Tag Archives: Charity

Red Nose Day 2017

It’s that time of the year again when you’re asked to dig deep for charity, this year you can support Red Nose Day by visiting TK Maxx or HomeSense and making a purchase from the Red Nose Day collection created and photographed by fashion photographer Rankin.

The limited edition range includes unisex, women’s, men’s and children’s t-shirts, there is also a Red Nose Day Homeware Collection which includes aprons, kids aprons and tea towels as well as leather journals & colouring books.

 

RedNoseDay

You can purchase this apron for £12.99, at least £5 from each apron sale will go to Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and across Africa.

The theme of Red Nose Day 2017 is “Make Your Laugh Matter, I used the LOL generator to get a personalised gag just for me in the form of a GIF tailored to my interests. It really did make me chuckle as I’m always the first person to tell people who are selling their home to make a loaf of bread so that prospective buyers get that “homely smell”

Have you purchased one of the limited edition Rankin items yet? Do let me know what the LOL generator generates for you in the comments below.

You can find out more about Red Nose Day by visiting Twitter @TKMaxx_UK / Facebook: www.facebook.com/tkmaxx / Instagram @tkmaxx

* Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer click here


Planning A Ball Is Hard Work

Back in October 2015 I decided that my NCT branch (Warwickshire Central) would hold a ball to celebrate the 60th birthday of NCT.

Ball, Charity, NCT, Jubilee

When I first came up with the idea of running a ball I wasn’t sure how it would go down with the rest of the committee, thankfully they were all happy to help. I had big plans for the evening but as the weeks went on and I realised we were the only branch in the country running a ball, I can tell you I was scared! Planning such a big event isn’t easy but as we’re one of the top ten fundraisers in the country I knew we could easily make £1000 from the night thanks to lovely people who had purchased tickets to attend, for example at our November 2015 nearly new sale we made just shy of £4000 sheer profit.  We’re a pretty awesome branch I’m sure you will agree.

The charity is very important to me. I’ve never actually taken an NCT class, which to some people may seem odd – why would I have dedicated the past 3 years of my life to a charity that I’ve never used? Well the answer is simple. I moved to the midlands 4 years ago and I didn’t know anyone – I had no friends or family here so I needed a way to meet people. By volunteering, I’ve made so many friends so not only do I help the charity but in turn the charity has also helped me.

It all started on 4 May 1956 with a small advert in the personal columns of The Times and The Daily Telegraph. The ad called on women to join a new association that would support them through natural childbirth. It would be two more years before the first antenatal classes took place.

Today, NCT courses are attended by over 100,000 parents each year. There are over 300 branches with 15,000 volunteers on hand to help. Online support reaches over 2.3 million parents and parents-to-be each year.

NCT conducts important research to use to lobby for changes to improve maternity and parent services.  Automatic enemas and shaving were scrapped and fathers or partners allowed into delivery rooms all thanks to NCT.  I look forward to seeing NCT help improve services further by the time my daughter has children.

We raised a whopping £1431 on the night and all of the money raised will stay in our community and go towards paying for our breastfeeding services and parent support. We run 3 support sessions every week which are open to all and are free.  These have been invaluable to many local parents.

Cake, NCT, Jubilee, Charity

We were gifted some incredible raffle prizes and one lovely lady in our area donated the amazing cake shown above.  I’m personally looking forward to the next ten years and to see what changes are made in that time.

 



NCT Stars Awards 2015

On Tuesday I made my way to London for the NCT Stars Awards 2015 which were held at The House of Lords.  The star awards recognise and celebrate NCT branch volunteers who are the backbone of the charity. There are 324 branches across the UK and without volunteers we wouldn’t be able to offer parents the local support and services that we do.

I wasn’t sure I was going to actually make the ceremony as I’ve not recovered from being poorly after Run or Dye, my family were going to accompany me but Arthur was poorly so they had to stay at home.  I spent the whole train journey to London coughing, taking cough sweets and dosing myself with paracetemol to take down my temperature.  There is nothing worse when you’re feeling poorly than sitting on a stuffy train then taking the tube to your destination. believe me.

NCT_Stars_2015

I was nominated for volunteer behind the scenes of the year which is for an NCT volunteer who has supported and helped other volunteers to ensure the smooth running of NCT in their local area.  I had already won the regional award and although I didn’t win the national award I was awarded Highly Commended which was fantastic.

NCT_Stars_Awards_Regional

Here’s what the people who voted for me said:

“Daniella is relentless in her dedication.  She moved into the area with her new baby and took on the treasurer role, making the accounts more efficient which helped the branch become one of the top ten fundraising branches.  She also took on the newsletter editor role, and digitalised the newsletter, which has extended the reach in an incredible way. Plus she took on other tasks such as manning the NCT stands at two summer festivals, and organised an amazing raffle.  She is supportive and helpful.  She completes everything with a smile and brings enthusiasm and happiness to the branch team.”

NCT_Stars_Awards_Chris_White_MP

I had the most amazing day at the House of Lords, I got to meet my local MP Chris White who came to support me during the awards, we were served a delicious afternoon tea and of course I got to visit the House of Lords which is not something many people can say.

