, 30 June 2011

Thursday, 30th June - Breast Cancer Care

I was at a secret location for work today - very close to the M1 and a lovely town called Amphtill where I went for lunch (I actually got so engrossed in the fabulous antiques shop there that I forgot about food in the end - wish I could do this more often!). I could only find one charity shop which was Age UK. However, I couldn't find anything I wanted, and then there seemed to be some sort of argument going on between the volunteers. Things went from bad to worse when one of them asked me if I needed any help. As he was looking at me, he stepped backwards and smashed all of the glass in a framed poster. I felt bad so decided to head back to work where it occured to me that I had a bra that I don't wear anymore that I could donate.

The Bra Appeal - Donate Your Unwanted Bra's
Don't throw your old bras away - Donate them to the Bra Appeal! Send us your old bras and we can use them to generate cash for breast cancer research.

2011 marks our 5th birthday so a big thank you to everyone who has sent in bras over the last few years - keep them coming!

We raise money for breast cancer research by giving the bras we collect to BCR Global Textiles. BCR sell them to traders in third world countries to which helps support and supply their own local economy. This creates employment in poorer environments and allows the residents in these areas to make the choice as to what to purchase whilst creating viable local economy. When the bags of bras are collected from us they are returned to a sorting warehouse in West Bromwich and baled for export.

BCR Textiles pay £1 per kilo for bras collected and send a cheque directly to UK charity Breast Cancer Campaign. does not handle any moneys raised nor do we take any admin fees - every penny is donated.

So far our bra appeal has helped raise £6303 and this total will keep rising thanks to you sending us your old bras.

Breast Cancer Campaign is a charity registered in England (Charity No. 299758) and a company limited by guarantee (Company No. 05074725)

What Types Of Bra Can You Donate?
- Any style - but not too sexy or see through.
- Any Size - Especially very large or very small sizes.
- European sizes are fine.
- Maternity or Nursing bras are fine.

How To Donate Your Bras
- Please post all bras to the address below in a small Jiffy type bag or box.
- YOU MUST wash all bras before you post them.
- Check the straps and clasps are in working order and there are no rips or tears.
- Please DO NOT send knickers. We cannot use them and have to throw them away.
- If you are sending new bras please let us know they are new .

Non UK Donations: Unfortunately we can only accept donations from the UK or European Union.

Post Your Bras To: - Bra Appeal
PO Box 71
Craven Arms

Monday, 27th June - Thames Valley Air Ambulance

I was in a huge rush so just dropped all of my change into the collection tin at Sainsbugs, Calcot. I was certain it said "Berkshire Air Ambulance" but such an organisation doesn't seem to exist!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Sunday, 27th June - Oxfam

Today was Oxfam as I bought a fabulous vintage dress from their stall at Glastonbury! The festival has long been a supporter of Oxfam and the charity bringing a stall of vintage clothes is a cracking idea; I noticed far more people this year wearing vintage as opposed to "disposable" clothes from certain low price chains....

I bought this from the Park area and can't wait to wear it!

Campaigning at festivals: Fix the system
.At festivals every summer, we meet thousands wanting to support Oxfam's poverty-tackling campaigns. It's why we're there. We want to meet you too so grab one of our volunteers or head over to the Oxfam marquee.

Saturday, 26th June - Somerset Wildlife Trust

I found myself somewhere in the Green Fields at Glastonbury and stumbled upon the Somerset Wildlife Trust's hut where I was invited to make a donation and then make a pledge to hang on their tree. Though I try to be green, I do drive a lot for work so I pledged not to use the car for journeys of less than 5 miles....

The Trust protects wildlife in the county by providing reserves, preserving endangered species and flowers and creating environments for otters and wetland birds..

Friday, 25th June - WaterAid

It's raining and muddy yet we're having a great time - it must be Glastonbury! We stomped our way up to the Stone Circle field where there are those hole-in-the-ground toilets. I recall when we were young, my sister and I were on holiday in China and needed the toilet. Aged just 6, I remember her running to my mum to report that the toilet in her stall had "been stolen" I had this in mind as I queued up to use one of these toilets at Glastonbury in return for a donation to WaterAid, a charity that works worldwide to provide clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene education to the world's poorest people.

