For a second year running, our Community Christmas lunch for the over 65s was nothing short of heart-warming. On Tuesday 29th November 2016, Eskmills Venue opened its doors to over 300 residents from the local community, welcoming them in for festive entertainment and a delicious lunch.

Hickory, the award-winning catering company, hosted the free lunch as part of #givingtuesday, a world-wide initiative encouraging local organisations and individuals to work together to do good things in their local area.

As a business that has operated in the heart of East Lothian, Scotland for five years, the team felt it was important to give something back to local residents. Eskmills Venue is a real celebration hub in the community, and it was a pleasure to welcome our guest for a fab meal, enjoy a good knees up washed down with tipple…two.

The day was finished off with a free raffle, with prizes donated from local businesses and suppliers.

Colin Beattie, local MSP commented on the day
“I would like to thank you and your team for putting on such a wonderful Christmas lunch yesterday at Stuart House. The event was a great success, due largely to your efficient and hospitable staff, the great venue, and excellent food. Please pass on my thanks to everyone involved in making the lunch go so well. Thank you again for putting on such an enjoyable event. It was a real benefit to everyone involved, and a great afternoon had by all”

The Hickory team cant wait until 2017!

London based public relations agency PLMR joined #givingtuesday for the first time in 2016. Here they tell us why. 

Tell us why you decided to get involved with #givingtuesday

As an organisation we strive to always be ethical in our approach, and since our foundation in 2006, we have donated 5% of net profit to charitable causes every year. PLMR is proud to support several charity clients, and we’ve also provided pro-bono support to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) who run #givingtuesday. Having learnt more about #givingtuesday through our work with CAF we wanted to get actively involved in the day and use the opportunity to do something a bit different.

What did you get up to for #givingtuesday?

We supported the Rotary Shoe Box Scheme which delivers shoe boxes full of useful items to people who live in poverty in Eastern Europe. Our employees generously donated a range of items – from toys and colouring books to gloves and hats –  and we organised a production team to fill  the boxes during the day.

How did it go?

We filled 35 shoe boxes in total, and also donated money to transport the shoe boxes to Eastern Europe.

“We are absolutely delighted to support #givingtuesday. PLMR is an organisation with philanthropy at its core and the day really showcased the generosity of our staff. Great fun was had by all and we are looking forward to participating again next year!”

sara ghaffari, senior account executive

Yorkshire estate agents Linley & Simpson got behind #givingtuesday for the first time in 2016. Find out what they made of it.

Why did you get involved with #givingtuesday?

We were fundraising for a charity and it was a good way to focus everyone’s efforts around a certain day together. We also though we might receive some extra coverage and support if we were associated with the day.

What did you get up to on the day?

Throughout November we collected unwanted goods on behalf of Martin House Children’s Hospice, our adopted charity of the year. We asked people to drop items off at our stores, and on #givingtuesday we did our own version of the Italian Job as a convoy of our branded Mini cars took the goods to the charity’s warehouse!

What were the results?

All 11 of our high street branches took part, as well as our head office in Leeds. As well as eight drivers who took part in the convoy, we also had three additional staff volunteering at the warehouse to offer extra pairs of hands. Loads more people contributed to the event including staff, their friends and family and our customers who all donated unwanted goods.

In the end we collected stock worth over £1000 which was used to provide a pantomime for the children at the hospice.

“Being part of a big movement like #givingtuesday provided increased visibility for our event and more motivation for our donors. It really was great to be involved in something which has such a huge and positive impact for charities across the world.”

Emily Wilkinson, Project co-ordinator

Find out why international charity Lepra signed up to take part in #givingtuesday

Why did you get involved with #givingtuesday?

We wanted to raise awareness of Lepra and of the disease leprosy, and we wanted to use the day to raise money for specialist shoes.

Tell us what you got up to on #givingtuesday

We set up a social media campaign in the run up to #givingtuesday and used the hashtag #GivingShoesDay, as our main aim was to raise funds for more specialist shoes to be made. We also contacted celebrities beforehand to ask them to share photos of their shoes on social media.

On the day we had an information stand set up at our local business partner Barclays, where staff members were able to talk to members of the public about Lepra and about #givingtuesday.

How did the day go?

Our social media campaign was great! We received 37 images of people’s shoes – 9 of which were from celebrities. That led to over 11,000 impressions on Twitter. We were also featured in the UK Fundraising online magazine, and we raised £334 for our specialist shoes.

“Having taken part in #givingtuesday for the past two years on a relatively small scale, this year we wanted to ramp up our communications to raise further awareness of our cause and turn #givingtuesday into a regular fundraising day for us. We found an opportunity to focus on one area that our organisation specialises in, which is creating protective shoes for people with leprosy – naturally from there the campaign name #GivingShoesDay was born.”

