mothers2mothers – a job well done and much more to come

We had the pleasure of attending an early morning presentation by mothers2mothers yesterday, wrapping up their work in 2016 and looking ahead to future initiatives.


If you’ve not come across mothers2mothers before, it’s an INGO whose core role is to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.


The presentation, hosted by Emma France, Director of Strategic Engagement and Development, and Dr. Mitch Besser, mothers2mothers Founder, was intriguing and inspiring in equal measure.


The challenges faced by organisations working across countries, cultures, languages and political systems are countless, however, mothers2mothers are a great example of how engaging on a hyper-local and national level can work through these and bring tangible, positive change and impacting tens of thousands of lives for the better.


On a hyper-local level we heard about how, faced with the prospect of a doctor to patient ratio of 1:40,000, mothers2mothers have train and employed an army of ‘Mentor Mothers’, an initiative that sees mothers trained and employed to deliver vital healthcare advice to women living with or at risk of contracting HIV. This role is vital as it allows health messaging to be spread within affected communities, tackling both how to best manage HIV and, importantly, taking preventative steps to avoid initial contraction. From a social and cultural stand, Mentor Mothers are also an inspirational and guiding figure for women in the community to connect with. The phrase ‘lifesaver’ is over used, but in this context, its 100% correct – what these women do changes, improves and saves lives. Here’s the story of one Mentor Mother – Nonhlahla.


On a national level mothers2mothers have received the greatest endorsement an INGO can have, governments recognising the value of what they do and integrating the mothers2mothers programme structure into their official approach to tackling HIV.


The stats given show mothers2mothers’ work is making a big difference, virtually eliminating mother-to-child HIV in the countries in which they operate. However, as with most INGOs, the charity is tackling a set of complex and culturally-ingrained issues. There isn’t a quick fix. It takes a lot of resource, patience and time to achieve a positive result and the challenge comes in continuing to tell that story to supporters in a way that is easy to understand and inspires support for the future.


Mothers2mothers is a wonderful, positive story and if you want to find out more you can get a flavour through this video, which features Karabo, a mothers2mothers client and read more on their website.

The Paul Strank Charitable Trust Gala

Fleur East, James and Ola Jordan, Martin and Shirley Kemp, Tiffany Watson, Georgia Toffolo and more join in support of the Paul Strank Charitable Trust Gala

A night of inspiration and celebration took place on Saturday night (23rd September) at the Paul Strank Charitable Trust Gala.  Hosted by James and Ola Jordan, guests included Martin and Shirley Kemp, Beverley Knight, Tiffany Watson, Georgia Toffolo,  Gemma Oaten, Nadia Essex, Tina Stinnes, Nikki Grahame, James Bennewith, Chloe Sims, James Lock, Yazmin Oukhellou, Frank Bruno, John Partridge, Natalie Casey and Theo Paphitis.

The Gala took place at Bank of England Sports Centre, London where guests enjoyed a three course meal and entertainment throughout the night. XFactor chart topper, Fleur East headlined on the evening as did X Factor contestant Danyl JohnsonJames and Ola Jordan hosted the evening and performed a special routine for guests, and BGT runner up, Stavros Flatley also took to the dancefloor to perform his iconic routine at the end of the evening

The gala raised money for the Paul Strank Charitable Trust, a Wimbledon-based grant-making charity.  The Paul Strank Charitable Trust supports local charities including Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice, Children in Need, AFC Wimbledon Foundation, Croygas Pirates Mixed Pan Disability Youth Football Team among other great local causes.

Our amazing clients, Paul and Irene Strank have been raising money for a variety of good causes over the years; using their business, Paul Strank Roofing, as a springboard, they have helped thousands of people in and around South London, as well as the wider UK. Their sustained fundraising efforts were recognised in 2013 with Paul receiving an MBE for services to charity and the community in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Through their drive and passion for helping others, it is estimated that the pair have raised, donated or sponsored more than £2m for charity and the community over the past 30 years and the Paul Strank Charitable Trust has now been set up enable their fundraising to climb to new heights.

The Leesa

The mattress company that gives back!  Leesa is the Better New Mattress.

Leesa was founded with a simple goal in mind: to help people sleep better.  It started with a beautifully designed and crafted mattress that meets the needs of almost everyone and an online shopping experience that makes buying a mattress simple and hassle free.

