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Charity Updates

The school summer holidays should mean fun and freedom, but for many families it’s a period of stress and worry as they struggle to make ends meet, balancing the additional childcare needs, activities, and food costs necessary when school is out.
Aiming to provide support to these children and families are In Kind Direct, and Save the Children, partnering for the third consecutive year. Working alongside a range of other organisations, In Kind Direct and Save the Children’s Summer of Play programme will help to provide children with the products, activities, and ideas they need to be happy, healthy, and alive this summer, and go back to school ready to learn.
In Kind Direct works with numerous corporate partners who donate products for the charity to distribute to its network of over 6,000 UK charitable organisations, as well as hosting free and low-cost activities on its website to help kids entertained.
Save the Children will be providing grant funding to 33 local community partners to organise summer activities for families on low incomes. Last summer, this funding benefitted over 6,000 children across the UK. 
Parents told the two organisations that, sadly, they felt embarrassed and ashamed that their children had to go without and were cutting back on food themselves to try and provide for their children over the summer.
“The number of children growing in poverty has risen to 4.3 million, or nine in a classroom of 30,” says Gavin Benn, head of community investment at Save the Children.
“During the summer, this means that some children who should be having fun are struggling – because parents can’t afford to provide breakfast or the financial stress they’re under, takes its toll on their kids, however much they might try to shield them from it.
“The Summer of Play programme emphasises the importance of accessible and affordable summer activities in local communities, ensuring all children have memorable and engaging summer experiences.”
Together, the two charities are encouraging charitable organisations to sign up to In Kind Direct’s network to access the products they need to give children and families a Summer of Play. So if you’re a charitable organisation supporting children and families this summer and need access to arts and crafts, toys and books, contact In Kind Direct for support.

Make 2nds Count has reached a significant milestone with its Patient Trails Advocate (PTA) service and has so far supported 500 secondary breast cancer patients across the UK.
The charity, dedicated to raising awareness and funding research for secondary breast cancer, has benefitted from a generous grant of £79,434 from Walk the Walk charity, organiser of the well-known MoonWalk London and MoonWalk Scotland fundraising events.

These funds will be used to finance the full initiative for the next nine months to a year, demonstrating the collective effort to make a meaningful impact in the lives of secondary breast cancer patients. Nina Barough CBE, founder and chief executive Walk the Walk said: “collaborating, charities can make such a huge difference to so many people, and we are incredibly proud to be supporting Make 2nds Counts  and what they achieve in raising awareness and funding research for secondary breast cancer.

“This funding will specifically contribute towards the charity’s ground-breaking Patient Trails Advocate service. This much-needed service is designed to bring together women with breast cancer who might not otherwise have had access to clinical trials, and for many of whom this is the last resort of treatment.”

Make 2nds Count’s PTA service is the first of its kind in the UK, offering fresh hope to patients by connecting them with clinical trials that have the potential to improve outcomes and extend life.

Since its pilot launch in 2021, the PTA service has provided support to over 500 patients, with a remarkable 100% endorsement from those who have experienced the initiative. Furthermore, 95% of patients expressed their willingness to engage in  discussions with their clinicians about the possibility of accessing clinical trials.

One such patient is Margaret Irvine, who was diagnosed eight years ago with secondary (metastatic) breast cancer after an original diagnosis of primary breast cancer nine years before that. A trained district nurse, she says, “Access to the service has given me new hope and support, as wells as a new way of opening discussions with my treatment team and allowing myself and others as patients to have more control of the journey we are on. This is the main reason I decided to share my experience with others too.”

Vivienne Wilson, a senior research nurse with the PTA service, said, “I’ve been working with Make 2nds Count for over two years now, and I think this service really is one-of-a-kind. I enjoy the opportunity to talk to many secondary breast cancer patients, sharing my knowledge on available trials and guiding them to explore their options.”

Secondary breast cancer, also known as metastatic, advanced, or stage IV breast cancer, claims the lives of 1,000 women in the UK each month and is currently affecting 61,000 people, yet it remains a relatively unknown and underrepresented area of research.
Make 2nds Count is dedicated to continuing its mission, ensuring that every patient with secondary breast cancer. If you are a secondary breast cancer patient who may be interested in clinical trials and the PTA service, click here. 

