Tag Archives: Christmas

Charities join forces to change the lives of homeless people and their pets

Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, and Mayhew, leading animal welfare charity for dogs, have launched a joint Christmas gift campaign that will help homeless people and their dogs access vital services, health and wellbeing checks, and warming food and supplies.

Crisis logoHomelessness is devastating, and a dog can be the only companion for someone who doesn’t have a place to call home. Crisis and Mayhew have been working together for 11 years to bring warmth and support to homeless people and their dogs. This year, the two charities have collaborated on an extra special initiative – a range of four virtual gifts designed to make a real difference to vulnerable owners and their pets.

Supporters can choose to donate £5, £10, £15 or £20 and, with proceeds split equally between Crisis and Mayhew, can help both charities fund much needed items and services for homeless people and their dogs. A few examples range from providing a cup of tea and a canine health check to a warm coat and help accessing a practical skills course.

Mayhew logoFunds raised could help provide homeless people with advice, food and warmth at Crisis at Christmas, and help them leave homelessness behind through Crisis’ year-round support with housing, employment and health. It could make a real difference to projects like Mayhew’s Pet Refuge programme, which provides shelter and care for the pets of people going through a crisis period. This is a lifeline for owners and enables them to access vital services, many of which are proffered through charities like Crisis who provide comprehensive support with housing, employment and health.

Through this new joint initiative, Mayhew and Crisis hope to help even more vulnerable owners and animals this Christmas and beyond, and make a real difference to the ongoing lives of homeless people and their dogs.

Richard Lee, director of fundraising at Crisis, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Mayhew this Christmas to ensure our homeless guests and their dogs receive the support they need. Homelessness can be a devastating experience at any time of year, but it can be particularly hard at this time of year. That’s why Crisis at Christmas is so important – as well as food, warmth and vital services like those provided by Mayhew, our guests will be introduced to our year-round services that help thousands leave homelessness behind for good each year.”

Mayhew CEO Caroline Yates said: “Homelessness is devastating, and for many in such a situation, a dog is their best friend and the only source of comfort they have. The expense of food and vet care puts an extra burden on someone already in a vulnerable situation, so we are thrilled to have teamed up with Crisis to give people a way to help us both provide necessary items and services to those in need. Helping people and helping animals come hand in hand, especially at Christmas.”

To see the virtual gifts and to make a donation, click here.

Baaah! Humbug! When Christmas gets your goat, put some ‘music’ on!

ActionAid Goats AlbumAn entire album of Christmas songs sung by GOATS is going viral, as people around the world download their favourite classics sung with a twist.  

‘All I want for Christmas is a Goat’ is a new album developed by ActionAid in Sweden and consists of eight festive anthems including Jingle Bells, Silent Night and White Christmas.

Free to download on Spotify and YouTube, the album has hit headlines globally and hopes to do the same in the UK in the lead up to the battle for Christmas number one.

So far, the most played goat anthem is well-known Christmas favourite Holy Night, with over 300,000 views on YouTube alone. ActionAid is “baah-cking” the single for Christmas Number One, but the big question is, can it “bleat” the X Factor?

Jessica Holland, ActionAid’s Head of Brand, Marketing and PR, says: “If you’re going to listen to one Christmas album this year – this is it. We’ve worked with the top “goat talent” from Sweden to take on some of the most iconic Christmas songs.

“This is the Christmas album with a difference. Behind the bleats, baaahs and goat cries we are raising awareness of ActionAid’s work fighting poverty worldwide and the positive impact that goats can have on the lives of some of the world’s poorest families.

“For women and children living in poverty, every day is a constant struggle for survival. ActionAid provides hands-on, lasting solutions to help change lives for good.

“Our Gifts in Action scheme could provide a goat to women in some of the poorest communities in the world. Their milk helps nourish that family and the remainder is sold. When kids are born, some are kept to grow the herd. Others are sold so the family can buy tools and seeds. This is a charity gift that keeps on giving.”

Learn more about ActionAid’s Gifts in Action here and listen to the entire album on YouTube.

Charity toy collection at Bolton laser clinic

Laserase Bolton logoLaserase Bolton is  taking part in Bolton’s Big Christmas Toy Appeal and is collecting toys for local children and young people.

