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WSPA Ask Australia to Stop Live Exports

May 20 2013
Help Protect the World's Cattle

WSPA charity officials are asking Australia to stop exporting cattle from Egypt after terrible footage was uncovered on how the animals are being treated. Animals Australia managed to take the footage showing the Egyptians treating the cattle with extreme cruelty at their abattoirs, and now WSPA want the exports to be halted.

This isn’t the first time this has happened though. Back in 2006, cattle exports were halted from Australia to Egypt for nearly four years after concerns over the treatment of cattle were raised. Live exports to Indonesia were also stopped in 2011 after evidence of animal cruelty emerged.

Chief Executive for WSPA, Mike Baker, said -

This is not a one off; there is a history of cruelty and animals being subjected to the worst kind of abuse in the live export trade. It is unacceptable given there is a humane and economical solution to live export of animals. The live export industry would have us believe that conditions in abattoirs meet ‘suitable’ animal welfare standards and that they are improving animal welfare all over the world. This footage demonstrates this is evidently not true.

If you would like to help improve animal welfare for Australia cattle, why not stand up and be counted alongside WSPA by signing their petition to ask for a more ethical solution. Simply click on the link below to add your voice to those who want change, and want it now.  It literally takes 30 seconds, and will go a long way to protecting Australian cattle from cruelty.

> > Click here to sign petition

If you would like to learn more about the work of the WSPA, why not check out our dedicated charity page for more information. With your help, WSPA will try to stop animal cruelty at the source, protecting the world’s animals from mistreatment.

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Festival Stewarding with Oxfam UK

Apr 11 2013
Becomme an Oxfam Festival Steward

If you’re an avid festival goer, have you ever thought working as a steward at an event through Oxfam UK? It’s a great way to help raise donations for the charity, as the festival organisers make a donation for every steward that Oxfam provides, and with 4,000 places at 15 festivals, you could be part of raising almost £1million.

Being a steward at a festival can be great fun, and also a fantastic way to meet new people and provide a friendly service for attendees. The majority of the time you will answering questions, giving directions, and working alongside the security staff to ensure everyone is safe and having a great time.

There’s a great selection of festivals to choose from, with places still left for -

  • Boomtown Fair     07 Aug to 12 Aug
  • Boardmasters     06 Aug to 12 Aug
  • Shambala     21 Aug to 26 Aug
  • Leeds             21 Aug to 26 Aug
  • Reading     21 Aug to 26 Aug
  • Bestival     04 Sep to 09 Sep

Glastonbury and Latitude are already full, but come on, Boomtown Fair and Bestival will be much better than Glasto in my humble opinion! You need to attend training to learn a few tricks of the trade, be over 18 years old, and have a good command of the English language. A deposit is required of £205 to secure your training place, which is completely refundable when you finish your festival shifts.

Simply click on the link below to apply for this amazing chance to work at some of the best festivals in the country, whilst helping to raise much needed funds to aid Oxfam UK’s life changing initiatives across the globe.

> > Click here to apply online

If you would like to learn more about the fantastic work Oxfam perform across the globe, or would even like to purchase a virtual charity gift for a friend our a loved one, check out our dedicated page to find out how you can help people less fortunate than ourselves.

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Special Places with the National Trust

Apr 4 2013
Cliveden House by David Watson

Do you have a special place that means a lot to you? Somewhere that stirs memories, or brings a smile to your face. Maybe even somewhere that you got married, or a place that makes you happy. My special place would be Old Trafford (a bit of a cliché I know!), having spent some of my favourite times there watching my favourite football team, but The National Trust has asked a few celebrities where their special place is, with some amazing results.

Many of the people asked have a deep affinity with National Trust sites, and who can blame them? The National Trust care for some of the countries most majestic manor houses and places of interest, so why not check them out for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. For example -

  • Jude Law loves Cliveden House in Berkshire
  • Kim Cattrall is a big fan of Blickling Estate in Norfolk
  • Nell McAndrew love Ham House in London
  • Austin Healey has a special place in his heart for Conwy Bridge

Check out the video below to hear from actor Nick Moran, rugby star Austin and model Nell on why they hold these places in such affection.