By Laura Gelder, Editor of Charitable Travel Magazine

I can’t stop thinking about Sarah Everard and I haven’t been able to since I found out that she went missing while walking home in south London. I don’t know Sarah but the last sighting of her was on Poynders Road, about 200 metres from the flat I lived in for six years.

When Sarah seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth it haunted me. She was walking along a road I’ve walked hundreds of times, alone and at night on my way back from work or seeing friends, just like she was. And it’s not just any road, it’s the south circular – a busy main artery through south London.

How can she just disappear? I kept asking this question. My boyfriend, though also saddened by the news, wondered why I was so very distressed. “Bad things happen to good people all the time,” he rightly pointed out. But this, I explained to him, is every woman’s deepest fear come true. And when you see pictures of forensics people in white suits combing pavements you walked over so often you knew each crack, police officers examining bins metres from your old doorstep, divers searching ponds you sunbathed next to at the weekend and a police cordon stretching from the road your doctor’s surgery was on to the road you used on your daily commute, it feels horrifyingly real.

For people who don’t know the area they might see it as scary London, built-up and with danger and dodgy people lurking around every corner, but I see it as home. If I close my eyes I can walk that stretch of road in my mind now and recall all the details of it. The tatty houses and the nice ones, the bus stops, the police station – yes, she would have passed that just before she was abducted.

I remember, so vividly, walking that route at night, perhaps with a few glasses of wine inside me, but always aware of the potential dangers of being a lone female – as I would be anywhere. Sometimes I would run the last bit of my journey, not on Poynders Road where the constant traffic made me feel relatively safe, but as I turned off the south circular – just where Sarah was last seen – into the quieter road that led to my front door. Usually this wasn’t for any reason other than caution, but sometimes I was shaken by a sudden paranoia when I realised it was particularly quiet or saw a lone man in my vicinity.

I can’t stop thinking about the time a man followed me on Cavendish Road (just off Poynders Road), his footsteps closing in on me just as I walked through the darkest stretch where street lamps were absent. As I wheeled around to face him he asked me for a lighter. Having politely explained that I didn’t smoke and making it clear that that I didn’t want to stop and chat, I crossed the road and he called me a ‘f**king bitch’ as I walked away, praying I would meet people coming from the other direction.

Of course that wasn’t the only incident. On the same road, in broad daylight, a man curb crawled me in his sports car, offering unwanted comments on my body. On a very dark night, metres from my front door in another part of London, I passed a man who said lasciviously, “sexy dungarees,” two words that left me dumbstruck with terror and later caused me to chastise myself for not sticking to the main road, although that would have tripled the 200-metre distance from the train station and meant I walked through a badly lit estate where a gang operated.

There are so many more incidents I could mention and just chatting to some friends on WhatsApp about Sarah I realised how depressingly normal these kinds of experiences are for all women, everywhere. One told me how she was once approached by a guy on her walk home who asked “do you live here?” before betting on how warm her bed was as he walked, uninvited, beside her.

Women always prepare for the worst when they walk home alone, because you can’t always get a taxi – especially if it’s a only a five minute walk away. Or perhaps you simply don’t want to spend £8 when you could just walk your pizza off for 20 minutes. Since Sarah disappeared women have begun sharing the precautions they take to walk home on social media and it’s depressingly familiar.

I try to stick to main roads and avoid quieter roads and parks. I carry my keys in my hand, ready to get in quickly or use as a weapon. If I have to go down a quiet road I might run or walk fast in the middle of the road to avoid dark spots, driveways or bushes which I could be dragged into. If I pass a man or group of men I glance behind me after to check that they are not doubling back on me – but subtly so they don’t think I am inviting conversation or get angry at my paranoia like the afore-mentioned smoker. I cross to the other side of the road if someone is walking behind me. I never listen to music so I can hear someone approaching. I keep my eyes down to avoid eye contact when I pass a man, in case my expression is seen as an invitation to engage, but my head up to stay aware of my surroundings.

Sarah was just like my friends and I: sticking to the main road, telling her boyfriend where she was and, I’m sure, acutely aware of potential danger. She was ready to run in her trainers and she was there to be seen in her brightly-coloured raincoat. She was walking home, just living her life, when she was cruelly taken.  

