We’re searching for the ultimate charity champion to inspire the nation to do good stuff.

The #givingtuesday champion search is back.

If you or someone you know has shown extraordinary commitment to a charity they care about and has the potential to inspire others, then nominate them to be our champion!

The person we’re searching for will have gone above and beyond to support a charity in some way. They might have raised loads of money or maybe they’ve volunteered hundreds of hours.

They might even work for a charity and have committed their whole lives to doing good stuff, or done something completely out of the ordinary to make the world a better place.

Whatever they have done, we want you to tell us why they deserve to be our #givingtuesday champion.

Our #givingtuesday champion will chosen by a panel of incredible judges including our amazing winner from 2015 Andrew Davies. Andrew won the title after pledging to raise £150,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity after they supported him through a bone marrow transplant. Andrew is joined by four new faces to our judging panel, from across the media and charity world.

Our judges (l-r)

  • Andrew Davies, #givingtuesday champion 2015
  • Zoe Parkinson, Vice Magazine
  • Mika Simmons, Actress & Founder of the Gynaecological Cancer Fund’s Lady Garden Campaign
  • Paul Stanworth, BBC Newsbeat
  • and Mike Buonaiuto, CEO of Shape History

The judges will be looking for one special person who has taken doing good stuff to new heights. Someone who’s raised the bar when it comes to doing something amazing for charity and who they believe will inspire others to do good stuff this #givingtuesday.

Our winner will be rewarded with:

  • a £250 donation to the charity of their choice
  • the chance to tell their story to the national media
  • the opportunity to join us at the top of the BT Tower on #givingtuesday
  • PLUS, they will get the experience of a lifetime: a hot air balloon ride over the UK countryside.

If you think you or someone you know deserves to be our champion then enter our competition here. Entries must be made by 12pm on Friday 14th October. Late entries will not be accepted.

Good luck!

With a goal of ‘do good stuff’ it seemed only natural that Good HQ got involved in the upcoming #givingtuesday campaign.

Good HQ is all about sharing experiences of the causes people care about and 29th November is a great day to do just that.

Everyone has a unique story to tell about the causes that they care about, and it’s those stories that help to spread the word of your favourite good cause and the work it does on a daily basis. Whatever your connection to a charity; volunteer, fundraiser, donor, campaigner, supporter, service user or anything else, everyone has an important story to share and that’s what Good HQ is about.

Good HQ also provides ways to discover new ways to get involved with organisations through volunteering so is a great resource when planning what to do on 29th November. The new digital platform has been created by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and although is currently primarily Scotland based, we hope that organisations across the UK will also get involved!

What to do on #givingtuesday…

There are lots of different ways to get involved on 29th November, and if you’re not sure what you’ll be getting up to then check out just some of the ideas below:

Volunteer

Volunteering your time on #givingtuesday is a great way to get involved. Did you know in Scotland alone there are 1.3 million volunteers who provide 126 million hours of support? On #givingtuesday you could give up an hour of your time to help out at a local good cause or you could commit to volunteering regularly just like Sally does below in her local Cancer Research shop.

There are so many different volunteering opportunities out there, we’re sure you’ll find something that will interest you! And if you’re not sure where to find an opportunity near you, Good HQ is a great place to start if you live in Scotland.

“I’ve been volunteering for about six months now and the team is dynamic, fun and supportive. It’s brilliant to do something which is completely different from my day job and interact with lots of excellent people.” – @Sally review of Cancer Research UK as a volunteer.

Donate

If you’re feeling generous on #givingtuesday how about donating to your favourite good cause? Last year, over £6,000 was donated every minute!

Plus, it doesn’t have to be money, how about having a pre-Christmas clear out and drop off your unwanted clothes and other goods to a local charity shop?

“Having made a relatively small donation I received a hand written card with a personal letter which I will always remember.” – @canning review of Scottish Refugee Council as a donor.

Fundraise

How about organising a fundraiser on 29th November? Gather your colleagues, friends and/or family and plan an activity to raise money. From bake sales, to carol singing to a sponsored event – there are lots of fundraising activities you could take part in – get creative and think festive!

“The friendly atmosphere and mutual support makes volunteering such a great experience – and we made almost £300 due to the generosity of Aberdeenshire folks. A great day all round – thank you!” – @Maryrusmussen review of Guide Dogs Scotland as a volunteer and fundraiser.

Get involved

My message to you this #givingtuesday, is to give your experience a voice and help raise awareness of the great work good causes across Scotland and the UK are doing every day. And if you won’t have the opportunity to do something yourself on the day, how about sparing a few minutes to share a recent experience you’ve had supporting your favourite good cause(s) and help raise awareness?

As people start to share their stories on Good HQ using #givingtuesday, people’s experiences will be shared on our dedicated campaign page, so you can see what other people are up to on the day and discover the charities they’re supporting. Check out the campaign page and add your story!

For more information on Good HQ, please get in touch by emailing Lauren Pluss, Good HQ Community Manager: lauren.pluss@scvo.org.uk.

P.S. Remember to pledge your support on the #givingtuesday home page too and let them know you’ll be taking part!

If you could give one piece of advice to the next generation what would it be?

1. Don’t play Pokemon Go near open water

2. It’s ok to swipe left (sometimes)

3. Do not believe everything you read on Buzzfeed

All are good pieces of advice, but here at #givingtuesday we’re about more than just the superficial things in life. We want people to do good stuff, and that means forgetting about pokedex and concentrating on something a little more meaningful.