Actor Jude Law said -

One of the great scenes of Sherlock Holmes was shot at Cliveden House – It’s such a gorgeous place. I had no idea the National Trust looked after the gardens and grounds there, they are glorious and I love spending time wandering around them. We can rest assured the Trust will look after them for generations to come.

The National Trust survey also showed that four out of five people felt that visiting their favourite place give them a much bigger sense of well being than shopping, and people do love to shop! Over a third of those asked named a place that reminds them of their childhood, whilst 10% named somewhere that reminded them of something romantic.

Everyone has a special place, and maybe you could discover some new ones with a National Trust membership card. This nifty piece of kit will gain you entry to all of the National Trust sites across the country to discover parts of British history that you maybe never knew existed. It’s a great way to not only visit amazing sites, but also ensure the charity can keep them looking majestic for future generations to enjoy.

Photograph of Cliveden House by David Watson

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WWF Earth Hour 2013 – 23-03-13

Mar 15 2013
Earth Hour 2013

Not long now until Earth Hour 2013 folks, with just 8 days left at the time of writing. The whole spectacle kicks off at 8.30pm on Saturday 23rd March 2013, as millions of people turn off their lights for an hour to support pleas for more consideration to the planet and climate change.

This amazing annual event focuses on our need to protect the planet, after all, we only have one! Will you be one of the million supporters who choose to join in this year? If you do, there’s some amazing audiobooks available read by the likes of -

  • Kevin McCloud
  • Alistair McGowan
  • Miranda Richardson

who have recorded exclusive stories for you to listen to, simply by signing up for Earh Hour 2013. The series is called ‘Just So’, and will feature world renowned stories such as How the Camel got his Hump, The Crab that Played with the Sea and How the Whale got his Throat by celebrated author Rudyard Kipling. These have been specifically created for you to listen to on the night whilst your lights are off, and last a total of 60 minutes. They will be the perfect accompaniment to your hour of darkness, so why not light a candle, snuggle up under a duvet, at let these amazing actors read to you during Earth Hour 2013.

> > Click here for more info on ‘Just So’ stories

By turning your lights off for one hour this Saturday at 8.30pm, you will be showing the world that you want a better future for our planet. Here’s hoping that the world’s leaders join us in our stand against dirty fossil fuels and put plans into motion to use more green, renewable energy to help the planet during it’s hour of need. Earth Hour 2013. Are you doing enough to save the planet?

If you would like to help this amazing charity and the planet, why not purchase a WWF membership to help save threatened species and preserve life on Earth. This is a great charity gift for an eco-friendly family member or colleague, and your donations really count in helping to save the planet.

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Live Below the Line with Oxfam UK

Mar 8 2013
LIve Below the Line

Do you think you could live on just £1 of food a day, for FIVE days?! This is the challenge that Oxfam UK are setting people to help them raise much needed funds in their new ‘Live Below The Line’ Campaign to make a difference to the lives of those effected by poverty.

This amazing new fundraising campaign is a innovative way to help raise awareness in the fight against extreme poverty. By challenging the people of the UK to live off just £1 per day, they will be experiencing the same hardship as up to 1.4 billion people worldwide every day. This will hopefully help them to see what it’s like on the other side, and help them to make a meaningful change in their lives.

More than 20 times the population of the UK live every day in extreme poverty. By taking part in this truly testing challenge, you will be helping Oxfam to make a real difference. The money you raise will go a long way to providing things like water pumps, community vegetable gardens and helping children back to school. Together, we can fight poverty and by taking part in the Live Below the Line initiative, you will be helping to raise awareness to this great cause.

> > Click here to sign up to Live Below the Line

If you would like to help Oxfam in another way, why not purchase a charity gift from our Ethical Collection range? There’s a great selection to choose from, with 100% of the profit from each gift going back to help poor communities that are living in poverty. Together we really can make a difference.

