Helping young people in need is something I hope all my readers would want to do if they had the means. As a former charity worker, I have always loved organisations that provide aid but also help people develop skills and qualities so that they can help themselves moving forwards. I am delighted to share this guest post from Susanna Worth and William May about the charity Teach a Man to Fish.

Young female entrepreneur

 The only girl in a family of five children, Divine was sent away from her home in Kigali City to live with her Aunt so she attend a good school in the neighbouring district of Nyanza. While many girls her age were encouraged to put their focus on the household first and education second, Divine signed up to be involved in her school’s envelope making business, a young enterprise club that was being run as part of Teach A Man To Fish’s entrepreneurship programme the School Enterprise Challenge. Now, just six months after leaving school, Divine has set up her own shop in Kigali City and is making a profit for herself: “There is a saying that the base of someone will determine what he or she will become in the future. When someone is still at school, it is a chance to do a lot of things. It is a chance to be involved in a School Business and to learn and create and to discuss ideas with others. I think school businesses are very important.”

Helping Young People In Need

 

Divine runs her own shop in Kigali City. Photo Credit: Teach A Man To Fish

Teach a Man to Fish

Teach A Man To Fish is a small charity based in London that is guided by a simple, all-encompassing mission: to empower young people with the skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life. We focus on developing and emerging countries, and have offices in East Africa, South Africa, and Central America. Since 2006, we’ve created over 250,000 student entrepreneurs and 15,000 enterprising teachers in over 110 countries.

We believe that business and entrepreneurship are effective tools with which to break the cycle of poverty, and we know that our School Business Model can help turn job seekers into job creators. Enterprise education provides students with important skills and techniques that they can use throughout their lives.

Helping Young People In Need

 

Students can even learn how to run their own agricultural business. Photo Credit: Jean Bizimana

There are 64 million unemployed young people around the world (2018 International Labour Organisation). That’s 64 million young people who could be the next generation of entrepreneurs.

School Enterprise Challenge

Our flagship programme, the School Enterprise Challenge, is an instrumental part of our effort. With it, we provide step-by-step instructions and training to students and teachers to teach them entrepreneurial skills and strategies. We then provide further support as our schools work hard to launch and run their own school businesses!

The benefits of this programme are twofold: the students gain valuable knowledge and experience with starting up and running a business, whilst also incurring profits that help support them, their families, and their schools. This dynamic provides the foundation for a self-sustaining system: education that pays for itself.

Through our programmes, we create a unique model of education that is practical, profitable and even fun! We urge young people around the world to consider enterprise as a means of achieving their dreams. Even if one’s prospects may seem few and far-between, a carefully planned, well-managed business can lead to extraordinary opportunities.

How you can get involved

Help us give young people the tools for success. With your support, we can empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and create a continuous, sustainable change in their communities. Learn more and join the movement: https://www.teachamantofish.org.uk/

Teach  A Man To Fish

We work with schools in over 110 countries around the world. Photo Credit: Teach A Man To Fish

 

 

I am looking for perfect Spring shoes as I realise there is a new season on the way. It is time to put my boots away for another day. It’s important to find something comfortable and flat. I love a bit of colour when it come to footwear too so I was thrilled to hear about the Tara shoes from Hotter. Even better, these shoes help support the Marie Curie. Marie Curie are there at the times when you need someone to support you through the toughest of times.

Perfect Sprng Shoes

Generous charity partnership

For every pair of Tara shoes sold, £20 will go to Marie Curie helping to fund an hour of Marie Curie nursing care for someone living with a terminal illness. The shoe is now available to buy for £55 from all Hotter stores nationwide and from Hotter.com. Since Marie Curie teamed up with the footwear brand in January 2018 Hotter have raised more than £75,000 for the charity. I love that there is a really good percentage of the sale price going to such a good cause.

 

The Tara – perfect Spring shoes

The Tara is the 3rd daffodil-inspired shoe following the hugely successful Daffodil Mabel and Daffodil Pixie. The daffodil version of Tara is easy to wear and perfect for spring. Made from lightweight, breathable canvas with a supportive, comfortable sole, Tara means you are ready for some fun Spring activities knowing your feet won’t be sore at the end of the day.

