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UK’s most generous city has been revealed

Manchester has been named the UK’s most generous city two years on the trot.

Amazing! What makes Manchester so generous?

The rating comes from GoFundMe, a platform where people can raise money for various causes. Data collected over the last year shows that, across the UK, the people of Manchester donated the most to causes on the website.

What sort of things did they raise money for?

The war in Ukraine was the main focus of GoFundMe in 2022, with the top three campaigns focusing on supporting those who have been displaced by the war. The UK’s largest appeal was the Association of Ukrainians, to which Brits donated more than £2.8m.

In fact, the UK was the third most generous country overall, with Ireland being the first and the US the second.

“The UK going up in the ranks for most generous countries was in part due to the huge response on our platform to the crisis in Ukraine, which was led by generous British donors,” said John Coventry from GoFundMe.

“What we’ve seen in 2022 is that, at times of crisis, kind-hearted people always want to help each other.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

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Culture

From rescue dog to service dog

Six clever pups have graduated from rescue pooch to lifesaving assistance dog!

So cute!! Tell me more!

The six good boys and girls were rescued by Dogs Trust UK, who have developed a partnership with Service Dogs UK. After living at Dogs Trust centres in Salisbury and Newbury, the six super-pups then lived temporarily with experienced foster fur-parents, before going into training.

So what exactly does a service dog do?

These service pups have gone through a whole year of training with Service Dogs UK. They trained with their soon-to-be owners, to help create a bond between them, and teach them all they need to know.

These six service pooches were all matched with veterans suffering from PTSD, so they can assist them in daily life. From fetching medication, helping with nightmares and panic attacks, and providing a lifeline in stressful situations, these dogs will change the lives of their owners for the better.

That’s amazing!

And the quotes from their new owners are really something beautiful. You keep reading, and we’ll provide the tissues!

Speaking about Barkley, his Labrador cross, Lee said: “He’s changed my life because I don’t feel I can die now, I’ve got to be here to look after him.  The work of Service Dogs UK is incredible, without the charity I don’t know where I would be.  They have given me my life back.” 

Speaking about Rio, Lee said: “I’m much more confident going out and about now like going to the shops or a cafe with less panic attacks.  Rio and I are a team, neither of us is going to give up on the other.  He’s got my back, I’ve got his, and Service Dogs UK are there for both of us.”  

Martin, from Sussex, is an Army Veteran who served with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment. He has been partnered with cocker spaniel Ollie who was handed into the care of Dogs Trust Salisbury by a member of the public.  Martin said: “My assistance dog Ollie has helped transform my life, no doubt about it.” 

This article aligns with the UN SDG Reduced Inequalities, Good Health and Wellbeing.

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Culture

The Christmas gift guide that gives back

Struggling to pick those last-minute gifts for your loved ones? Well, you’re not the only one.

As we open our advent calendars and pull out those dusty Christmas decs, it’s time to start thinking about presents. But for many this year – as the planet and the people on it is becoming increasingly important to society to protect – you may want to give gifts with meaning. Ones that aren’t full of plastic, or do good in the process.

We’ve put together a list of gifts you can buy for family and friends without the guilt, all while spreading a little Christmas cheer.

THE CHARITY SHOP GIFTCARD.

We no doubt all know someone who would love this gift! For the vintage lovers and secondhand shoppers among us, The Charity Shop Giftcard is a fantastic gift. You purchase and load it up with cash, just like any other giftcard, but the contents are redeemable at a variety of different charity shops across the country.

Participating stores includes places like Shelter, YMCA and TRAID, but the list is growing every single day. This gift does triple the good – you’re making a donation to charities, enabling people to shop secondhand and preventing waste, and you’re bringing a smile to your loved ones faces. What could be better?

CONCERN WORLDWIDE.

Sick of giving the gift of stuff every year? For your loved one who has, well, everything, consider purchasing a Concern Gift, through Concern Worldwide.

On their website, you can choose from a bunch of different gifts, all of which are tailored to improve the lives of families in some of the world’s poorest countries. You can spend as little as £9 on a mosquito net, or as much as £1,180 on a village well – or buy livestock like chickens and cows so that families can eat, and sell produce for money.

Each gift comes with a personalised card you can send to your loved one, so they know where the money is going, and can see the difference it is making in someones life.

SEA CHANGE WINE.

If you have a family member who loves a glass of wine at the end of a long week, then look no further. Sea Change Wine is a wine company dedicated to quality wine, and protecting our oceans.

The wines are eco friendly (meaning minimal packaging), and each 75cl bottle purchased results in a 25 euro cents donation to charity partners like the Olive Ridley Project and Sea-Changers. As an added bonus, all wines are suitable for vegetarians, and most are even vegan friendly.  

