Cricket stars help WaterAid Bring Water to people in India so they can defend themselves against Covid-19

As Delhi grapples with its third wave of Covid-19, cricket stars old and new, including Hashim Amla, Rory Burns, Morne Morkel, Ian Bell, Veda Krishnamurthy and WV Raman, are uniting in support of WaterAid’s call to help bring clean water to millions of people in India, so they can better defend themselves against the spread of infectious diseases.

Frequent handwashing with soap reduces the spread of coronaviruses by around a third, yet only 1 in 4 households in India have clean water, putting families on the back foot when it comes to maintaining good health and hygiene.

In support of WaterAid’s campaign to #BringWater to the missing 75%, Surrey County Cricket Club players Hashim Amla, Rory Burns, Morne Morkel, Will Jacks, Amar Virdi and Liam Plunkett have been trying their hand at defending the wicket with WaterAid’s specially designed bat, which is just a quarter of the size of a normal bat, while in practice at the Kia Oval.

“I wouldn’t play a match without all the right equipment, and people shouldn’t be left to protect their health without something so vital as clean water.” Rory Burns, Surrey Cricket Club captain and England batsman said. 

“Please support WaterAid’s Bring Water campaign and help get clean water to vulnerable people in India, transforming lives for good.”

Ian Bell, former batsman for Warwickshire and England, signed a bat to donate to the campaign. He said:

“You can’t defend a wicket without a decent bat, and you can’t protect yourself against diseases like coronavirus without clean water and good hygiene. It’s easy to take clean water for granted when you have it on tap, but millions live without this basic human right. Together we can tackle this injustice by helping bring water to those in need.”

Mark Ramprakash, former batsman who played for England and Middlesex, also joined the campaign by signing a bat to help raise money for WaterAid.

“I’m proud to be supporting WaterAid’s ‘Bring Water’ campaign.” said Ramprakash.

“We know washing our hands with water and soap is vital for helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19, yet only a quarter of households in India have access to clean water in their home. I’ve had the privilege of visiting India as a player and coach, and I’m so glad we can use the sport I love to raise awareness of this injustice.

WaterAid is doing wonderful work to get clean water to those who need it most, and we can all do our part to help communities defend themselves.”    

To donate to WaterAid’s #BringWater campaign and help transform more lives, click here.


Crisis Response Volunteers Win Mayor’s Annual Volunteering Awards

The Mayor of London paid tribute to the “incredible” contribution made by Imperial Health Charity’s Crisis Response Volunteers as they were named among this year’s winners in the Mayor’s annual Volunteering Awards.

Sadiq Khan described our volunteers as “the best of our city”, recognising the vital part they played in helping our hospitals respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 350 volunteers stepped forward to support NHS staff and patients during the first wave earlier this year, helping to distribute food, drinks, toiletries and other essential supplies to wards and departments across the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s five hospitals.

The Mayor’s Volunteering Awards celebrate the work of dedicated Londoners who have given their time, skills and resources to support their communities throughout the pandemic.

Our volunteers came out on top in the Crisis Response category after hundreds of nominations were submitted by charities and community groups from all over London.

As a result of the award, we will receive an additional £5,000 prize from City Hall to support our work.

“These incredible volunteers reflect the very best of our city and their vital contribution was needed more than ever this year.” Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said. 

“They have all risen to the occasion in a uniquely testing year and, on behalf of all Londoners, I want to say a heartfelt thank you.

“Our volunteering awards are a real highlight of the year – allowing us to recognise the inspiring, committed and selfless Londoners who help make our city the greatest in the world.”

During the first wave of the pandemic, Imperial College Healthcare was among the busiest NHS trusts in England, treating more than 1,900 patients with Covid-19 between March and August.

The volunteers put themselves forward to support their local hospitals at a time when the rest of the community was being told to stay at home. They delivered more than 170,000 meals to hospital staff, facilitated over 100,000 visits at our pop-up shops and distributed 240 patient belongings sent in from home.

“Collectively our volunteers contributed more than 12,000 hours to support this mammoth operation, making the journey time and again to help our hospitals when they needed it most,” said Sam Morris, Head of Volunteering at Imperial Health Charity.

“At every turn, our volunteers performed their role with a smile on their face and a word of support for those around them working so hard to care for patients in the most challenging circumstances. They truly embodied our values – kind, collaborative, expert and aspirational – going above and beyond to help others in their hour of need.”

You can read more about the enormous impact our volunteers made during our Covid-19 response here. And you can watch the Mayor of London’s thank you message to volunteers here.