How Marie Curie supported my family

When my mum was in her last days, Marie Curie were a huge help to our family. They provided care for mum allowing my brother and dad to get some much-needed rest and respite. Marie Curie nurses are so lovely working with your individual family and their particular needs. I remember getting a text from my brother telling me to telephone my Dad urgently. I knew what it meant. When I telephoned, it was a Marie Curie nurse who answered the phone in such a safe and steady voice which is just what you need when you are facing such devastating news. She gave the phone to my Dad and he explained Mum had passed away. It was so reassuring when I was miles away to know that Dad was not alone. He was facing the loss of his partner of more than 60 years.

A couple of years, Marie Curie would be there again supporting my Dad in his last days. It’s a rotten time but they make it bearable.

The Daffodil Appeal

Daffodils are lovely in our gardens or on the perfect Spring shoes. At this time of year you can celebrate the daffodil and help Marie Curie at the same time. Did you know that every five minutes someone in the UK dies without getting the care and support they need at the end of their life? I am a big believer that if we get anything right as a society it should be how people enter the world and how they leave it.

Marie Curie provides much-needed expert care to people with terminal illnesses, as well as supporting their families. They did it for mine twice. They may well do so again in the future. They may have helped your family and sadly you may well need them even if that moment currently seems a long time off.

By donating and wearing your daffodil whether via the Tara perfect Spring shoes or one of the badges on sale on your high street, you are raising money so Marie Curie can plug that gap in care for more people with a terminal illness.

Perfect Spring Shoes
 

 

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Victoria Bryceson is passionate about advocating a cruelty free, environmentally-friendly lifestyle and helping animals in need around the world. She is vegan and organises a series of Vegan Events UK festivals up and down the country. She is also founder of animal welfare and education charity Miracle’s Mission. Here she tells her story of how she became vegan and the benefits of adopting this compassionate lifestyle.

vegan

From vegetarian to vegan

“I became vegetarian 22 years ago when I first fully realised what meat was and where it came from. I also gave up eggs and wearing any leather clothing or footwear. This is the point when I made the connection that meat on my plate used to be a living breathing animal and I didn’t want to be any part of taking away an innocent and loving creature’s life, just to put food on my plate that I didn’t even need to be eating to survive. The only thing I continued to consume that came from an animal was milk as I was not educated about the dairy industry. About ten years ago I came to realise that the dairy industry is just as cruel if not more so, than the meat industry and I then became fully vegan and have never looked back. It was the best life decision that I have ever made and one that I just wish I had been born into. Becoming vegan was such an easy decision for me and the transition was so incredibly easy knowing that the food I was eating was no longer harming animals. Today with so many more vegan options and substitutes it is even easier to go vegan.

Vegan

Vegan variety as the spice of life

I am so happy in my life since going vegan. I am so at peace with the knowledge that I’m living an amazing life and not harming others to do so. I feel healthier, I have more energy and I do so much more with my life. I live the most fulfilling life, I have the very best purpose and I absolutely love living a vegan and cruelty free lifestyle. I don’t miss out on any foods that I ate previously as every single food type is now replaceable with a vegan version. Vegans can even eat many vegan and delicious versions of cheese, chocolate, scrambled, boiled and poached eggs and there are now so many different varieties of plant milk available we are really spoiled for choice! I get so excited every time I see a new vegan product because the more new products that are coming out demonstrate the growing demand, which is amazing. Since going vegan I have also transitioned my four dogs onto a vegan diet and they are now absolutely thriving and love their vegan food and vegan treats.”

Vegan Festivals

Her festivals feature all the food you’ve ever enjoyed but with the unhealthy bits taken out. You can try before you buy and sample foods that are so new they haven’t even hit the shops yet. You can also bathe vegan too – with a range of deliciously scented soaps and handmade bath bombs from brands like Iuvo Skincare. And if you’re feeling stressed from a busy week, you can have the chance to chill out in a relaxing yoga session.

