Three million pound house draw to raise funds for the BHF

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is partnering with online charity fundraising platform Omaze on their latest campaign. Omaze is offering one lucky person the chance to win a stunning three-million-pound house in Central London to help raise crucial funds to support the charity’s life saving research.

Los Angeles-based Omaze has already raised over £100 million to support more than 350 charities around the world thanks to its revolutionary approach to fundraising and we’re excited to be their latest partner.

Located in leafy Fulham – the ‘Omaze Million Pound House supporting the British Heart Foundation’ is the UK’s first ever three million-pound house prize with a guaranteed winner. 

The beautiful four storey freehold property boasts three bedrooms and a stunning outdoor office and gym space. Omaze will even throw in £10,000 to help the winner settle in. 

The new owner of this spectacular house is free to live in it, rent it or sell it. There’s no mortgage, no stamp duty or conveyancing to pay. The winner of this life changing prize will become an instant millionaire three times over.

The charity’s celebrity supporters Penny Lancaster, David Ginola, Yinka Bokinni and Sarah, Duchess of York feature in the launch video for the campaign to encourage people to enter the draw and support the life-saving organisation. 

Penny Lancaster is no stranger to the heartbreak caused by heart and circulatory diseases. In 2017, her dad Graham suffered a heart attack. Her husband, Rod Stewart also has a close connection to the cause as both of his brothers have undergone surgery for serious heart conditions in recent years.  

“This incredible house will be a life changing prize for one lucky winner – but more importantly – the money raised through Omaze’s innovative approach to fundraising will help the British Heart Foundation continue its life saving research during these challenging times and well into the future.” Penny said. 

“I’ve seen first-hand how families can be devastated by heart diseases, meaning the money raised will make an immense difference to people right across the UK.”

Despite phenomenal research progress over the last 60 years, heart and circulatory diseases – including heart attackstroke and vascular dementia – kill one in four people in the UK and are the leading cause of death worldwide. People with many of these conditions are also at increased risk of serious illness if they are infected with Covid-19, making BHF’s work more needed than ever. 

Eighty percent of the draw profits will go to supporting the BHF and the promotion will raise a minimum donation £100,000, with an estimated raise of £500,000. This comes at a time when the charity are having to cut our funding for new research in half due to the devastating impact of Covid-19 on their fundraising.

CEO and Co-Founder of Omaze Matt Pohlson said: “We’re honoured to support the British Heart Foundation and help them reach a new audience to raise as much money as possible that will go to support their work. 

“The BHF is a cause that really resonates with me personally as I’ve had major complications with my heart that actually lead to me being declared dead for four minutes a few years ago. The kind of pioneering research that the BHF undertakes is exactly why I’m still standing today. It’s genuinely life saving work.

“Omaze is a win-win for both charities and donors. By offering an incredible prize like this three million-pound home, we’re giving people the chance to win, while also introducing charities to donors they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. We’ve found this method of fundraising is making a big difference to causes all around the world.”

Draw entries are now available on Omaze’s website. The promotion is open to entrants who are at least 18 years of age and residents from around the world (prohibited jurisdictions excluded). 

The Omaze Million Pound House Draw supporting the BHF is open until midnight on Friday 26th March 2021.

There will also be 2,000 runner-up prizes including a Jaguar F-Type Coupe, a VW California Ocean Campervan, a £10,000 Home Tech Hamper and weekly cash giveaways of £1,000.

To find out more about the BHF’s life-saving work and to find out how to get involved head to 


Islamic Relief’s student fundraising campaign raises highest total ever

Thousands of students across the UK and overseas have raised over a million pounds for children across the world for international charity Islamic Relief.

In the UK alone, a phenomenal £878,000 was raised through a week of Covid-safe activities such as virtual auctions, where items such as toilet paper were auctioned off for £1k, a hand sanitiser for £600, a cake for £8k, and a can of fizzy drink for £2.3k.

Islamic Relief is a development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, they have assisted over 117 million people all over the world.  Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future.

A ‘2020 Challenge’ was also set during the week, in which fundraisers were asked to pick a challenge like walking, running or cycling, apply the number 20 to it and ask for sponsorship. This also included people avoiding sugar, becoming vegan, doing 20 push-ups or going carb-free for 20 days.

