Thursday, 29 September 2011

Thursday, 29th September - National Needlework Archive








The weekly coffee morning at St Nicolas Church Hall was today devoted to the National Needlework Archive, so I refrained from buying a beautiful quilt and instead bought a couple of chocolate shortbread affairs.

The charity is supported by Greenham Common Trust and maintains a documentary record of textiles throughout the UK. The centre on Greenham BUsiness Park hosts exhibitions, workshops, classes, conferences and events relating to textiles.

www.nationalneedleworkarchive.org.uk

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday, 28th September - the Firefighters' Charity



I'd never heard of this charity until a nice fireman asked me to donate all of my change while I went into the supermarket to get some bits and bobs.


The Fire Fighters Charity is the UK’s leading provider of services that enhance quality of life for serving and retired fire service personnel and their families. We’re available for all members of the fire service community during their times of need, assisting thousands of individuals every year by providing pioneering treatment and support services.

Our free helpline is a central point of access for all the Charity’s services, including our Beneficiary Support Service. We offer a confidential and impartial helpline service, providing advice, guidance and support on a broad range of issues, as well as having a nationwide network of professional staff and trained volunteers, who are ready to help locally. We aim to provide practical assistance and solutions to make a real difference to the lives of members of the fire service community.

Our three centres in Devon, Cumbria and West Sussex offer rehabilitation programmes to eligible beneficiaries of the fire service community, as well as recuperation breaks that provide the chance to relax in peaceful and tranquil surroundings, which can aid emotional recovery following illness, injury, or other problems.

It costs £9m every year to meet the needs of the charity’s beneficiaries, and with no government funding, it is completely reliant upon donations from the general public and fire community.

To access the Charity's services, please call us on 0800 389 8820.


www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/

Tuesday, 27th September - Save the Children






I know a young lady who has never worked since she left school at 14. Now aged 45, she has 10 children, with another on the way, fathered by seven different men. This lifestyle bags her 42,000 a year. On the other hand, choose to work when you have children, and about £800 of your salary will have to go to childcare.

This doesn't seem remotely fair, so yesterday's charity thing was to back Save the Children's Childcare CAmpaign. The recent cut to childcare support has added an average of £500 to low and middle income families' childcare costs. Apparently 41% of parents in severe poverty affected by the cut in support through tax credits said they would consider giving up work and 25% are considering reducing their hours. This of course, costs the taxpayer.

Parents in Britain spend almost a third of their incomes on childcare – more than anywhere else in the world – and such high costs have the greatest consequences for the poorest families. The government is planning a further cut in 2013, cutting support for working fmailies who work longer hours when it introduces its universal credit.

Please write to the Chancellor or your MP to ensure that work will always pay and that families are not priced out of work owing to childcare costs.

www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/Childcare-costs-pushing-kids-into-poverty.htm

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Monday, 26th September - Berkshire National Animal Welfare Trust



I put a packet of doggie treats for our four-legged friends at the Berkshire National Animal Welfare Trust. I felt that animal charities have been a little overlooked in my lil challenge and actually ended up buying three packets as they were on three for two - a Christmas present for the dogs in our family!

Unfortunately I forgot all about them and left them in the shopping bag, so MrM naturally assumed my cravings had taken a turn for the weird. One of the NAWT's properties was in my patch in my previous job, so I used to deal them with a lot, although they definitely preferred my predecessor who spent a large proportion of his time down there being a mad lover of horses!

National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) was founded in 1971 as an independent charity, and was originally known as Animal Welfare Trust (the word national was added in 1996 as part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations).

The roots of the organisation can be traced back to 1958, when the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) established BUVA Dog Rescue. The initiative to establish BUAV Dog Rescue was to stop dogs and puppies being bought at markets as a way of preventing them going to laboratories for vivisection. In 1965 the name was changed to BUAV Animal Aid, in recognition that all sorts of animals were being saved from vivisection.

