We’d like to try a Mumsnet Giving week - tell us your thoughts/ which projects you'd like to support

(279 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 02-May-14 11:08:51

Now then: without wanting to gush, one of the great pleasures of toiling at Mumsnet is watching how much you all give to one another - in terms of advice, humour and friendship, obviously, but very often in material ways, too.

Over the years, we've made a few ad hoc donations to causes and charities close to Mumsnetters' hearts, but I've been pondering how we might formalise the goodwill and try to do a bit more. And I thought it might be an idea to give a Mumsnet Giving Week a go.

Here's how it could work... (and do bear in mind that this is a first pass and we're very much open to suggestions on how to improve/refine the idea; if it works well, we'd like to make it an annual event). Together, we settle on some deserving causes that could do with our collective support: maybe you're trying to bring a community garden back into bloom, for example, or want to start a support group for parents of children with SEN, or are trying to raise funds to buy a piece of vital equipment for a good cause. Or there might simply be a deserving small charity that you want to support.

Once we've agreed who we'd like to back, we'll then have a week in which we promote and highlight them, and in which Mumsnetters can donate as much or as little as they choose, via a Yimby crowdfunding page (here's a bit more about Yimby.com, a new crowdfunding community for social good).

At the end of the week, MNHQ will match your donations (although I think we'll have to set a £25k limit for match funding, just in case one of you turns out to be Bill Gates and drops a million - which of course would be marvellous, but would also leave us struggling to meet the payroll).

If this all sounds ok to you, we'd like your suggestions for projects we should support on this thread. They don't have to be registered charities; indeed, our feeling is that national charities don't tend to struggle for exposure and are probably not in most need of our support. Instead, we'd love to use this as an opportunity to give smaller organisations and community projects some airtime. And because we also want to make sure that the causes are ones that existing Mumsnetters have settled on, we're only going to shortlist projects suggested by members who are registered as of now. (Apologies to newbies who join after this point, but there's always next year.)

After this thread's been up for a bit, we'll go through it, pick a shortlist of five and ask the Mumsnetters who submitted the ideas to start a Yimby crowdfunding page in support of them. We'll then - with much fanfare - announce the start of the Giving Week, during which we'll encourage everyone to donate. And at the end of the week, we'll match what's raised.

Do hope you think this is a good idea - please shout if you think it's lousy or we've missed a trick... Otherwise, please submit your nominations for deserving projects below.

IamtheZombie Fri 02-May-14 11:14:58

What an excellent idea, Justine. Zombie will put her thinking cap on and return later with a suggestion or two.

nameuschangeus Fri 02-May-14 11:48:03

I'd like to nominate Ellie's Fund for research into brain tumours. Read up here: www.elliesfund.com
Ellie was an inspiration to many people locally to me and, despite being ill herself, raised a lot of money for her cause. Since her death her family have carried on in her name.
Please have a look at the website.

mypussyiscalledCaramel Fri 02-May-14 11:51:55

What about highlighting Motor Neurone Disease.

I know its not necessarily a small charity, but not many people are aware of the disease and its affects on everybody.

Also because its incurable at the moment they need funding to help find a cure.

Women's aid and rape crisis get my vote.

Sorry just reread and saw the local small bit. How about donating to smaller women's shelters? Is that doable?

Would you support an Irish one? Or is it just Uk? My friends run iCAN for children with arthritis. Tbey desp need money for funding fun days, family support meetings and funding a juvenule arthritis room in the main hospital.All children in ireland have to travel to one hospital for treatment, children as young as two and they haven't even a room.eWe have the second worst health record for kids with JIA and there is currently currently a nearly three year wait list to see a consultant. Im a JIA kid from 30 years ago and nothing has changed here.

This is very much a small project but very deserving too. The kids nevet get noticed, its almost as if people disbelieve it. But KIDS GET ARTHRITIS TOO!!

FatalCabbage Fri 02-May-14 12:59:12

I think Giving Week sounds like a great idea.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Fri 02-May-14 13:16:29

Woolly Hugs !

HerrenaHarridan Fri 02-May-14 13:24:54

I think this is a really good idea. I'm too emotional to think about it at the minute but wanted it chime in.