Charity Week takes place between 26 October and 1 November. It involves student Islamic Societies, schools, colleges and the general public up and down the country donating their time, energy and goodwill to raise money for Islamic Relief.

Charity Week began as an annual volunteer-led campaign launched by a group of students in London back in 2003. Over the years it has raised over ten million pounds. Funds raised go to emergency and long-term care for children in some of the world’s poorest places and fragile environments, like Gaza, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan.

“It is truly amazing what has been achieved during Charity Week this year, especially during this difficult time.” Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK, said. 

“With the challenges of fundraising during the pandemic and not being able to raise money through dinners, treks and bucket collections, our inspiring volunteers from all over the world have still managed to excel and fundraise for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“Every year during Charity week, I always feel inspired seeing the energy and compassion that young people show for others. It gives me hope for the future. Charity Week is a practical example of what happens when people decide that they will put aside their differences and work together to build a better, more hopeful world.”

To find out more about Islamic Relief and to support their work through donation, volunteering or fundraising, head to their website.

Culture Equality

Consortium announces £290,000 funding for 43 LGBTQ+ organisations


Consortium, the UKs umbrella body for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender + organisations has announced the successful recipients from its latest grants programme, the LGBT+ Futures: National Emergencies Trust Fund.

43 LGBT+ organisations across the UK will share the funding, with grants ranging from £2,000 to £13,510. Recipients will undertake a diverse range of work, from Black-led LGBT+ health support and provision to support for physical activity across trans communities.

All organisations funded will work to address the increased demands placed upon their services as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, which has seen 40% of LGBT+ organisations reporting immediate losses in funds, a majority of LGBT+ organisations seeing increases in demand, 42% of LGBT+ people surveyed seeking support for mental health issues, 70% of LGBT+ surveyed reporting decreased mental wellbeing overall and all data pointing to additional increase for those LGBT+ people who are from communities experiencing racism, are Deaf/disabled or are trans/non-binary.

Funding for the programme is thanks to money from the National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal Funds, who are investing in the LGBT+ sector in recognition of how under-represented the sector has been in Covid-19 related funding to date.

“Deaf Rainbow UK is delighted to receive this funding which will combat the further isolation faced by deaf people during COVID-19 times via Online social meets with their access needs met.” Tyron Woolfe, Chair of Deaf Rainbow UK, said. “A new video for deaf people questioning their gender identity will be valuable support in the absence of any accessible resources.”

Leila Zadeh, Executive Director UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, said: “Covid-19 has resulted in a threefold increase in people contacting us for emotional support. This grant will enable us to continue supporting them during this difficult time as we deliver our services remotely. We will also be able to ensure better data security and avoid security breaches which could put our service users at serious risk.”

Additional awards totalling £60,000 will be made shortly to LGBT+ organisations in Northern Ireland and Wales. Consortium have been working with LGBT+ organisations in these areas to better understand local needs and where funds can make the most difference.

“The global pandemic has had seriously profound effects on both LGBT+ individuals in need of support, and those organisations who provide lifeline services. I am delighted National Emergencies Trust has entrusted Consortium with these funds so we can get them to where they are desperately needed.” Paul Roberts OBE, Chief Executive at Consortium said.

“We know this is just a drop in the ocean in terms of LGBT+ sector need but these funds are already being put to good use to help organisations build their resilience and to be able to continue offering their services. A huge thank you to all grant recipients for their fantastic work.”

To learn more about Consortium and to read the full list of funding recipients head to their website


DofE launches Resilience Fund to help young people benefit from extracurricular activities


New research by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has revealed the transformative impact extracurricular learning, such as volunteering, developing a skill or getting better at a sport, can have on young people’s wellbeing – and how COVID-19 is putting the future of these activities at risk. 

The charity is warning that this threat, exacerbated by the latest lockdown measures, could accelerate the mental health crisis facing young people across the UK. More than half (54%) of young people the DofE surveyed worry their levels of stress, anxiety or mental health issues could increase if they are no longer able to continue with the activities and experiences helping them cope with the pandemic.  