The Leesa mattress is a completely redesigned mattress from the inside out. In a few short months, thousands of Americans bought Leesa mattresses. A glance at the reviews from their American store will confirm why Leesa is one of the fastest growing companies in the world.

For every ten mattresses sold, Leesa will donate 1 custom-made mattresses to organisations that serve homeless and at-risk men, women and children at every stage of their transition to better lives.  To date they have donated at least 10,000 mattresses.

They also partner with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant one tree for every mattress sold.  While many environmental initiatives take years or even decades to show results, planting trees is direct, effective, and immediate.

Leesa also participates in numerous local community events and initiatives, and staff are given time off to help at local charities!




International pharmaceutical company Novartis have teamed up with actress/producer/activist Eva Longoria to launch the #KissThis4MBC campaign in order to generate research funding and support for the metastatic breast cancer community.

Up to 1 in 3 people diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will ultimately develop metastatic disease, a currently incurable form of breast cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of the body, such as the brain, bones or liver.

Everytime #KissThis4MBC is used, or a post is shared on social media, Novartis donate $10 to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN). Click the picture to check out the video.


HAND In HAND: A Benefit for Hurrican Relief

Last night in the US, Hand in Hand held a telethon for all the victims of the hurricanes Harvey & Irma. At 8pm, peopled tuned in from all round the country to support and donate to the hurricane relief, helping those who have been effected by the awful storms.

An impressive list of celebrities including Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio, Barbra Streisand, Rita Wilson, and Gwen Stefani made the trip to Universal studios to do their bit on the phone.

During the hour-long special, taped tributes and messages were broadcasted from more stars, including Beyoncé, Cher, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Drake, Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Tim McGraw, Julia Roberts, Blake Shelton and more.


Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have caused complete devastation across the Caribbean and now continue to do so up the East coast of America. They need your support.

Proceeds from the telethon are going out to charities including:




Cancer Research have launched their new StandUpToCancer campaign, photographing a host of celebrities “rebelling” against cancer.

100% of the money raised for the campaign goes directly into funding clinical research, which looks to find a cure for Cancer.

The campaign was first launched in 2012 and this year, to mark its return, and to encourage the nation to rebel against cancer too, the likes of Davina McCall, Alan Carr & Ann Widdecombe (to name a few), have been photographed dressed as their rebel hero.

Davina McCall, who lost her sister to cancer, says:

“Getting involved in Stand Up To Cancer is a no-brainer when you think that one in two of us is going to get cancer at some point in our lives…”

“Thanks to research, there’s real hope and there are great prospects for the future. It’s something that we can absolutely conquer by raising money and supporting Stand Up To Cancer’s scientists.”


The Stand Up To Cancer campaign will continue throughout September and October and there’s lots of ways that people can get involved. From baking & selling cakes, to a sponsored run, to waxing/shaving body parts, there are many ways in which you can rebel this autumn! So GET INVOLVED! No excuses.

BGC Charity Day

Every year on September 11th, in conjunction with the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, BGC remember those who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy, by distributing 100% of their global revenues on the day to the Relief Fund and hundreds of other charities around the world. BGC offices across the world take part including New York, Tokyo, Sydney and the London office in Canary Wharf.

Today is the 13 year anniversary of Charity day for BGC. The first launch of BGC’s charity day was to support the families of its staff members who died.  Now, thanks to being hugely generous with their time and money, over 1000 charities have been supported and approximately $137 million dollars have been raised globally by BGC.

Charity Day has become a big part of BGC – it is their way of turning a tragic day into one that is positive and uplifting by helping others.

A host of celebrities are invited into the firm’s London office in attempt to broker deals for charity. The whole days commissions are donated. Today, Sophie Wessex showed she meant business on the phone along side celebrities Liz Hurley, Keira Knightley and Alan Carr, to name a few.

What an amazing day! Great to see BGC giving back and supporting such worthwhile charities in commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy.

Did you know ASOS have a foundation too?

The ASOS Foundation provides infrastructure, training and support to enable disadvantaged, young adults reach their potential, through focussed projects in the UK, India and Kenya.  The Foundation has long-term charity partners including the Prince’s Trust, Centrepoint & Arrival Education (UK), SOKO Community Trust &  Wildlife Works Trust (rural Kenya) and Udayan Care (India). Their aim is to create sustainable and long-lasting change. The Foundation is funded by ASOS and supported by their employees and customers

The ASOS Foundation provide inspiration, support, infrastructure and training for disadvantaged young people to help them overcome barriers and change their lives for the better. They do this by funding projects in collaboration with long-term trusted partners, and also engaging directly with young people at a grass roots level.