I'm pleased you are aiming to support small local stuff and think that the format you suggest sounds fair

BIWI Fri 02-May-14 13:31:21

Great idea

afullroux Fri 02-May-14 13:53:09

Oh, please consider Free Cakes for Kids. Volunteers who like baking make free homemade birthday cakes for children whose families find it hard to provide one - maybe because of poverty, illness, homelessness etc. Children are referred by social workers, schools, food banks and charities. Cakes are usually given direct to the parents so they can give the cake to their child, and sometimes children get the cakes at school too.

Disclaimer: I volunteer at the Sheffield group. BUT there are groups all over the UK - over 80 in towns and cities all over the country and the national group (Free Cakes UK) oversee it all. We have made cakes for 1-18 year olds - the ones that really make me emotional are those who are leaving care on their 18th birthday and sometimes it's the first cake they've ever had.

Makemineapintofrioja Fri 02-May-14 13:59:34

if an Eu project is allowed, there is "Care for Kim", trying to raise funds to bring a 14 year old girl in a coma home to be cared for. She was the victim of a car accident last year and her parents need money to bring her home for her care because the insurance wont pay.

SteadyEddie Fri 02-May-14 14:01:29
FatalCabbage Fri 02-May-14 14:37:42

afullroux I just wailed out loud. That's just beautiful thanks

I'd like to nominate the Sussex Smowdrop Trust, I think us surviving as a family for the last 7 years since DS's diagnosis is down to them. They are fab at taking into account the grey scale, they realise that siblings of poorly children find it hard, that parents struggle sometimes. They're there every step of the way and I could never repay them, they help families with poorly children in the local community and allow them to stay at home for care rather than leave everything to busy hospitals.

Sigh, auto correct!

The Sussex Snowdrop Trust thanks

afullroux Fri 02-May-14 15:01:09

I know FatalCabbage. I've sat in my car wailing twice now after deliveries.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 02-May-14 15:03:10

Hey folks, Justine's out at the minute, so just wanted to hop on in her absence to say really glad you think it's a good idea. Thanks so much for the suggestions; reading through has reduced me to tears - and we're only a few hours in... Do please keep them coming, and if someone else posts about a project/cause you'd like to get behind, then say that too - it'll help clarify things when we come to the process of choosing.

Thanks again, and have lovely weekend flowers

MrsRTea Fri 02-May-14 15:05:44

Great idea. Fantastic.

Could we support "Hope UK" - which is a national charity providing drug and alcohol education and training for children, young people, parents and youth workers.

Our young people really need to know more to equip them to handle today's society. It's personal to me but I can't really say more.

(Or, if it needs to be smaller local charities can we at least choose one addressing these challenges - thank-you thanks)

ilovemonstersInc Fri 02-May-14 15:42:53

I would like to nominate children hospital charities. In particular Sheffield childrens hospital. Or them clown drs. They say play is the best medicine and all those ill children would benefit.
My ds has been in hospital numerous times and different hospitals too. One hospital had clown drs come round the wards, another didn't.

Cant think of anything else that I would like to nominate I think if investing in some toys, games etc for the hospitals and giving them out (could generate good publicity and hopefully generate more donations) but more importantly the things you provide the hospitals with will last a few years hopefully helping a lot of children through ill health.

JustSquirted Fri 02-May-14 15:49:24

Brilliant idea.

rainbowqueen Fri 02-May-14 16:00:38

Wonderful idea.

I'd like to nominate www.migdalemunah.com which is a charity that provides counselling and other services to victims of childhood abuse. It is aimed at the Jewish community where it is notoriously difficult for anyone to speak out. I speak from experience.

jcscot Fri 02-May-14 16:07:04

May I suggest Leuchie House? It's a centre providing first class respite for sufferers of MS, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson's Disease and similar illnesses/conditions. It's the only one of its kind in the Scotland and is a worthy charity. My father just had a respite break there and absolutely raved about the care and dedication of the staff and my mother was able to rest and have a holiday, knowing that my father was being looked after so well.


Ooh, my friend might be interested in staying there jc - it looks lovely - I'll pass the details on to them both thanks

MegBusset Fri 02-May-14 16:41:07


I would like to suggest Leeway, who run three women's refuges in Norfolk. They have helped a close family member and I think they are very deserving of support.