During the pandemic, extracurricular learning has been a lifeline for many young people, helping to maintain and boost resilience and mental health. 43% of DofE participants surveyed said they felt volunteering, doing exercise or learning a new skill has given them a positive focus during COVID-19, while nearly two thirds (64%) are more appreciative of non-academic activities as a result of the pandemic.  

Yet as problems with sleep, depression and self-harm in children rise and youth unemployment is set to triple, access to these life-changing activities is under threat. Even when lockdowns are not in place, many youth clubs and classes remain closed and young people themselves are feeling pressure to give up activities. The DofE’s survey uncovered that 71% of participants that responded have had to cut back on extracurricular activities due to academic pressures caused by COVID-19. Nearly a quarter (22.5%) worry they might have to sacrifice extracurricular activities because they are more concerned about their parents’ financial situation. 

In response, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has launched its Resilience Fund  to ensure thousands of young people facing disadvantage are able to participate in DofE, which has been shown to help increase wellbeing, confidence and resilience. Thanks to a very generous donation the Fund will provide 12,000 funded DofE places for young people facing disadvantage, and train thousands of DofE Leaders, Managers and volunteers to further strengthen the charity’s support for young people from under-privileged backgrounds.  

While the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken steps to recognise the value of extracurricular learning, funding services and positive activities for young people before and throughout the pandemic, young people in England have faced years of brutal cuts that have eroded their infrastructure of support.  

Today the DofE is calling on the UK Government to act urgently to prevent a wider mental health crisis, by ensuring the quality provision of extracurricular learning in England is prioritised, adequately funded and enabled, in line with safety guidelines, in Government COVID-19 guidance.  

“These threats to extracurricular learning could have devastating impacts on the mental health and future prospects of young people – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom have been hit hardest by COVID-19.” said Ruth Marvel, CEO of the DofE. “Non-academic education is just as important as academic learning, and the UK Government must prioritise it as such. To face the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, young people need and deserve the increased resilience, confidence and independence built through extracurricular learning.” 

“When lockdown started, I was scared to leave my house and struggled to find anything good in life. I have autism and a rare genetic condition which heightened my anxieties” said Harry, who’s doing his Gold DofE in Wigton, Cumbria. “For my DofE volunteering, I grew vegetables in my allotment to share with local people who were shielding. Doing this helped me feel less anxious, more confident, and speaking to other allotment holders from a distance has helped me learn to socialise safely. Being outdoors helps me relax and stay calm.” 

Throughout the pandemic, the DofE has been supporting tens of thousands of young people across the UK to continue their extracurricular learning through DofE With A Difference, providing physical, skills-based and volunteering opportunities that can be easily done from home. 

To find out more about DofE and how you can get involved in their mission to support young people, head to 


Winchester Creatives Calls For Sponsors To Support Young Graduates Impacted By Pandemic


The first major sponsor has stepped forward to support the ‘Mind the Gap’ campaign by Winchester Creatives. The aim is to help provide training, apprenticeships and job opportunities for young Hampshire graduates hit by the pandemic and recession.

In making a £10,000 pledge, Kevin Chinn, Marketing Director for Casella Family Brands (Europe) Ltd., said, “We were very impressed with the professionalism and dedication of the crowdfunding campaign, and as a values-driven family run business which recognises the support that creatives offer us in order to help with our marketing plans, we wanted to do something to help. So, we have sponsored a Winchester Creatives apprentice which in turn will help us to help us identify new opportunities in the wine category and markets from a different and fresh perspective”.

Winchester Creatives, a not-for-profit social enterprise, now seek for 4 more businesses to help fund the scholarship programme which will provide opportunities to 5 recent graduates and give them 5 months of experience working on live challenges set by the sponsors.

More than £6,000 was raised in the ‘Mind the Gap’ summer crowdfunding effort to launch the Winchester Creatives’ campaign. Winchester City Council provided an initial £2,000 ‘Projects That Matter’ Grant. The money raised so far will provide some training and mentoring to creative students across Hampshire. Winchester Creatives was founded by Richard Coope and Dan Benham to help local graduates to get in and get on in the creative industry. These young people have seen their job prospects severely damaged by the pandemic and by the recession.