Wednesday, 22nd June - British Library

Still Tuesday but I knew I wouldn't have time to do anything on Wednesday, so I made a donation to the British Library while we checked out the amazing manuscripts. When I say "check out", I meant "examine" as opposed to trying to borrow the Magna Carta for a fortnight; imagine the late fees on that....

With more than 150 million items in our collections, the British Library is truly one of the world’s great research libraries.

Major treasures include Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook, Shakespeare’s First Folio and Mozart’s handwritten catalogue, many of which are on display for all our visitors to enjoy in the Sir John Ritblat Treasures Gallery.

Our vision for the future is to expand the possibilities for research, learning and cultural enrichment to everyone.

With your help, we can:

•Bring our outstanding collections to life through our engaging exhibitions programme for school students and lifelong learners alike
•Acquire important new collection items, preserving our shared cultural heritage and opening up previously unexplored research opportunities
•Safeguard rare, precious and fragile items for future generations by conserving those in most urgent need
•Transform access to our collections through the innovative application of new digital technologies

Tuesday, 21st June - CLIC Sargent

While waiting for super L, super P and super J to arrive from gay Paree, I had a quick look around Paperchase at St Pancras station as I am convinced that the key to my constant disorganisation could lurk in this shop in the shape of a nice leather bound journal which would make my thoughts become beautiful once committed to paper. Sadly, there is no such thing, but I did donate what I would have spent to Children Living with Cancer as there was an inviting collection tin on the counter.

CLIC Sargent is a charity dedicated to helping with the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer and supports children and their families.

When a child is diagnosed with cancer it can seem like normal life stops and a different journey begins.

It’s a journey that tests families physically, emotionally, socially and financially.

To be told that a child has cancer comes as a terrible shock. Yet to know that seven out of 10 children now survive cancer may offer some kind of comfort and reassurance to families.

Thanks to research into treatment and causes, the outlook is now one of hope, forward thinking and positive outcomes.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Monday, 20th June - Cancer Research UK

Just dropped a bag of CDs and books off to the shop in the Market Place. Fortunately my phone rang while I was in there so I couldn't browse the fabulous summer dresses that were on display.

Our aim is to save lives from cancer. More people are beating cancer than ever before thanks to our work and your support.

We work in the areas where we can make the most impact:

Research – we support the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses across the UK to investigate all aspects of cancer.
Information – we work to prevent cancer and help people cope with its effects by providing information for cancer patients and their families, health professionals and the general public.
Influencing public policy – we campaign to keep cancer at the top of the health agenda.

Sunday, 19th June - Prior's Court School

"Family Group" by Peter Hayes

Priors Court School is a specialist school for children with autism and it held an open day (with entry by donation) on Sunday, so MrM and I made this our charity for the day. We had a walk around the grounds and checked out the fabulous sculptures that appear in every room and all parts of the gardens.

MrM also bought me a slice of cupcake and Victoria sponge which he said was a contribution to my charity every day blog; what a sweetie he is.

Leonard's Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink. Think this was my favourite, as this large bronze statue is there to welcome children as they come and go between their classes and living areas. Dame Elisabeth has a close association with where I'm from in Dorset as she's famous for her Tolpuddle Martyrs statue.

Prior's Court School has been shortlisted to win £60,000 in the People's Millions and needs 20,000 votes to win on 29th June.

If they win, the money will go towards saving their stables, creating a dedicated animal assisted therapy area and to building a nature trail with activites for pupils.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

"Lisa to be shut in house for a week alone"

I happened to see this in the Reading Chronicle and thought it was a brilliant idea for a fundraiser - I was racking my brains yesterday and thinking that every fundraising idea had probably already been covered, but this is a great idea! The idea is that a group of people live for a week in total isolation with no phone or social contact, to raise awareness of what life is like for the thousands of elderly people who live alone.

Lisa Church
Age: 30

From: Reading

Occupation:PR Consultant

I live in Reading with my husband and have lived in Berkshire all my life. I work in PR in London and the daily commute has become part of my life over the past five years. During week day evenings I enjoy relaxing with my husband and friends, doing exercise classes and reading. At weekends I enjoy meeting friends for drinks, going to the cinema, ice skating and catching up with family.

