Archive for July, 2010

Invest Wisely?

In these straightened times, I understand that you need to focus on family, job security, saving and not spending. People are cautious about investing, whether in banks or shares. We are all trying to make our money stretch as far as it can….

Despite all this, I am going to ask you to invest, not in banks or shares, but to a children’s charity of your choice. This investment will give nothing back to you except the sense that you have done something good.

The investment I ask for is not large, only what you can comfortably afford. If you do this and tell me about it then others might do the same. The wonderful thing about small investments is that they grow quickly if everyone joins in! Your small investment will join with the others to make a real difference to children somewhere. That difference may mean treatment for disease, food to alleviate hunger, education to allow children a choice……

So, please make a small investment in a child’s future. Then come back to this blog, the normal instructions to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

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July 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm 15 comments

The Big Society?

Anyone who has come to this site before will know that this is not a political blog, far from it. If you read my blog, including the tale of the  deep-fat fryer you will realise this.

However, I did feel impelled to at least reference the new UK Government initiative on ‘The Big Society’. I apologise to all non-UK readers in the hope that you will see that my blog is not targeted to a UK audience, it is targeted at everyone…..

I understand the ethos behind the Big Society, it is based on the inherent kindness of people. However, I don’t see it as an adequate replacement for appropriate and adequate funding. I am very middle of the road politically, probably a wet liberal, small ‘l’ please note. I feel that Government has a responsibility to provide for those who are not able to provide for themselves. I also believe that we as a society need to help others, to do good. I don’t think that either Government or society can undertake this task on their own.

I therefore have concerns about this initiative, charity is wonderful human trait but is not a replacement for responsibilities which, to my mind, are owned by Government. It makes me think that we could regress back to a Victorian society and this is a backward move. All that being said, I will reserve judgement on the Big Society until we see all the details, we need to understand how funding will continue or not to make up our minds on this.

This will not stop me with my requests to you as this is the point of my blog:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Only give if and what you can afford. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

July 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm 4 comments

So, Should I Consider All Charities?

I have been asked a couple of questions regularly since I start doing this blog. Why children’s charities and why ‘When I was 8….’?

Children are vunerable to circumstances and often have no say in how their lives go. Many have to struggle with poverty, disease and illness. They are at the mercy of whatever life throws at them and don’t have the power or influence to make changes. I know this also applies to adults in horrendous circumstances. However, I focus on children’s charities because helping children can also take some of the strain away from their parents and carers.

Why ‘When I was 8’? When a child is 8 they are still a child but have learned awareness of the wider world. This is the age when ambitions are starting to form, when a child starts to think about growing up. At 8 years old most children will be able to converse at an almost adult level and will seek to understand the reasons for situations and events. They are sensitive but the need for society and friendship is formed at this age. So, children at 8 will have ambitions, they may change as they get older but an 8 year old’s ambition will have that mix of some understanding of the big, bad world without the constraints we put on ourselves as we grow up.

With this in mind I will continue to focus on children’s charities. I am delighted that I have received comments on other charities but the blog-totals will be kept for children at this time.

Please take the following small steps:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Only give if and what you can afford. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, we are now over £1300 and for this I thank you all
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already.

The steps are simple and if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

I will leave you with a German proverb – Charity sees the need, not the cause.

In the meantime, take care of you and yours.

Lesley

July 18, 2010 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

The Credit Crunch Bites

I like to watch the BBC news in the morning as I drink my tea. It is always good to check out how the world is, whether it be capping oil wells, world cup travellers/ HIV and Apple offering free iPhone cases….

So, I watched with interest an item with input from a representative of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and deputy chairman of the Local Government Association. I include an extract from the website:-

The government has said cuts are needed across all areas but that it has freed up local authorities to work with voluntary groups in a new, more productive way. Greg Clark, minister for decentralisation, said: “What we want to make sure we do is to make sure that there’s space for voluntary organisations, for the ‘big society’, to take the initiative, to be able to say to councils, ‘You were obliged to do this, this way by the government in the past, now let’s sit down together and see if we can do things in a different way.'”

Needless to say, the NVCO reacted to this –  Karl Wilding, of the NCVO, said: “All that we ask is that government cut with care, they cut with the knowledge of the impact of those cuts are going to be.

“Voluntary Organisations read the newspapers like you and I and they are expecting cuts in the region of 25-30% but our concern is that these voluntary organisations will be seen as a soft targets and they will experience bigger cuts than perhaps elsewhere.”

This is a small extract but gives the flavour of what is and will happen globally. Many charities depend on government to part-fund their activities, others compete for funds raised via telethons, lotteries and, in the case of disasters, through public momentum.