I’ve been a volunteer with NCT since 2013 and I’m so proud of my branch and the work that we do.  I took over as Branch Coordinator earlier this year and it’s one of the best things I ever did, I have a great team of volunteers and practitioners and we provide some fantastic services and support to our local parents.  To be recognised in a national awards ceremony really pushes you to do more and I would love to see more members of my team nominated at the stars awards next year.

Do you or have you ever volunteered?

 



Volunteering for the NCT

NCT Treasurer

I have been an NCT volunteer now for over two years, a lot of people are often surprised to hear that I had never actually used any of the services offered by NCT before I started volunteering.  I just happened to see a plea post on Facebook that had been shared by a friend that said my local branch were in desperate need of a treasurer and without one it was likely that the branch would have to close.

I spent a couple of hours researching the charity and decided that as I had some spare hours thanks to being a freelance worker I would enquire about the position, the thought of local parents not having access to vital services offered by NCT really hit a nerve with me as a new parent.  I had no financial qualifications and apart from doing my own accounts and tax returns and some basic book keeping for clients I was unsure if I would be qualified for the role.

I quickly found out that the treasurer role didn’t require any former financial knowledge and you didn’t have to be a qualified accountant which quickly put my mind at ease.  You do need to be comfortable with handling figures and money, we pay our nearly new sale sellers with cash on the day of the sale so this requires a lot of counting, checking and double checking of the cash.

Full training is provided by the treasurer who is leaving the role, there are a variety of regional training days offered to volunteers and as branch treasurer you are never alone. There is great regional and national support who I’ve had to contact on a few occasions when I just couldn’t work out how to do something.  There is a fantastic yahoo group where branch treasures can go if they have a question and there are regular Skype sessions offered especially during the year end where a treasurer might need extra support.

The role of Branch Treasurer can sound quite time consuming if you read a list of the tasks and responsibilities but in reality it doesn’t take me more than 2-3 hours per week although it is a little more during a nearly new sale and at the end of a financial quarter  The main tasks you undertake as treasurer are recording all the branch income and expenditure on NCT’s web based financial software so NCT can produce accounts, making sure the bank balance in the black and providing the financial plan for the branch year.

My volunteering experience has been so positive, we have an incredibly supportive local team who go above and beyond to help each other and it’s because of the support I get from my fellow volunteers that I also took on the role as newsletter editor just over a year ago.  I’ve loved every minute of my time as treasurer and I really don’t want to leave my role but as I’m taking the role of Branch Coordinator I unfortunately can’t do both.  The treasurer who takes my place will have my full support, after all I’ve been doing the role for the past two years and I know that it can be quite daunting at first which is why I’m glad I’ll be there to offer them as much help and support as they need in the role.

If you’re interested in volunteering for your local branch, you can find out more information on the NCT website.  If you live in the Warwickshire Central area and would like to volunteer you can contact volunteer.nctwarks@gmail.com for more information.

 


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Delete blood cancer

delete blood cancer

If you follow me on instagram you may have seen me post the photograph pictured above of two swabs.  The swabs have been sent off to determine my tissue type so that my details can be placed anonymously onto the register of potential donors.

Any healthy adult between the ages of 18-55 who lives in the UK can become a potential blood stem cell donor.

There are some exceptions though and it’s worth reading the important exclusion criteria below before applying for a pack.

  • Heart disease (e.g., previous heart attack, coronary heart disease)
  • Lung diseases (i.e. severe bronchial asthma)
  • Diseases of the haematopoietic system
  • Severe kidney diseases
  • Thrombosis
  • Severe illnesses of the central nervous system
  • Cancer
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes)
  • Autoimmune conditions (e.g. rheumatism)
  • Severe infectious diseases (e.g. infectious jaundice, chronic hepatitis B and C)
  • Weight under 7 stone 12 lbs/50 kg
  • Obesity (i.e. body mass index (BMI) > 40)

As a potential stem cell donor, your tissue type will be matched using human leukocyte antigen typing. HLA are proteins or markers found on all cells in your body. These proteins are used by your immune system to recognise which cells belong in your body and which cells do not. If these proteins do not match, the patient’s body would reject the given stem cells of the donor. A close match means that the patient’s immune system would recognise your blood system as its own. With more than 8,500 known characteristics that can occur in millions of combinations, finding a match is extremely rare.

Approximately 70% of patients who need a transplant do not have a suitable donor and rely on the register to find an unrelated donor. In these cases, the patient’s doctor will search for an unrelated adult donor, or alternatively for a cord blood donation. To be considered a match, the patient and donor must have at least 8 out of 10 tissue characteristics in common, but ideally should have 10.

For every donor there is only a 4-5% chance that they will match a patient within the next ten years, so it is a bit like winning the lottery. You will only become part of this figure if your tissue type is very closely matched to a specific patient in need.

Interested in signing up? Register now to help delete blood cancer.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t asked to write this, I feel it is something that needs promoting.