In 1971 BUAV members felt that the work of BUAV Animal Aid was departing from its aims, and it was agreed to establish a separate charity to be known as Animal Welfare Trust (AWT). AWT remained under the auspices of BUAV, along with the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, until 1979, when both organisations started to work from the Hendon & Aldenham Boarding Kennels - run by our then Chairman Mr Sidney Hicks - sharing facilities and staff. The Dr Hadwen Trust is now completely separate from NAWT, although both organisations remain close, share members and work together as appropriate.

NAWT acquired its second centre, Heaven's Gate Farm in Somerset in the early 1990s, and purchased our third centre - Trindledown Farm in Berkshire - in the late 1990s. Trindledown was purchased to enable us to develop the first purpose built animal retirement home in the country, and was finally opened and fully operational in 2002.



www.nawt.org.uk

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday, 25th September; Memory Walk







Today's charity thing was the Memory Walk at Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre in aid of the West Berkshire Alzheimer's Society.



The event was very well-attended and there was the opportunity to donate a bag of bric-a-brac (and I only bought one thing to replace it!), a craft table with lovely cards made by people with dementia and some scrummy cakes.



Everyone was invited to walk either 1km or 2km around the lakes wearing an Alzheimer's Society t-shirt and a variety of headgear to reinforce the "Be Headstrong" message.

Now for the sponsorship.....

www.justgiving.com/charity365




http://alzheimers.org.uk/

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Saturday, 24th September - Samaritans

I realised this morning that I haven't bought a Big Issue for a while, so specifically headed into town for that purpose. The usual seller wasn't there, which I am praying is a good sign, so I put the money instead into a lady's collection tin for the Samaritans.

Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland.

The service is available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.

If you live outside of the UK and ROI, visit www.befrienders.org to find your nearest helpline.

Volunteers offer support by responding to phone calls, emails and letters. Alternatively people can drop in to a branch to have a face to face meeting.

Across the UK you can call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for the price of a local call. In the Republic of Ireland call 1850 60 90 90.

You can also email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org, write to Chris, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA or if you are deaf or hard of hearing use the single national minicom number 08457 90 91 92.


They're also doing a spot of fundraising with a forthcoming collection of "Songs to Save a Life" which is a unique collection of original tracks and inspirational covers in aid of Samaritans.

Available to buy 3 October

Featuring songs from KT Tunstall, James Morrison, The Overtones, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Graham Gouldman of 10cc, Ed Harcourt, Jay James Picton, Lucie Silvas, Jon Allen, Katie Kim and Queen Orlenes.

Pre-order from the 8th of August and get Lucie Silvas cover of the classic “Lean on me” immediately.

http://www.samaritans.org/support_samaritans/campaigns/songs_to_save_a_life.aspx
www.samaritans.org

Friday, 23 September 2011

Friday, 23rd September- St Margaret's Hospice



I was in the Somerset town of Wellington today for work - I always pop into towns where I'm working to see what it's like and to get a copy of the local paper. I most certainly did not buy a chocolate eclair (ahem), but did pop into a couple of the town's charity shops.

One was St Margaret's Hospice where I bought a lovely Hobbs dress for work.


St Margaret's Hospice is your local charity committed to providing specialist palliative care, advice, support and respite to patients and their families living in Somerset and parts of neighbouring counties. Our care is available for those who have a terminal or life-limiting illness, for example cancer, motor neurone disease and chronic lung disease. In 2010 St. Margaret's celebrated 30 Years of Caring for the people of Somerset.

Through our medical expertise, nursing skills and specialist support services, we offer physical, emotional, social and spiritual care to our patients and their families. Bereavement support is also available.

Our services are also available to patients where our specialist knowledge, skills and expertise will provide relief for their specific illness, such as symptom control, breathlessness management, lymphoedema treatment, physiotherapy and occupational and complementary therapies.



www.somerset-hospice.org.uk/

Thursday, 22nd September; MENCAP

Still mad busy, so only just managed to throw some coins into the collection tin in the Co-op in aid of Mencap.




