Tessa & Tallia #MakeAStatement

In a world of social media it’s important to remember that being a celebrity or a public figure is not plain sailing. For every person who says something positive about an achievement, there is someone lining up to say something nasty about a perceived vulnerability.

Last year Scottish Fashion Awards founder, Tessa Hartmann, was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment. Her daughter, singer and reality TV star, Tallia Storm, has talked of how difficult it was to know whether to share the news and part of that was a concern about the awful things some people might say.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Tallia said “It maybe sounds silly but when you’re in the public eye, you know there are people out there who like to say horrible things. I don’t care what anyone says about me, but I didn’t want anyone saying anything about my family.”

However, as Tessa continues her fantastic recovery, Tallia and Tessa have decided to team-up and share their story as part of their support for cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now, as they launch their 2018 Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign. The mother-daughter duo want to raise awareness of breast cancer and encourage other women to be vigilant around possible symptoms, something Tessa took on board when reading an article about breast cancer just months before her diagnosis.

It’s inspirational to see someone using their influence to not only champion a cause, but to share their story as a real-life example of diagnosis and successful treatment.

If you’d like to support this brilliant campaign, which has raised in excess of £15m since it began in 1996, you can shop the collection at www.fashiontargetsbreastcancer.org.uk and share your images @fashiontargetsbreastcancer #MakeAStatement

Oh the Humanity!

Ricky Gervais has raised more than $420,000 for charities through his 120-date Humanity tour.

The innovative scheme saw all platinum package tickets sold at market rates, guaranteeing the purchaser a premium seat at the market rate, with all extra profits going to charity.

The initiative was aimed to raise money for good causes whilst also beating ticket touts who, in recent years, have been known to mass-purchase tickets for popular events before reselling them to the public at highly inflated prices.

Gervais, who is outspoken on a variety of issues and known for his support of animal welfare charities, split more than £200,000 between the RSPCA and MacMillan Cancer Support in the UK, with charities in the US and Canada also benefiting.

Speaking of the scheme, Gervais said “It’s such a perfect scheme as I can donate hundreds of thousands of pounds to worthy causes close to my heart knowing that I’ve denied scummy touts of that cash.”. He has also confirmed that he will bring this fundraising initiative into his future tours.

We think this is a really kind, simple and great approach to fundraising. It’s a win-win for everyone. Charities benefit, fans benefit and the act gets to choose causes that are close to their hearts and make a difference!

Professor Stephen Hawking

Today we remember one of the world’s most eminent scientists and most recognisable faces, Professor Stephen Hawking, who died this morning at the age of 76.
Professor Hawking’s achievements are many and will be covered extensively over the coming days, but his support of charity is something that may slip under the radar.

Hawking lent his status as a world-famous figure to countless campaigns and charity initiatives; from setting up a foundation in his name (The Stephen Hawking Foundation), aimed at facilitating research into Cosmology, Astrophysics and Fundamental Particle Physics, as well as facilitating and supporting work relating to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and those living with the disease – a condition that Professor Hawking had lived with for more than 50 years.

Further charity work included everything from lending his name and voice to MND fundraising events, including a recent swim across the River Thames in London, to appearing as a guest speaker at charity conferences and of course his work on TV, including his memorable sketch on Comic Relief where celebrities auditioned to be his ‘new voice’.

Not only was Professor Hawking an inspiration in his professional life, but a great example of how someone with high public profile can make a real difference to charity campaigns and messages.

A life well lived.

A Day With Maria Bravo

We had the pleasure of hosting Maria Bravo, Founder of the Global Gift Foundation and Global Gift Gala, for a day last week, as she and her team met with charities from across the UK, including a visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital, who benefited from the Global Gift Gala London, held in November 2017.

The day began with an invitation only breakfast held in the luxurious and welcoming surroundings of the Devonshire Club in Central London. Maria spoke passionately about her love for philanthropy, her story and her continuing drive to make the world a better place. Charity representatives from across the sector were in attendance and enjoyed a delicious breakfast and conversation. There were representatives from mothers2mothers, MacMillan Cancer and many more.

Maria’s busy day continued as she and Nick Ede, EastofEden CEO and Global Gift Gala Ambassador travelled on to Great Ormond Street Hospital to visit patients who had benefited from the funds raised by from Global Gift Gala. It was a really moving experience for all involved and a great reminder of what all of the hard work goes towards – benefiting incredible causes and making a real difference to people’s lives.

