The UK face of #givingtuesday 2016 has been announced as a young secret Santa who helps brighten up Christmas for thousands of people in hospitals and care home.
Courtney Hughes, 18, from Oxfordshire, will help front the global day of giving which calls for people to do something good on Tuesday, 29 November – four weeks today.
Five years ago, with her great grandmother unwell over the festive period, Courtney decided to use her pocket money to take Christmas to the hospital. Inspired by seeing other patients away from their loved ones, she started a local campaign to collect Christmas gifts for people spending that time of year in hospitals, hospices and care homes.
Since then her campaign has gone from strength to strength. Working with charities, schools and businesses she collected, wrapped and distributed 4,000 presents last year. Courtney also helps to collect and deliver food parcels to homeless people and emergency refuges.
Courtney’s charitable efforts saw her chosen as this year’s UK #givingtuesday champion by a panel of judges which included Paul Stanworth, Assistant Editor at BBC Newsbeat; Mika Simmons, actress and founder of Gynaecological Cancer Fund’s Lady Garden campaign; Zoe Parkinson from Vice Magazine; Mike Buonaiuto, CEO of social change company Shape History; and last year’s winner Andrew Davies.
She will now help inspire others to do something in support of a good cause this #givingtuesday.
The international campaign, led in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), encourages people to ‘do good stuff’ for causes they care about following the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year it broke a Guinness World Record for the most online donations in 24 hours and was the top trending item on Twitter, with support from celebrities including JK Rowling, Lily Allen and Gary Lineker.
#givingtuesday is a great way of getting people involved in supporting charities and helping others and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.
#givingtuesday champion Courtney Hughes said:
“It is a real honour to have been chosen and something I never expected, especially seeing the stories of the other candidates who were shortlisted.
“It has made it all the more special to me that I found out I had been picked to be the #givingtuesday champion on what would have been my great-grandmother’s birthday.
“#givingtuesday is a great way of getting people involved in supporting charities and helping others and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”
Hannah Terrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at CAF, said:
“Courtney is a fantastic example of what #givingtuesday is all about.
“This is a day to shine a light on the countless good deeds people do every day to make life that bit better for others.
“From a young age Courtney has made a remarkable contribution in spreading festive cheer among people going through times of difficulty.
“With this year’s #givingtuesday just four weeks away, we hope Courtney’s story can inspire others to make a difference and show their support for a good cause on the day.”
New Director Strengthens Quilter Cheviot Charities Team
Quilter Cheviot, a leading investment management firm that forms part of Old Mutual Wealth, has appointed a new Charity Director, Charles Mesquita, as an addition to its charities team.
Charles will join the 10 strong team at the beginning of January, reporting to Head of Charities William Reid.
Quilter Cheviot’s charities division has funds under management of over £1.5 billion of assets on behalf of 643 charities nationwide, making it a leading charity manager in the UK.
Charles has over 30 years’ investment experience and has worked for a number of leading financial institutions, including Newton Investment Management and Investec Wealth & Investment. Among other key roles at these firms, he was responsible for founding and launching the Charities Property Fund with Savills in 2000: the first Common Investment Fund investing in UK commercial property. Over 1,800 charities have invested in it to date with assets of over £1 billion.
In his new role at Quilter Cheviot, Charles will help develop the firm’s specialist charity capability.
Charles commented: “It is an exciting time to be joining Quilter Cheviot. Not only do they have an envious track record of delivering robust performance, but also a strong reputation for helping charities with their investments. Quilter Cheviot retain the ethos that the people you meet are the people managing your portfolio. As a trustee, I am only too aware of the challenges facing charities and the value put on having a strong relationship with someone you can trust.”
William Reid head of charities commented “We are delighted to welcome Charles to Quilter Cheviot as he is well qualified to enhance our capabilities. In light of the significant advice gap in the charities sector, the key to help resolving this is to recruit high calibre individuals who not only understand investment but are in tune with the challenges that trustees face.”
Charles is a trustee of Bowel & Cancer Research, RL Glasspool, a grant giving charity which aims to help people step out of poverty, and PRISM, which helps to promote and to facilitate charitable giving in a flexible and efficient manner. Charles also sits on the board of the Charity Investors Group, a forum promoting a greater understanding of investment within the sector.
Investors should remember that the value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up. Investors may not recover what they invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
£6,000 Raised For Charities Through Business Networking Events
Double Whammy Networking CIC (DW), a social enterprise that organises successful Southend and Castle Point business networking events.
The events focus on effective business networking, but the events are sponsored and at least 60% of the ticket price goes to a ‘charity pot’ to support local charities and good causes.
By the end of 2016, DW had raised a grand total of £6,000 to support 22 different charities and community groups.
Managing director Jill Poet stressed that ensuring quality business networking is always a priority and that, apart from an optional card draw, no fundraising takes place at the actual events. She explained: “I’m a veteran networker myself and I understand the importance of business people being able to attend an event without feeling pressurised to give, give, give.. We just don’t do that, although we often find that excellent long term relationships are established between the business and community sectors. Additionally, our events are ad hoc and there is no joining or membership fee, no commitment to attend regularly, and no requirement to give an elevator pitch. The events are relaxed and ideal for established businesses and start-ups: we make everyone welcome.”
The next event is a networking breakfast sponsored by and to be held at the Arlington Ballrooms in Leigh-on-Sea on 17th January. A basic ticket is just £7.50 including refreshments. £6 from each ticket sold will go towards supporting the SoS Domestic Abuse Project and SAFE (Supporting Asperger Families in Essex)
Booking is essential. Book via this link http://buytickets.at/dwnetworking/73578. Or call Jill Poet on 01702 468387 for more information.