We work in partnership with people with a learning disability, and all our services support people to live life as they choose.

Mencap is the leading voice of learning disability. Everything we do is about valuing and supporting people with a learning disability, and their families and carers.


www.mencap.org.uk

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Wednesday, 21st September - BEN



Work's just mad at the moment, so another cheat I'm afraid. At least it's for a charity that could do with a lot more recognition!


RAWLINSON IS AWARDED SILVER AWARD FOR SUPPORTING MOTOR CHARITY BEN

Bury Renault dealer Rawlinson has recently been recognised for its 20-year commitment to payroll giving by the automotive charity BEN.

BEN is a 106-year-old charity dedicated to looking after the welfare of automotive workers and their families in times of need. It has a benevolent fund to support anyone who works in the motor industry from forecourts to dealerships. In conjunction with the government and the Institute of Fundraising, it honours dedicated fundraisers with annual presentation.

Jonathan Rawlinson, managing director of Rawlinson, this week received the silver award from Kerry Whitaker, Regional Development Manager for BEN in the East of England and London (North). Rawlinson is one of a select few dealers who have embraced payroll giving and got involved with supporting the charity 20 years ago.

She said: “We’re delighted to present Rawlinson with the Silver Quality Mark Award for payroll-
giving. This is an acknowledgement of the great work and contributions Rawlinson has given BEN in the past and is a recognised government award for companies who are supportive in this area.

“It costs approximately £11million each year for BEN to continue its vital work within our industries, and it’s only thanks to the generosity of our supporters like Rawlinson that we’re able to do so.”

Jonathan Rawlinson, dealer principal at Rawlinson Renault, said: “We’ve been supporting this important charity almost since Rawlinson was started 21 years ago. Through the payroll giving scheme, we’re able to donate regularly to help BEN with their important work in caring for automotive people, and their dependants, in times of need.

“Their work is varied and could be anything from helping with the cost of specialist disabled equipment for an apprentice’s child, giving emotional support through an illness or funding a respite break.

For more information, visit Rawlinson Renault on Easlea Road, call 01284 752999 or click onto www.rawlinson-renault.co.uk. For more information on BEN, click onto www.ben.org.uk

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www.ben.org.uk

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tuesday, 20th September - Spartans FC

Do shout at me if I'm cheating and also if there's a charity close to your heart that you feel I've overlooked.

In another mad busy day, my cheat is to use this press release that I wrote. It's for a charitable football academy which is a focal point for the community in Edinburgh.

Feel free to buy a raffle ticket!!



RENAULT CLIO RAFFLE COULD BE JUST THE TICKET FOR SPARTANS FC!

A brand new Renault Clio, a spa day at Gleneagles and tickets to the Scottish Cup Final are just a taste of the prizes on offer in a fundraising raffle for Spartans Community Football Academy.

The charity provides the community of North Edinburgh with the opportunity to participate in sport and recreational activities and relies on charitable donations to help it run.

The raffle takes place every other year and this year’s top prize of a chic Renault Clio Expression 1.2 three door with metallic paint and a year’s road tax has been provided by Evans Halshaw on Bankhead Avenue, Sighthill, Edinburgh. Tickets are £2 and the club hopes to raise £10,000.

The draw takes place on 20th November at the charity’s fundraising dinner in plenty of time for the winner of the £10,000 Renault Clio to drive away for Christmas.

Craig Graham, Chairman of Spartans FC, said: “The car raffle is a major part of our fund raising activities at the Academy. We are delighted to again have the support of Renault in making it happen. We look forward to using the funds we raise to continue to use football to transform the lives of so many youngsters in North Edinburgh.”

Stuart Morelli, sales manager at Renault dealer Evans Halshaw in Sighthill, said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to supply a prize – what could bring more Va Va Voom than a top prize of a Renault Clio?!

