Tag Archives: charity

Giving back this Christmas – Our Reverse Advent Box

This December we have been taking part in Reverse Advent and it’s been a wonderfully heartwarming family task. If you’ve not heard of Reverse Advent before, it’s where you take a box and each day you add something to it with the intention of giving the box away to someone in need.

I chose to donate our box to our local foodbank – Chorlton and Didsbury Foodbank. The foodbank opened in 2014 and last year gave over 1000 people and families three-day emergency food supplies. 

Although we’ve never been at the point where we’ve needed to get a referral to a foodbank, there have been times when the cupboards have been bare and I’ve not had the money to buy food. There have been times where I’ve skipped meals to make sure the boys get food in their belly and I’ve wondered how I’ll feed them their next meal. As frugal as I am, sometimes the money just doesn’t always stretch as far as I’d like. 

In late November the Co-op sent me a big blue box and some ideas for my Reverse Advent. Every time I popped to the shops I’d put a few extra tins, jars, or packets of dried food in my basket and when I got home I put them in my box.

Giving back this Christmas - Our Reverse Advent box

I knew my local foodbank would appreciate the box of food supplies before Christmas, so I did cheat a little and over the weekend I filled my box, packed it up and it’s ready to be delivered to the foodbank.

As a blogger we get sent a lot of things over the year, some of which we use, some of which we give away to friends and family. I’d saved a big bag of children’s books and lots of craft kits (the kind where everything you need is included, so you don’t need extra glue or paint, or things people may not have). So I’ve donated those to the foodbank too. They’ll be given to the children attending their Christmas party and I can’t think of a better home for them.

Putting the Reverse Advent box has been really easy. Buying a couple of items each time I popped to the shops was a doddle and didn’t make a huge dent in our budget. When you first get your box it can be hard to think of what you could fill it with. So I’ve put together a suggested shopping list (below) if you need some ideas to get you started…

Giving back this Christmas - Our Reverse Advent box

The Reverse Advent box is definitely something our family will be embracing as a family tradition. We know how fortunate we are to have food in the cupboards and a warm house to live in. It’s only right that we give a bit of what we can, when we can.

For more information about the Reverse Advent campaign with The Co-op read their blog. To find your nearest foodbank and to find out more about their work, or how to access their services, visit the Trussell Trust website.

Merry Christmas xx

Ronald McDonald House – Keeping Families Close

This Saturday 22nd October, McDonald’s are organising a fundraising day for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The charity helps to keep families close to their children in hospital, by providing them with free accommodation and support.

Many families of poorly children have to travel long distances to get the specialist or intensive care they need. Families who are looked after by Ronald McDonald House Charities can stay in the houses completely free of charge, for as long as they need, which can be a real help for families supporting and caring for a sick child.

Ronald McDonald House

This Saturday 22nd October McDonald’s restaurants around the UK will be bringing the jungle theme to life, with four adorable new wild animal soft toys for customers to buy for just £2.50 each from the kiosk, front counter and Drive-thru window, with 100% of proceeds going to the charity. Last year McDonald’s managed to raise a whopping £3.9m to help the families of poorly children.

There are currently 14 Ronald McDonald Houses around the UK and they desperately need fundraising support to help to contribute towards the funds needed over the next few years. The charity plan to open four new Houses across the UK. The charity has been helping families for over 25 years; providing free family accommodation near NHS hospitals around the country.

Have you ever wondered where the money from McDonald’s Collection Boxes goes? McDonald’s have partnered with Jeff Brazier to show how every penny that’s donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities goes a long way to help families across the UK.

All you need to do to help support this much needed charity is pop to McDonald’s this Saturday and pick up a cuddly toy or two for just £2.50 each. I know I’ll be buying a few of these jungle buddies for myself.

Ronald McDonald House

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities and how you can get involved, visit their website.


This is a sponsored post.

Enjoy Britain’s Best Breakfast for The Carers Trust

The Carers Trust have launched Britain’s Best Breakfast – an annual national fundraising campaign to raise money to help support unpaid carers and give them a break from their caring role.  As part of the campaign they are asking people to invite their friends and family to join them for a fundraising breakfast and raise money for Carers Trust.  Everyone who signs up to get a hosting information pack before 18 October goes in the draw to win an iPad. 

Today, 1 in 10 of us is a carer. That’s nearly 7 million people. So even if you aren’t a carer yourself, it’s likely you know someone who needs the support of the Carers Trust. The Carers Trust is a charity close to my heart, having been a carer myself, I know just how hard it can be physically and emotionally. Young carers in particular need additional support.

£12 could offer support through a counselling session for a carer, 
giving them the chance to voice their concerns and gain reassurance.

£15 could give a young carer a few carefree hours by giving them the opportunity to take part in a range of activities from arts and crafts to sport.

£50 could go towards providing a carer with a much needed respite break. This is so important as so often carers go for months or even years without a break

£75 can save valuable time for an exhausted carer by going towards a washing machine or dishwasher – a vital piece of equipment for a carer

£120 can help a very desperate carer in need of urgent help – by contributing to a carers emergency service where swift, practical support is given in a crisis

Britain’s Biggest Breakfast sounds like a really lovely sociable thing to do anyway, and if you’re sitting down and having a little breakfast party anyway, why not raise a bit of money for the Carers Trust at the same time?

You can find out more about The Carers Trust and Britain’s Best Breakfast on their website.

Charity Challenge – How quickly can I peel an egg?

Britain's Best Breakfast

We were challenged to see how quickly we could peel the shell off an egg. I thought I’d be pretty good at this because I shell quite a lot of eggs each week. I was wrong. You can see the video of how we got on below, but as a benchmark the fastest time to shell one unpricked boiled egg is 2.66 seconds and was achieved by Silvio Sabba (Italy) in Strumica, Macedonia, on 21 August 2012. As you can see from the video it took us slightly longer than 2.66 seconds. Oh dear.

We did not egg-cel at egg shelling. Our gifts clearly lie in other areas – but we gave it a good go and had a cracking time trying. I don’t think we’d ever get our time to under three seconds anyway. 

Why not set up your own little challenge at your breakfast party. Here are a few suggestions for your own charity challenge (it’s not as easy as you’d think) –

• Most toast slices buttered in one minute
• Fastest time to peel a hard-boiled egg
• Most eggs cracked with one hand in one minute

However well you get on, the great thing it you can always eat the results. Don’t forget to tweet them to let them know how you got on with your challenge, and what yummy things you’re having for your breakfast event.