To celebrate #givingtuesday, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) – who run #givingtuesday in the UK – will add a £100 Welcome Bonus to CAF Charity Accounts opened online with a £10 monthly Direct Debit by midnight on Wednesday 30 November.

Whether you like to give to your favourite causes regularly or prefer to give when the time is right for you, the CAF Charity Account puts you in complete control. Plus, if you choose to give anonymously, CAF won’t pass on your details to any charity – helping you ensure your privacy.

If this sounds right for you, this offer – running throughout November, means you’ll get a little extra to give and help you make even more of a difference.

Already have a CAF Charity Account? Why not tell your friends and family about this offer too.

For full details of the offer and account, visit CAF’s website

The #givingtuesday champion search has now finished and we can announce that the winner of this year’s competition is 18 year old Courtney Hughes from Oxfordshire. 

Five years ago, with her great grandmother unwell over the festive period, Courtney decided to use her pocket money to take Christmas to the hospital. Inspired by seeing other patients away from their loved ones, she started a local campaign to collect Christmas gifts for people spending that time of year in hospitals, hospices and care homes.

Since then her campaign has gone from strength to strength. Working with charities, schools and businesses she collected, wrapped and distributed 4,000 presents last year. Courtney also helps to collect and deliver food parcels to homeless people and emergency refuges.courtney-4

Courtney’s charitable efforts saw her chosen as this year’s UK #givingtuesday champion by a panel of judges which included Paul Stanworth, Assistant Editor at BBC Newsbeat; Mika Simmons, actress and founder of Gynaecological Cancer Fund’s Lady Garden campaign; Zoe Parkinson from Vice Magazine; Mike Buonaiuto, CEO of social change company Shape History; and last year’s winner Andrew Davies.

She will now help inspire others to do something in support of a good cause this #givingtuesday.

After hearing about her win our new #givingtuesday champion Courtney said:

“It is a real honour to have been chosen and something I never expected, especially seeing the stories of the other candidates who were shortlisted.

“It has made it all the more special to me that I found out I had been picked to be the #givingtuesday champion on what would have been my great-grandmother’s birthday.

“#givingtuesday is a great way of getting people involved in supporting charities and helping others and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”

Hannah Terrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at CAF, said:

“Courtney is a fantastic example of what #givingtuesday is all about.

“This is a day to shine a light on the countless good deeds people do every day to make life that bit better for others.

“From a young age Courtney has made a remarkable contribution in spreading festive cheer among people going through times of difficulty.

“With this year’s #givingtuesday just four weeks away, we hope Courtney’s story can inspire others to make a difference and show their support for a good cause on the day.”

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.

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

The #givingtuesday champion search has now closed, and after a record breaking number of entries, we are excited to announce our shortlist!

  • Ali Stunt founded her own charity – Pancreatic Cancer Action – after being diagnosed herself in 2007. She now heads up a team of ten who have committed to funding £1 million of research over the next five years
  • Courtney Hughes has been delivering Christmas gifts to patients at her local hospital since she was 12. Now 18, she has collected, wrapped, and distributed over 4000 Christmas gifts to numerous charities in Oxfordshire
  • Shirley West has been raising money for British Heart Foundation for the past 34 years and is directly responsible through her branch for raising a total of £12 million
  • Paula Banks has raised more than £130,000 in aid of the Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, after losing her son Jack to a rare form of leukaemia when he was nine years old
  • Marilyn Nolan started volunteering in 1980 and has never stopped. She’s given over 75 pints of blood, she’s raised thousands of pounds for RNIB and she’s volunteered for over 11 years at her local junior Football Club, putting in over 3,000 hours of volunteer time
  • Leona Glennie has raised thousands of pounds for North East Sensory Services (NESS). Leona has Usher Syndrome, which means she is completely deaf and partially sighted and yet in the past two years she has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, completed a skydive and a 10k obstacle course and a half marathon
  • Jodie Connor is chair of Manchester RAG and spends all her spare time volunteering or raising money. She’s passionate about tackling homelessness in Manchester and has founded Time of the Month Manchester, an organisation to provide sanitary products to homeless women in the city
  • After losing 7 family members to cancer Gemma and Craig Scott wanted to turn their grief into energy. They have since raised over £10,000 for Worldwide Cancer Research running ten marathons across two continents, all side by side
  • Jason Jackson started the Lads Without Dads project to provide male role models to boys aged 8-18 who have no father figure at home. Having grown up without contact from his father, Jason is doing his best to ensure that someone is available to give the advice and support that he never had in his youth
  • Lucy Lintott was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2013 at the age of just 19. In January 2015, Lucy launched her website ‘Lucy’s Fight’ as a dynamic platform for her blog and fundraising campaign. She has since raised over £100,000 for MND Scotland

Our #givingtuesday champion will be chosen from this shortlist by our 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

Our winner will be announced on Tuesday 1st November and 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

We can’t wait to see who wins. Good luck to everyone on our shortlist!

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!

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.