Local charity launches TOAST Campaign to help the homeless

The number of homeless people in the UK is rapidly rising, with research indicating an increase of 134% since 2010. This is an extremely alarming statistic, which is why homeless charity Oxford Homeless Pathways, is taking steps to try and raise awareness for those in need. The charity hopes that October will become a designated month for similar fundraisers in upcoming years.

Oxford Homeless Pathways launched their TOAST campaign at Bonn Square, to start a discussion about the crisis in the city. The campaign hopes to highlight that the homeless often don’t have access to breakfast, which many argue is the most important meal to successfully start your day.

Passers by were encouraged to help themselves coffee and toast from the local stall, to then initiate a conversation about what we can all do to help. They were then urged to take a photo with their #PhoToast photo frames, to be shared on social media.

According to Homeless Link, the latest figures collected in the autumn of 2016 show that 4,134 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night. We hope that Oxford Homeless Pathways can continue to transform lives, and that similar charities follow suit to fundraise during October.

To find out how to support Oxford Homeless Pathways, visit: http://www.oxhop.org.uk/howyoucanhelp/

Facebook, The Diana Award and Childnet International launch ‘House of Us’

Yesterday, the East of Eden team had a wonderful day visiting ‘House of Us’ in London, the interactive experience set up by Facebook, The Diana Award and Childnet International, to highlight the importance of anti-bullying and digital safety ambassadors in every UK secondary school.

The immersive experience, which was worked on with young people in mind, encouraged attendees to take part in online safety challenges and start a discussion surrounding bullying. This includes a thought-provoking audio maze, a positive sentiment room and a “banter vs bullying” wall.  

School children across the UK have visited ‘House of Us’ this week, where they were encouraged to share their experiences. Their feedback is to then be implemented across school programmes, to ensure they are effectively addressing and standing up to bullying.

To find out more about House of Us and the ongoing anti-bullying campaign, visit the website here.

GIRLvsCancer: Slogan tee’s with a mighty message

Leading up to our PINK London 2017 event next week, we thought it would be a perfect time to celebrate those doing amazing things this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

2017 has seen the rise of the slogan tee, and with retailers such as Topshop and Missguided buying into this trend, it is no surprise that the re-launch of the GIRLvsCANCER campaign from blogger ‘Girl Stole London’ has been such a hit!

Lauren Mahon, the mastermind behind the campaign, teamed up with thirty-three UK influencers to create ‘tit-tees’. The t-shirts feature sassy slogans such as ‘jubblies’ and ‘lady lumps’, to raise awareness of the importance of regular check-ups.

25% of the funds raised will be donated equally between partner charities, ensuring that they are able to continue the important work they do.

To find out more about the campaign visit the website or follow @GIRLSTOLELONDON on Twitter.

The Global Goals launches their powerful #FreedomForGirls campaign

Last week we celebrated International Day of the Girl and the wonderful work of The Global Goals, who teamed up with various organisations including UNICEF, Malala Fund and Equality Now to launch the #FreedomForGirls campaign. Following the success of their viral #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign featuring the nostalgic Spice Girls’ hit ‘Wannabe’ back in 2016, they have borrowed Beyoncé’s song ‘Freedom’ to spread a powerful message.

In the 3-minute empowering film, young girls around the world lip-sync to the song, highlighting the threats that many still face around the world. This is accompanied by shocking facts and figures from the charity regarding domestic abuse, child marriage and more.

Director MJ Delaney reflected on the difference between the two videos stating “Everyone’s angry now, and our girls this year, in contrast to the playfulness of last year, are harnessing that anger and making it purposeful. Demanding change.”

With over 3 million views, we’re sure this campaign is going to do some good! To get involved with the campaign and join the fight visit: http://www.globalgoals.org/dayofthegirl


The Diana Award – the INSPIRE series visits London

On Friday 13th October, The Diana Award presented two deserving young people with awards, to celebrate their charitable achievements and kindness within the community at INSPIRE London. This is part of their INSPIRE series in memory of Princess Diana, which is travelling across the UK to meet and empower young citizens.

Kalesha Ayton and Danny Murphy were the two fantastic individuals receiving their awards on Friday, which were presented by Wayne Sleep OBE.

Kalesha cares for her younger siblings at home and devotes her free time to volunteer at the Oasis Hub Waterloo, where she supports the food bank and a children’s holiday club.

Danny produces wonderful videos giving advice to deaf young people based on his own life experiences and challenges the service currently provided for deaf young people.

With support from sons Prince William and Prince Harry, the Diana Award was set up in memory of the Princess of Wales, and her strong belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. As well as the awards ceremony, young attendees received specialised training in campaigning and community action to kick start a social action initiative.

You can find out more about The Diana Award and their INSPIRE series here.


ActionAid hosts fashion show to tackle violence and discrimination

Tuesday night saw ActionAid host a live fashion show in London as part of their campaign to tackle violence and discrimination against women and girls worldwide.

Unlike your ordinary fashion show, this featured eight acid attack survivors from Bangladesh. In a heroic moment of solidarity, participants danced down the runway and showed what they are made of in front of a live audience, raising awareness for those subjected to violence around the world.

The World Health Organisation states that one in three women are victims of violence across the globe, making this campaign as important as ever. Violence can be in the form of forced marriage, FGM and acid attacks.  We hope ActionAid continues with this brilliant work and can make a real difference worldwide.

For more information about the fashion show, visit: https://www.actionaid.org.uk/get-involved/survivors-runway-fashion-show-facebook-live-acid-attacks-violence-against-women-and-girl



Bethenny Frankel leads Hurricane Maria relief campaign

This recent month has seen an increase in the need for charitable and voluntary aid around the world, with hurricanes and earthquakes causing severe damage and tearing communities apart. Following this, we have seen many celebrities stepping up to donate and provide relief.

Bethenny Frankel, best known for the Real Housewives of New York City, has been on the ground in Puerto Rico working hands-on with national disaster charity Delivering Good, to provide relief to critical areas in need.

The CEO and reality star leading the #BStrong campaign has chartered planes, manually loaded supplies and has even encouraged other businesses to donate.

Similarly, other celebrities leading the way include Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Pitbull who have all donated millions in relief efforts. This impressive response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico is something we love to see, and deserves championing.

92% of people still have no electricity and with the death toll continuously rising, the people of Puerto Rico still require aid and support.

Find out more about this amazing work at: http://www.bstrongdeliveringgood.org/bstrong/

Nailing Mental Health

If you’re free this afternoon and want to bring a little bit of glamour to your Monday, why not head over to Olympia Beauty at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, London for a £5 nail treatment. All proceed benefit Mind, Samaritans and Nailing Mental Health.

Stephanie Staunton started this initiative in April and due to the success of the day, it is now being held at Olympia Beauty – London’s biggest beauty trade event.  Steph and her nail technician friends all joined together to paint as many nails as they could in eight hours, they raised an incredible £7,000 which, if we do the maths says that 1,400 people donated in April.  Stephanie is trying to beat the last target and raise much needed funds for Mental Health charities – MIND and Samaritans.

Mental health issues are the focus of BBC Radio 1’s reports this year, and they are well supported by the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry via their work with Heads Together.

Stephanie commented: “I set up Nailing Mental Health when I was recovering from a traumatic biopolar episode and feel that more people need to be made aware of mental health issues. Hopefully, this event can raise awareness of mental health issues – and the support available. We want you to get involved and help any way you can.”

Visit the website to book an appointment now and help nail mental health! https://www.olympiabeauty.co.uk/nailing-mental-health/


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 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!