Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Awareness raising for the humble direct debit

Please don't think for a moment that I think charity awareness raising is a bad thing. That spurring people to donate money to charitable causes is bad.  Because it isn't.

This post could be seen as a little bit nit picking. Perhaps it is, but it's playing on my mind, so I'm gonna say it.

I wish everyone who is chucking a bucket of ice water on their heads - and those who are proudly screengrabbing images of donation receipts - would (quietly or loudly - I don't really mind) just set up a Direct Debit.

When Jade Goody publicly shared her ultimately fated battle with cervical cancer it resulted in a sharp increase in young women getting smears tests and doubtless saved some lives.

When everyone took selfies with no make-up on, my biggest issue was actually that this was supposed to be shocking (ARGH AN ACTUAL UNCOVERED FEMALE FACE!) as though the British public had en masse turned into religious extremists.  If a few women turned from the viral content to the wealth of educational breast-checking content on the website and gave themselves a quick check in the shower the next day - brill.  It certainly did raise a good whack of money (and I don't even care too much that it went to one of the wealthiest charity causes on the planet - charity is charity).  As a side note, it was interesting to note even within this campaign the slow creep of paint-free faces requesting donations go to Macmillan instead - seemingly the charity choice for those who have been closely touched by cancer.

And this latest icy "challenge" (originally supposed to be educational - giving people an insight into how it feels to have Motor Neurone Disease or ALS as the Americans call it) also appears to be raking in the cash for a good cause.  Lovely.  No complaints.  I even watched a couple of colleagues doing the challenge, it was good fun and I hope prompted some cash flow to charity.

So what prompted me over to my much maligned blog today?  Two things.

1) I do thoroughly dislike the pressure that is applied to people who are nominated in this challenge.  (Apparently the "rules" as some explain them are that if you don't take up the challenge you *have* to pay £100 to the charity.  Er - that's blackmail.  And pretty poor taste)

2) The smug public donors make me a bit irate.  Perhaps they also donate on monthly direct debits too.  I don't know. Perhaps its my own guilt at not getting involved that is the problem. However, I privately make monthly donations to a number of charities without expecting any glory, and I do find it a little tasteless (or perhaps its just terribly unBritish) to make such a song and dance of sharing a donation receipt on social channels.

I am sure you agree it would be unseemly for me to screengrab my bank statement each month and prove to you all that I'd yet again handed over some of my cash - AREN'T I MARVELLOUS.. PLEASE LIKE THIS PHOTO OF MY BANK STATEMENT.

Would this also be unseemly? :

"This month I worked to earn some cash which I handed over in my monthly direct debits to World Vision, War Child, NSPCC and Greenpeace. NOMINATE *YOU * TO DO THE SAME"

I suggest it would. 

So this is a little plea. Charities need reliable income. Of course all donations are good, but for them to be able to properly financially plan and expand operations to do more of a good thing, they need regular and reliable income - even if it is a very small amount.  Please consider setting up a Direct Debit today.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Shall I kick this off again?

I've been off Facebook for 5 days and I'm loving it. I get too addicted to seeing others' updates and waste my day wading through poorly targetted ads. But I do so love to share so I'm considering some TOE action again. Hmmm. Thoughts on Thoughts On Everything it seems. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Letter to my MP

26th September 2011

Dear Mr Heald,

I am sad to be writing to you with a bee in my bonnet. I have seen much of your work lately in the Comet and heard tell of your involvement in Letchworth through friends and felt that you would provide the listening ear (and hopefully representative voice) that I am looking for. It is a very simple one, but no less shocking for that.

I am not a Daily Mail reader, but working in PR, my team and I read all the newspapers every morning, flagging interesting articles. I suppose you could say that reading The Daily Mail is our cross to bear. This morning my team flagged the following article: "At last, statistics that prove a sexist stereotype... Women are worse at parking", by Emily Andrews: I have pasted below the offending article in case the Daily Mail sees sense and removes it from their site.

Upon reading the article, it is evident that the gender information that damns more than 50% of the population of this country was released by the Driving Standards Authority; a part of the Department for Transport.

And here is my complaint. The Department of Transport is paid by the people of of this country to provide services. At no point in its remit should it be attempting any sort of unnecessary PR - and certainly not engaging in stories that are so fundamentally prejudiced to a proportion of the population. If you are in any doubt as to the appropriateness of this data analysis, I would advise re-reading the piece, removing the gender delineations and replacing them with ethnic groups. I am sure you can see that that would be wholly inappropriate and something that while the Daily Mail might not hesitate to cover I believe the government would think twice about releasing or commenting upon.

I have a bit of an interest in feminist discussions, and so know of the multiple psychological research programmes that have discovered conclusively that women DO underperform in "male" classified tasks (maths, driving, spatial tests), but that this underperformance is entirely cancelled out (in fact reversed) when women are not subjected to the often only implied societal belief that they are expected to do worse.

To be explicit - it is exactly the perpetration of stories such as this that create the gender imbalance (and implicit female under achievement) of which they report.

As my MP I would very much value your taking this matter seriously and raising a debate in the appropriate government forums about the responsible analysis and presentation of government data, specifically with regard to continuing societal prejudices - whether gender-based or otherwise.

In the 21st century this article should have galled every reader, and the comments (often by women) beneath the article only serve to reinforce the importance of educating - both through classrooms and the mainstream media - women of their inherent ability to succeed, not fail.

Yours faithfully in anticipation of a response,

Emily Wearmouth

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things I made #4

Courgette Jam (w/ginger and lemon), Courgette Chutney and Tomato Chutney

Things I made #3

Apple and walnut bread

Things I made #2

Wholemeal flatbreads, veggie curry and mango raitha

Things I made #1

Beetroot Brownies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A new home

Hello everyone,

I have sussed it. I don't rant anymore (hence nothing here for a long while), instead I just cheat and take pictures, or find stuff on the internet I like to share.

Hence my love of twitter.

So I have set myself up a Posterous. If you want to keep up with banal nonsense from me (and let's face it, that's what you were getting here), feel free to check me out here.


Friday, January 29, 2010

2010 projects

I am rather embarrassed to notice that I haven't blogged at all this year. Ahem.

It's because, frankly, I got writers block. Then I realised I had writers block because I wasn't really doing anything that I cared to blog about. Plus I can get away with shoddy blogging while Luke covers off the main stuff.

Anyway I am currently brewing a project. A side effect of the project, should it go ahead, will be excessive amounts of blog-worthy things I can talk about.

Will keep you posted.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - a recap

I realised today that 2009 could possibly have been my best year ever.
So before we kick the year to the kerb I thought it deserved a quick

I kick started the year with a trip; Alice Springs, Uluru, the Olgas,
Kings Canyon, Coober Pedy and Adelaide, the Barossa, Grampians, Great
Ocean Road and Melbourne.

The V festival, cocktails with pals, sunny days in Bondi. Brunches.

I met two great friends at a chocolate making class just as 2008 ended
and spent 2009 getting to know them even better (while auditioning the
chocolate cafes of Sydney).

My first Australia Day celebrations saw me kitted out in full Aussie
flag and wash-off tattoos.

Then I got into gym-going. My personal trainer Daniel got me fit and
lythe and in March I bought proper running shoes. I felt healthier
than I can remember ever feeling before.

I got into feminism.

Professionally I learnt how to network, created a PR networking group
in Sydney and really began to use Twitter socially (making some of my
best friends through Twitter networking and even my boyfriend!)

Fell in love. First with luke, then his family.

Did the soppy things you do when in love, like driving for an hour to
have breakfast by a beach... When you live 10 mins walk away from
breakfast places by Bondi beach. Also went to Canberra. Less soppy.

I went a month without drinking (kinda) for my mate's charity
fundraiser Dry July which frankly spelt the beginning of the end for
my excessive boozing.

I took a holiday to magnetic island off the coast of Queensland -
stunning and empty.

I learnt to knit.

Got a fab new job back in the uk.

Went to an old friend's wedding on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays.

Headed out for my big travel adventure; Perth, the west coast
including Karajini and the Ningaloo reef, Broome, the Kimberley,
Darwin, Lichfield and Kakadu, Fraser Island and all over Tassie.

'Emigrated' home to the UK with boy in tow. Bought new car, rented
cute house, started great job...

... Slowly began to catch up with friends, old and new.

And here we are at the end of the year. My weekends involve trips
around the UK and next year Venice and Paris are to come (Luke and I
think alike for Xmas pressies!).

Gosh I lived this year.

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