“COVID-19 has left a hole in the futures of Hampshire’s young creatives,” said Richard Coope, who also runs Brightful, a local creative agency in Winchester.

“According to BBC Panorama and The Resolution Foundation, the UK level of unemployment has risen sharply, leaving 1 million under-25s out of a job for the foreseeable future. We’re doing something proactive to change this.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far. We now need Winchester’s fine institutions and businesses to step-up and sponsor us to deliver the full social impact we hope to achieve. It’s about giving our local young people hope.”

Dan Benham added: ‘We’re delighted to have Casella Family Brands (Europe) Ltd. as a sponsor and for them to help our initiative. And clearly there is a lot of community support for our local initiative helping young creatives during this
difficult time. We hope to make a practical difference to people’s lives and help them get into much-needed jobs.

“Very often creative students are required to work for free in order to gain experience, and during the pandemic and recession this just seems to add insult to injury. We hope Winchester Creatives can go some way towards breaking down this barrier to entry.”

Both Richard Coope and Dan Benham were proud to receive a ‘Local Hero Award 2020’ from The Mayor of Winchester, Patrick Cunningham and from Winchester City Council. In a letter to them both, The Mayor of Winchester wrote, “It is people like you who make our neighbourhoods feel a little safer and who make other’s lives a little bit more comfortable when they have needed it the most”.

Now the Winchester Creatives team aim to raise a further £40,000 in sponsorship. Overall, they seek five businesses, organisations or institutions (Casella Family Brands being the first) to sponsor five apprentices to the tune of a total £50,000. This will help provide these young creatives with a living wage for the five months from January to June 2021 so they can complete their apprenticeships.

Any businesses – large or small – interested in supporting the Winchester Creatives social enterprise are urged to contact Richard and Dan through the website:


Ocean Spray & Massachusetts Restaurant United Partner To Support Independent Restaurants

Today, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. – the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families – is launching the Ocean Spray Farmers for Chefs Alliance with the goal of helping as many qualifying independent restaurants as possible cover rent, utilities, and payroll costs.

Ocean Spray is joining forces with Massachusetts Restaurant United and the COREcares Foundation for this hospitality stimulus, in addition to offering discounts on the brand’s cranberry products to support restaurants on the road to recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

The Ocean Spray Farmers for Chefs Alliance is open to public donations and 100% of proceeds will go directly to restaurant operators in need. The grant will kickstart with $75,000, and Ocean Spray will match up to an additional $25,000 of donations, as part of the cooperative’s mission to connect its farms to families for a better life. As part of the partnership, Ocean Spray will also offer discounts on key products such as Craisin® dried cranberries and Cranberry Juice Cocktail.

Ocean Spray farmers have always understood the importance of their relationships with the chefs who operate small restaurants. The partnership with Massachusetts Restaurant United (MRU) and its powerhouse house roster of chefs will help drive awareness of not only the program, but the importance of partnership during unprecedented times. Since the start of the pandemic, the MRU has focused on giving a voice to the restaurant community and advocating for small businesses during these difficult times.  These uncertain days have underscored the necessary connection of farmers and chefs to combine efforts and support each other.

“As a cooperative, Ocean Spray farmers know the importance of building and feeding communities, and share these values with local independent restaurants,” said Chris O’Connor, Vice President of Marketing at Ocean Spray. “Restaurants are of paramount cultural importance in neighborhoods across our commonwealth and right now they need us. We know that by coming together, we can create real and lasting impact in our community.”

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Ocean Spray on this important initiative to provide relief to independent restaurants that are in serious distress due to the global pandemic,” explained Chef Jody Adams, founding member of Massachusetts Restaurants United and chef / owner of PortoSaloniki and Trade in Greater Boston.

“Over the last six months, restaurants across Massachusetts have been forced to reinvent themselves many times just to keep the doors open. Ocean Spray’s generous commitment to establishing long-term assistance funds will alleviate some of the overwhelming stress that so many local restaurants are currently faced with and will help strengthen restaurants in need now and beyond Covid-19. Massachusetts restaurants won’t survive unless they have relief, and we are grateful to Ocean Spray for being a champion of our industry.”