The appeal, which for many years was called the Caring Christmas Appeal, has been rebranded and Bolton Lions, the charity running the appeal in partnership with The Bolton News, has joined forces with Bolton at Home, Urban Outreach and Bolton Lads and Girls Club, to promote one large appeal with the aim of providing 2,000 children with toys this Christmas.

Julie Kershaw, Clinic Manager at Laserase Bolton, said: “We’re pleased to be a collection point for Bolton’s Big Christmas Toy Appeal and we’d urge local people to drop off as many unwanted toys as possible at our clinic on the Royal Bolton Hospital site. We’re sure that our generous customers and staff will help us exceed last year’s donations and provide even more toys for children in Bolton.”

John Crompton, Treasurer of Bolton Lions, said: “We really appreciate the support Laserase Bolton has given us in the past collecting toys for the appeal and we’re hoping that we will have a record year this year. The toys that are collected go to needy children in the Bolton area and, although we are looking for toys to be donated for children of all ages, gifts for the 12 to 16 age range are particularly welcome.”

People can drop off toys at Laserase Bolton during office hours and late nights on Tuesdays until 9pm and Thursdays until 8pm. Laserase will also be open for toy collection from 10am – 2pm on Saturday 5th December and 12th December, as well as Sunday 6th December.

For more information call Laserase Bolton on 01204 570900 or email admin@laserase-bolton.co.uk.

How to avoid a festive fall-out!

Family Lives logoA charity is bracing itself for an increase in calls to its helpline over the Christmas period and is offering tips on how to avoid a festive fall-out.

Between November 1 2013 and January 15 2014, Family Lives said its helpline received 2,730 calls regarding stress and 4,506 on emotional and mental health as well as dozens concerning financial difficulties.

Suzie Hayman, relationship counsellor and Family Lives trustee, said: “Every season, especially Christmas, new toys and gadgets come on to the market and many children and young people want to get their hands on them.

“It can be difficult for parents to know how to respond to a child who wants everything. Although it doesn’t feel like it at times, you as the parent are the most valuable resource for your child and any creative time you spend together is worth far more than anything you buy.

“It can feel good to spoil your child with expensive gifts but cost is a great consideration for most parents. Your child may feel it a greater treat for you to promise some ‘together’ time with them.”

Family Lives’ tips on how to have a successful Christmas include:

  • Get together and write a list of what everyone wants to do. With older children, discuss family time and time with friends so you get a happy balance.
  • Don’t try to do everything yourself – make a list of jobs which need to be done and allocate them between family or other guests that are invited.
  • Set a realistic budget for presents and food, and keep to this as best you can. If a child wants something beyond budget, speak to them and explain why they cannot have it.
  • If you are separated and not spending Christmas with your children, consider arranging to have your own special occasion when they return.
  • Don’t try to keep everyone happy all the time. Schedule in some time to recharge your own batteries – if you’re well rested, you’ll be able to enjoy it more.
  • And set aside some time to go out for a walk and get some fresh air.

Families requiring support over the Christmas period can call Family Lives’ free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222, or email parentsupport@familylives.org.uk for a personalised reply within three days.

You can view a video with tips from Suzie Hayman on how to ensure a happy Christmas here.

Sponsor a mile of National Cycle Network

Sponsor Your MilePeople are being offered the chance to sponsor a mile of the National Cycle Network as a gift for their friends and family this Christmas.

The initiative has been launched by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and allows supporters to sponsor any of the network’s 14,000 miles.

As well as receiving a personalised certificate, fridge magnet and regular updates, supporters will get a Christmas message and an image of their mile.

Funds raised will help the charity maintain hundreds of miles of the network, which was used by 4.8 million people in 2013.

Julian Hall, director of fundraising at Sustrans, said: “The National Cycle Network is enjoyed by millions each year and many people have a favourite mile – whether it’s somewhere they have enjoyed walking or cycling with loved ones or somewhere that is particularly scenic.

“Sponsor A Mile allows people to buy a unique gift for someone which in turn will help the charity maintain routes for years to come.”

Sponsor A Mile costs £30. To find out more, click here.