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!

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!

The Breakfast Club: London

We had a wonderful time at Aquavit on Wednesday, hosting the latest edition of The Breakfast Club: London.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Breakfast Club, it’s a free charity chat and breakfast that we host once a quarter, primarily for small and medium charities.

We encourage an open and relaxed environment with discussions taking place around a set theme.

Basically it’s a chance to share experiences, ideas and hopefully come up with a few suggestions, all whilst enjoying a rather fancy and delicious breakfast!

The first edition of The Breakfast Club in 2018 saw ten charity representatives discuss the forthcoming GDPR rollout; looking at what steps different organisations had taken so far, the impact on their ability to communicate with supporters and ways to utilise the new rules. Discussions moved from the potential role of social media as the mass engagement channel, to the benefits of cleaning up databases and using GDPR as an excuse for a clean slate.

The second item on the agenda was an introduction to a new charity engagement platform, whatCharity, presented by Founder, Tiia Sammallahti.

Launching in March, whatCharity is a platform for not-for-profit organisations to communicate with companies and supporters, allowing them to engage in a variety of ways, from donating goods or money, to volunteering and matching up charity needs with CSR initiatives.

Tiia gave an outline of the journey that led her to create whatCharity, as well as a sneak-peak at the platform on attendee’s smart phones, before answering questions.

Every charity in the UK will be listed on the site, so if you’d like to find out more about the platform and what your page will look like, please contact Shona on Shona@WhatCharity.com

If you’d like to join the next edition of The Breakfast Club: London, this Spring, please get in touch!

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 Golden Gala

Last night, presenter and style icon Donna Air joined Emmerdale’s Gemma Oaten, Game of Thrones star Laura Pradelska, King Arthur’s Craig McGinlay and Bollywood stars Amy Jackson and Tamannaah Bhatia for the Arts For India’s Golden Gala at BATFA, London.

Amy Jackson hosted the evening alongside our very own Nick Ede. Guests enjoyed a champagne reception, before a short award ceremony which honoured Vanessa Redgrave with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, Peaky Blinders star Kunjue Li and Bollywood star Tamannaah Bhatia with ‘Young Icons’ among others. After the awards guests were treated to a three-course dinner provided by BAFTA where the live auction took place with lots including, a walk on part in a Bollywood film; a one on one with James Can on his yacht in Monaco; meet the West Indies cricket with John Maynard, a three day charter on board a 5* yacht in the Medditerean, and a impromptu lot of the evening came from singer Michelle Gaye who sang on the night for the highest bidder.

Satish Modi, Arts For India Founder commented, “Arts For India are so grateful to all our supporters but particularly BAFTA and Pinewood for their continued support.  The Golden Gala has now become a prestigious event combining first class entertainment, star-studded talent and a worthy cause, supporting disadvantaged teenagers based in India.” 

All award categories and the winners are listed below:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Vanessa Redgrave

Philanthropy Award – Derek O’Neill

Contribution to Cinema Award – Kunal Kohli

Young Icon Award – Tamannaah Bhatia

Young Icon Award – Kunjue Li    

It was such a fantastic evening and we cannot wait for next year!

May Measurement Month

May is May Measurement Month!  The past couple of months we have been busy working with a host of stars to show their support for May Measurement Month, a worldwide screening initiative aimed at highlighting the need for increased blood pressure awareness to try to reduce the 9.4 million deaths due to raised blood pressure each year.

The campaign is being led by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and the World Hypertension League (WHL) and is headed up by Hollywood actor Will Poulter (The Revenant, The Maze Runner, We’re The Millers) and his father Neil Poulter, Professor of Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at Imperial College London, the President of the International Society of Hypertension and Honorary Consultant Physician at Hammersmith Hospital.

By measuring as many people as possible and highlighting just how big the problem is, the ISH and WHL aim to demonstrate to governments across the world why they need to raise public awareness and provide us all with better blood pressure screening facilities and treatment.

You can get your blood pressure check at 200 Superdrug stores around to UK, so make sure you visit the May Measurement website and #checkyourpressure.

Global Gift Gala Edinburgh

Last Wednesday, we headed up to Scotland for the Global Gift Foundation’s star studded Global Gift Gala which place in Edinburgh for the first-time as part of a unique initiative to raise funds and make a difference to the lives of children and women around the world.