There’s something for everyone – with lots of cool children’s activities and entertainment on hand to amuse the little ones. And if your teenager is into the latest trends you can check out cool designer vegan labels such as the gorgeous range of ‘Viva La Vegan’ hoodies and Tees. If you’re looking for a new pair of shoes or boots, Alternative Stores will be on hand to help. Plus there’s a massive range of gifts and goodies including candles, jewellery, and even treats for animals. It’s also a great place to shop if you’re looking to go plastic-free.

If you’re looking to get more in-depth, the festivals also feature useful talks on nutrition and the vegan lifestyle as well as some inspiring, fun cookery demos to get you started.

Helping animals in need

Victoria runs her events in partnership with animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission. She explains “I’m really looking forward to our exciting new series of festivals. They’re set to be even bigger and better than last year’s. We received so much positive feedback last year and there’s now so much demand that our festivals are becoming regular sell-out events. I think it’s partly because people really love the friendly atmosphere. And also because it’s one of the best places to network and meet others who are vegan-curious too. The wonderful thing about our events is that they’re for everyone whatever your lifestyle. Just come along and bring your friends for a great, fun day-out. You’ll have everything you need there, whether you’re looking for some retail-therapy, some ‘me’ time, precious family time or just a lovely meal out with some friends.”

Entry is from just £3 (under 16’s free) and this includes entry to all areas and activities. Standard tickets are purchased at the door on the day. VIP tickets, £15, include fast track entry and a goody bag full of vegan products, samples, discounts and offers can be purchased in advance but sell out quickly. For more information please visit www.veganeventsuk.co.uk or www.facebook.com/VeganEventsUK



Strong Soham Mums have joined forces to produce a charity calendar with a cheeky twist. They are getting naked but all in the most amazing cause. I don’t often ask people to share my posts in a begging type fashion but this time I am and I think you will see why when you read on.

Who are the Strong Soham Mums?

They are like you or me in that they are  mums who love their children. The difference with these mums is that  they have all lost a child and all live in Soham. We all know that losing a child is the biggest fear of any parent so I urge you to empathise with these amazing mums and lend your support to their collective efforts. They loved their children so much and they lost them which is gut-wrenching all the time but perhaps particularly challenging at this time of year.

Alison’s story

“My husband and I lost our son, Charlie in June 2017.  He and our younger son have a rare immune condition.  After a couple of very dangerous bleeds, and worried that the next bleed could be fatal, the doctors wanted Charlie to have a bone marrow transplant.  Unfortunately after 5 long months in hospital he lost his fight for life.  Our lives will never be the same and we will continue to love and miss him forever.”

Alison’s story is so sad and every mum in the calendar has her own tragic tale to tell. We cannot bring their children back but we can get behind their fundraising efforts by purchasing their calendar and spreading word of mouth far and wide.

Strong Soham Mums Calendar 2019

As I say the photos in the calendar are more boudoir than boardroom. They are tasteful and were taken professionally. At just £9.99 the calendar is great value for money and will raise a giggle at Christmas or the New year as well as giving you that feel good-factor of helping good causes.

Where is the money going?

100% of the proceeds will go to Addenbrookes Hospital, Children’s Wards and the Road Victims Trust.  The Strong Soham Mums have chosen Addenbrookes Hospital as it is local to them.   Road Victims Trust was also chosen as a few of the mums lost their children in road traffic accidents.

Two requests

Please spread the word about this calendar via your social media networks and in the real world too. It will make a great gift for Christmas and the New Year.

Please consider buying at least one of these calendars because it will make these women feel they did the right thing and help some amazingly good causes.

http://www.strongsohammums.co.uk/product/charity-calendar-2019/

Strong Soham Mums

 

Cuddle Fairy

Linked to https://www.clairejustineoxox.com/2018/12/the-christmas-forest-christmas-tree-review.html

Linked to http://www.reflectionsfromme.com/a-blogging-good-time-113/

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Newborn babies deserve a test that could save  their lives. That sounds like a no-brainer. One of the things that happens when you are a blogger and/or influencer is that you become aware of so many things that don’t go so great in our world. The good thing is you also have the honour of supporting good causes that just might change things.