“We’ll also be helping out with decorating the Renault Clio and selling tickets from the dealership. We’re also hoping to take the car to various football games between now and the draw to ensure that as many people as possible have the chance to buy a ticket or two!

“The charity is a fantastic focal point for the local community and is an important part of local youngsters’ lives. They rely significantly on this fundraising drive in order to be able to support the local community.”

For more information, or to buy raffle tickets, visit Evans Halshaw Edinburgh West (0131 450 5300) or click onto www.evanshalshaw.com . For more information on Spartans FC, click onto www.spartanscfa.com/

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Monday, 19th September - Tickled Pink




A busy day, a collection tin and a lot of change - that's today taken care of....


Entering its 15th year, Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign benefits two breast cancer charities – Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign. Since it started, our work has raised over £25 million.


http://charities.asda.com/tickled-pink

Sunday, 18th September - Save the Children



I could not sleep at all last for thinking about Save the CHildren and the 750,000 people that will die of starvation and preventable diseases.

I signed the petition here and sent a postcard to David Cameron ahead of his visit to the UN General Assembly. Please take a moment to sign it. It doesn't cost anything and could save lives.

Thank you.

http://e-activist.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=7&ea.campaign.id=11203&ea.param.extras=tracking:website

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Saturday, 17th September -Save the Children



Thanks to katetakes5.blogspot.com, I had the honour of attending a conference organised by Save the Children. It was hosted at their HQ in Farringdon and brought together leading bloggers, youtubers and other guests to discuss blogging and also find out more about Save the Children's current campaigns and their work in East Africa.

We heard live via phone from a healthworker called Lucy in south Sudan who told great stories about the lives she'd saved and the babies that she'd helped deliver in awful conditions with no infrastructure. A campaigner called Liliesarelike showed her film about her visit to Mozambique where she followed the journey of a vaccine from its creation to being given to a child. She cleverly compared her easy experience with vaccinating her son to the journey of four hours that some mothers make on foot to get vaccination for their children.

There were great tips from established bloggers: www.christinemosler.wordpress.com

www.katetakes5.blogspot.com

www.iamtypecast.com

www.jenography.net

www.nixdminx.com

www.whosthemummy.co.uk

www.sleepisfortheweak.org.uk

www.tchee.co.uk

We then heard from Save the Children's director of emergencies who gave a passionate talk about the situation in East Africa. We all know that things are bad there, but his talk was an eyeopener.

He told us - unbelievably, that 750,000 will die in Somalia if nothing is done. People, and children are dying RIGHT NOW. A worker on the phone from Somalia told us she'd seen two graves being dug for two 6month old baby girls. This is unforgiveable and something must be done.

Please click
here
to help

Thank you. And thank you Save the CHildren.

www.savethechildren.org.uk/

Friday, 16th September; MacMillan Cancer Support

MrM has nearly finished decorating the baby's room, but there's a patch of wall that needs wallpaper which of course is about 20inches bigger than the wallpaper in our possession. This necessitates me trying to find the same wallpaper or another that goes with the weird paint that I chose for that room in the hope that it would look neutral (it doesn't).

So another visit to a soulless DIY store, but at least they had a collection tin for Macmillan Cancer Support which I gladly emptied my wallet into.

One in three of us will get cancer and it’s the toughest fight most of us will ever face. By joining Team Macmillan in a fundraising event you're helping support people and their families living with cancer.

We're the nurses and therapists helping you through treatment. The advisers telling you which benefits you're entitled to. The volunteers giving you a hand with the everyday things. The campaigners pushing for better cancer care. The fundraisers who make it all possible


www.macmillan.org.uk

Thursday, 15th September - Action Medical Research



Another cheat but today was writing a follow up press release for an event which raised money for Action Medical Research. I'm ashamed to say that I'd not heard of this charity before, which is shocking when I read through their history and see how much they've achieved, including; Genetic test for Von Hippel-Lindau disease; finding a gene for cleft lip and palate; pioneering hip replacements; preventing spina bifida with folic acid and the rubella vaccine. The event - a golf day - raised an incredible £13,000.

