351. Supporting Hampshire County Youth Orchestra… 352. Supporting Streetsmart


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351. As we pottered around yesterday there were numerous buskers and musical groups playing carols, one of these was the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra. Despite the large crowd very few people were making a donation, so we stopped and made one. http://www.hcyo.co.uk/

352.We visited Winchester’s Christmas Markets and then went to the Chesil Rectory, for dinner. The Chesil Rectory are taking part in Streetsmart.

A pretty straightforward idea: participating restaurants add a voluntary £1 donation to your bill. 100% of this money goes to local homeless charities. This campaign runs during November and December.

Last year they raised £610,000.

To find a participating restaurant visit the website: http://www.streetsmart.org.uk/


349. Why is giving blood or platelets so important?


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Apparently at this time of year when people are so busy partying and visiting different places they often forget to donate blood. So I’m here to remind you all! :-)

  • Last year apparently 1 in 5 donors missed appointments…
  • Every time you give blood you can help save or improve the lives of up to 3 people.
  • Hospitals in England & North Wales need over 6100 blood donations and 330 platelet donations for patients every day.

I’ve created an e-card and shared it on facebook to help remind people of the need for blood.

348. Picking the right dish! Supporting UMEED


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At the weekend I went out for a meal and as I scanned the menu I noticed that some of the dishes included a donation to charity when you ordered them – checking for this is now becoming a habit.

The Umeed charity, registered in India, benefited from our purchase and the donation will be used to support a project which offers opportunities for empowerment of communities in Sangpur district of Punjab in India – www.umeedonline.com

NGO India

347. Protesting against injustice


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Five Papuan teenagers have been shot dead by the security forces during a protest.

For decades West Papua’s tribal people have been killed, raped, arrested and tortured by Indonesian soldiers and police. The government in Jakarta has done nothing to stop them.

There are 65 West Papuan political prisoners behind bars, many are incarcerated merely for raising the West Papuan flag or for peacefully calling for independence. These ‘offences’ can result in 15 years in prison.

Indonesia’s new President has promised to enter into dialogue with the Papuan people and to move away from a military solution to the region’s problems. His response to the teenager’s deaths will be a test of this resolve.

I’ve e-mailed President Widodo, urging him investigate the shooting of the five teenagers and to ensure that the killers are brought to justice. I’ve also asked for an end to human rights violations in the region and asked him to enter into dialogue with the Papuan people to resolve the problems.

346. Ending extreme inequality


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It’s not news to me that there is extreme inequality in the world between those who have and those who have not.

Together, we can end extreme inequality

We can even things up if we all demand that governments across the world make the right economic and political decisions.

  • We can change the rules on tax to make sure the richest pay their fair share.

  • We can demand more spending on public health and education to give poor people a fighting chance.

  • We can demand fair wages for everyone.

  • We can make sure the poorest people have a voice, and that it is heard by those in power.

This is Oxfam’s ‘Even it Up’ campaign: a worldwide push to get inequality to the top of governments’ agendas and spread the word…. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/find-an-action/even-it-up

I’ve signed up. Will you?

345. Giving homeless young people a future


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Centrepoint provide young people with warm, safe rooms, as well as counselling, advice and direction to help them overcome abuse or trauma.

They also provide training and teaching to give young people the opportunity to find work or education and give them the basic life skills they need in order to achieve independence.

You can sponsor a room or make a one-off donation… http://centrepoint.org.uk/

At this time of year I can’t help noticing how lucky I am, I know not everyone will be enjoying the things I take for granted.

344. Happy Christmas Shopping!


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If you’re as sick of crowds of Christmas shoppers as I am, you may be finding it difficult to spread Christmas Cheer as you go about your business.

Today having been aggravated hugely by people moaning at me – after they walked in to me – and generally being inconsiderate. I held a door open for someone and smiled, lo and behold they insisted I walk through the door first: my faith in mankind was restored! That’s my random act of kindness for the day done and actually it improved my shopping experience too.

Try and spread a little Christmas cheer in all the craziness! :-)

343. How can you help a fennec fox?


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This was a question I started asking myself yesterday. Fennec foxes are unbelievably cute little creatures that live in the Sahara desert. My interest in them was sparked after seeing this image at the Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibition yesterday.

Unfortunately, as with most living species, fennec fox populations are at risk. They are not only suffering from loss of habitat, but they are also hunted by the people of the Sahara, making them rare in parts of Northwestern Africa.

However, they are of no threat to people and their livestock. In fact, fennec foxes are important small hunters helping to control the populations of several pests, including rodents and locusts. The over-population of rodents poses a direct threat to the environment and agricultural crops. Consequently, fennec foxes, and other small carnivores are extremely important to the balance of many ecosystems.

Sadly there seems to be little knowledge of or effort to protect these creatures…

Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers, that currently looks after some fennec foxes. http://crittercamp.weebly.com/ I’ve made a donation to help them keep looking after these and other unusual creatures that are in need of care.


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