In our checkout process customers now have the opportunity to add a £1 donation to charity, which The Cheese Shed will match. At intervals we'll tot up how much has been donated, add an equal amount and pass this on.
The designated charity will change from time to time - details of sums raised and passed to the charities concerned will be posted here. We'll also put details in our newsletters.
The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music
For 27 years the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music has been doing amazing work in occupied Palestine. Working in the fields of Western classical music as well as Arabic music they have produced an orchestra which has delighted packed houses around Europe, musicians who accompanied Nigel Kennedy at the Proms, and a terrific quartet which I witnessed in Exeter last year, playing Mozart and Mahler. The ESNCM is an inspiration to the people of Palestine and the world - but now there is a danger it could close. As if being under military occupation for 53 years was not enough, Covid-19 is now wreaking its deadly effects, so Palmusic, the Conservatory's ambassadors in the UK, have launched an urgent appeal for help.
From 31 August we are asking our customers to give £1 - and for every pound you give, we'll add one of our own. Thank you for your help.
The Trussell Trust
We all know that the need for food banks use in the UK has exploded in recent years - and right now they are more vital than ever. The coronavirus outbreak has merely shone a very bright light on the fact that - for far too many people - our society just doesn't work. The Trussell Trust runs food banks, but it also does research into the causes of food poverty and campaigns for change. And don't we need to make a better, fairer world?.
We gathered donations from 6 May to 30 August. You gave a total of £1096, which we matched, making a doantion of £2192, the biggest yet.
Along with climate change, the issue of refugees most be one of the great crises of our time (and of course the two are linked). Help Refugees works by identifying effective local organisations in a number of countries and funding them - the idea being that it is the local people on the ground who know best. This enables them to give 89% of donations to frontline work. Learn more about what they do here. This charity was suggested by Afra.
We asked for donations from 14 January to 5 May 2020 and you gave a total of £890. We have therefore given £1780 to this charity.
The Woodland Trust
I know we're not alone at The Cheese Shed in being gripped by the climate change crisis - and the general threat to nature. One big way to help with both issues is to preserve and plant trees. The Woodland Trust is currently fundraising to buy 342 acres of beautiful woodland - Ausewell Wood - just outside Ashburton in Devon (which is very close to us). If they can succeed they'll be able to replace some post-WW2 conifers with native species, and open the whole site to the public.
Between 23 September 2019 and 13 January you donated £757 for this cause, so we have given £1514 to the Woodland Trust.
Most of the charities we've supported have been chosen by me (Ian), and a couple by James. So this time I asked our brilliant young colleague Robyn who she would like us to raise money for, and she came back with this one. She explained that a couple of her friends had had cancer, and CLIC Sargent really helped in both cases. They offer a whole lot of services and support for children and young people in that situation. Read more about their work here.
Fund-raising covered ther period from 26 Feb to 22 Sept 2019, raising £617. We doubled that up resulting in a payment of £1234.
World Wildlife Fund
As I write (1 November), the WWF has just released a horrifying report stating that wildlife populations have declined by 60% since 1970. What are we doing to our world? Shocked by that - and needing to chose a new charity to donate to - we thought that the WWF would be a good choice. Add a pound to your order; we'll match that and give £2 to them.
What they say: "WWF’s work has evolved from saving species and landscapes to addressing the larger global threats and forces that impact them. Recognizing that the problems facing our planet are increasingly more complex and urgent, we have refined the way in which we work around an ambitious new strategy. Our new strategy puts people at the center and organizes our work around six key areas: forests, marine, freshwater, wildlife, food and climate. By linking these six areas in an integrated approach, we can better leverage our unique assets and direct all our resources to protecting vulnerable places, species and communities worldwide." For more on all this, go here.
Update: when we stopped taking donations for WWF our customers had given £677. We have doubled this resulting in a payment of £1354. Thank you, everybody.
WaterAid works with partners in some of the toughest places in the world to get clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to everyone, everywhere. This cause is something that one of us - James - has set up regular donations to, so we have now decided to ask The Cheese Shed's customers if they would like to help.