I am taking part in this experiment as I think it will be very interesting. It is easy to get wrapped up in your life, which is full of independence, socialising, seeing people when you want and having down time when you want. My Nan lives alone and although my Mum visits her when she can at weekends my Nan is often alone during the week. Getting out and about on her own is becoming more difficult for her now. I think this week will be very enlightening and show just how lonely life can be for the elderly, which one day we may face.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Friday, 17th June - Marie Curie Cancer Care

Ah, clearly a charity that loves to brew up as much as I do!

I'm again trapped in the house while two builders flash a bit of cleavage at me every few minutes, so have been trying to get my head around twitter. I'm following Marie Curie and they're running a "Tweaparty" today. This is to promote their "Blooming Great Tea Party 2011" which is a fundraiser where you simply invite friends and family round for a brew in return for a small donation.

Every £20 pounds you raise will pay for an hour of nursing care. Last year, tea parties across the UK raised enough money to fund 30,200 hours of care for the terminally ill.

I've just texted in a donation by text and celebrate with a cup of tea for me and one each for the builders upstairs

Text to 'BGTP11 £2' to 70070 or donate at #Tweaparty

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Thursday, 16th June - 3rd Newbury Scouts

A quick visit into the St Nicolas Church coffee morning to browse today's coffee morning charity which was the Scouts!

I managed to resist the cake stall for a change but amongst a couple of other things purchased this fab mug which is about the same age as me and will look simply luminous in the bathroom!

The Scouts promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.

Scouting is a world-wide educational Movement for young people. It contributes to the fulfilment of their potential using a progressive and enjoyable values-based programme for personal development.

In Berkshire there are 8,357 (2009 annual census) young people and adults enjoying a wide range of Scouting activities. Scouting is mainly provided through over 130 local Scout Groups and District-based Explorer Scout Units. These Scout Groups and Units are organised through 11 Scout Districts, with links to each on the left hand side.

Incorporated as a charity by Royal Charter in 1912, The Scout Association seeks to provide young people with opportunities to participate in adventurous outdoor activities, learn team-building skills and develop new friendships. It is firmly committed to co-education so that boys and girls can develop together and meet the aims of Scouting through one programme.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Tuesday & Wednesday, 14th and 15th June - Age UK and Oxfam

I had to wait in all day for a delivery on Tuesday, so didn't get out to do anything charitywise. (My delivery finally arrived just before 9pm!), so today I took a bag of good stuff to Age UK in Rickmansworth to make up for Tuesday. I then strolled further along the street to the fabulous Peace Hospice Shop and then onto Oxfam. Now, you may be labouring under the misapprehension that I am a woman in my 30s. Wrong! I am a nine-year old boy, and I can prove it by how excited I got by my Oxfam purchase - a Jennings book! I have loved Jennings since I was little and can't look forward to reading this with a cup of hot chocolate and being transported to a land of boarding schools and high jinks!

Age UK looks after older people and I sense they're going to be quite busy in the next little while with this forthcoming fiasco as the country's largest care provider looks set to go bust.

Oxfam is a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Monday, 13th June - Tibet Relief Fund

I don't think either of us work in journalism anymore, but I am in touch with lovely Sophie who I met while we slaved away on a 20-week NCTJ training course back in 2003!

While I toiled away on a local newspaper for two years before doing what I promised I would never do (move to PR), Sophie has been travelling the world, particularly India and Tibet. She mentioned on her FB page that she's running a 10K in aid of the Tibet Relief Fund which is an outstanding cause.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama made the agonising decision to leave Tibet, to live in exile and work towards justice for his people. Thousands of Tibetans fled across the Himalayas on foot to escape the invading Chinese army.

Soon after, the world's first Tibet support group, Tibet Society, was formed. Overwhelmed by offers of practical help and aid, the Council of the Society founded Tibet Relief Fund to provide urgent support in the form of food, clothing and medical assistance.

Through the generosity of our supporters, since 1959 Tibet Relief Fund has financed over £3 million worth of vital projects including:

◦schools, medical centres, old people's homes and libraries
◦education and vocational training
◦youth mentoring and career development
◦medical care in India, Nepal and Tibet
◦clean water projects within Tibet
◦vital equipment including tractors, ambulances and water tanks

From Tibet Relief Fund,
Dear Friend of Tibet, Thank you for your recent donation to Tibet Relief Fund, which will help us to continue our work helping Tibetans in Tibet, India and Nepal. To see more about what we do please visit Alternatively, call 020 7272 1414 or email Many thanks for your support

Tibet Relief Fund.