So what does it actually mean – to do good stuff?

It’s not rocket science, and it’s pretty self explanatory. It means doing good for yourself and for others. The simplest way to do good stuff is to undertake small actions – like giving up your seat on a busy bus, or simply saying please and thank you.

But the best way you can do good stuff is by supporting a charity.

You could volunteer your time or make a donation to a charity of your choice. You could donate clothes, shoes, food, blood or books. Sell raffle tickets, tweet about your favourite cause, bungee jump, sky dive or abseil – all in support of a charity you care about.

And this year we want you to think about one other way that you could support charity – by leaving a gift in your Will. Doing good stuff can be a part of your whole life, from beginning to end, and as well as passing on advice to others, why not do good stuff by passing on your support to your favourite cause too?

However you choose to do good stuff it doesn’t have to be arduous or burdensome or difficult, but goodness wouldn’t it make the world a better place. Think about it for a second, how many times in a day do you lament the condition of society – the lack of generosity, the hardening of feelings towards strangers? It’s sad, but increasingly we are becoming less concerned with those who live right next door, and only more concerned with ourselves.

But that can change. If we all committed to doing good stuff on a daily basis the changes would be enormous.

And if we committed to passing that change on to the next generation with a gift in our Will, the changes would be permanent.

Doing good stuff isn’t difficult and it doesn’t have to expensive, but it will probably make you happier and it will definitely make the world a better place.

This blog was written for Remember a Charity – a campaign formed of over 160 of the UK’s favourite charities which works to encourage more people to consider leaving a charitable gift in their Will. This year they’re asking people to pass on some wisdom to future generations. Find out more @RememberCharity.

As part of our campaign to get more people to ‘do good stuff’ we want to inspire you with real life stories from people who do good all year round.

Here is Lorraine Jones. Lorraine was nominated for our #givingtuesday award in 2015 and is an inspiration to the community of Lambeth after she took over her son’s community gym following his tragic murder. Read her story here:

Being a voice for my community is a great responsibility and one which I take very seriously.

I’ve been a community leader and campaigner for the needs of the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged in Lambeth for over 23 years. I have set up and managed many projects and charities, so have a vast amount of experience as a front-line worker: sharing the needs, concerns and problems many face on a daily basis. My passion to see everyone happy, and to improve their lives is what fuels my work.

In 2014 I went through the greatest shock of my life when my son Dwayne Simpson was murdered just 7 minutes from my home. He died trying to save a young boy from being stabbed.

After losing my son I was at a cross roads. A mother of 7 could I keep being the strong loving, fighter or was I going to break down under the strain of bereavement caused by violent crime? It was then – at my most vulnerable moment – bereaved and in deep shock that I witnessed the value of my community as hundreds of people including local councillors, community leaders, police officers and families flooded my home to offer their support.

My son Dwayne had started a boxing project before he was killed. The project helped to empower young people through sport, encouraging them to choose a healthy and worthwhile lifestyle, away from the risks of street violence or crime. He often came to me, disappointed that so many community centres or youth projects were being shut down. He took a brave step to start his own project and was very successful with it.

After Dwayne died I had visits from lots of young people, all coming to my home and pleading with me to start up the project again. In the end it was love that compelled me to do so – love for Dwayne, for my community, and for the young people who needed my help. I am so pleased that I made that decision. I am lucky enough to have received the trust and respect from my community who support our charity Dwaynamics, and have supported me in being a voice and a leader for positive change and improvement.

Last year I was nominated and shortlisted for the #givingtuesday Champion Award. The day I got the news that I was shortlisted I was so thrilled; I felt so empowered and it gave me such a strong belief in my work. The #givingtuesday team even put my campaign on their website and shared it with hundreds of people. It gave me and the team at Dwaynamics such encouragement, and gave us all the confidence to believe that what we are doing, and the changes we are creating, are worthwhile and important.

This year I was asked to be a speaker at the Being the Story Conference, a one-day event celebrating the power of thought-provoking storytelling. When I was approached by the organisers it was such a surprise and I felt so honoured. It is so good to know that people out there recognise the work that we do and want to help us strengthen it.

For many years I didn’t publicise any of the work that I was doing, thinking that I just needed to put my head down and get on with what needed to be done. But because of my son’s tragic death, I now feel compelled to use my voice for others, and I am grateful to all those who have given me the opportunity to do that.

I remember one young boy from Dwaynamics said to me “thank you for hearing our cry.” It’s in moments like that I realise that I want to continue to do all I can to tell my story, tell my son’s story, and work to inspire others. The majority of my work has been voluntary but continuing Dwayne’s project makes me feel so fulfilled. I am so proud of the work that my son did for our community and I am glad that I can keep his work alive.

Projects like #givingtuesday and Being the Story are so important. There are so many people in this world doing good and making an impact on the lives of others, and I hope their efforts will only inspire others to follow that example. These are the people that help to make our country great, and I’m proud to be a small part of that.

I hope my story inspires others to do good stuff, whether it’s for charity, their community, or others. My son was inspired to help his community, and so am I. I hope others feel that calling too.

Lorraine is speaking at the Being the Story conference on 16th September 2016 in central London. You can find out more by visiting www.beingthestory.org.uk.