This ‘alternative workforce’ aims to do social good this winter

They say collective action makes a real difference – and we couldn’t agree more. Which is why one Brighton-based social impact business is swooping in to make that a reality.

The Social Society has launched a new campaign, alongside branding agency Each To Their Own, ‘Unleashing your workforce superheroes’, with the aim of bringing in businesses across the UK to use the skills of their employees to support, charities, and communities in need.

Founder Toni Finnimore says she is recruiting an “alternative workforce” to support communities affected by the cost of living crisis. Communities need long-term support, rather than just one-offs now more than ever, says Toni.

So, how do you sign up?

The Social Society is taking applications from organisations around the UK for their employees to become part of a nationwide team plugging gaping holes in government support.

This alternative to CSR models matches the skills of employees with charities and community groups doing the work that matters most in our crisis-stricken society.

“Unfortunately the crisis has been looming for some time,” says Toni Finnimore. “Charities have been plugging the gaps in communities where governments should have been offering support for years.

“It’s time to take the reins and create independent ways of giving back. By using already skilled employees from businesses nationwide, we are able to address issues affecting communities in a way that is responsive to their needs in real-time.

“We need to connect with the people in our communities now more than ever; human connection and kindness should be at the heart of all we do.”

Find out more

The Social Society is a ‘social club for social good’, which started as a meet-up group in 2015, running social events to connect local people and support local charities and communities.

In 2018, it began formally connecting people and businesses with charities that need help. It has also hosted a number of unique live and in-person events from acoustic music, pop-ups and festivals to charity events and supper clubs.

Find out more about how to become part of The Social Society here:

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnerships for the Goals.


Disney’s pledges to ‘keep our oceans amazing’ in unique way

Nearly 13 years ago, Avatar hit theaters. Remember that?

Known for its stunning visuals and poignant story about colonization and land exploitation, the James Cameron film went on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time – bringing in over 2.9 billion dollars at the box office. 

Now, over a decade later, a sequel named Avatar: The Way of Water is slated to come out on December 16.

To drum up support, and help support a good cause, Disney has launched a new program to protect the oceans. 

What’s Disney doing?

Oceans cover over 70% of the planet and produce most of the oxygen we breathe, but less than 8% of the ocean is protected. So Disney is working to protect more waters. 

As part of its ‘Keep Our Oceans Amazing’ campaign, Disney has released Virtual Pandora Ocean, an online experience that allows people to scan in and create their own Pandoran creatures using features common to the fictional world.

The site has tidbits of information on real-life ocean habitats and organisms to help teach the people coming through. 

The biggest part, though, is that Disney is planning on donating five dollars to the Nature Conservancy for every creature created – up to $1 million to help fund the fight to protect the ocean.

The Nature Conservancy is fighting to have 10% of the ocean officially protected by 2030.

“The entire planet depends on the health of our ocean to support and sustain it,” said Melissa Garvey, Global Director of Ocean Protection at The Nature Conservancy.

“We need to do our part to protect it. That’s why we are thrilled to collaborate with Disney and Avatar on this campaign. Our mission is driven by working together with those who believe we can shape a brighter future where people and nature can thrive together.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life Below Water.


These businesses take Pride beyond Pride month

We all know the feeling – a brand you love goes all out for Pride month, with new social media graphics and a long, mushy Instagram post about how much they appreciate their LGBTQIA+ employees. Then, at 00:00 1 July, boom. It’s gone.

But never fear, there are businesses out there doing their bit to support the LGBTQIA+ community, whether it’s June or December.

We’ve scoured through Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list, which is compiled from the Workplace Equality Index – the UK’s leading benchmarking tool for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, to take our pick of businesses doing their bit.


You heard right – the fizzy-pop giant is one of the most inclusive employers in the world. With a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, a way of measuring equality and inclusion of American businesses, Coca-Cola is doing their part.

Based in the USA, the business has a history of supporting local and national policies that benefit the LGBTQIA+ community and was one of the first corporations to publicly support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. They have since launched the ‘Next Generation LGBTQ Leaders’ Initiative’ – a program designed to connect, educate and inspire young LGBTQ leaders.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Not what you were expecting, right? Yes, the Fire and Rescue Service in Cheshire specifically is hugely supportive of LGBTQIA+ employees, and members of the local community.