SUCCESSFUL PETER JAMES GOLF CLASSIC RAISES MONEY FOR ACTION MEDICAL RESEARCH

Although no-one won the keys to the star prize, the second annual Peter James Classic golf tournament raised £13,000 for Action Medical Research.

The event was held last week at Haywards Heath Golf Club and golfers were invited to hit a hole-in-one on the 17th hole

Last year saw the inaugural event raise more than £8,800 for the charity which funds research to improve the health of babies and children. The charity is 60 years old and has been at the forefront of medical breakthroughs such as the development of the UK polio vaccine (the sugar cube vaccine) and pioneering hip replacement surgery.

The event has been made possible by the sponsorship from a number of local businesses and there are competitions for golfers who get “nearest the pin”, “longest drive”, and “nearest the hole in two”.

As part of the fundraising, international author Peter James, who lives locally, is offering the opportunity for a local business in Haywards Heath to feature in his next Detective Inspector Grace novel.

Haywards Heath Renault dealer Dinnages supplied the prize M├ęgane with support from Tozer Insurance. Dinnages Dealer Principal Tom Simpson, said: “We all had a great day and are thrilled that the event raised so much money, with more, to come, for this charity which has done so much for people all over the UK”.

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1. Gill Thomas (Action Medical Research Committee Member), Bob Sansom (Event Organiser) , Sarah Stevenson (AMR Fundraising Area Manager), Tom Simpson (Dinnages), Sarah Baldock (Chairman Haywards Heath and Lindfield Fundraising Committee for AMR)
www.action.org.uk

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wednesday, 14th September - Oxfam



Not the one in my town! I am in the Lowestoft branch where I bought a pile of children's classics such as Paddington, Peter Rabbit and a fabulous 1970s children's cookbook!


Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organisations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.[1] Oxfam works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

The Oxfam International Secretariat leads, facilitates, and supports collaboration between the Oxfam affiliates to increase Oxfam's impact on poverty and injustice through advocacy campaigns, development programmes and emergency response.

Oxfam was originally founded in Oxford in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief by a group of Quakers, social activists, and Oxford academics; this is now Oxfam Great Britain, still based in Oxford, UK. It was one of several local committees formed in support of the National Famine Relief Committee. Their mission was to persuade the British government to allow food relief through the Allied blockade for the starving citizens of Axis-occupied Greece. The first overseas Oxfam was founded in Canada in 1963. The organisation changed its name to its telegraph address, OXFAM, in 1965.



www.oxfam.org.uk

Tuesday, 13th September - Break




Still in the charming town of Fakenham where time seems to have stood still since the 1960s! I wandered into a shop and indulged my weakness for stationery by buying some sort of pretty sketchbook.


Break provides a variety of high quality services to a range of vulnerable children, adults and families, including:

Homes for Children and Young Adults

Supported Holidays and Short Breaks

Assessments for Families in Crisis

Mental Health Services for Women

Mentoring Schemes for Young People

Embrace - Supporting Teenage Parents

Training and Development

Transition Support to Care Leavers


www.break-charity.org/

Monday, 12th September - Salvation Army



Am a bit behind thanks to work, work, work! Today's charity thing was the Salvation Army shop in the town of Fakenham, Norfolk where I dropped off a bag of books while the volunteer behind the counter attempted to make sense of me or the situation! Not sure what it was about my appearance that shocked her so!!



The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its extensive philanthropy and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries.

It was founded in 1865 in the United Kingdom by William Booth and his wife Catherine as the East London Christian Mission with a quasi-military structure. The theology of the Salvation Army is "mainstream Protestant".


www.salvationarmy.org

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunday, 11th September - St Nicolas Tower fund



I can't quite believe that 9/11 was 10 years ago today. MrM and I were actually in NY for the five year anniversary and were incredibly touched by the New York people and their resilience. On the day itself, I was living in Tokyo and had been out after work drinking. I got a text telling me to switch the TV on and could not believe my eyes and had the most pressing urge to fly back to the UK and be with loved ones.

