Today I am thirty years old. Or rather, I have just finished going round the sun for the thirtieth time. In distance terms, aside from the travelling I’ve done actually on the surface of the Earth (which is really quite miniscule, though I’ve visited four continents fairly extensively), I’ve gone seventeen billion five hundred twenty million miles. Approximately. I’ve not been measuring myself.
If you didn’t know, don’t worry about it*. I’m not really a birthday person, and I am unlikely to ever really tell people when my birthday is. One year my colleagues put up some decorations, so I got in early so I could take them down. It’s not that I’m not grateful, it’s just that guys, it’s a lot of fuss. If I’m not paying attention to the fact I’ve travelled another 584 million miles, it seems super weird to me that other people should.
However, I do respect that thirty is quite a lot of birthdays. To celebrate, I decided to compile a list of 30 charities/community organisations, and I’d like to invite everyone who reads this to throw a bit of cash their way. Charities are so important to me – not only because they are my job, but also because they are my passion and they are more and more important as we try to hold together this fragile society we’ve built. Here’s my list – normally I’d invite people to add to it but like…it’s my birthday guys, respect my choices.
These ones are all charities that either I am directly involved in, have been directly involved in, or have a really special meaning to me.
- Leeds Vocal Movement
(if you donate through paypal please don’t use the optional “this donation is for…” – then we can use your donation for a wider range of stuff #charitylaw)
- Northern Opera Group
- Eden’s Youth Project
- Leeds Footsteps Fund
- Prior’s Court
These are all charities local to me, doing great things in the community.
- Simon on the Streets
- Armley Helping Hands
- Support After Rape & Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL)
- St George’s Crypt
Performing/Creative Arts Charities
These charities and groups support and develop the performing & creative arts.
Mental Health Charities
Everyone has some kind of mental health, and these charities exist to help people with theirs.
Black Lives Matter
Alongside supporting these charities, consider looking to purchase specifically from black-owned brands, and actively engage in cultural producers from black backgrounds.
Just good people doing good stuff
These ones felt like they deserved their own heading – just cracking people who are making the world a better place.
A note about charities. There are loads of good people out in the world doing good work. Remember that some of the best ones are right on your doorstep, and need your support more than the big nationals. Go out into your community and find the people doing the good stuff. Also think about buying local and independent, and look out for social enterprises you can support as well as “proper” charities.
If you want to know more, giving what we can has a great checklist for effective giving.
Finally, if you can, one of the best things you can give to charitable organisations is your time. Charities need volunteers at all levels, so whether you’re more of a trip leader or a trustee, there will be a place for you! If you don’t know where to start, chat to me about how to get involved in the sector.
*The birthday thing, not the distance thing