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International Women’s Day 2013

Mar 5 2013
Doris Malinga in Malawi

Friday 8th March 2013 is International Women’s Day, a very special 24 hours for everyone to come together to celebrate the empowerment of women. It is a great day to reflect on how females are now receiving better opportunities for education and jobs, and also to help raise awareness on the gender gap that unfortunately still remains. Concern Worldwide work in tackling hunger, but believe that they cannot address extreme poverty without looking at gender inequality.

Many women across the world are still disadvantaged in terms of what they are entitled to, and their opportunities to work, study and learn. For example in Malawi, gender inequality creates a cycle of vulnerability and poverty. Our picture show Doris Malinga, who is a lead farmer in Concern’s Conservation and Agriculture programme. She has been trained to dig planting basins and prepare ‘mulch’, which helps to protect the soil from the baking sun. Thanks to her involvement, Doris and her family now have enough food to eat.

Doris said -

I harvest the crop and have enough food for my family. I also get more yield from a small piece of land and it means that I can spend more time with my family. I have so many friends who also want to try conservation agriculture, so I have been showing them what I have learnt.

Doris’ story just goes to show that change is slowly beginning to happen across the globe, as more and more women are given the chance to address their health and financial needs. As the change in attitude towards women’s participation and ability in agriculture continues, they now feel more confident in producing greater yields through support from Concern Worldwide.

Here’s hoping that more is done to invest in female farmers so they can overcome the challenges and issues that still exist around the world. Women are just as vital a part of agriculture and food production as any man, so let’s celebrate their role on Friday 8th March for International Women’s Day 2013.

If you would like to support Concern Worldwide, why not purchase a virtual charity gift for a friend or loved one from our dedicated page? Here you can find out more about their work, and how you can help provide much needed funds so they can continue to help some of the world’s poorest people.

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Help the National Trust Save Quarry Bank

Feb 15 2013
Help Save Quarry Bank Mill

The National Trust is asking for your help to save the historic Quarry Bank Mill, with the charity needing to raise £1.4million to bring the site back to life. Situated in Wilmslow, the mill played a major part in the countries industrial revolution.

Quarry Bank was one of the largest cotton spinning businesses in the country, and now the National Trust are looking to reinvent the site to help provide a new generation with a totally unique experience of what life was like during the Industrial Revolution. They are looking to purchase and restore everything on the site, including -

  • Workers’ Cottage
  • Quarry Bank House
  • Upper Gardens
  • Northern Woods

to help reveal how one of the world’s earliest industrial communities lived. This amazing idea will see the stories of the lives of the mill owners, workers and apprentices, and how Quarry Bank helped shape the countries Industrial Revolution.

If you would like to make a donation to this worthwhile cause, follow the link through to the Quarry Bank Appeal page to make a one off contribution to help restore this amazing, historical site. Without the help of the general public, part of the countries heritage will be lost forever, denying future generations the chance to experience a unique slice of past British life.

For more information on how the National Trust keep Britain great, or if you would like to purchase a membership, check out our dedicated charity page to see how you can help provide funds to restore some of the nation’s greatest treasures.

Photograph by John Millar

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Greenpeace Praise Valentino Fashion House

Feb 11 2013
Clean up Fashion with Greenpeace

Greenpeace has been asking 15 luxury European fashion houses a series of questions about their supply chains, in an effort to Clean Up Fashion. These have helped to  find out whether they are using dangerous business practices to source their materials to make their goods. The scheme, called ‘The Fashion Duel’, showed that many of the world leading brands such as Chanel and Prada are failing to commit to taking urgent steps to halt the use and release of hazardous chemicals.

The only major fashion label that were transparent with how they are sourcing their materials and toxic waste disposal were Valentino, so it may be time for the other houses to take note. Their designs show that high fashion can be created without the need for pollution or the destruction of rainforests.