I didn't actually find a 9/11 charity, so today donated to the St Nicolas Church tower fund having just had the fantastic opportunity to climb to the top, stopping near the top to see the 10 bells, before looking over the town from the windy top. The town doesn't actually look too bad from up here....

SAturday, 10th September - George Goes Green



Charity thing today was a donation to St George's Church after an inspiring tour on their project called "George Goes Green".

When the heating system broke down, the church decided to overhaul the whole running of the church to make it as eco friendly as possible; installing solar panels, insulating the roof and making plans to introduce "thermal lobbies"; underfloor heating.

Resulting from a groundswell of local enthusiasm, we have a radical project to retrofit 21st Century renewable energy technologies to an existing community building.

It is an exemplar project that is already inspiring others as they take on the immense challenges of working in an environmentally friendly way with a large, old, community building.



www.georgegoesgreen.org

Friday, 9 September 2011

Friday, 9th September - Cardiac Risk in the Young

Another printer cartridge! Is there any way of watering them down?!

I recycled it for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a charity that raises awareness of heart conditions in young people

CRY's Vision 2011: to work with cardiologists and family doctors to promote and protect the cardiac health of our young by establishing good practice and screening facilities devoted to significantly reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death throughout the UK


www.c-r-y.org.uk/

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thursday, 8th September - The Leprosy Mission



St Nicolas Church in Newbury donates its church hall to a different charity every week so that said charity can raise funds by holding a coffee morning. It's a wonderfully simple, but effective idea that is loved by charities and also coffee morning devotees who seem to flock to the event every Thursday morning!

My minimal contribution today was to buy a couple of biscuits (which I promptly dropped on the floor - grrrr), and the charity involved was the Leprosy Mission. It wasn't until earlier this year that I realised that Leprosy still exists - particularly prevalent in poorer countries. It's an absolutely horrible disease that affects the trunk nerves leading to loss of sensation in the hands and feet, shortened digits, clawed fingers and drop foot.


WHO WE ARE

We are an international Christian development organisation


We focus specifically on leprosy and offer specialist expertise on reconstructive surgery. We treat leprosy complications


We address the fear and stigma associated with having leprosy. Many people suffer in silence because they are too ashamed to find help or do not know where to get help


Our aim is to transform and empower the lives of people affected by leprosy


We work in around 30 countries across Africa, South Asia and East Asia


Our services are provided regardless of religion or ethnicity, promoting equality and social justice



www.leprosymission.org.uk

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wednesday, 7th September - End Malaria Day

After reading Seth Godin's blog, I bought this book in aid of Malaria No More:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1936719282/ref=ox_ya_os_product

Six weeks ago, at midnight, I found myself awake but wiped out from jet lag. I was in a lumpy bed, in the dark, in an obscure, $20 a night, John-Waters'-esque former country club. I was in Kitale, Kenya, near the Ugandan border.

A mosquito was buzzing in my ear. (Why do they buzz in your ear?). I had meds, of course, but what if I didn't? What if, like so many who live here, I had kids and no money for medicine?

Try to imagine that for a second before you click onto the next thing you've got on your agenda for today.

Today is End Malaria Day.

Right this minute, right now, please do three things:
1.Buy two copies of End Malaria, an astonishing new book by more than sixty of your favorite authors. In a minute, I will explain why this might be the most important book you buy this year (not the best book, of course, just the most important one). You should buy one in paperback too so you can evangelize a copy to a colleague.
2.Tweet or like this post, or email it to ten friends (It only takes a second.)
3.And, visit the End Malaria Day website and share it as well.

What would happen if you did that? What would happen if you stepped up and spent a few dollars?