They have an online guide for employees on how to be better allies to their LGBTQIA+ colleagues and engage in Pride events across their local communities – complete with a rainbow fire engine.


The media giant is number nine on Stonewall’s top 100 employers of 2022, and for good reason.

The company has committed itself to engaging with minorities of all kinds and has invested in several programmes to encourage diversity in its workplace. This includes their Graduate Inclusion Week and the MAMA Youth Project, both of which take applications from young people who are from diverse backgrounds. They also mark and celebrate key LGBTQIA+ events throughout the year, and describe their policies as ‘fully inclusive’.


Tesco is hugely supportive of their LGBTQIA+ employees, earning them Network Group of the Year 2022 from Stonewall UK.

They have a network available for their LGBTQIA+ employees, as well as year-round, confidential support. They also continuously encourage other employees to step up as allies with content like a video series, for LGBTQIA+ History Month, informative blogs for awareness days throughout the year, and events exploring the history of Pride, asexuality and ace spectrum identities, LGBTQIA+ people’s experiences of HIV/AIDS, and non-binary equality.

Network Rail

Network Rail also has an LGBTQIA+ network for their employees to access, called Archway. Archway is run entirely by volunteers, provides confidential support to colleagues, reviews policies and practices with an LGBTQIA+ lens, and runs awareness-raising events throughout the year.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Archway made sure to reach out to members of their community and encourage them to attend ‘InclusiviTea’ virtual coffee events to provide support and connection.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Reduced Inequalities.


Look at McDonald’s new reusable packaging

Some of the most common producers of waste and single-use plastics come from large food service corporations, providing things like plastic forks and spoons, to-go packaging, straws, and much more.

The fast-food giant McDonald’s is one such massive contributor – but they’ve actively been making efforts to improve their global footprint, particularly in France. 

Twitter user Juan Buis, who lives in Paris, shared a photo on social media of the silicone-style reusable packaging the fast food giant is trialling.

“Absolutely loving the design of this reusable packaging that’s being introduced at McDonalds France,” he wrote.

Why France?

In 2020, France passed something called the AGEC Law (Waste for a Circular Economy) which essentially banned many single-use plastics in the country.

Among the products banned by the AGEC Law are many containing microplastics, polystyrene fast food containers, plastic fast food cutlery used on site, plastic fast food toys, plastic packaging for mailings, plastic water bottles at public events, and certain non-recyclable plastic packaging. 

To be able to continue business in the country without breaking the law, McDonald’s started developing reusable alternatives for things like its burger boxes and plastic packaging and cutlery.

Ultimately, these packaging changes could prevent 8,000 tons of waste per year as part of the “zero plastic” strategy championed by the brand. 

“For years, a key pillar of our packaging strategy has been to reduce the materials we use by lightweighting and optimizing our packaging,” McDonald’s writes in a release. “We’ll accelerate our progress to reduce materials across our portfolio, redesigning some of our most iconic products to eliminate unnecessary packaging and increase opportunities for recovery.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.


The college helping homeless cats on campus

They say a man’s best friend is a dog – but a close second is our furry feline friends, cats.

The animal, known for knocking over water glasses and causing general mischief in the household, is a staple of American homes and families. But sometimes they escape, are neglected, or abandoned, and they find themselves in the wild ending up sick, hungry or feral.

An ongoing program at the California Polytechnic State University has been working to address this and give these cats a chance. 

Introducing: Cats on Campus

The program to help homeless cats began in 1992 as a senior project designed to solve the rising population of feral cats on campus. It was initially concerning, trapping and then euthanizing feral cats but that was quickly scrapped in order to promote a more humane approach.

This work eventually led to what today is a cat sanctuary with the goal of rehabilitating cats and resocializing them while providing them a safe space from the wild. 

“We take in many scared, elderly, special needs, and shy cats that other shelters deem unadoptable,” they say.

“Our dedicated volunteers work with these wonderful cats to socialize them, relieve their stress, provide a safe and comforting environment, and help them adjust to new situations, resulting in a more adoptable pet.”

The program is fully non-profit and runs on donations, so consider donating to help keep the program running.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.


How the world is future-proofing fashion

From luxury threads to the cheap and cheerful, fast fashion has taken the world by storm, becoming a billion-dollar industry that stretches across the globe. Full of cheap, trendy clothing with a quick turnover, fast fashion makes once expensive styles affordable for everyone.

But fashion isn’t all exciting sales and affordable prices. The industry generates more CO2 than the aviation and shipping industries put together, contributing to 10% of global pollution per year. Not only that, more than $500 billion of clothing is lost every year due to a lack of recycling and clothing being thrown away.

Let’s be honest; Elle Woods would not approve. And like the blonde bombshell we all love so much, there are those who have decided enough is enough – something has to change. These people, organisations, and businesses are putting planet before profit to focus on what the world actually needs.

So, who’s doing their bit?

Loanhood is a clothing rental app that allows consumers to rent out clothing from their own wardrobe. Set up by three friends determined to make an impact on the world, it hopes to end the overconsumption of clothing, and the prevalence of fast fashion in our world. 

Renting clothing is becoming more popular as an alternative, not only to making purchases at a high price point but to over-consuming clothing. By renting clothes instead of purchasing new ones, you’re preventing the need for new fashion pieces to be created, and all the environmental pitfalls that come along with that.

“For so many people, [fashion] is their form of creativity and self-expression,” explains Loanhood founder, Jen Charon. “It helps them feel that they belong with their friends. It helps them express who they are in society… it’s a big ask say ‘stop’.

“I think fashion rental is a great alternative for fashion lovers, who still care about the environment. And I think it’s going to change all of our experiences of fashion. It opens up your options, and not just the high street or the big e-commerce retailers; you get to access individuals like making really cool clothes. I think that’s super exciting.”

What about pre-loved?

A tried and tested alternative to fast fashion, which is increasing in popularity, is buying second-hand – or thrifting, whether it’s charity shops or using online stores like Vinted and Depop.

“Wearing secondhand is a joyful way to express individual style and wear unique items that no one else has,” says Traid Chief Executive, Maria Chenoweth. “From Alexander McQueen to Oscar De La Renta and Selfridges, at last secondhand has become socially acceptable, with everybody wanting a piece of that preloved action.”

A 2022 survey found that four in 10 consumers purchased secondhand goods, while one-third said that they sold their own items on the secondhand market. Buying secondhand clothing is just one piece of the puzzle – there is so much more that goes into being more sustainable with your clothing.

“It’s really important to keep clothes in circulation, so buy good quality, only buy what you know you will wear, repair and if you have clothes that you no longer wear and someone else could, then donate them to charity,” explains Maria. 

Giulia Alvarez-Katz, a self-described ‘Zilennial’, almost exclusively buys secondhand – from kitting out her wardrobe to furnishing her apartment, it’s all pre-loved.

“The more globally-minded importance of buying secondhand only became clear to me in adulthood as I learned about the waste involved in fast fashion; how much fabric is disposed of and never used again,” explains Giulia.

“Some people are disillusioned by fast fashion or actively want to boycott it. I’ve noticed there’s a growing sense among fashionistas that older garments are made with more care and attention to detail.”

So that’s the tea. The fashion industry still needs to undergo some major changes to make it sustainable, but there is hope – and there are people out there making changes.

There are so many people out there fighting to make a difference and to make sustainable fashion the norm.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Responsible Consumption and Production.


Make a difference with a climate café

Have you ever thought about hosting your own climate café?

In a bid to combat the increasing rates of eco-anxiety, Force of Nature – a nonprofit that aims to mobilise mindsets for climate action – is hosting climate cafés: safe spaces to navigate difficult conversations, and turn eco-anxiety into action.

Founded by Clover Hogan, Force of Nature wants to enable young people to take action in their own ways. With research by the nonprofit showing that 70% of young people are eco-anxious and 56% feel that humanity is doomed, they believe climate cafés can be a tool to help people navigate this fear. 