MRU works in cooperation with the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which advocates at the national level on behalf of restaurants affected by Covid-19 Looking forward, Ocean Spray hopes to expand the program into other regions across the country, continuing its commitment to making a positive impact on communities worldwide.

The program opens today and applications are being accepted through Dec. 31, 2020. For more information on how to apply or contribute, go to

Culture Equality

Startups called on to join the Venture Studio to scale new solutions to end homelessness


Startups from around the world are being called on to apply to join the first investment portfolio of the Venture Studio from Crisis. The Studio will invest in, support and scale ventures that help accelerate the end of homelessness.

The Venture Studio, from national homelessness charity Crisis, will work with start-ups which could benefit from expert support to develop impactful solutions that will help to end homelessness within our lifetime.

The Venture Studio is actively seeking to invest in its first cohort of start-ups, looking for solutions likely within the Proptech, Fintech, Healthtech, Cleantech or Edtech sectors that have the potential to, or are already, preventing homelessness, creating new housing or are ending homelessness at a societal or individual level.

As part of the Venture Studio, startups will get funding, access to experts and insight and the opportunity to regularly co-create and test solutions alongside those with lived experience. Startups will also get access to coaches, mentors, investors and other relevant networks that can support and scale their businesses.

Crisis has developed the Venture Studio to explore new ways of tackling homelessness and is building on the charity’s existing innovative and entrepreneurial culture. This includes providing innovation grants for homeless organisations and housing led projects as well as changing Lives grants, which support clients to develop and build their own businesses as a means to end their own homelessness through self-employment. Furthmore, it also supports the recently launched Next Steps programme, working in partnership with Impact Hub Kings Cross to offer mentoring and access to funding for people experiencing homelessness.

“In 21st century Britain, everybody should have a safe place to call home.” Liz Choonara, Head of Entrepreneurship at Crisis, said. We know that to end homelessness we need affordable housing and forward-thinking policies, but we must also find innovative new solutions to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place and to tackle its consequences.

“We’re incredibly excited to have launched the Venture Studio at a time where impact investment has grown significantly in recognition that the right ventures can succeed in tackling some of society’s toughest challenges. We are looking forward to working with innovative start-ups as well as organisations from a wide range of sectors, from local government to academia to other homelessness organisations, to end homelessness for good.”

“Creating an environment that connects startup founders – some of the country’s most driven, technologically skilled individuals – with those who have lived experiences of homelessness, is an inspired route to building a community that can tackle large societal problems in new ways.” Daniel Korski, Founder of PUBLIC and supporter of the Venture Studio, said. 

“There is an increasing understanding of the importance of improving technology in the third-sector – opening up the market for new ideas, and encouraging founders to innovate this space, confident that there will be charities, like Crisis, who will support them to create genuine transformation at scale.”

The first cohort will begin in February 2021, and to apply to join the Venture Studio before 8th January at


Black Entrepreneurship Gets $2M Boost as Foundations & Company Invest In Center



The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Surdna Foundation and Comcast NBCUniversal have announced over $2 million in investments to support the Center for Black Innovation’s mission to increase Black entrepreneurship in Miami and throughout the nation.

Previously known as Code Fever Miami, the center will provide startup and investor education for Black tech entrepreneurs in cities across the US.

The new investment includes $1.5 million from Knight, $350,000 from Surdna and $250,000 from Comcast NBCUniversal. 

This investment will enable the nonprofit Center for Black Innovation to focus on supporting Black startups, providing investor education, and conduct ongoing data collection to better understand how Black tech entrepreneurs participate in local startup ecosystems. Furthermore, it will enable the Center to launch new programming that includes angel investor training and venture capital investor matchmaking session and and offer a mix of in-person and virtual courses at the center’s headquarters in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, with additional programming and events taking place in cities across the nation.

“We have rebranded as the Center for Black Innovation to reflect the expanded programming for the many Black innovators in Miami and across the U.S.,” said Felecia Hatcher, who founded Code Fever along with Derrick Pearson in 2013. “With this investment, the center will also serve as a research center committed to creating equitable pathways for Black founders to thrive and build capital.”