TOGETHERBAND ACCESSORIES.

#TOGETHERBAND is a fantastic store that prioritises sustainability above all else – but who says you can’t look good while saving the planet?

For the sustainable fashionista in your life, consider the carbon negative sunglasses made from recycled CDs – for every pair sold £1 is donated to Sightsavers to help prevent blindness. Or maybe take a look at the bracelets made from ocean plastic with clasps made from surrendered firearms.

Whoever you’re buying for, #TOGETHER has a gift they’ll love, that allows you to give back at the same time.

SOCIAL STORIES CLUB.

Have a foodie friend who wants to make an impact? Look no further than the Sustainable Foodie Gift Box, where each and every item has made a difference, in its own special way.

From the apple crisps made from wonky apples that would otherwise go to the landfill, helping reduce food waste to the honey spiced nut mix that helps girls in Africa through the Empowering Girls Education Programme, the Sustainable Foodie Gift Box is a great choice for making a difference. One thing is for sure, this gift box will keep your loved ones happy in their souls, and their stomachs, long after Christmas has been and gone.

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

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Culture

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: www.thesocialsociety.org.uk.

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

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Culture

‘Operation Santa’ powered by volunteers

Since the clock struck midnight on Halloween, the holiday season has been upon us.

To make Christmas extra special for kids across the US, the United States Postal Service has a yearly tradition, going back 110 years, called Operation Santa

The operation started when United States Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to start responding to needy children, with the first one starting at the James Farley Post Office, and that tradition has continued today.

How does it work?

The USPS has a dedicated address for Santa’s home base, where they receive thousands of letters every year from children trying to reach the jolly Christmas icon.

The letters are read, sorted, and then displayed on the USPS site where volunteers can adopt the letter and answer it in whatever way they are inspired to do. 

Anyone is allowed to adopt letters, and they can answer the children’s wishes however they feel, usually answering one or two wishes from a child while others aim to fully fulfill the list they adopt.

In general, though kids just love hearing back from Santa, and that’s just what volunteers are doing. 

Get involved!

This article aligns with the UN SDG No Poverty.

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Culture

All you need to know about the Charity Film Awards

Find out more: smileycharityfilmawards.com.

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Culture

Make-up that’s committed to mental wellbeing

It’s no secret that more of us are being conscious where we shop – we’re aware of the climate crisis, we’re aware of the hardships many people experience, and we want companies to be aware of this, too.

And many of them are – because more seem to be committing to green climate pledges, supporting charities through their profits, and aligning with the goals that aim to make our world a happier and healthier place to live.

So each week, we highlight the ones doing their bit.

MAYBELLINE.

Cosmetic giant Maybelline (admit it, you sang the jingle, right?) has teamed up with a whole host of mental health experts to create Brave Together. Available 24/7, Brave Together has resources available for people struggling with their mental health including self-help tools, and advice on how to spot mental health struggles in others.

Plus, you can even recycle your Maybelline makeup now at over 1000 stores. A win for us – and for the environment.

TURTLE DOVES.

Turtle Doves uses post-consumer textile waste (that’s old clothes to you and me) to create products like wrist-warmers, fingerless gloves, socks, scarves and more, all in a bid to prevent more waste from being created. Each piece is unique, created from old cashmere jumpers that are often sourced from charity shops, so they know the money is going somewhere good.

Additionally, Turtle Doves endeavours to employ British people, including a number of seamstresses who lost their jobs when they were moved abroad, and does their best to educate their customers on sustainability, and how to ‘make do and mend’ with their Turtle Doves purchases. Plus, look at these adorable booties.

NOUR AND THE MERCHANT.

Pioneering ‘slow fashion’, Nour and the Merchant creates beautiful, fairytale-inspired garments by hand with their small, but passionate, team of four, and everything is made to order to ensure that there is as little waste as possible.

Wherever possible, the fabric used is deadstock, recycled, organic or sustainable, and new garments are created from every piece of leftover material. Everything is shipped through a green initiative, to offset carbon emissions, making it a super green way to add to your wardrobe!

Not only that, but yearly donations are made to different NGOs and charities, particularly those that promote change, protect those in need, and fight injustice. A thoughtful company all around! Find out more.

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

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Culture

A simple way to achieve ‘better business’

Mary Portas, founder of the Portas Agency, or even better known as the creator of Save the Children’s ‘Mary’s Living and Giving Shops‘ made a confession at Anthropy.

Back in the 1990s, she says, there was the idea that fashion and designer labels would “somehow transform” women into the people they dreamt of being. Her job at the time was to create campaigns to make people buy the “ultimate, must-have bags”, launched exclusively at Harvey Nichols.