In attendance, were guests including Hollywood icon Eva Longoria Baston, actress and DJ Patsy Palmer, TV star and presenter Katie Piper, actor Craig McGinlay, Models and DJs Ashley James and Charlotte de Carle, and Game of Thrones star Laura Pradelska among others.  The night of hope and inspiration, took place at the iconic The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian with a red carpet, cocktail reception, entertainment, dinner, live auction and special performances by Britain’s Got Talent’s Calum Scott and Francine Lewis.

The evening was so magical and beautiful – from the floral decorations to the school choir who sang on stage, we couldn’t have asked for a better night!  Vogue Williams took to the stage to host the evening along side our CEO, Nick….who even wore his kilt for the evening!

Charities who benefitted from the evening included the  Eva Longoria Foundation, which aims to improve education and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for young women;  Place2Be which provides emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools, building children’s resilience through talking, creative work and play; and the Global Gift Foundation with the opening of their first ‘CASA GLOBAL GIFT’, providing medical treatments and therapy for children affected by rare disease.

For more information, please visit: www.globalgiftfoundation.org.

I’ve Got Guts t-shirt campaign

This week, we launched a really exciting campaign that we have been working on for the past couple of months with leading UK charity Bowel & Cancer Research.

Part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, ‘I’ve Got Guts’ is a new nationwide campaign featuring a number of famous faces and influencers – Alex Bowen, Olivia Buckland, Cara De La Hoyde, Nathan Massey, Nicola Hughes, Kyle De Volle, Dan Edgar, Dr Ranj, RoxXxan, Nate James and Amber Dowding.

The campaign aims to help bust one of the last remaining taboos and to shine a light on the courage of people across the UK who live with bowel problems.
As part of this exciting campaign the charity is revealing a new bright, modern visual identity to project its leadership research position across bowel cancer and disease.

Bowel & Cancer Research supports the best research across the UK into bowel cancer and other bowel diseases, by funding the brightest ideas and best talent. Its pioneering and inclusive approach places it in a unique position to understand the impact of these diseases on individuals and their families, friends and colleagues.

The powerful, limited edition spring / summer designs are available for sale (RRP £19) from online retailer Teemill here.  A donation of £5 will be made from each sale to help fund the charity’s cutting edge research into bowel cancer, IBD, IBS and other bowel problems. The t-shirt comes in sizes S, M and L. If you’d like to support but can’t buy a t-shirt, you can text GUTS17 to 70070 to donate up to £10.

We have had such fun launching this campaign and thoroughly enjoyed every minute – a huge thank you to all involved and for everyones support we couldn’t have done this without you!

Pink Ribbon Ball Manchester

Last month we headed to Manchester with the Breast Cancer Now team for their Pink Ribbon Ball Manchester – and what a night it was!  The ball was held under the wings of Concorde at the Runway Visitor Park, Manchester Airport, which was such an amazing venue, hosted by Jessica Wright and Ore Oduba – who both did a fantastic job!

Celebrity guests at the event included Hayley Tamaddon, Carol Wright, Jessica Cunningham, Tupele Dorgu, Les Dennis, The Real Housewives of Cheshire’s Seema Malhotra, Claire Merry and Jane Given.

Guests enjoyed special performances by Britain’s Got Talent judge, Alesha Dixonand Scottish teen sensation, Tallia Storm – who were both equally fantastic and really got the crowd going!  Alesha even got our CEO, Nick on stage to join her for a dance.

We had such a fantastic night, and lots of money was raised for this fantastic charity.

National Kindness Day

Today is National Kindness Day, a day set up by our amazing client – the Diana Award.  The charity is encouraging people from across the UK to do something kind for someone else to celebrate Princess Diana’s values and commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death.

New research from The Diana Award has revealed that we are a caring nation, with almost three out of five (56%) Brits saying they have received a random act of kindness in the past year. Examples include receiving a compliment from a stranger, being provided with directions when they have been lost and even having someone offering to pay for their food or drink. However it appears that women are more likely to receive an act of kindness than men; three in five women said a stranger had been generous towards them compared to only half of men surveyed. Age also appears to be a factor, with millennials more likely to receive a random act of kindness than any other generation.

The Diana Award currently have a partnership with west end show, Kinky Boots – on Wednesday we visited the Adelphi theatre to watch this fantastic show!  If you haven’t seen it yet – make sure you do soon!

The Diana Award is looking to inspire and harness 20,000 tangible acts of kindness throughout 2017 which will be logged on a special microsite (diana-award.org.uk/kindnessday). Get involved by carrying out your own random act of kindness, and tweet share it on social media!