Valentino have made a commitment that by 2020 they will have eliminated the use of any hazardous chemicals from their supply chain. They have also pledged to reinforce their and policies on the how they source their leather, pulp and paper to ensure they can help protect rainforests.

So if Valentino are up to the task, why not everyone else? Notable mega brands that failed the Fashion Duel included -

  • Alberta Ferretti
  • Chanel
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Prada
  • Trussardi

Here’s hoping that the other big brands take a note out from the Valentino fashion house’s books and realise that the beauty of the planet is far more important than profit. If you would like to learn more about the work of Greenpeace and would like to support their cause, check out our dedicated charity page to find out how you can help them change the world for the better.

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Turtle Farm Agrees to Change with WSPA

Feb 5 2013
Help Save the Turtle

You may remember that back in November last year, we asked for your help to support the WSPA’s work to stop sea turtle farming in the Cayman Islands. Well, we have some fantastic news filtering through, that thanks to everyone who got being this cause, the company has decided to make many positive changes to their business.

An amazing 144,000 people supported the WSPA’s call for change, making it very difficult for the Cayman Turtle Farm to ignore. This all came about after an investigation by the wildlife charity into how the animals were suffering due to their shocking conditions. The farm has now admitted that the turtles in their care are suffering from health problems, and have agreed to make a change to their business model.

WSPA Wildlife Campaign Leader, Dr. Neil D’Cruze, said -

While in many ways we are pleased with the outcome of today’s meeting, WSPA continues to believe that minor improvements will not and cannot address the long term root cause of this suffering: green sea turtles are wild solitary animals that simply cannot adapt to life crammed into a farm with 9000 others. Now is the moment where we expect the Cayman Turtle Farm to start demonstrating a real and serious commitment to change. We will strive to continue to work with the Farm to identify a solution that has the best interests of these turtles at its heart. The Cayman Turtle Farm appear to have accepted that the sea turtles in their care do have health problems. This promising step is down to the strength of your voices, so thank you. However, this admission doesn’t go far enough for us though – sea turtles are still suffering, so we will keep up the fight.

Even Tanya Streeter, the free diving world champion (pictured on the right) joined WSPA to deliver the 144,000 strong petition to not just the farm’s management team, but also the Caymanian Government to put an end to sea turtle farming on the island. It just goes to show you if we all pull together and fight for the same cause, businesses and governments have no choice but to stand up and take notice of what is right and wrong.

If you would like to learn more about the work of WSPA, why not check out our dedicated charity page where you can make a donation to help provide much needed funds to aid their animal rights campaigns across the globe.

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Greenpeace Finally Breakthrough with Paper Company

Feb 5 2013
Greenpeace Finally Beat Paper Company

Great news filtering through that a long term Greenpeace campaign has been successful in helping to protect the world’s rainforests. Greenpeace has been campaigning for an astounding ten years to ask A.P.P. (Asia Pulp & Paper) to stop destroying vast areas of Indonesian forest, and now they have finally set the wheels in motion to stop.

The company, which is one of the largest producers of paper in the world, has now published a new policy for rainforest conservation. This should hopefully see the end of the destruction of this vital  habitat. Not only the endangered Sumatran tigers that live there, but also the many forest communities who call this place home.

Greenpeace put pressure on the people that use A.P.P. for their packaging, showing that being associated with a company that destroys rainforests is not good for business. Mattel, National Geographic and Xerox all seemed to agree with the Greenpeace stance and dropped their contracts with Asia Pulp & Paper, with KFC looking to do the same.

This fall from grace saw A.P.P. sit down to negotiate with Greenpeace in Jakarta, and have finally agreed to end their destruction of the rainforests for profit. This agreement has only been put down on paper, so let’s hope these permanent changes are fulfilled. Just goes to show you how perseverance really can pay off. If it wasn’t for Greenpeace’s work over the last decade, this agreement would never have seen the light of day.

If you would like to learn more about the work of this amazing environmental charity, or help provide funds through their Greenpeace Giving initiative, check out our dedicated page for more information.

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