Good luck Sophie!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Saturday, 11th June - Save the Children

I was passing the Save the CHildren shop in the Market PLace on my way to get this week's paper when I noticed the volunteers were holding a fun day. Two of the volunteers were ladies I know who also volunteer for the Alzheimer's Society, so it's wonderful to see them donating so much of their time.

I entered the tombola, and other games included: name the teddy, lucky dip, a cake sale, and children's fun and games to raise money for the charity's No Child Born to Die campaign which aims to save 4 million lives in 4 hours at the global vaccines summit in June.

"We only have one month left to build up public pressure on world leaders and decision makers."

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Thursday, 9th June - Royal Berkshire Hospital League of Friends

Bought some bits and bobs from the shop in Reading that supports the work of the League of Friends which in turn helps the hospital and community in ways of marketing, hospital giving, community events, funding.

Wednesday, 8th June - Greenpeace

Despite still driving a car, I do try extremely hard to be green. Not just recycling, because I firmly believe that it's better to avoid using packaging in the first place rather than simply thinking that putting your newspapers and plastic bottles into the green bin is saving the planet.

So, it's about time that I finally considered an environmental charity for my 365 blog, and today I chose Greenpeace.

We are passionate about protecting the Earth – the only life support system we have. We are independent. That means we can tackle power, not problems. We do this by investigating, documenting and exposing the causes of environmental destruction. We work to bring about change through political lobbying, citizen action and consumer pressure. And we will take peaceful direct action to protect this fragile planet and promote the solutions for a green and peaceful future.

I think Greenpeace is perhaps the best known and most established environmental charities, in fact, it's 40 years old this year. It's played a pivotal role in: the adoption of a ban on toxic waste exports to less developed countries; a moratorium on commercial whaling; a United Nations convention providing for better management of world fisheries; a Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary; a 50-year moratorium on mineral exploitation in Antarctica; bans on the dumping of radioactive and industrial waste and disused oil installations at sea; an end to large-scale driftnet fishing on the high-seas; the adoption of the Kyoto protocol; and a ban on all nuclear weapons testing.

Luckily, I was able to make a donation via which is a review site where you can place your opinions on everything from scourers to books, so I've been tapping away until I reached the lowest payout which is £5.

"We take great pleasure in passing on your donation on your behalf, and you can be sure that the charity of your choice will be able to put your donation to good use.

You have just submitted a redemption request for 5000 dooyooMiles. You are redeeming them for: 'greenpeace'.

Tuesday, 7th June - Save the Children

Actually, this wasn't me, but a friend who has been interested in my Charity 365 idea who kindly sent me a couple of goats for my birthday!

Sadly, there weren't two goats outside the front door when I got up, but a lovely birthday card with a letter telling me that they'd been bought for a family in Africa. I got one of these at Christmas from my dad with the note: "We're not kidding, we've bought you two goats!"

Goats are great, because they give a mother a way to enrich her children's diet with milk.
As the pair of goats mate and have kids, she'll be able to use the goats for meat or sell them to provide much-needed income.
This gift is great for building a secure future as well as changing a family's life now.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Monday, 6th June - Helen and Douglas House

I donated a bag of used stamps as some charities - including Helen and Douglas House it would seem - can earn money from selling them. Many of the stamps from my envelope were actually from my mum who has a interesting job in medical publishing which involves people from all over the world sending her things to read, usually with beautiful stamps on them. My stamp collecting days ended in 1988 when I broke my arm (don't ask!), but even I could see the beauty of these; there are some from Nepal, Denmark, Thailand and Malaysia among others.

Helen and Douglas House has recently been honoured for its work to support its volunteers - you can see this is the case as the shop volunteers work hard and clearly care a great deal about their work. Congratulations!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Saturday, 4th June - Tommy's

I was in need of more ink (I'm still not sure what it is that I've been printing out!), but my new cartridge came with a recycling envelope for Tommy's which is a charity that aims to help babies to be born healthily.

Recycle your old printer cartridges and mobile phones for Tommy's!

So far £800,000 has been raised over the past 16 years for Tommy's from our recycling partnership with Environmental Business Products - and you can help us increase this and fund more vital research.

You can recycle old inkjet print cartridges, laser print cartridges and old mobile phones... and it costs you nothing.