Hey, matching the donations given is a very generous offer Justine, thank-you thanks

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 02-May-14 17:05:58

I think this is a lovely idea. And generous of MNHQ to match. I don't have any suggestions for charities, but would be happy to get involved in the giving side.

The free cakes for kids is lovely - I hadn't thought about the looked after children aspect and that was really moving. All of the other ones mentioned/linked to are also good. Any funds going to local refuge/rape crisis organisations I would also support.

TallyGrenshall Fri 02-May-14 17:12:41

Can I nominate Nelsons Journey.

They support bereaved children and young people all over Norfolk and really are fantastic.

AuntieStella Fri 02-May-14 17:13:16


There are a few posters with DC with EDS, and there was a long child protection thread about FII which highlighted how many parents are wrongly accused. It's 'zebra' condition (when you hear hoof beats you think horses not zebras) which far too often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for too long.

Another too often unsung organisation which really makes a difference is the Care Leavers Trust.

tkband3 Fri 02-May-14 17:42:11

I think this is an amazing idea, and it's very generous of MNHQ to match donations. I don't have any suggestions for charities at the moment, but reading about the free cakes for kids charity moved me to tears. I'm out with a couple of friends tonight who are keen bakers (as am I) and am going to suggest setting up a group in our area.

LostMyPants Fri 02-May-14 17:44:43

Befriend a Child in Aberdeen.

We are Aberdeen's only 1:1 befriending service for vulnerable children. We match an adult role model with a vulnerable young person in Aberdeen City and the surrounding area, and offer a few hours of befriending each month to increase self esteem and confidence, introduce new interests and offer some much needed fun away from their difficult backgrounds.


FarelyKnuts Fri 02-May-14 17:45:02


If it stretches to Irish causes can I please nominate this in my home town? We are desperately trying to get funding to get an lgbt resource centre up and running. It is so badly needed for so many reasons but to give just one example, we have a shockingly high suicide rate here and it is estimated to be up to four times higher among the lgbt community. The hope is that a visible and accessible space for people from the community to access services would go some way into reducing that.

NedSchneebly Fri 02-May-14 17:51:40

What a lovely idea!

I'd like to nominate the Ectodermal Dysplasia Society ectodermaldysplasia.org It's the condition which affects the American man who was mocked on Instagram by Shaquille o'Neal. My son has it, and I am a carrier. It's very rare - GPs we've seen have had to google it! It's a small charity, but such a valuable one, which offers support to families affected, and helps fund research into the condition. I would have fallen apart without their support when my beautiful boy was diagnosed.

MissRee Fri 02-May-14 18:13:40

I'dlike to nominate the Stacey Mowle appeal. This brave young lady has Neuroblastoma and her family, together with the local community are raising funds to get her further treatment abroad.

You can read more about her story here: www.thestaceymowleappeal.co.uk/1.html

Mignonette Fri 02-May-14 18:39:30

I second Free Cakes For Kids. I bake for a local branch of it like Afullroux and it is SUCH a simple and wonderful idea.

GimmeDaBoobehz Fri 02-May-14 18:43:10

What an amazing idea.

I'll definitely keep my thinking cap on and see what comes about.

There are some great small charities about.

Definitely will take part in this amazing project. flowers

AuntieStella Fri 02-May-14 18:44:53

I'd never heard of the cake organisation before, but think it sounds wonderful and a good fit for MN (IYSWIM).

Sunshineonsea Fri 02-May-14 18:54:05

This is a fantastic idea! I can't think of any specific charities at the moment but will have a think!

GypsyFloss Fri 02-May-14 19:21:09

I'd like to nominate The Sick Children's Trust ,who have home from home houses in various hospitals across the country, for parents to stay in whilst their child is in hospital. I visited the Addenbrookes and Rosie sites last year for work and was blown away by not just the homes but the care and support they offer parents at such a challenging time.

piscivorous Fri 02-May-14 19:23:17

Can I suggest Blackpool Food Bank please. It is a small local charity run by volunteers, there are no paid staff. It is not part of any of the large trusts as you have to pay fees to belong to them and there is such demand in this area that the funding can be better used feeding people.