The ideal outcome is that a young person is able to move from one life stage to the next, for example from unemployment to training, from training to an apprenticeship, from homelessness to a family, or in Kenya to release people from fetching water so they have free time to engage in economic or personal development activities.

Below are a few examples of the projects going on in Kenya, India and the UK.


Kasigau is an area of low rainfall, high poverty and subsistence agriculture. For the majority of the population in this region, carrying water for many miles is a daily time consuming and exhausting task which prevents individuals from taking part in economic activities or education.
ASOS Foundation funding therefore supports water projects to remove a barrier which prevents women and young people from achieving their potential.

The aim of the SOKO Community Trust is to provide people with the practical skills needed to see sustainable improvements in their lives and lift themselves out of poverty.

As the success of ASOS Africa has grown, SOKO has been able to employ more tailors and now provides livelihoods for over 45 people in the Kasigau region. SOKO is still growing and can offer work to local people in an area of high unemployment.



The mission of Udayan Care is ‘a nurturing home for every orphaned child, an opportunity for higher education for every girl and for every adult, the dignity of self-reliance and the desire to give back to society.’

India is home to 31 million orphans. Adoption rates are extremely low and there are only 75,000 orphanages, most lacking long term care in family like setting, counselling or emotional bonding.

Udayan Ghars (homes) were set up to nurture orphaned and abandoned children, give them a loving home, family bonding and a sense of belonging, ensuring them all opportunities to develop as capable, responsible individuals. The first Udayan Ghar was set up in Delhi with just 3 little girls. Today, 18 years later, the movement has spread to 13 Udayan Ghars in Delhi & National Capital Region, Jaipur and Kurukshetra where 352 children – boys and girls – have been cared for.


The Prince’s Trust supports young people from 13 to 30 years old who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion. Around one in five young people in the UK are not in work, education or training. Youth unemployment costs the UK economy £10 million a day in lost productivity, while youth crime costs £1 billion every year.

Prince’s Trust programmes give young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. The Trust helps develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training.

In partnership, the ASOS Foundation creates opportunities for young people in fashion, customer care and web design/technology. It is currently providing funding to enable the Prince’s Trust to make an online portal for young people to access training material provided in the Get Started with Web Design courses to enable more young people to be able to learn these skills.


Its so great to see such a huge company giving back and helping others – who knew ASOS had their own charity?! Top marks ASOS!


The CSR Wrath

There’s been a fair degree of outrage at the news that Tesco has retained millions of pounds from the 5p plastic bag levy, money that a number of MPs have argued takes directly from good causes.

Tesco has kept more than 10% of the £32m it raised through the sale of plastic bags and allocated the money to what they’ve deemed ‘administrative costs’ – they are the only major retailer to keep such a figure. The current laws dictate that donated the money raised, after ‘reasonable costs’, should be donated to good causes. This is not legally enforceable but has been treated as industry standard with no other major supermarket taking such a cut.

Whether this is simply a case of the left hand not talking to right, or just a misjudgement of industry practices that has led to the British supermarket chain having to fend off criticism; it a PR gaff that has been painted in some quarters as a sinister move, with Tesco being accused of taking money directly from the pockets of good causes across the country.

So, over to the Tesco CSR and PR teams. No doubt in the weeks to come they’ll work tirelessly to repair the damage and fight back with what will hopefully be a campaign that hopefully benefits good causes across the country, as Tesco promote a more altruistic image.


Stonewall launched their new t-shirt campaign today which encourages the public to ‘COME OUT FOR LGBT’.

Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-sexual equality is aiming to mobilise supporters to take a stand against LGBT hate crime, which affects one in five LGBT people.

Stonewall’s mission is to make every individual feel comfortable with whoever they are, wherever they are and reach their full potential. They hope to do this by empowering individuals, equipping them with the skills and the support necessary to challenge and influence members of their community. They also aim to transform institutions such as the work places and schools, by embedding an accepting and inclusive culture and helping institutions to realise the benefit of these differing perspectives.

Sherlock actor Andrew Scott has shown his support for the campaign along with other celebrities including Adele Roberts, Keegan Hirst and Henry Winter who have all uploaded photos onto social media of them wearing the t-shirt.