Follow the three easy steps below and you will help Tommy's ensure every baby has the best chance of being born healthy, help the environment and for every cartridge you return you will be entered into a weekly prize draw.

How to recycle
1) Check
Check online if your cartridges or mobile phones are recyclable or call freephone on 0800 435576.

This first step is very important, as not all cartridges and mobile phones are recyclable. Posting those that are not costs money which could otherwise come to Tommy's.

2) Register
If you already have recycling bags, register the unique bag reference number before posting. You will need to log in to your account or sign up.

This is to ensure that your donation comes to Tommy's, and that you are entered into a free prize draw! Click here if you require more recycling bags. Again you will need to log in to your account or sign up.

3) Bag & Post
Pop your recyclable inkjet cartridges and mobile phones into the FREEPOST recycling bag and put it in the post.

And then... feel great for not only helping our charity but also doing your bit for the environment!

Friday, 3 June 2011

I wonder if Oxfam said "thank you" for this item...

Not that I'm bitter that the same branch never thanked me for my wedding dress :D ......

Rare musical find worth £3,000 found amongst donations to Newbury charity shop

A VERY rare piece of musical history, written and possibly touched by the young prodigious Mozart, was donated to a charity shop in Newbury.
The rare piece of sheet music, estimated to be worth £3,000 was anonymously donated to Oxfam in Northbrook Street.
But no-one in the store, which doesn’t have a sheet music specialist, realised its worth, and it was passed to Reading’s Oxfam Music where the discovery was made.
It turned out to be the first print of a run of sheet music for six short sonatas printed in 1765, when Mozart was visiting London, aged eight.
The item will now go on sale in a Sotheby’s auction next Wednesday, where it has already attracted widespread interest.
Sotheby’s book specialist, Doctor Simon MacGuire, said: “It’s quite a nice story, so that’s added a bit of interest.
“There are different variations of this first addition, but we only know of one other just like this one. To find something like this in a charity shop is extremely unusual.”
“There is a good chance that Mozart himself would have this item.”
The manager of Oxfam Newbury, Janet Bates: “It’s very exciting to find know that something like that was donated to a shop in Newbury. I don’t know if the owner knows what they were giving away, but they ought to be very pleased that they’ve given it to us.
“I really don’t know when it came in or who brought it, but as far as I know, this is the most valuable item that has ever been donated to this Oxfam store.”

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Thursday, 2nd June - Marie Curie Cancer Care

As I am quite lazy (and getting lazier, it seems), I simply tick a box on eBay when I am listing a Glastonbury-related goodie that I don't need anymore and hey presto! It makes a donation to the charity of your choice from the sale. The options include the brilliant Marie Curie Cancer Care, and once someone pays for the item, eBay's partner MissionFish sorts it out for you.

My item is sold within about 5 minutes (which suggests I either listed it too cheaply or there is someone out there as excited about the world's great festival as I am!).

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Wednesday, 1st June - Lumos

It was only thanks to Graham that I found about this charity as he has been helping out with photography. Lumos was founded by JK Rowling and she is asking people to donate and buy an online candle, which will raise money for Eastern and Central European children in institutionalised care.

Today is the 1st June and is International Children’s Day 2011. Lumos is a charity supporting thousands of vulnerable children living in residential institutions. They often lack social and emotional support - one poignant example is that they rarely get to mark their birthdays. On International Children’s Day, 1 June 2011, please join us and help more children enjoy a birthday. We're asking people to light a Birthday Candle for Lumos. The funds raised by this campaign will go towards Lumos’ work. They will help move children out of residential institutions and into family-based care, so that next year many more children will be able to celebrate their birthday properly.

By taking part in Light a Birthday Candle for Lumos, you are helping us to change the lives of thousands of vulnerable children by raising vital funds to support our work in ending the systematic institutionalisation of children across Central and Eastern Europe.

The money you have donated will go directly towards our work to move children out of residential institutions into family-based care for good, so many more children can celebrate their birthday properly in the future.

Dear friend, Lumos says thank you so much for your kind donation to Lumos. Your valuable contribution will help us to fund vital work in Moldova, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Montenegro, where our team of experts are working with national and local governments to bring about change to the care system for children. Your donation will help many children start to enjoy their birthdays. With warmest wishes The Lumos Fundraising Team