A busy day that began in the early hours continued as Maria and her team moved on to Quaglinos, hosting a celebratory dinner for Global Gift Gala supporters, talent, charities and media. Guests including Jessica and Robert Pires, Karen Ruimey, Konnie Huq, Clare Merry, Ashley James and Charlotte de Carle  enjoyed delicious Absolut Elyx Global Gift Cocktails, a three course meal and speeches from a range of inspiring speakers, including Maria, Nick and Diana Award CEO – Tessy Ojo.

As a packed day came to an end, we can all look forward to another year of Global Gift Galas across the world, bringing glamour and talent together to benefit causes that really matter.

If you’d like to find out more about the Global Gift Gala and how you can get involved please visit http://www.globalgiftgala.com or get in touch!

Time to Talk

Today is Time to Talk Day, an initiative from mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, aimed at breaking the silence around mental health. Organisations and individuals up and down the country are helping to spread the word about this fantastic initiative and with great reason to. On our doorstep, Huckle the Barber has been offering free tea, coffee and donuts this morning for anyone who just wants to pop in for a chat. It’s really inspiring to see.

Despite one in four people in the UK being affected by mental health issues, talking about them openly is still a taboo subject. It is frankly outrageous that a society such as ours – world-leaders in all kinds of of medical research and treatment – can’t grasp mental health as a comfortable subject.

Whether it’s something that impacts an individual’s self-esteem, relationships or completely dictates someone’s day-to-day life, mental health problems can be debilitating to both the sufferer and those around them; it’s time to talk.

Ultimately, mental health is personal. It’s the most personal thing we have. Your mental makeup defines you and is the core of who you are. Of course, the idea of sharing can be daunting and should always be a personal choice, however the bigger issue is that as a society we don’t make it the norm to talk about mental health and as such the acceptance isn’t there.

We should do more to encourage people to talk, not to retreat. Let’s make a change. Let’s lose the throwaway phrases that mean we don’t have to deal with what might be going on. Let’s replace the comment about your friend being “too sensitive”, “volatile”, “lairy”, “antisocial” or a “recluse” and replace them with something simple. “How are you feeling mate?” or “Are you OK?”

#timetotalk

Global Gift Gala Dubai

The Global Gift Gala returned to Dubai for its fifth consecutive year on Thursday. The star-studded event was held in the Palazzo Versace in aid of Dubai Cares, Harmony House and victims of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The Global Gift Gala is a unique international initiative from the Global Gift Foundation, a charity founded by Maria Bravo that is dedicated to philanthropic events worldwide; to help raise funds and make a difference towards children and women across the globe.

Guests were treated to performances of ‘Despacito’ from international star Luis Fonsi, a rousing rendition from Asian soprano Seia Lee, and a special performance from the Emirates Community Symphonic Orchestra. Those lucky enough to attend the sold-out event also enjoyed cuisine from two-star Michelin chef, Mansour Memarian.

The Global Gift Gala, presented and sponsored by CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel, Huda Beauty, and Cocobay Vietnam, hosted international stars such as Adrien Brody, Vanessa Williams, Luis Fonsi, and Alesha Dixon at the annual black-tie charity evening, with Tom Urquhart emceeing the event. The event as attended by stars and entrepreneurs including Founder, Maria Bravo and EastofEden’s very own Nick Ede, who is the worldwide ambassador of Global Gift Foundation.

Hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars was raised from the charity auction, with an artwork by famed British artist Sacha Jafri taking the highest bid and a painting from Adrien Brody, which sold for $42,000.

2017 is the ‘Year of Giving’ in the UAE, and in keeping with the motif 100% of funds raised during the Gala will go towards supporting programs in five different continents making it a truly global gala in partnership with Dubai Cares. Together with Global Gift Foundation, both entities will see projects in India (Harmony House), Europe, America and Asia benefitted, and a donation being made on behalf of Global Gift Foundation to Puerto Rico which was recently left devastated by Hurricane Maria, with 100% of proceeds going to charity.

Special awards were handed out to Vanessa Williams, Lucy Bruce, and Charlotte Knight for their philanthropic pursuits. British singer, model & TV presenter and Honorary Chair Alesha Dixon presented Vanessa Williams with The Global Gift Excellence Award for her continuous contribution to philanthropic causes, while Charlotte Knight was honoured with the Global Gift Philantropreneur Award, and Lucy Bruce was recognised for her work with Harmony House as the Global Gift Philanthropist Award.

A fabulous end to a year that has seen the Global Gift Gala and EastofEden travel everywhere from Edinburgh, to Dubai, London to Marbella.