She was amazing at it. “The campaign really worked, I was really pleased,” she said, during her talk on consumerism to consciousness at Anthropy. “I should’ve stopped and shuddered, but I didn’t.

“I was the creative director of a consumer machine that convinced people to spend money they didn’t have.”

She then told the audience: “Thirty years on, I shudder. I admit to you all, I was wrong. And today the story we need to tell, and I’m telling you, is completely different.”

Mary said she was no longer an unconscious part of a machine of consumerism. “I am part of a more conscious movement, of people and businesses who want to create new systems and stories of buying and selling.”

As the co-chair of the Better Business Act, Mary said business is one of the major societal structures that can create real concrete change for the future.

“I had a penny dropping moment,” she said. “I looked at the internal business culture and the external systems we, as a society, were working to: the measures of success being endless vertical growth and profit.”

Instead, says Mary, of businesses profiting from “creating problems from people in our planet”, we need to flip that and create profitable solutions.

“There is a growing movement of people who want better in business,” she says.

The Better Business Act has an ambitious goal to shift all businesses to be responsible for people, society and the environment, alongside their responsibility to shareholders.

“We want a small but fundamental change to company law: right now, businesses legally responsible to shareholders,” explains Mary. “Our mission is to do this: to change UK law to make sure every single company in UK, whether big or small, puts balancing people, profit and planet at the heart of their purpose and responsibility of their directors. It’s a small but profound and potentially revolutionary shift.”

Smiley News is a media partner at Anthropy.

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Culture

How to get young people to lead on our future

Young people need to be in the forefront of conversation about the future of the UK, as they are the future workforce.

That was the important message that came from the Anthropy discussion ‘Preparing UK young leaders for generation global social impact’, hosted by One Young World.

Most businesses in the UK have four generations in their workforce, so how can we bring them together? “We tend to put the onus on young people to be the change,” said George Imafidon, founder of Motivez. “However there’s a systemic side of everything, and people need to partner with you in order to make that change happen.”

For the One Young World ambassadors, it was about finding ways to co-produce and collaborate. “For me,” said Meg Zeenat Wamithi, MindMapper UK, “if you don’t start something, who will? Sometimes we wait for the perfect time or moment or resource, but social impact can start with you.”

So how can we encourage young people to be engaged in global social impact – and lead on our future?

Become an ambassador

One Young World is a great way to do this,” says Rose, who works in CSR at Pfizer, and is a OYW ambassador. “The amount of connections that you get are a huge part of it. You mix with people who want to make an impact in the same space and do more together.”

It’s exposure, adds Meg. “Young people don’t realise what’s out there unless they’re exposed to it. It opens doors for young people. Sometimes all they need to be inspired is to be in the room.”

Reverse mentorship

Mentorship is important – and yes, senior leaders mentoring young people is beneficial, but reverse mentorship, where young people work with more senior leaders, to share their ideas, can be just as effective.

“It’s all about the cycle of exposure,” says Meg. “People can get value, advice, and insight from asking a young person about their ideas, background and learnings.” 

Youth boards

Youth boards, or shadow boards, can be a great way to inspire young people to make an impact, says George. “It integrates them into decision making and what businesses are doing – and they can delegate decisions to young people.

“It can be scary, but it makes sure young people are integrated into the communities they’re trying to serve,” he says.

However, adds Meg, there is the argument that young people shouldn’t necessarily be separated from everyone else. “Get young people on formal boards,” she says. “It shouldn’t be performative. We have to be intentional about where we utilise our voices and our strengths.”

Smiley News is a media partner at Anthropy.

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Culture

Love Airbnb? Here’s another reason to

We all know and love Airbnb for letting us book blissful holiday destinations, without the impersonal backdrop of a hotel.

But today they’re in the news for something more than facilitating our beachside getaway.

Airbnb has donated a generous £1.25 million to English Heritage, a trust which maintains and protects some of England’s most important historical attractions.

Wow! Tell us more.

Well Amanda Cupples, from Airbnb, said they wanted to make the contribution to “benefit both local communities and tourists”, so they can enjoy England’s cultural history, including hidden gems in some of the less-visited rural areas and countryside.

So, what does English Heritage actually do?

From Bolsover Castle to Stonehenge, English Heritage cares for over 400 historical sites and attractions in England – including ones you might know from TV and film.

Recognise the Bridgerton family home, anyone? Or maybe The Avengers at Dover Castle is more your speed?

The charity supervises both historical sites and artefacts, helping to preserve them so that they’re available for future generations.

And they also help visitors to learn through a hands-on approach, encouraging a love of history in people of all ages.

Where will the money go?

The money donated by Airbnb will go towards making sure that English Heritage has the funds necessary to preserve these historical sites for years to come. Nice work.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.