Here's what would happen: someone wouldn't die.

A child wouldn't die from malaria, a disease that causes more childhood death than HIV/AIDS.

It's that direct. Malaria bednets are simple nets that hang over a window or a bed. They're treated with a chemical that mosquitos hate. The mosquitos fly away, they don't bite, people don't get malaria.

Every single penny spent on the Kindle edition goes to Malaria No More, giving them enough money to buy one or two bednets and to deliver them and be sure they're used properly. Low overhead, no graft, no waste. Just effectiveness. And if you buy the beautiful paperback edition, you can easily give it away when you're done and the same $20 donation gets made. None of the authors or anyone at the Domino Project sees your money, there's no ulterior motive, just the fact that a kid won't die.

Wait, there is one ulterior motive: You might be inspired. One of the sixty plus contributors might share a gem or spark an idea.

And I guess there's a second motive: Stepping up feels right. It's a few clicks to buy a book, one you might be able to afford. And for the rest of the day, or even a week, you'll remember how it felt to save someone's life.

Please.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tuesday, 6th September - International Medical Education Trust

Big fan of Mark Thomas here! Having been there when he kidnapped (and eventually beheaded) Margaret Moran's bay tree, I was delighted to see that said MP is going to court for "fiddling her expenses" (ie she spent nearly £25,000 on dry rot treatment on her boyfriend's house which is in Southampton - her constituency was in Luton).

So just had a look to see if he was suitably pleased and see he's doing the London to Paris bike ride in aid of a charity that trains doctors, so I sponsored him.

Look at the state of me. There is a fair chance I will keel over clutching my chest half way through this ride, so even more reason to donate. I am raising cash for the medical charity IMET 2000 who have done amazing work in Gaza and the West Bank of Palestine as well as numerous other impoverished places. They train healthcare workers to the highest standards, so the poorest places have the best doctors! Neat huh?!


IMET 2000 aims to promote inexpensive, continuous and accessible healthcare education and training for all professionals working in the global health sector.

Our goal is to provide a firm foundation for improved services to those suffering from diseases and trauma worldwide, in particular economically deprived societies or areas of violent conflict.

www.imet2000.org
www.justgiving.com/Mark-Thomas8

Monday, 5 September 2011

Monday, 5th September - YMCA



More decluttering! I took in a bag of good stuff to the new YMCA shop (which is one of the best laid out and friendliest in our town) and of course got tempted while I was there, and bought some nice smellies....


The YMCA is the largest and oldest youth charity in the world.

We believe that all young people deserve to have a safe place to live and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The YMCA's vision is of an inclusive Christian Movement, transforming communities so that all young people truly belong, contribute and thrive. Yes, we’re faith-based, but everyone is welcome at the YMCA.

Across 135 YMCAs in England, we offer accommodation and support that enables a young person to live independently, grow, achieve and contribute to their community.

Each YMCA is an independent organisation which provides services tailored to the needs of their local community.

YMCA England

YMCA England supports and represents the 135 YMCAs in England, as well as being a voice for YMCAs and young people on the national stage.

By workng with YMCAs that understand local issues, the YMCA in England meets the real needs of young people, supporting them in a way which is nationally significant and locally relevant.

Find out more about YMCA England and what we do.

Local impact, global reach

But the YMCA is not only working in your town or city. Across our global movement we respond to the needs of young people around the world.

From its humble beginnings in the City of London in 1844, the YMCA has grown to become a worldwide organisation reaching around 45 million members in 125 countries.

Based in England, Y Care International is the YMCA’s international relief and development agency, working in partnership with YMCAs across the developing world to respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged young people.

YMCA England facilitates the Global Link scheme, encouraging YMCAs in England to partner and support YMCAs from around the world through joint partnerships, programmes and projects. You can read about the experience of YMCAs in the Global Link blog.