Mums want to protect their babies

When you have your baby, all you want to do is keep it safe. I have an almost 19 year old and I still have that primeval instinct. What is someone or something was preventing you keeping baby as safe as they could be. Imagine you’d heard that there was a test that could be carried out on all newborn babies – a quick, easy and painless test that could help detect potentially life-threatening heart disease. You’d want your baby to have that test, wouldn’t you?

Test for Tommy

Tiny Tickers, the baby heart charity, have created their latest campaign, Test for Tommy. Poignantly the campaign is named in memory of baby Tommy, who died from undiagnosed heart defect at just eleven days old. The ‘test’, they are referring to pulse oximetry testing.

Pulse oximetry testing

Pulse oximetry testing is a non-invasive test that can be performed just a few hours after birth and measures a baby’s blood oxygen levels. With a simple probe attached to baby’s head and foot, you get a reading within seconds. Low percentage levels could be a sign of a heart problem, meaning the baby would be sent for further examination. This would then start the chain of events that would hopefully save their life.

At present, pulse oximetry isn’t part of the mandatory NHS newborn checks (NIPE), meaning not every baby leaving hospital has the test. One in 125 babies are born every year with a serious heart condition and, at present, 1000 leave hospital with no-one knowing they have a potentially life-threatening illness. Tiny Tickers wants to change that, by creating a safety net for those 1000 babies. They are doing this by placing pulse oximetry machines in maternity wards across the UK.

Case studies

Let’s look at two babies, born with the same heart condition and see the difference a pulse oximetry test can make…

When Tommy was born, he displayed all the signs of heart failure that his mum, Natasha, now knows about – his skin was a blue colour, he didn’t want to feed, he was always asleep and cold to touch. Natasha knew something was wrong and voiced her concerns to numerous medical professionals, but it was too late. Tragically, at 11 days old, Tommy passed away. Tommy’s post-mortem showed he had Transposition of the Great Arteries, a heart condition that can be treated with surgery. Natasha is now passionate about ensuring all babies receive a pulse oximetry test because, if Tommy had been tested, he may still be here today.

Tom was also born with Transposition of the Great Arteries. Unlike Tommy, he received a pulse oximetry test after birth. His oxygen saturation levels were dangerously low and his heart condition was diagnosed soon after the test. Tom had open heart surgery at eight days old and is now approaching his third birthday. His mum Nicola, forever grateful for the pulse oximetry test that helped to save his life, says, ‘Without the pulse oximetry test, which is currently not a compulsory part of newborn testing, we would have been sent home. It terrifies me how differently our story may have turned out.’

Sadly, the horror Nicola can only imagine, is a daily reality for Natasha. The stories of two babies with similar names and the same heart condition end so differently because one was offered a pulse oximetry test and the other wasn’t. It’s that simple.

Tiny Tickers has already placed 70 pulse oximetry machines at hospitals throughout the UK and, through the Tommy’s Test campaign, they seek to fund 330 by 2021. But they need our help. With congenital heart disease being one of the biggest killers of infants in the UK, there’s no time to waste.

All babies deserve the best start. Help Tiny Tickers to make sure every baby receives a pulse oximetry test by donating today. For more information, and to donate to the Test for Tommy campaign, visit www.tinytickers.org/test-for-tommy  or text BABY46 £5 to 70070 and help support more tiny hearts.

Natasha says, ‘I can never explain to someone the pain of losing your baby. It’s a pain nobody wants to imagine or ever feel’. Let’s help Tiny Tickers ensure no more babies die from an undiagnosed heart condition. Every newborn deserves the test that could save their life. Thank you.

You can follow relevant hashtags on social media – #testfortommy, #pulseox and #chdawareness

You can follow @tinytickers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

www.tinytickers.org/test-for-tommy

Tiny Tickers Registered Charity No: 1078114

Test For Tommy

 

 

 

 

Cuddle Fairy
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Shank You Very Much

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