Since I started writing this a police officer has been arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s abduction and murder. My mind boggles at the thought of someone who is supposed to protect her doing the very opposite and I find it unbearable to think of the moment that she realised that she wasn’t safe.

You only have to go on Twitter to see that millions of women feel the same heart-wrenching despair and anger today, as we read the headlines and see Sarah’s face, full of life, next to the words ‘human remains’.

This Saturday the socially-distanced Reclaim These Streets vigil will take place on Clapham Common to think of Sarah and acknowledge all the women who worry about the simple act of walking home. I’ll be there in spirit, holding my head up high not in fear but in defiance and hoping for a future where women can all ‘get home safe’.

In Sarah’s honour, we have compiled five charities that are working to combat violence against women:

End Violence Against Women

This coalition of specialist women’s support services, researchers, activists, survivors and NGOs is working to end violence against women and girls in all its forms. Its vision is of a society where they can live their lives free from violence and the threat of it and its purpose is to lobby all levels of Government in the UK to improve policy and practice in response to violence against women and girls. It also campaigns to influence public attitudes towards violence against women and girls, so that there is better understanding of its causes and consequences and a better mandate for tackling it.

endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk

 

Refuge

Refuge provides specialist support to women, children and some men escaping domestic violence and other forms of violence. On any given day Refuge supports more than 6,000 people, helping them rebuild their lives and overcome abuse including sexual violence, so-called ‘honour’-based violence, human trafficking and female genital mutilation (FGM). The charity’s specialist services include refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach projects, culturally specific services and its 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline.

refuge.org.uk

The Survivors Trust

An umbrella agency for specialist rape and sexual abuse services in the UK, The Survivors Trust exists because every five minutes in the UK someone is raped and 15% of girls and 5% of boys have experienced sexual violence by the time they are sixteen. This charity’s 124 member agencies in the UK and Ireland provide information, advice, support and therapy to over 80,000 survivors each year. Its services work with people of all ages and genders, survivors of all forms of sexual violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, as well as supporting partners and family members.

thesurvivorstrust.org

ActionAid

Violence against women and girls, ActionAid points out, is a fundamental human rights violation which affects around one in three women and girls around the world. The charity is focused on combatting forms of violence against women and girls ranging from rape to FGM and helping survivors of violence who experience a range of problems, from depression to injury, HIV to unwanted pregnancy. ActionAid points out that women and girls living in poverty are even more at risk and is campaigning for the UK to be world leaders in gender equality.

actionaid.org.uk

Women’s Aid

As a federation of over 180 organisations, Women’s Aid provides almost 300 local lifesaving services to women and children who are suffering from domestic abuse. The charity’s ‘change that lasts’ campaign draws attention to its significant research which shows that simply listening to women can ensure help is provided earlier and its effects actually last. Change That Lasts is an approach that places the survivor at the heart and builds responses around her needs and the strengths and resources available to her.

womensaid.org.uk

We were delighted to welcome The Mintridge Foundation ambassador, athlete, hockey captain, canoeist, record holder and Paralympian Laura Sugar to our #WeekdayWellness Zoom session on Friday last week.

Laura’s #JustSayYes attitude and her achievements are incredible. Watch to the Q&A with Laura below.

Sign up here to join #WeekDayWellness at 8am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Jenny Tomei for great online fitness and nutrition advice.

By Robin Searle

Water aid charity Just a Drop and social enterprise Charitable Travel have extended the deadline for people to take part in the Just a Drop Dash – a fundraising initiative launched in partnership with Wendy Wu Tours.

The Just a Drop Dash encourages participants to run, walk, ramble or hop 100km – the same distance as a popular hiking route from Banteay Srei into the Phnom Kulen National Park in Cambodia, finishing at Angkor Wat.

Those who take part before August 31 and raise a minimum of £100 will be entered into a draw to win a holiday for two to Cambodia and Vietnam, courtesy of Charitable Travel and Wendy Wu Tours. Every additional £100 raised through JustGiving pages will qualify for an extra entry into the prize draw.

Read the full article on Travel Weekly here, or to read more about the Just a Drop Dash and Charitable Travel 100k Challenge, click here!