West End show streamed to 1200 older people in Independent Age network


More than 1200 older people had the magic of the stage transported to their living rooms earlier this month after the Ambassador Theatre Group and older people’s charity Independent Age joined forces.

The show’s producers and ATG provided streaming tickets to That’ll Be The Day Christmas Show 2020 – a rock and roll Christmas show with pop and traditional music – as a festive treat to more than 1000 older people from the Independent Age network and more than 200 from the charity’s partners, who may have been experiencing loneliness this year.

Members of the public helped make the partnership possible, by buying an extra ticket for the people in later life who have had a difficult year due to COVID-19.

That’ll Be The Day was also streamed into the living rooms of a number of care homes around the country.

Independent Age is an older people’s charity that wants to make the UK a place where we can all live happy, connected, and purposeful later lives.

During the coronavirus crisis, they have prioritised their efforts to ensure we continue to provide support to the 3000+ older people with whom they currently work. 

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said the show had been a boost for the spirits of older people connected with the charity.

“2020 has been a challenging year for people for everyone in the UK, and the additional restrictions placed on people in later life have made it especially difficult for them. 

“We were thrilled that the partnership with ATG and Independent Age meant that more than 1200 older people could have a fun, festive night.

“We’ve learnt this year how vital it is to stay socially connected while being physically distanced, and theatre is a fantastic way to do that.” 

Christopher Edgington, Chief Customer Officer at Ambassador Theatre Group, commented:

“In a year where it hasn’t been possible to bring live entertainment into people’s lives in our theatres, it meant more than ever that we were able to partner with Independent Age to reach an audience who have faced additional challenges.

“To see some of the wonderful feedback we’ve had from people who enjoyed the stream has been truly heart-warming.”

Jemma Gray, Team Leader at Anchor Hanover’s Dawson Lodge care home, said:

“The show had a good choice of songs and the singers were brilliant. All of our residents really enjoyed the show. Thank you so much Independent Age for this special holiday treat.” 

For more information about Independent Age & to donate, visit 

You can also arrange to speak to one of Independent Age’s advisers for free and confidential advice and information. Call their Freephone number on 0800 319 6789 or email [email protected]


New Shelter Report Shows 253,000 People Trapped In Temporary Accomodation



Shelter’s new report reveals 253,000 people in England are homeless and living in temporary accommodation during the pandemic – the highest figure for 14 years. 

Rising homelessness is already a major problem – with the latest figures showing 115,000 more people are homeless and trapped in temporary accommodation than a decade ago – but Shelter argues the economic chaos caused by Covid-19 risks turbo-charging the crisis. The charity’s analysis of government data shows the number of people in temporary accommodation jumped by 6,000 in the first three months after the pandemic struck. 

However, the number of people experiencing homelessness is undoubtedly higher, as many people will be undocumented by councils because they are sleeping rough or sofa-surfing. 

Shelter’s Homeless and Forgotten report examines the lives blighted by the housing emergency and lack of social homes, which is leaving thousands stuck in unstable temporary accommodation with nowhere else to go. Temporary accommodation provided by councils can range from a self-contained flat to an emergency B&B room with shared facilities.

One in six homeless households (17%) are currently placed into emergency B&Bs and hostels, where poor conditions and gross overcrowding are rife. The use of emergency B&Bs alone has increased by a staggering 371% over the last ten years. 

“Over a quarter of a million people – half of them children – are homeless and stuck in temporary accommodation.” Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said. 

“This should shame us all. With this deadly virus on the loose, 2020 has taught us the value of a safe home like never before. But too many are going without, because of the chronic lack of social homes.  

“Many people will spend Christmas in grim, dangerous places, cut off from loved ones and faced with a daily struggle to eat or keep clean. As the country continues to reel from the financial shockwaves caused by the pandemic, our services will do all they can to support those battling homelessness. This year has been unbelievably tough, but with the public’s generous support we will do our best to give hope and help to everyone who needs us.”  

To expose the harsh reality of life without a secure home, Shelter conducted 21 in-depth interviews with homeless families and individuals trapped in temporary accommodation during the pandemic. T

In response to its alarming findings, Shelter is urging the public to support its frontline advisers as they work tirelessly to help growing numbers of people to find, or keep hold of, a home.  

One of the people Shelter interviewed was Jenny, who was placed in temporary accommodation in South West London with her two young children aged 1 and 3. The tiny, self-contained flat is in extremely poor condition. 

Jenny said:“It’s a complete nightmare. We don’t feel safe, it’s always noisy, you don’t know who you’re living next to. The police are always around – someone tried to break down our door once, which was terrifying. It’s so difficult to do simple things like your laundry.”   