In 2013, Hatcher and Pearson created Code Fever to address a lack of entrepreneurial opportunities in Black communities across the U.S. Knight has supported the organization since its inception with a total of $1.6 million in funding for programs benefiting Miami’s entrepreneurs of color, such as BlackTech Week and the Young Coders Academy.

“This partnership creates the opportunity for the Center for Black Innovation to be a training ground for other communities across the nation to build and strengthen their Black tech ecosystems,” said Patrice Green, program officer for Surdna’s Inclusive Economies program. This is Surdna’s first investment in the Center focused on creating national programming and infrastructure. The joint investment supports the Center’s vision of growing the number of Black entrepreneurs who are successful in establishing startups in Greater Miami and across the nation.

“Comcast NBCUniversal has joined with Code Fever Miami and Black Tech Mecca on their work to develop the next generation of Black innovators and entrepreneurs, and we are proud to expand this partnership with our support of the Center for Black Innovation,” said Dalila 

Wilson-Scott, executive vice president and chief diversity officer at Comcast NBCUniversal.

As part of its expansion, the Center for Black Innovation recently acquired Black Tech Mecca, a think tank that uses data to assist Black practitioners in finding opportunities in the global tech sector. The acquisition will allow for further research to identify how Black innovators participate in local economies and to identify areas for improvement. 



Ice cream icon Ben & Jerry’s pioneers holistic approach to living incomes for cocoa farmers in partnership with Fairtrade


Cocoa farmers in Cote D’Ivoire are set to earn higher prices for their beans, as Ben & Jerry’s ramps up its living income approach for farmers, in partnership with Fairtrade.

From October 2020 onwards, around 5,000 Fairtrade cocoa farmers in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain will receive approximately an additional $600,000 over the next year. This amount is on top of the annual Fairtrade Premium of around $970,0001 and the Ivorian government’s minimum price for cocoa that all companies are required to pay. The extra money that farmers will now receive is an important part of Ben & Jerry’s wider efforts to support farmers towards closing the living income gap.

Cocoa farming is an incredibly unpredictable business, and farmers bear the risk of losses caused by climate change and extreme weather patterns. Smallholder cocoa farmers also have virtually no control over global market prices and are at the mercy of price volatility.

Inequality in the cocoa chain means farmers are trapped in extreme poverty and can’t afford to invest in more progressive farming methods to improve their income or adapt to a changing climate. In turn, rural communities are held back and the natural environment suffers. A living income is enough to provide decent housing and health care, clean water and education, plus a little extra for unexpected events, helping to break the cycle.

“We’re committed to working for economic justice through our ice cream, and now we’re making history by ramping up our commitment with the cocoa we buy.” Ben & Jerry’s Global Values-Led Sourcing Manager Cheryl Pinto said. “Starting with the cocoa in our chocolate ice cream mix, we’re working towards the Fairtrade Living Income Reference Price2 for cocoa farmers, and this is the beginning. We are exploring living incomes in our other global supply chains, too.”

The higher prices Ben & Jerry’s will be paying are the latest step in a package of living income interventions that they have implemented together with Fairtrade since 2015. These activities include productivity, diversification and co-operative strengthening which together support a living income strategy for the future. The higher prices will be closely monitored through partners on the ground to understand exactly how they contribute towards a sustainable livelihood for farmers.

Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organization representing 1.7 million small-scale farmers and workers worldwide. It owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark of Fairtrade that appears on more than 30,000 products. Beyond certification, Fairtrade International and its member organisations empower producers, partner with businesses, engage consumers and advocate for a fair and sustainable future. Find out more at

Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organization representing 1.7 million small-scale farmers and workers worldwide. It owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark of Fairtrade that appears on more than 30,000 products. Beyond certification, Fairtrade International and its member organisations empower producers, partner with businesses, engage consumers and advocate for a fair and sustainable future.

Ben & Jerry’s purchases across all commodities are significant and have generated $3.6m in Fairtrade Premiums in 2019 for farming communities to spend as they choose. Many have funded schools, and invested in climate resilience and local infrastructure.

