Sunday, 19 February 2012


No matter how much we drink, WE DO NOT NEED 32 wine glasses. I took a handful of them to the YMCA on Saturday along with a bunch of CDs and toiletries. I feel good about donating stuff to this lovely shop and I can open one of the kitchen cupboards without worrying that I am going to sustain some sort of glass injury.

As I got pregnant last year just after starting my "charity a day" challenge, I never got to do the more exciting type of fundraisers that I had planned, so this event below looks like something I might consider for 2012:

What is the YMCA Sleep Easy?
Sleep Easy is a YMCA fundraising initiative raising money to help change the lives of vulnerable young people.

The aim is simple: Spend a night sleeping rough to highlight the issue of youth homelessness and raise vital funds to support the work of your local YMCA. Your money goes directly to the local YMCA projects, impacting your community and helping young people in your town build a future.

Taking part
The 2012 YMCA Sleep Easy events will take place up and down the country from the last weekend of January to the first weekend of March. Being part of a YMCA Sleep Easy couldn't be easier and there are many ways you can.

Enter as an individual. Go it alone and prove yourself with your own online fundraising page.Enter as a group. You can sign up as a team so get your friends, family or work colleagues on board too.Join a group. Joining a group is easy! All you need is the Group Leader's name or the group name.Find an event near you and sign up to take part
Why we need your help
Amazing things happen at the YMCA. Your local YMCA helps vulnerable young people in your community to overcome many of the worst sorts of obstacles in life. The YMCA in your area will be running many projects that tackle homelessness, offer family support, provide health and fitness and education and skills courses; all of which go towards our vision of happy, inclusive communities where all young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

Over the last two years, hundreds of people slept rough to highlight the issue of youth homelessness and raise vital funds for the YMCA's work with young people. Join us this year and help young people build a future.

Contact us
Please contact YMCA England’s Fundraising Development Manager, Linda McCaugheyThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information about how your YMCA can organise a Sleep Easy event.


Sleep Easy Fundraising
Raise as much as you can to support your local YMCA projects. Every penny matters!

Online fundraising page
When you sign up, we will automatically create an online fundraising page for you to collect sponsorship. Simply email or share it with everyone you know and ask for their support. You can personalise the page with a message, photo and video clip to inspire peoples generosity.

Fundraising tips
Set yourself a fundraising target and break it down into small amounts. For example, if your target is £250, you could:
Ask for £10 from your 5 closest friends and relatives.
Ask for £5 from your 10 best known colleagues.
Ask for £2.50 from your 20 next best known friends or colleagues.
Write to 2 local companies and ask for a donation of £25.
Put all your change in a tin, or give something up and save the money you would have spent.
Keep your sponsor form with you at all times and pass it round to everyone you meet.
Make sure that everyone at work knows that you will be taking part in Sleep Easy to raise funds for disadvantaged, vulnerable and homeless young people. Let them know by email, phone, fax, poster in the common room, company newsletter, intranet

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Abuse of the Gift Aid scheme

What a lovely guy eh? Just think what could have been done with that money....

An accountant to Wayne Rooney and Jeremy Paxman, who taunted the taxman by recording a version of "I Will Survive" boasting of his greed, has been jailed for 18 months over a £70m tax fraud which he masterminded at the expense of charities.

David Perrin, 47, a former HMRC official, exploited the Gift Aid scheme to help 600 wealthy clients offset their 40 per cent higher tax rate and take a slice of the profits himself. The colourful accountant spent his share of the £4.55m proceeds from the scam on exotic holidays, sports cars, works of art and expensive houses.

Dannie's readathon

I made such a mess of Dannie's 12 hour readathon that I forgot to post!!

This is what I wanted to read:

But we had visitors, I seem to be constantly feeding the baby (and I am a complete slacker) - this is what I actually read:

But still. The "how to be a happy mum" is really good and it looks like Dannie has raised about £200 for CLIC Sargent and also encouraged people to dust off their old tomes!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012


Hi Jen!
Thanks for your comment on the Vinnie Jones post - I've had "Nelly the Elephant" stuck in my head ever since!

Your blog is fab -I've spent hours reading through and consider it time well wasted!

Look forward to reading more!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

British Heart Foundation

It's interesting to note that the teaching of CPR has changed slightly and that the British Heart Foundation has been pushing this very strong message to help people remember what to do in an emergency. I know I wouldn't feel confident if I were in this situation, so this is a great idea:

Originally there was meant to be another charity at this morning's coffee morning, but they cancelled and the British Heart Foundation stepped in at the last minute making my charity thing for today buying a strip of tickets for the tombola.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

ChIldren's Hope Foundation

Bit boring, but just coins in a collection tin for a man collecting outside Smiths for the CHildren's Hope FOundation.

Children's Hope Foundation is a young growing charity whose aim is to improve the quality of life for children and young people affected by illness, disability or poverty by meeting, within our power,their social and medical needs.

With recommendations from, family members, medical facilities, community-based organizations as well as other charities, in the Untied Kingdom, we will always try respond in a practical way to the needs of the children hardest hit by their situation.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


A very reasonable 50p in the pot for this week's NCT Bumps and Babes group, which reminds me that I have signed up for the forthcoming Nearly new sale! It means there may possibly be an end in sight for the piles of baby stuff that is already too small and is currently adorning my dining room floor!

If you live locally and fancy buying some of my 0-3 month old clothes and toys, as well as the other good stuff on offer, the details are these:

Sunday 11th March from 11.15 at Kennet School Stoney Lane Thatcham RG19 4LL

Sunday, 5 February 2012

This week's theme on Channel 4's "4thought" slot is "What's the point of charity?"

Despite economic hard times the Government has announced that Britain will increase annual foreign aid to £12 billion by 2014. According to one recent survey, over 43% of British taxpayers would scrap the international aid budget completely.


And the declutter continues... I think I may have been reading this thread too avidly and its challenge of finding 100 items has appealed to my competitive nature:

So another bag to the YMCA - more clothes and books. One day we will see the floor in this house...

We give young people the support they need to make a fresh start in life.

The type of help we offer varies from community to community, but our aim is always the same; to provide services that enable young people to grow and develop in every aspect of their lives.

YMCA youth workers are qualified and dedicated professionals who work to ensure that every young person feels they have a place to belong, where their voice can be heard and where they are valued and respected. We help young people develop essential social, personal and vocational skills.


The clear out continues! Just how much stuff do I have?! More books (mostly sporting biographies and football books from my teenage years) and clothes to the Tenovus charity shop in Cheap STreet, Sherborne.

At Tenovus our aims are simple: to help prevent, treat and find a cure for cancer.

In doing that we offer support, advice and treatment for cancer patients, information on cancer prevention and funding for research to improve the outcomes for people with cancer.

We do this where it is needed most - right at the heart of the community.

our vision:
We want a future where

fewer people get cancer everyone with cancer will have equal access to excellent treatment and support

our mission:
We will work in partnership to deliver innovative research-led cancer prevention, treatment and support in the community to people with the greatest need, initially in Wales.

our aims:
To deliver this vision, we have agreed a set of 4 strategic aims for the organisation for the next five years. They are:

aim 1 To provide treatment to cancer patients closer to home.

aim 2 To improve equity of access to cancer services.

aim 3 To deliver unique support services to cancer patients and their families.

aim 4 To conduct and fund research to improve cancer outcomes and experience