“The kids sleep on the sofa. There’s barely any space for them to eat – let alone play. I can’t let them play in the garden because there are needles and broken glass. Being so far from Jack’s nursery and having to wake up at 5am to get there makes things much harder. This is no place to bring up a family. I worry constantly about what impact this is having on them.” 

Another person interviewed was Far, who was moved out of his local area to a hostel in Harrow. He has lived alone in his cramped room for a year, which has left him feeling isolated and anxious. 

 “Living here in these conditions has really taken its toll” Far said.  The place is filthy. We have one bathroom for 20 people, but it’s not clean enough to use half the time. There’s never toilet tissue or soap. When coronavirus arrived, it was so stressful worrying about keeping clean and safe living in a place like this.  

“There were residents walking around who thought they had coronavirus and didn’t wear a mask. Because I’m living in shared accommodation during the pandemic, I wait until the middle of the night to make food, when the kitchen is empty and not full of people – usually five people try to cook at once. So, I no longer cook hot meals as social distancing is impossible. I mainly eat basic things in my room. I feel like I’ve been exiled, and nobody seems to care.” 

The report also revealed which parts of the country have the highest number of homeless people trapped in temporary accommodation. More than two-thirds (68%) of all homeless people living in temporary accommodation are in London – this equates to 1 every 52 people in the capital. Outside of the capital, Luton has the highest rate of people in temporary accommodation. 

Just £10 could answer a call to Shelter’s national emergency helpline, allowing a trained adviser to give expert advice and support. 

To donate to Shelter’s urgent winter appeal and give hope to people facing homelessness, please visit




Oritsé delivers special message to Young Carers at the UK’s biggest ever online Young Carers Christmas party

Oritsé Williams of JLS pop band fame has delivered a special video message to Young Carers at an event which is claiming to be the biggest ever young carers Christmas party in the UK.

The inaugural event was attended by over 150 young carers from across Dorset and organised by MYTIME Young Carers’ Charity.

“’Operation Christmas’ has been incredible, what started as a small idea quickly turned into a much bigger one and the resulting party was beyond our wildest dreams” MYTIME CEO Krista Sharp said. 

“Up and down the country, young carers have had such a challenging year and they deserved to have the most amazing party thrown in their honour. This has been our way of saying a huge thank you to them for all that they do.”

“We enjoyed an absolutely brilliant time. One of the highlights of the event was a surprise streaming of a video message from Oritsé Williams. We are so grateful to Oritsé for supporting our young carers Christmas party. As a former young carer himself Oritsé understands exactly what it means to care for a loved one.

“He is an incredible advocate for young carers and by sharing his own story he has helped make young carers more visible enabling them to access the support they deserve.” 

A part of Ortisé’s video quote included, “I am so proud of all the young carers throughout the country who have been going to incredible lengths to keep their loved ones extra safe in one of the hardest years of our lives. Every single one of you are extraordinary human beings and in my eyes, real-life heroes within our society.”

Krista added, “The young carers at the party were all sent party bags, in advance of the event, which included a Christmas jumper to wear for the online celebrations, chocolates, a book and other small gifts.

“We had a packed itinerary for the party; games of bingo with some brilliant prizes, including a star prize of a 4- night stay for a lucky family at the exclusive Bournemouth Beach Lodges, entertainment from The Funky Little Choir – a community based group of singers who love to sing and perform ‘random acts of choir ness’ by performing for people across the community who are facing tougher times.  Some mind bending tricks from Magician Nick Bavistock and we were so lucky to have a visit from Santa Claus.”

Elizabeth, age 10 said, “The party was great and I met lots of new people. I love my new Christmas jumper and the bingo was so much fun.”

Krista continued, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and support of Oritsé and also so many local people and businesses. Young carers are truly the most incredible group of young people and it’s been brilliant bringing them to together for some festive fun!” 

In the UK, there are an estimated 700,000 young carers, yet only 166,000 are registered as such. This means that the vast majority are facing the challenges of caring for a vulnerable relative, without support from their school or local authority.

It also means that the scale and nature of the challenges young carers face are hidden and often misunderstood. It is the charity’s aim to help young carers overcome these challenges, and to create a society which is more aware, inclusive and supportive of young carers.

To find out more about MYTime Young Carers and to support their mission head to  

Winter Vegan Market Has Massive Success Raising Vital Funds to Save Dogs Lives

Despite the pouring rain, cold weather and people being wary of going outdoors for all but essential trips, the people of Leeds and Yorkshire helped generate almost £3,000 for animal charity Miracle’s Mission at this weekend’s Leeds Vegan Winter Market.

The Leeds Vegan Winter Market was able to go ahead as an outdoors event on Sunday, adhering strictly to current Covid restrictions and social distancing.