From 20 June 2018 to 1 November you donated a total of £336 to WaterAid, so we have matched that and paid them £672. To find out more about their work you can go here.
War On Want
Charities involved with international poverty seem to be getting it in the neck at the moment, which is exactly why we've decided to raise money for one. The need out there is immense, and the bad behaviour of a few mustn't stop us trying to help the many. War On Want is a charity, but not an aid agency. It fights against the root causes of poverty and human rights violation, as part of the worldwide movement for global justice.
We raised money for WoW from 19 Feb to 19 June 2018, at which point your 'one pounds' totalled £298, so we gave them a donation of £600. Find out more about their work here.
Crisis is the UK national charity for single homeless people. The charity offers year-round education, employment, housing and well-being services from centres in London, Newcastle, Oxford, Edinburgh and Merseyside, called Crisis Skylight Centres. As well as year-round services Crisis runs Crisis at Christmas, which since 1972 has been offering food, warmth, companionship and vital services to homeless people over the Christmas period. In 2016 almost 4,600 homeless people visited Crisis at Christmas, which was run by about 10,500 volunteers. Since its inception Crisis has been a campaigning organisation, lobbying government for political change that will prevent and mitigate homelessness.
We started raising money for Crisis on 3 December 2017 and when we finished in February you'd given 534 individual one pounds. As always, that has been doubled up, making a donation to Crisis of £1068.
To find out more about their work, go here.
Prison Phoenix Trust
We badly need our prisons to be sending people back out into the outside world able to become positive members of society. That's very difficult with the huge cuts that have been suffered by the prison system in the last few years ... but there are people who are struggling against the odds to help prisoners become better-functioning people.
From 19 April to 3 December 2017 we raising money for this brilliant small charity which sends yoga teachers into prisons. I know someone who does this work - which has all sorts of benefits for prisoners - so it was something I really believed in. By the time we finished you had collectively donated 565 one pounds. We doubled that up and handed over £1130 to Prison Phoenix Trust.
Learn more about their work here.
From 8 December 2016 we raised money for this long-established hospice based in Torquay. Rowcroft run a great - and locally, much-valued - service for people in the last phase of life and their families but it's really expensive, and recently they've hit a bit of a crunch. As it happens, the father of one of us (Ian) died at Rowcroft, so we have a strong personal reason to want to give something back.
Fundraising finished on 19 April, when we made a payment of £1000 to the hospice.
To find out more about their work, go here.
Starting on 28 July 2016 we raised money for NEDCare (North East Dartmoor Care). This is a relatively new organisation - based in the area just north of us - which has been set up to address a chronic lack of care for older people in their own homes. At The Cheese Shed James, Gill and I all have elderly parents - so we're very aware of the problems faced by this group, and the gaps in social care provision. NEDCare seems like just the sort of community-based, not for profit organisation we should be supporting. We hope you'll help us do that.
Fundraising ended on 7 December by which point we had recieved 386 £1 donations. This has been doubled up to make a figure of £772 for NEDCare.
From 18 January 2016 we supported the national housing charity Shelter. No-one can be unaware of what amounts to a national catastrophe around housing, most particulary around the issue of housing that is realistically affordable by people on modest or low incomes. Founded in 1966, Shelter has been leading on all issues to do with housing for 50 years and we're pleased to be able to offer them a little bit of support.
Fundraising ended on 28 July at which point our customers had donated £497. We've doubled this and rounded it up to a donation of £1000 which has been sent to Shelter.
Go here to learn more about their work.
Farms For City Children
Fundraising started on 21st September 2015 and raised a total of £532, which The Cheese Shed is doubling up to £1064. Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976. The charity offers urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. It is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life – for children who may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world. They have three working farms, where they welcome around 3,000 children and 400 teachers a year.
Go here to learn more about their work.
The Helen Foundation
The first charity we supported was The Helen Foundation, which raises funds to support arts activities for young people in our local area. We handed them a cheque for £700 on 18 September 2015.
Go here to read more about their work.