Hello there Fundraisers,
And so (to the surprise of nobody working in the charity sector) the festive season is finally upon us! As we all know, gift giving has become such a huge aspect of the holidays – it’s exactly that spirit of goodwill which first brought so many of us to fundraising.
In these challenging times, these quiet moments of kindness sing the loudest. For this week’s Word on the Beach, I’m highlighting some of the biggest social causes on the calendar this December, representing the values of altruism and inclusion that make all winter holidays so special.
First up are World AIDS Day and International Day of Persons with Disabilities. People with disabilities and those living with HIV/AIDS are some of the most discriminated in our society. This month marks an opportunity to educate, show solidarity and break barriers – and as we come through another pandemic, honour those who have sadly died of an AIDS-related illness.
Christmastime can be especially difficult; memories of lost loved ones and the pressure to perform festive cheer can feel overwhelming when you are grieving. Allowing that space to mourn is essential; that’s why this week we’ll also be discussing National Grief Awareness Week, run by The Good Grief Trust.
So, kick back, grab a mince pie and sink into this week’s edition!
account executive / festivalgoer / hun culture aficionado
Highlighting…World AIDS Day
1 December: World AIDS Day is a time of awareness and activism. It’s about fighting prejudices from the past with the medical advances of today – preventative measures like PrEP and undetectable = untransmissible are just two examples of this in practice.
But crucially, there is now hope to end all new transmissions of HIV in the UK by the year 2030, with support from charities such as Terrence Higgins Trust and National AIDS Trust.
This year’s theme was ‘Equalise’, a bold call to action to make HIV services more accessible for marginalised communities – not just here, but the world over.
A focus on…International Day of People with Disabilities
3 December: The right to an equal life is a human right. Founded in 1992, International Day of People with Disabilities promotes dignity in the disability experience – another moment of reflection on access and fairness this December.
The World Health Organisation reports that 1 in 6 people worldwide live with a disability, with the United Nations recently describing the fight against ableism, and the structures which enable it, as ‘not only a matter of justice’ but an ‘investment in a common future’.
3 December is an opportunity to redress this: how best can we build inclusivity and diversity into our daily lives, our workplace – and at every level of society?
Spotlighting…National Grief Awareness Week
2-8 December: Against the backdrop of covid, a period of National Mourning and the difficulties that come with wintertime, good access to bereavement support is vital.
Despite this, The UK Commission on Bereavement found that, during the pandemic, 37% of adults didn’t know how to access support. Linda Magistris, founder of The Good Grief Trust, voices this frustration best: ‘Grief can be complicated, but access to support should never be’.
National Grief Awareness Week is a chance to start conversations and spotlight projects such as Let’s Talk Bereavement and Cruse Bereavement Support – services offering holistic counselling and guiding individuals through every step of their grief journey.
Reflections on…Dementia UK
After a 45% surge in calls to their Helpline in 2020, Dementia UK requested our help for last year’s Remember a Star Christmas campaign.
We spoke to Emma, whose heartfelt story of the Admiral Nursing service and their specialist care for her mum struck a chord with Dementia UK’s supporters. In fact, the charity saw their average gift increase from the previous year – meaning Dementia UK could deliver dignity in death to so many patients, like Emma’s mum, over the festive season.