Isabel Cross, Director of Development 

The UK’s largest independent toy retailer, The Entertainer, shares their experience of #givingtuesday

Tell us why you got involved with #givingtuesday

We supported #givingtuesday for the first time in 2015 and were keen to be involved again the following year. Celebrating generosity is something we are always keen to do as our employees and customers get involved with fundraising for hundreds of charities. The 2016 campaign was a fantastic forum for The Entertainer to show our appreciation for the charitable efforts of everyone involved.

Tell us what you got up to for #givingtuesday

We created a #givingtuesday video which can be found here. This was shared internally across our 130 stores, and via our social media channels. Our Managing Director also recorded a video message thanking staff for their generosity.

We printed posters for our store windows and handed out leaflets on the day to our customers. We also sent emails to all our customers and we created a charity landing page on our website.

And what were the results?

Our email campaign had a 61.2% open rate which is incredibly high, and way above our average of 20%! Over 20,000 people read our email about the day, and we we reached more than 40,000 people on social media.

“#givingtuesday is a great initiative that we are keen to support. Working with different charities is at the heart of The Entertainer so it’s great to be part of a day where we can say thanks to all our customers, staff and to the charities that are doing such an amazing job”

Entertainer spokesperson


Sarah from Chalso is based in Glasgow and makes jewellery that she sells worldwide via her Etsy shop. Here she tells us why she joined the #givingtuesday movement.

Tell us why you got involved with #givingtuesday.

I got involved after hearing about it from a very good friend of mine, Laura Chow who was a #givingtuesday Good ‘Un in 2016.

Have you taken part before?

2016 was the first year that I have participated in #givingtuesday, but it won’t be the last, I’m already thinking about how to get more people involved next year!

Tell us what you got up to on #givingtuesday

I use social media A LOT to promote my business, so I thought this was somewhere I could help spread the word about #givingtuesday. In November lots of businesses are promoting Black Friday sales. I decided, instead of having a sale, I would donate 10% of my November sales to Clyde Cash for Kids. During November, I promoted both #givingtuesday and #cashforkids on Twitter and other social media. My daughter also got in on the act, giving a presentation to her class about #givingtuesday; laying the groundwork for future #givingtuesday activities at her school.

And what was the result?

In November 2016 I donated £187.50 to Clyde Cash for Kids, £122.50 of that was donated on the actual day of #givingtuesday. I talked about #givingtuesday lots in the run up to the day with family, friends, fellow Etsy shop owners and on social media, making over three and a half thousand impressions on Twitter with my #givingtuesday tweets.

Will you be taking part again?

I will most definitely be taking part again next year and I’ll be encouraging more people to join me too!

Every little helps! I got involved with #givingtuesday after a single conversation with a friend. It really is that simple, spread the word!

Sarah, Founder

AzuKo got involved with #givingtuesday for the first time last year. Find out how they got on.

Tell us why you got involved with #givingtuesday?

AzuKo is a small (but mighty!) architecture charity. We work with disadvantaged communities to improve living conditions, both here in the UK and further afield such as Bangladesh.

We believe good design improves lives, and should be accessible to all.

For us, #givingtuesday is an opportunity to tell our story and raise much needed funds for our vital work. We also feel that it is a platform to celebrate the work and impact of small charities like ourselves, which often don’t get the limelight.

Tell us what you got up to on #givingtuesday?

We joined forces with innovation lab Impact Hub King’s Cross to celebrate failure and growth in the world of social impact design. Five speakers from the sector took the stage to present their stories and share learning and the evening also featured an exhibition of our sanitation project in Jogen Babu Maath slum, with photography from award-winning Bangladeshi photojournalist Turjoy Chowdhury.

Following the fast-paced presentations and hard-hitting Q&As, there was an opportunity to network and a raffle with over £1000 worth of prizes generously donated by businesses across central London – everything from Royal Academy exhibition tickets to an Amazon Fire kindle and bread-making workshop at Bread Ahead in Borough market.

What was the result?

The event sold out with over 100 people attending and through ticket, drinks and raffle sales the event raised £1078 for Jogen Babu Maath. We’ve also seen a spike in our social media following, and signups to volunteer with us following the event.

Will you be taking again?

We are very keen to participate in 2017, and hope it becomes a regular event in our fundraising calendar.

“#givingtuesday is so much more than a fundraising campaign. It is about celebrating giving and creating opportunities for individuals, communities, businesses and charities to connect and bring about positive change in the world. “It feels good to give and some argue it’s good for our health. Giving promotes social connection, it evokes gratitude and it’s contagious – one simple act of giving can spark a ripple effect. Why wouldn’t you want to get involved!?”

Jo Ashbridge, Director