All profits from the event, and all others around the UK organised by Vegan Events UK, are donated to Miracle’s Mission, a non-profit animal welfare organisation that works with sick, injured and difficult animals. Its mission is to provide a place of safety for animals in danger, to educate on the need for neutering both pets and strays and to neuter stray dogs and cats to prevent the birth of more dogs and cats onto the streets.

“It was pouring down with rain, freezing cold and I assume some people were worried to come because of Covid.”
Event organiser Victoria Bryceson said.

“But we did our best and I am pleased it went ahead as we raised nearly £3,000 for the dogs.”

Vegan Events UK was founded in 2017 with the joint aim of promoting veganism and helping to fund the vegan-led animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission. There are 15 planned so far for 2021 from Bournemouth to Glasgow, including a massive new weekend event, VFest UK. 

The profits from these events will be donated to Miracle’s Mission, which is currently looking to build the UK’s first centre for disabled animals, so founder, Victoria Bryceson, and her team can rehabilitate the most vulnerable, before finding them their forever homes.

Other ways you can help Miracle’s Mission are by fundraising, volunteering, fostering, donating or buying from its online shop. Visit for more details.


Moving the Goalposts wins gender equality at Beyond Sport’s 2020 awards

The Kenyan Leave No One Behind: Moving the Goalposts campaign has been announced as one of four winners of the 2020 Sport for Gender Equality Collective Impact Award supported by Comic Relief and the BT Supporter’s Club.

All four organisations will receive significant investment to work together over the course of the year to use sport to develop a collective approach to advance gender equality and society as a whole.

Moving the Goalposts is a sport for a development organization founded in 2002 in Kilifi, in the rural Coast Province of Kenya. Moving the Goalposts engages girls in football and uses the sport to help disadvantaged girls and young women to become leaders and create better futures for themselves. They create safe spaces for girls and young women to help them understand their rights and claim them. Taking up leadership roles and have a voice in the society.

The organisation’s vision is to help bring a fair, just and inclusive world where the rights of girls and young women are acknowledged, respected and realised. Since its founding, Moving the Goalposts has worked with over 30,000 adolescent girls and young women aged 9 – 25 years from rural and informal settlements in the coastal region of Kenya. They receive training and leadership opportunities to organise and run football activities, peer education programs on sexual and reproductive health, women’s rights and economic empowerment. 

Moving the Goalposts provides pathways and resources for girls to continue in education, vocational training and find income-generating activities or employment, including opportunities within the organisation.

“Winning this award means HOPE and more… for every girl born today and for every girl who dreams to play sport.” said Moving the Goalposts Executive Director, Dorcas Amakobe.

“It means a strong force created like never before in the community of sports for development to celebrate the gender equality goal in every corner of the world.”

This 2020 Beyond Sport Collective Impact Award has a focus on gender equality. In its second year, this cutting-edge program will increase support and investment to a group of organisations to work together to share best practice and work through issues in real-time to create community-driven solutions to accelerate sustainable impact through sport. 

The initiative will invest £225,000 in grant funding and a comprehensive business support package in four organizations across eastern and southern Africa that are using sport to progress Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and, in turn, advance society as a whole.


Cultural Survival Awarded $100k by Ray C. Anderson Foundation To Support Indigenous Climate Solutions

The NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to Cultural Survival to support grassroots Indigenous solutions to climate change.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a private family foundation that was launched in 2012 to celebrate the legacy of Ray C. Anderson, a globally recognised industrialist turned environmentalist that was once named the “Greenest CEO” by Fortune magazine and a “Hero of the Environment” by TIME.

The Foundation’s NextGen Committee is comprised of Ray’s five grandchildren and their spouses. Since 2014, the Committee has taken an active role in perpetuating Ray’s legacy by investing in projects geared to make the world a better place for “Tomorrow’s Child.”

Over the past eight years, the committee has funded more than $500,000 in programs with focus ranging from conservation and climate change education, to urban agriculture, agroforestry and now grassroots solutions to climate change in Indigenous communities.

The NextGen Committee’s grant will allow Cultural Survival to direct the funds to Indigenous communities addressing climate change on a variety of fronts, through 13 small grants awarded through the Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF).

Cultural Survival is an Indigenous-led NGO and U.S. registered non-profit that advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. 
For over 48 years, Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous Peoples’ rights and cultures worldwide.

Their Keepers of the Earth Fund is a small grants fund designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy and community development projects. Since 2017, the Keepers of the Earth Fund has supported 118 projects in 30 countries through small grants and technical assistance totaling over $528,000.

