Instead of Christmas cards this year we have devised our own Charity Advent Calendar - we will be making a donation each day to a charity close to our hearts
Kicking off with a local one - Dandelion Time - restoring hope to young lives - the charity gives children and families time and space to love and trust again; time to heal from emotional trauma and abuse; time to rebuild confidence and strengthen relationships; and time to develop skills and aspirations for a brighter future
Microloan enables some of the world’s poorest people to work their own way out of poverty by providing training and microloans to help them start successful businesses to build independence and financial resilience.
The Pumping Marvellous Foundation (PMF) is the UK’s patient led Heart Failure charity. It was founded by a heart failure patient whose experiences whilst rehabilitating have shaped the Foundation’s goals and principles of a patient-centric charity focused on improved patient outcomes.
Kenward Trust help those affected by addiction, homelessness and crime. Their work spans from sessions in schools delivering early education and interventions, through to residential rehabilitation and providing support to those resettling back into the community.
Bendrigg Trust provides adventure residential courses for disabled & disadvantaged people throughout the UK. They provide a range of adventurous activities, led by highly qualified & experienced tutors, for all ages and abilities. They are constantly developing their equipment, grounds and facilities, to ensure that everyone can access everything they would like to.
SOS Children's Villages - With children's villages in some of the poorest countries in the world, SOS help every child grow up with the love and support of a family. They support children separated from their families or at risk of separation from them. They believe that children deserve more than just survival. They have a right to grow up in a safe and caring family. Their goal is to ensure that no child grows up alone.
We also make a regular donation to support twin boys in Lesotho and a girl in India
Orbis UK is an affiliate of Orbis International, a global charity that brings people together to fight avoidable blindness. With their network of partners they mentor, train and inspire local teams to fight blindness in their own communities. They believe that no one should live a life of unnecessary blindness, simply because of where they were born.
Toilet and Tap twinning - Without proper toilets and clean water, people are trapped in a vicious cycle. Water and sanitation projects enable families to build a toilet, have access to clean water, and to learn about handwashing and other hygiene principles.
We currently have both a toilet twinned with one in Indonesia and tap a twinned with one in Ethiopia.
Greater Change - Fund a person’s path out of homelessness - together they help individuals to overcome homelessness by providing the help and support to people to achieve their "business plan" to financial security
Mercy Ships - Worldwide, 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable, timely surgery. Many of them live in developing countries where healthcare infrastructure is limited or nonexistent, or where there’s a shortage of trained healthcare providers. Fortunately, more than 44% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of a coast — which is why Mercy Ships uses modern hospital ships to bring world-class volunteer medical professionals directly to the places they’re needed most.
Tommy’s is committed to saving babies’ lives funding pioneering research and support for families through every part of the pregnancy journey. They offer a wide range of resources, tools and services for families who experience baby loss or premature birth. They are passionate about breaking the stigma that surrounds miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, termination for medical reasons and neonatal loss and share the stories of those who can sometimes feel silenced by society.
Live UTI Free - Recurrent UTIs affect millions of women, but the right information can lead to better testing and a permanent solution. Find the cause, find the cure.
Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex is the organisation providing emergency medical services through the provision of a helicopter air ambulance covering the South East Coast Ambulance Service area.
Crisis at Christmas - Crisis UK - No one should be homeless and alone this Christmas - all donations go towards giving someone experiencing homelessness access to a safe place to stay, hot meals and a Christmas dinner; companionship from volunteer befrienders; year-round support including training and education
Period Poverty UK - working to provide sanitary pads to women and girls who can’t afford them or can’t access them, both in the UK and globally.
Migrant Help exists to protect people affected by displacement and exploitation, helping them thrive as individuals and recover from their trauma. They support those most in need and least likely to find support elsewhere, whilst aiming to bridge community gaps and bring services and support together.
The Gaia Foundation work to revive bio-cultural diversity, to regenerate healthy ecosystems and to strengthen community self-governance for climate change resilience. With a base in north London, they work all over the world and apply a holistic approach to addressing the root causes of our converging crises, triggered by the industrial growth society.
The StandOut Programme - People leaving prison need the best possible chance to rebuild their lives if they are to move out of the justice system for good. For many people, key to achieving that is long-term holistic support through a relationship based on trust. StandOut delivers intensive group programmes inside prison followed by 1:1 individually-tailored support after release for as long as required.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People train dogs to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds they would otherwise miss – sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference to deaf people’s lives, and can even save them.
So far we have sponsored Leo who is now qualified to help a deaf person and we are currently supporting Rico through his training.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focussed on beating MND. We improve care and support for people with MND, their families and carers. We fund and promote research that leads to new understanding and treatments, and brings us closer to a cure for MND.
Cancer Support UK Christmas Bear Drop - A special festive initiative to deliver warmable cuddly bears to a child with cancer in hospital or a hospice this Christmas. So far over 1500 bears have been supplied to hospitals around the country
Today, we complete the calendar with our own personal choices:
Esme - One Woman at a Time envision a world without gender based violence, in particular FGM, forced marriage & honour violence. Their focus is to empower, uplift and present equal opportunities for women.
Kathy - Parenting Mental Health is run by parents for parents with children suffering from mental health issue. They understand how hard it is to parent a child with a mental health condition and work to help you to make sense of this time and give you the tools and support to get you and your family through it.
Rebecca - Greater Change supports homeless people who, with some funding, can make a long-term positive change. Michael F is currently selling the Big Issue and is seeking funding to help him set up his own business - Greater Change provides him with a much-needed platform to seek this support.
Deborah - Find your Feet - Working with families in remote areas of Asia and Africa to build a future free from poverty. The charity provides women with skills to start small businesses to enable them to support their family; trains communities in sustainable agricultural interventions and empowers tribal communities to stand up for their rights and fight social injustice.
Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous, healthy and happy New Year to you all!