So what actually is a climate café?

They’re community-organised spaces for people to have open yet structured conversations about how to navigate difficult climate emotions, and translate these feelings into action.

Force of Nature has launched a free resource to help people host their own climate café; featuring a step-by-step plan.

They’re looking for young people to host these cafés. “We will provide you with an instruction guide on setting up a café, and support bringing it to life,” they say. 

What’s needed for a climate café?

  • A venue to host the climate café (this could be an existing café, shop, community space, or even someone’s living room).
  • Seats and tables.
  • Hot drinks and snacks (e.g. biscuits).
  • Clarity on who you want to participate in your climate café. This could be friends or strangers off the street; other young people or an intergenerational audience.
  • A readiness to facilitate climate conversations. It’s up to you how long you run the café for; it could be one day or it could be for two weeks.

How are they helping?

Force of Nature is also offering micro grants to young people who want to host a climate café but face financial barriers. 

“The micro-grants are up to £150 and will prioritise cafés that are reaching groups often left out of climate conversations and for those who are most affected by the climate crisis,” they say.  

You will receive more information about the grants and how to apply once you’ve submitted your interest to host a café.

To find out more information about holding a climate café, visit:

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.


How to get accessible Letters from Santa

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is running its Letters from Santa campaign again this Christmas.

Sounds festive!

It is! Every year at Christmas the RNIB allows children the chance to get a letter from Father Christmas, but in a format that is accessible to them. 

Amazing! What kind of adjustments do they provide?

The letters are delivered to children who are blind or visually impaired and can be sent as an audio letter, or in large print or braille. For these children, it’s gives the opportunity to experience the Christmas spirit in a way that is adapted to them and their needs!

If you would like to sign a child up for a Letter from Santa, you can do so on the RNIB website.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Reduced Inequalities.


Crisis searches for Christmas helpers

Homelessness charity Crisis has put a call out for volunteers this Christmas.

Tell me more.

Crisis at Christmas has become a fixture of not only Crisis, but of the festive season in the UK. This year, Crisis estimates they will be providing hotel accommodation to more than 400 people in London alone who would be otherwise sleeping rough.

What else do they offer?

Crisis also runs day centres for people in temporary accommodation which provide everything from health checks to hot food and drink to friendship. But all these things wouldn’t be possible without the thousands of people who volunteer their time every year.

What does Crisis need from us?

Crisis are looking for volunteers to assist at hotels, to cook meals, and give advice. People in certain professions who would be willing to volunteer their skills, for example hairdressers, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, opticians, podiatrists, are also sorely needed.

Sign up to volunteer with Crisis at Christmas this year.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.


Meet the 2022 Champions of the Earth 2022

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has given out its 2022 awards honouring those who are fighting to protect Mother Earth.

Tell me more.

The UNEP has chosen five winners of their ‘Champions of the Earth’ award, designed to celebrate people who are at the forefront of protecting our planet. This year has seen the highest number of entries since the award was created, with over 2,200 people putting their efforts forward.

So who are this year’s winners?

Three winners were honoured under the ‘Inspiration and Action’ category. 

The first is the environmental non-profit group Arcenciel, a Lebanon-based NGO that has spent two decades helping to clear the country of its waste.

The second is Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet, co-founder of Cameroon Ecology and President of the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests, for the work she has done repairing damage to forests and more.

The third winner in this category is Constantino Aucca Chutas, the co-founder of Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos, who has planted more than three million trees in Peru and protected or restored 30,000 hectares of land. 

What about the other categories?

Dr Purnima Devi Barman leads the ‘Hargila Army’, an all-female grassroots movement of people who are passionate about wildlife, which has brought back the greater adjutant stork from the brink of extinction. Dr Barman was the winner of the ‘Entrepreneurial Vision’ category.

In the Science and Innovation category, Sir Partha Dasgupta won for groundbreaking contributions to economics and showing people just how important nature and the ecosystem are to our world.

What a truly inspirational set of winners. Find out more.

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Climate Action, Life on Land and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.