Tag Archives: children

My charity of the year has made me feel amazing, again!

So, I chose this charity as my charity of 2014, and just a few weeks into 2015, they sent me a lovely email with good news about a student I support. I donate a monthly amount that covers the cost for one school student and the charity linked my support to a particular student, Jennifer. I received the email below telling me how a school in NW England (where charity founders Sue and Ron are based) had fundraised to raise money for shoes for Arise Community School students. They sent me a photo of Jennifer in her new shoes.

New shoes for Jennifer

But here’s the thing, the charity is new and run on the boundless positivity and love of its founders, Ron and Sue. Passionate and determined as they may be, they could really do with a helping hand in the digital sphere, at least some training or support to help them get things up and running. I wondered if anyone who knows me online (or in real life!) has connections with someone in or around Liverpool/Manchester who has expertise on social media, websites and the like, and could spare a bit of time to help Ron and Sue reach more people and bring in more support to boost the education of the children who live near Mt Kilimanjaro.

The charity – Africa’s Children in Education – now have a website, a Facebook group and a blog, and these all need updating on a regular basis to tell donors about the impact of their support and just to keep everyone informed of changes and developments at the school. (Like this phenomenal news!) Supporters get lots of updates from Arise Community School, and it would be fantastic for Ron and Sue to reach a bigger audience and for more people to see just what an impact this great charity has.

If you can help or you know someone who can, please put yourself forward. I promise you won’t regret it, the charity is doing such brilliant work and in the most positive and life affirming way!


My charity of the year

Writing this post excites me more than anything I’ve written this year.

I feel like I almost had a secret for the past few months. It started when I went to the annual Citizens Advice conference and I met an amazing lady, Sue Hayes. We were chatting when she told me the Charity Commission had just registered the charity she and her husband had started. My interest was sparked immediately because she mentioned Kilimanjaro. As a fundraiser, Kilimanjaro is synonymous for me with intrepid supporters trekking for days up a mountain and raising thousands of pounds. I have never been, and I had never really thought about the place itself or the situation in which these fundraising treks take place. I should have.

When Sue explained more about what the charity does, I was hooked. Here was someone who had never intended to become the founder of a charity but along with her husband Ron, they had seen an urgent need and they couldn’t ignore it. You can read their full story here, which shows how much effort they have put into it and also their passion for education as a way out of poverty.

We spoke and I loved how Sue described the children she had helped over the years, a couple of whom had come over to the UK to visit when they had reached school leaving age. This charity had clearly been a labour of love for Sue and Ron for many years, but only recently had they got the official stamp of approval from the Charity Commission. Being a techie geek, I was mad keen to visit their Facebook page, Twitter feed and website. They didn’t have them. I said to Sue that they really must get a website up and running, and last week, it went live.

For me, this charity shows the positive and joyful side of Africa. Sure, newsletters and fundraising appeals make clear the desperate circumstances of some of the children (otherwise there wouldn’t be the need for a charity), but the focus is optimistic and forward-looking. Just look at the photos and tell me you don’t want to be part of that!

This is a charity that belongs to the people it helps, it is a charity that is not patronising those it helps but letting them lead the way. It is a charity that is doing something really sustainable and long term, in difficult circumstances. It is a charity where the link between donor and beneficiary is made clear, where you can really see how your support helps, and what a massive difference a small regular gift can make.

My charity of the year is Africa’s Children in Education and I think they really are ACE! Please visit their website, have a look at the work they are doing to change lives for good. And look at the impact you can have with incredibly small donations. If you can spare some money, consider donating to their Buy a Breakfast Appeal.

I hope they inspire you as much as they inspired me this year!

ACE Charity

PS: They are new to the world of social media, so show them your support on Twitter