We work with young men and women regardless of race, religion or culture and are transforming their lives in every corner of the world.



www.ymca.org.uk

Sunday, 4th September - Teenage Cancer Trust

More decorating today and frustratingly, we ran out of paint, just as we were finishing one of the rooms, so a quick visit to the retail park and a donation tin next to the till. Job done! Now for the painting!!


We know how damaging it is to take a young person away from their everyday life, their friends, their environment, their family – and put them in a cancer ward with small children or older people.

Young people have a much better chance in their fight against cancer if they are treated by teenage cancer experts, in an environment tailored to their needs. So we’re working every day to make that happen.

Building specialist units

We don’t believe that teenagers should have to stop being teenagers, just because they have cancer. So we fund and build specialist units for young people in NHS hospitals. Our units bring teenagers with cancer together with loads of new friends of their own age so they can support each other.

Alongside all of this is a medical team of teenage cancer specialists who pool knowledge to create a body of expertise that’s second to none. They’re backed up by our Nurse Consultants who provide clinical care, develop research, deliver professional education and ensure that standards remain as high as possible.

Teenage Cancer Trust units aren’t like ordinary cancer wards. Everything about them has been designed to give teenagers the very best chance of a positive outcome. We want every young person with cancer in this country to have that chance.

Our aim

Teenage Cancer Trust aims to ensure that every young person with cancer and their family receive the best possible care and professional support throughout their cancer journey.


www.teenagecancertrust.org/

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Saturday, 3rd September - West Berkshire Foster Carers Association

I dragged MrM to a boot sale with me today as he's quite good at letting me know when he thinks I'm about to buy something disastrous. Indeed, this talent was called into action this morning when I decided that what we needed in life was a Des O'Connor LP.

More sensibly, I bought some baby clothes from the West Berkshire Foster Carers Association which raises money to help foster carers.

The West Berkshire Foster Carers Association - Helping us Helping You Help Young People

Our existing foster carers have the kind of knowledge and experience that anyone considering fostering would want to access ... and that is exactly what the West Berkshire Foster Carers Association provide.



Since its formation in early 2005 the West Berkshire Foster Carers Association (affiliated to The Fostering Network) has assisted the Family Placement Team in its recruitment activities, including participating in our popular information evenings for people enquiring about becoming carers.

By talking to the carers direct you have the opportunity to really understand how it works in real life with all its ups and downs. Straight talking and with a wealth of experience our carers provide an ongoing support network between themselves that both adds to and directs our efforts.

By taking new carers under their wing, to ensure you always have the ability to speak to someone who's "been there and done that", they build your confidence in the role and help you develop your abilities further and faster.



www.children1stwestberkshire.co.uk/

Friday, 2nd September - Lifeboat appeal

A former colleague took off to Australia a few years ago and he was back in the old country, so last night we met up so he could show off his tan and his weird new accent.

It was great to see him, and just by chance we ended up in the restaurant where we held his leaving do! The restaurant was Loch Fyne in Beaconsfield who had a collection tin for their chosen charity which was the Lifeboat Appeal.

We are pleased to announce the launch of a special partnership with the RNLI. We aim to raise enough money through our charity appeal to build a 'Loch Fyne' lifeboat - an Atlantic 85 rib complete with the latest GPS system.

Last year the RNLI lifeboats made over 8,000 rescues (the RNLI lifeguards assisted a further 10,000 people). There are 232 lifeboat stations around the UK - all run purely through voluntary donations and legacies and manned, in the main, by volunteer lifeboat men and women


www.lochfyne.com/lifeboatappeal/

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Thursday, 1st September - NCT

What's that, September???? Can't be!!

Anyway, last night, MrM and I went made a donation to an eyeopening NCT event - very useful!

Pregnancy is an exciting time with lots of changes in your life. There are plenty of things for you to think about and decisions that you should make. NCT provides you with the best information possible to make your own decisions that you are comfortable with and to give you the confidence to make the transition to parenthood.


www.nct.org.uk