Keepers of the Earth Fund provides grants ranging between $500 and $5,000 that go directly to grassroots Indigenous-led organizations and groups to support their self-designed development projects based on Indigenous values.

“Cultural Survival has a unique passion and ability to empower change for Indigenous communities that are most directly affected by climate change,” said Stephanie Lanier, chair of the NextGen Committee.

“Their role in building up the individuals and letting their voices be heard tells an inspiring story of hope, ingenuity, and commitment to protecting the land and those who live on it. We are proud to present this year’s grant to an organization with such passion for finding multifaceted solutions all around the world.”

“We are deeply honored and grateful to the NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation for this opportunity and for recognizing the need to invest in Indigenous leadership and Indigenous-led solutions.

“Indigenous Peoples hold the answers to today’s challenges of climate change, biodiversity protection, land stewardship, and so much more. Our voices as Indigenous leaders need to be heard and upheld when taking on the climate crisis locally, nationally, and internationally, as our ancestral knowledge paves the way to restore balance in the world.

“Ray C. Anderson Foundation recognizes the value and integrity of our leadership and traditional knowledge, and we are excited for this new partnership where we will tackle climate change together, ” says Galina Angarova (Buryat), Cultural Survival Executive Director.

To find out more and to donate to Cultural Survival head to 



Santa Of The Sea Delivers Christmas Gifts To Stranded Sailors


Charity worker Simon Mobsby is delivering Christmas cheer to hundreds of cruise staff locked down off the UK coast.

With cruises cancelled due to coronavirus, huge cruise ships anchored off the UK coast have become a familiar sight since the crisis hit in March. Several ships, manned by skeleton crews of around 150, regularly come into Southampton port for supplies and maintenance, but the crews are restricted to a small area of the port because of coronavirus.

International maritime charity Sailors’ Society has stepped in to support the crews, inviting them to get their online shopping and post delivered to its Southampton seafarer centre and bringing it to the ships when they come into port.

Centre manager Simon delivered more than 200 parcels last month to grateful seafarers and makes trips to the supermarket for them if they need anything else. He’s expecting the demand to be greater as Christmas approaches.

“They have no access to the outside world at all, so I do it on their behalf,” he says.

“Their faces light up when I bring them letters and gifts from family and friends. It’s a privilege to be able to play Santa.”

The charity is also wrapping its own Christmas gifts for the crews, most of whom have been on the ships since before coronavirus hit in March. And Simon is even delivering gifts from one cruise ship to the other.

“People who worked together in the past are now on different ships and they’ve not been able to see each other for nine months,” he says.

“One crew sent a gift order to me on WhatsApp and I delivered the presents to the other ship. When I explained who they were from, they were over the moon.”

Sailors’ Society has received donations of gifts for seafarers from its supporters, as well as a grant from the International Transport Workers’ Federation/ International Christian Maritime Association to provide small Christmas parcels in a selection of additional ports.

To find out more about the work of the Sailors Society, head to 




LGBTQI+ Black Men Disproportionately Affected By Coronavirus


Global Black Gay Men Connect (GBGMC) have released “The Impact of COVID-19 on Black LGBTQI People,”GBGMC’s inaugural report on the drastic impact COVID-19 is having on Black LGBTQI people globally. 

Between April and May of this year, GBGMC, in partnership with UHIA ESHIRI, launched a global survey targeting Black LGBT organizations and individuals across the globe.

This report documents the results of the survey that shows the drastic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTIQ people globally. As reported by the recently published report by Outright Action International, on their latest report titled “Vulnerability Amplified,” LGBTQ people across the globe are being impacted by the virus; In this report, GBGMC sought to gather specific data on how Black LGBTQ people across the world are affected and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the world has now moved into the second wave of COVID-19, GBGMC’s hope is that this report offers some urgent lessons and recommendations for us to combat the impact of the imminent lock down due to COVID-19.

This report indicates a looming exacerbation of discrimination, devastating economic impact, risk of losing access to life-saving health care, and the marginalization of Black LGBTQ people.

It also shows there is an urgent need for government, international donors, UN agencies, the public sector, and the general public to come together and make sure that Black LGBTQ people, all LGBTQ people, are included and provided specific relief funds to mitigate the economic and health impacts the pandemic has and will worsen if not addressed.

In this report, GBGMC offered some specific recommendations on actions that local/national government, the UN, WHO, international donor agencies and the private sector can take to address the drastic impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Black LGBTQI people.

2020 has demonstrated the importance of investing in community structures and longtime support for community organizations.

GBGMC want to encourage the public to call on leaders, private sectors, governments from local to international to take actions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in Black LGBTQI+ communities.