There are people who voice concerns, sometimes correctly, about charities, their administration costs and the value of the work that some charities carry out. I consciously do not make judgements on the charities that will be mentioned on this blog, if you admire and support the charity then I am happy that they are included on the blog.

I would also like to put a request out there to anyone who reads this blog. So far the correspondents on the blog have been mostly come from the UK and US. I would love to see how many other nationalities could be added to the blog so please pass the link to the blog to your friends from ‘abroad’, I would love to hear from them too:-)

With this all in mind, you know that I will add my normal request:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Only give if and what you can afford. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

July 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm 2 comments

Domestic, not domestic goddess…..

Before I regale you with a tale of my ‘domesticity’ I will emphasise that I created this blog was to make you all think about donating to children’s charities. I want you to pick a charity you are linked to or have an affinity for. Please donate to them and then come back to this blog to tell me about it. I want everyone who reads the blog to see the range of charities out there who work to lift children out of difficult situations all over this planet. Please don’t forget to read my request at the bottom of this post.

Anyone who has read the blogpost on undies and the deep-fat fryer will know that I am clumsy. I should also mention that I am messy. The two things are neither mutually exclusive nor co-dependant, I am simply both.

I will say that when I decide to deep-clean, I am fairly industrial in my approach. I get the sprays, gels, natural solutions and marigolds lined up to get some kick-ass cleaning done. I may intermittently drink many cuppas but I see the job through. Today’s task was the oven and I tackled it with some determination. When oven-cleaning I make sure that my clothing is at the tattiest range of my wardrobe so that I can dispose afterwards. Normally I recycle my unwanted clothing to Help the Aged but the cleaning outfits are selected on the basis that this is not feasible.

I will not bore you with the gory details but the oven is now clean. I am also now clean after a very long shower. The clothes, however? No, they are not clean, they will never be clean again.

I give you the photographic evidence. The oven and a glimpse of the clothing, alas now dead…..

Lastly, you know what I want you to do:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Only give if and what you can afford. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple and if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

July 14, 2010 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

Natural Born Klutz….

I thought I should write a bit about me in this post. I don’t say much about myself as I like to focus on the aims of the blog rather than me. If you have read the About Lesley page on the blog, you will already know of my love of words, illustrated by the fact that I use 23 when 6 would do.

I also love sport and being made to think. The great thing about twittering and blogging is that it has allowed me to connect online with so many intelligent, witty and sarcastic people. I am challenged to think and have been made to laugh my socks off on occasion. I do recommend this daft and funny world to you, just be sure to balance your real life with your virtual life.

One last fact about me, I am a klutz. If there is a clumsy way to do something I am sure to find it. The most recent example was yesterday. I have a few days off so decided to get some domestic stuff done. I was getting along merrily until I decided to fold clothing in the kitchen. I was putting a few things away at the same time and saw the deep-fat fryer (yes, I know, but used rarely and I like proper chips). Being the multi-tasking type I decided to bring out the fryer to empty it and give it a clean. As we have local recycling facilities for used cooking oil I intended to decant the oil to a container and do my bit.

So, of course I set the fryer near the clean laundry and opened the lid. Then I thought, you eejit Lesley, move the clothes before you spill oil on them. Unfortunately I didn’t close the lid of the fryer while moving said clothes so my undies landed in the fryer……

I will therefore ask that you take pity me, I obviously need all the help I can get. To make me smile, you only have to take the following few steps:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Only give if and what you can afford. There have been large donations talked about on this blog but any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, currently over £1300:-), totals are generally updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple and if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Lastly, I am delighted to say that I have now started the charities page. As I receive permission from the charities mentioned on the blog I will add to this page, so far we have Plan UK and Action for Children. Please take a look to see the wonderful work these Organisations carry out.

In the meantime, take care of you and yours.

Lesley

July 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

Plan for a New Page?

I’m sitting here mulling over what I would like to do on next on this blog. I am delighted that I have had a couple of new ideas and charities mooted to me over the last couple of weeks. I will be updating the totals page over this weekend but realised that when I do that I only mention the latest donations and charities.

So, thinking as I go, I am going to approach all of the charities that have been/hopefully will be mentioned on this blog. I will create a new page on the blog to talk more about the charities and the work they do. I will ask their permission before I do this and am hopeful they will agree. As permission is received I will add to the new page, simples!

In the meantime, you know what I want, don’t you? Please take the following small steps:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Only give if and what you can afford. There have been large donations talked about on this blog but any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, currently at £1160:-)
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. Some choices have been mum, detective, clown, writer and my personal favourite, a trawler deckhand. Also added to my faves is the most recent choice from Ellis who wanted to be a Roman soldier. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple and if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

In the meantime, take care of you and yours.

Lesley

July 3, 2010 at 11:51 am Leave a comment


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