“It’s complex work to advance towards a living income, but both organisations are committed to this vision.” Louisa Cox, Fairtrade’s Director of Impact said. “Ben & Jerry’s recognises the role of business in addressing the challenges in the cocoa sector and this commitment sets a great example for other companies to follow. So next time when you’re scooping up a tub of delicious Ben & Jerry’s chocolate ice cream, remember you’re helping supporting farmers to build better futures.”

To find out more about the work of Faitrade and how you can support their work, head to


Culture Equality

Shelter Study Finds 56% Of Teachers Have Worked With Homeless Children


Shocking new research from Shelter has highlighted the impact of homelessness on young people.

In the last three years, over half of state school teachers in Britain (56%) have worked at a school with children who were homeless or became homeless, the major study by Shelter and YouGov has revealed.

The charity’s findings show most teachers have first-hand knowledge of the damage done by the housing emergency to education –– with it now commonplace to see children grappling with homelessness at school. With the impact of the pandemic making housing inequalities worse, Shelter warns that this desperate situation could worsen for the 136,000 homeless children living in Britain.

Shelter is the UK’s leading housing and homelessness charity and believes that everyone should have a safe home. It helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through its free emergency helpline, webchat service, and local advice, support and legal services.

In the last three years, some of the most devastating effects seen by teachers with experience of working with homeless children or those living in bad housing include hunger, tiredness, absenteeism, and poor hygiene.

88% of these teachers reported children missing school as a key issue. This is often because children can face significant difficulties with their journey to school if they become homeless and are accommodated a long way from their former home. Additionally 87% reported children coming to school hungry, often because temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and hostels are often not equipped with suitable or any cooking facilities.

94% reported tiredness as an issue for homeless children and those living in bad and overcrowded housing. Lack of access to affordable washing facilities in temporary accomodation as well as issues such as mould and damp in poor quality housing resulted in 89% of teachers reporting children arriving at school in unwashed or dirty clothing. This can be caused by a lack of proper or affordable washing facilities in temporary accommodation, as well as issues such as mould and damp in poor-quality housing.

Shelter’s research resonates with Dani Worthington, a headteacher in Batley, West Yorkshire. She said: “Homeless children are at a disadvantage before the school day has even started. In my 15 years of teaching, I have seen the devastating knock-on effect of homelessness on education many times. Children who did well when they lived in a stable home became withdrawn and unable to follow their lessons. When families don’t have access to the basics like a washing machine, we end up washing their uniforms at school. We had one family where all the kids had to share a bed, they were shattered. It’s not right.”

To understand the impact of the pandemic on the education of homeless children and those trapped in bad housing, Shelter carried out a follow-up survey with teachers in October as schools re-opened their doors. The results paint a worrying picture, with pandemic disruptions appearing to have set children without a suitable home even further back. Almost three-quarters of teachers (73%) say that homeless children or children living in bad housing have had their education more negatively affected than children in suitable housing.

Dani Worthington continues: “The pandemic disruptions are making everything worse for homeless children. It was harder for them to keep up with their lessons in lockdown; they didn’t always have access to Wi-Fi or the equipment they needed. The bottom line is that without a safe home, education suffers. This was a massive issue before coronavirus hit – but the pandemic has intensified the problem, which is deeply worrying.”

Alongside its bid to get more secure social homes built, Shelter is urging the public to support its frontline services as they contend with a surge in demand triggered by the pandemic. Shelter’s services are open 365 days a year to provide expert advice and support to families facing homelessness, which includes helping families to access a safe home.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Without a safe and secure home, a child’s life chances can be deeply disrupted. This is a national scandal – and without action, the extra harm being done to homeless children as a result of the pandemic may never be undone. Homeless children must not be the invisible victims of this crisis.

“We still don’t know what the long-term impact of the pandemic will be on this generation of children. But for now, Shelter is here to support and give hope to the families who need us the most. With the public’s support we will do all we can to make sure every child has a safe and secure home – this winter and beyond.”

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

For free and expert housing advice you can also visit: