Show me how
#givingtuesday is the day to do good stuff, and there are loads of things you could do to support your favourite charity. Here are a few ideas about what you could get up to on #givingtuesday.
It's easier than you think to do good stuff. Our Good 'Uns are ordinary people doing amazing things for charity. Read their stories and be inspired.
Lucy was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) when she was 19. Since then she has been working her way through her bucket list, writing about it on her website Lucy’s Fight, and raising money for MND Scotland.
You do loads of good stuff, raising money for MND Scotland through your campaign Lucy’s Fight – what inspired you to set it up?
After being diagnosed with MND I took to the internet to discover what my new diagnosis entailed. I soon discovered that there wasn’t much information about my new illness so I started Lucy’s Fight as a way to share my story with the world.
Your fundraising work is obviously very personal to you, how has that helped, or do you think it’s hindered you in any way?
It’s definitely helped. It’s given me something to concentrate all my energy towards and fundraising for MND Scotland allows me to do my part towards finding a cure.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever received?
I’m going to go with a quote as I feel like advice only makes sense to the person receiving it. My favourite quote is “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” It reminds me not to let fear and emotions get in the way of achieving my goals.
If you do one good thing today what will it be?
Hopefully make a stranger smile and somebody I love laugh.
You can read more about Lucy’s journey on her blog Lucy’s Fight, or donate to her fundraising page here.
After losing 7 family members to cancer Gemma wanted to turn her grief into energy. She has since raised over £10,000 for Worldwide Cancer Research running ten marathons across two continents with her husband Craig.
You have been doing some amazing good stuff – running marathons. Where do you get the energy?
I eat a lot and I have to admit I am self-proclaimed 100 mile an hour sort of person, I don’t sit still. I apply the same logic to my running!
What’s your favourite post-race treat?
When I finish a marathon (and when I can stomach some food) we treat ourselves to 20 McDonalds Chicken Nuggets & some coca cola, then it’s usually a take-away or meal out later on. When we run the marathon we burn on average 3500 calories, plus the 2000 calories we should have eaten that day means we have a 5500 calorie deficit to make up for.
If you do one good thing today, what is it going to be?
At running club when we leave a mass group I always shout encouragement at everyone regardless of their abilities from the newbie to the quickest. I think encouragement is how people grow into themselves.
Solomon started giving food to the homeless at the age of 12 and set up Brixton Soup Kitchen in 2013 to help serve people in his local community.
What’s BSK all about and why did you start it?
We help homeless people and Londoners in need by providing free food, support and company. We do so much more than just providing meals; we provide CV workshops, job guidance and advice on housing and benefits. It’s a simple idea – we want to empower people in a warm and friendly environment and help them gain the confidence and self-worth needed to get back on their feet.
What’s the most rewarding thing about doing what you’re doing?
Every day we get people saying “why are you doing this and not getting paid?” But there’s some type of feeling I get that feels so amazing when someone comes up to me on the street and they say “you have change my life.”
What have you struggled most with on your journey?
Funding support, and we find it very hard to keep staff so we have to rely on volunteers. That can be tough because obviously volunteers need to go to work too so we sometimes end up losing good people.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
It will have to be real Jerk Chicken!
Regular runner Becky found a way to turn her daily exercise routine into a way to do good stuff! She’s teamed up with GoodGym, a national community of runners and has completed 500 good deeds with them.
You have been doing some amazing good stuff – completing almost 500 good deeds with GoodGym. What got you started?
It was soon after I moved from the north to London, which can be a very lonely place at first. I wanted to meet people, I’d always loved a good run and I was keen to get to know about what was going on in my local community.
How do you get the energy to do all that running?
I get so much energy from the other GoodGym runners and from the people we meet at the community organisations we run to help out. I also run to visit an older, quite isolated man in my neighbourhood every week through GoodGym. He’s ace, a real comedian, and having the purpose of running to visit him is a real motivator when I’m feeling low on energy. I’m also a bit addicted to these coconut and cherry flapjacks at the moment (I’m not sure whether these give me energy or make me a more sluggish runner though).
Lots of people probably wouldn’t fancy running, but what would you say to them to inspire them to do some good stuff for charity?
I’ve never felt more content than when I know I’ve contributed to my community, made something a little easier for someone or made someone smile. It gives me a purpose and I’ve met some of my best friends through volunteering.
Becky lives in London and has been doing good with GoodGym since 2013. Find our more about what she’s up to by clicking here.
Phillippa & Hannah founded Give a Damn Dating – a dating service for singletons who like to do good!
You encourage people to do good stuff together, by doing it on a date! What gave you the idea?
Mainly it was our own dating experiences – not only the increasingly app-driven, transactional nature of dating, but also consistently meeting people who didn’t share our values or weren’t passionate about similar things. We knew that lots of people did really ‘give a damn’ but weren’t necessarily in the ‘online’ dating world. We’ve all had enough of those awful date disasters – surely there’s a better way to meet people!
What’s usually people’s reaction when they hear about GADD?
It spikes people’s curiosity. People tend to love the idea of meeting someone whilst doing an activity that they genuinely enjoy and where meeting someone isn’t necessarily the central tenet. There’s no forced conversation, and our events just take the pressure off.
Have you ever had any successful dating stories, or what about horror stories?!
We’ve purposefully avoided the rigid collection of user feedback, but people often swap numbers. However, we do have one stand out couple who met back in October 2015 at an event we ran. They have been going strong ever since, and we reckon could even make it the altar (Let’s hope this doesn’t jinx them…)!
If you do one good thing today what is it going to be?
Philly is finishing making her nephew’s birthday present (involves sewing machine and numerous pieces of fabric) and whilst Hannah can’t compete with that, she’ll take time to call family today.
Hannah Leach & Phillippa Banister co-founded Give a Damn Dating in 2015. Follow their progress on Twitter @GiveADamnDating
Jodie does her good stuff at uni. She chairs the fundraising society and has founded a campaign to provide homeless women with sanitary products.
You do loads of good stuff at uni. Tell us about it.
I started volunteering with the Stroke Association when I was 16 but I didn’t really do anything between 18 and 20, except went out too much! Then we had a collection to get sanitary products for homeless women and from there I came up with an idea to start a campaign called Time of the Month campaign.
How many times a day do you check your phone?
Far more than I’m happy with! I’ve had to take drastic measures and delete certain apps or lock my phone away when I’m revising. But the majority of time that I use my phone it is for something important. I use it to send emails, keep in contact with charity partners and answer questions from my RAG committee.
What drives you to do good stuff?
I honestly believe that it’s nice to be nice. I really love working with people and making a difference and it helps that the people you get to meet are often wonderful too. A lot of my friends do really great things too and this definitely helps.
If you do one good thing today what is it going to be?
You can say hello to Jodie via LinkedIn.
Simon is doing some serious good stuff – running the coast of Britain for charity.
What on earth inspired you to run the coast of Britain?
I wanted to take on a challenge and decided to follow the edge of the sea along the mainland coast to test my own limits. I also wanted to build a relationship with a local charity and Ecologia Youth Trust, which is just around the corner from where I live carries out great work so I wanted to raise money for them.
What’s your favourite food out on the road?
At the moment it’s avocado on toast for breakfast. I’m vegetarian but when I am staying with someone, I follow what the monks do and accept what I’m offered!
Not everyone wants to run 5,000 miles. What would you say to other people to inspire them to do good stuff for a cause they care about?
Choose something you have a talent or capacity for, stretch it, and then do it. And when you do it, commit. Goethe once said: “when you commit, providence moves with you, and all sorts of things that you never conceived could happen, happen.” I believe that.…
Taban has set up a charity, The Lotus Flower, which does good stuff with women and girls whose lives have been affected by conflict.
What inspired you to set up your charity?
It’s been driven by my own personal experiences. I’m a genocide survivor and I was a child political prisoner before I moved to the UK. In 2014, when I saw the humanitarian crisis causes by ISIS in Kurdistan, I was moved to help. I went to Iraq and spent 15 months working on the ground. When I came back to the UK, I couldn’t believe I was only 32 and I’d experienced two genocides in Kurdistan. From that moment, I knew that I had to do something.
How is your life better because of what you do?
What I do doesn’t feel like work. Knowing you’re helping others is beyond rewarding and something no pay package can fulfil. that.
What drives you to do good stuff?
Doing good stuff doesn’t cost you anything, why wouldn’t everyone do it?
People sometimes perceive being nice as being weak, what would you say to that?
It takes a weak person to think being nice is weak!
You can follow Taban on Twitter @tabanshoresh and donate to the Lotus Flower here.
Nathan is a 20 year old student from West Sussex. He was born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate and at the age of 16 he set up his own fundraising campaign to do good stuff and raise money for charity Smile Train.
You do loads of good stuff fundraising for Smile Train, what got you started?
I was born born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate and I have had over thirty reconstructive surgeries to repair my broken smile. At the age of sixteen I realised that other children around the world may never get the chance to have their smile fixed, that’s when I started fundraising.
You obviously like to swim (Nathan has taken part in major swimming challenges to raise money for charity)! What do you think about when you’re out in the water?
Long distance swimming can be very lonely and painful, it’s as much a mental challenge as it is physical. When it gets tough I remember there are children born like me who may never get to have corrective surgery, I always let that motivate me.
Have you ever had any major problems on a charity swim?
In 2013 I swam 15 miles between Littlehampton Pier to Worthing Pier and back again. I ended up having severe hypothermia – I was only 16! My second challenge wasn’t any easier. I did a 15 mile swim in the River Arun but ended up with river poisoning because of a sewage leak that no one knew about. It took me almost a month to recover.
If you do one good thing today what is it going to be?
Something I do everyday, smile at someone because a smile is the best way to spread happiness in the simplest of ways!
You can keep up to date with all of Nathan’s adventures in the water by visiting Freestyle 4 Smile.
Courtney is 18 and lives with her family in Oxfordshire. She decided to do good stuff after visiting her Nan in hospital one Christmas. Since then she’s delivered over 5,000 gifts to people in hospitals, hospices and care homes.
How did you come up with your idea to deliver Chirstmas presents?
In 2012 my great Nan was taken to hospital just before Christmas. The thought of not spending Christmas day with her was just too upsetting, so I took Christmas to her ward! When I was there I noticed that there were lots of other people who would be without their own loved ones at Christmas and I decided to start the Secret Santa campaign to make sure that people in my community would have something to look forward to at Christmas.
Young people often get a bad reputation. Do you think young people do enough good stuff?
When a negative story gets printed about young people, others often think generalise and put us all in the same box. I know lots of inspiring teens who go above and beyond to help others. It’s important to remember the whole ethos behind #givingtuesday – that you don’t have to make some grand gesture, you can just do something small. Everyone has the ability to do good, and young people do it everyday.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?
IPeople can become greedy, often not intentionally, but we always expect more when actually we need less. The time I’ve spent with families who are in crisis, or with people at the end of their lives has really brought home to me that all you really need in life is the love and support of others.
You can read more of Courtney’s story, and find out how you can support her campaign by visiting the Charity Secret Santa Facebook Page.