Blackpool is one of the most deprived areas of the country. Poverty is increasing steeply in as the tourist trade and visitor spending falters and people, often with pre-existing problems are moved in by other councils due to cheap housing; there are now over 9000 children living in families below poverty line. Over 50% of those in poverty are working as there are problems with seasonal work, low pay, etc so the average weekly wage in this area is £86pw lower than the average for North-West England and £106pw below the UK average

The foodbank works with many different people who are referred after assessment by frontline agencies such as SureStart, CAB, etc; we help families, couples, single people, young and elderly. Last year we supplied around 1200 food parcels this year the demand is far greater. Any help would make a huge difference

afullroux What a lovely cause

MN great idea!

EauRouge Fri 02-May-14 19:29:39

I'd like to nominate the Birth Trauma Association.

MrsDeVere Fri 02-May-14 19:31:51

alices escapes
Free holidays for seriously ill children and their families
Also provides free holidays for bereaved families.
Run by a recently bereaved mother

JulesJules Fri 02-May-14 19:53:27

I think it's a great idea.

So many brilliant suggestions. The first one I clicked on was Free Cakes for Kids and I'm already reaching for the tissues

SpottieDottie Fri 02-May-14 20:03:25

I'd like to nominate Asthma UK so they can get more support to do raising awareness of asthma in schools and providing information for parents of children who are newly diagnosed with asthma.

kinkytoes Fri 02-May-14 20:12:27

Wonderful idea and very generous of MN to match.

Just a suggestion but if the aim is to help smaller local causes then maybe you could select two or three? It would encourage donations from a broader spread of people if the locations and areas of benefit were varied, and smaller charities would be just as grateful for a slice of a huge pie as they would for the whole thing. If you see what I mean.

Also think it'd be great if the cause(s) chosen had a definite link to MN. For example a MNer has benefited directly from said charity thanks to the advice of another?

these are the people I mentioned earlier.

Another lovely one that has caused us endless smiles is Postpals,

There is noting that cheers DS up more than a big pile of cards and letters turning up at the hospital for him, they are also great at making DS2 feel included with his own special post. smile


Sorry www.postpals.co.uk right link! blush

Bicnod Fri 02-May-14 20:23:55

What a fab idea... and thank you for match-funding MNHQ.

I have a question - is it only UK charities/groups or can we nominate organisations working overseas as well?

There's a fantastic organisation called Women and Children First which focuses on reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in the poorest parts of Africa and Asia.

They are brilliant and seem like a pretty relevant cause for Mumsnet to get behind smile

Jcee Fri 02-May-14 20:25:32

Great idea!

I'd like to nominate the Starfish Project which works with people affected by relationship abuse and hate crime in Southwark.

bluesky Fri 02-May-14 20:38:24

Great idea and very Mumsnet. Love the cake one. Sometimes its the smallest acts of kindness that make the biggest impact to someone's life.

AtYourCervix Fri 02-May-14 20:55:41

I have 2 nominations if I coild.

Life for African Mothers is a charity that sends midwives and life saving drugs to some of the poorest countries in the world. The midwives do training in emergency skills and the drugs save lives.

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. Supports women through EP and research and policy development. And saved my life in 2001.

Tinyflutterby Fri 02-May-14 21:00:34

I'd like to nominate Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow www.yorkhill.org/ as they do amazing work, are great at listening, reassuring and helping. They are the only ones who have listened and accepted that there was something wrong with our child and did anything about it. All the staff are fantastic with the children and parents and we feel so lucky to live so near if anything ever happens to either of our children.x

CrystalSkulls Fri 02-May-14 21:16:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McPhee Fri 02-May-14 21:27:01

Post pals and The Honey Rose foundation.

Brilliant idea HQ

FloraPost Fri 02-May-14 21:40:51

Could I nominate Down Syndrome Education International?


Despite the 'international' in the title, this is a small British charity which leads research into education methods which benefit children with Down Syndrome. They also produce brilliant evidence-based resources tailored to the very particular learning profile of kids with Downs. They have been a complete lifeline for us. We've been using their methods and resources with my son since he was 5 months old and now at the age of 3 he can read, count and speak clearly. For kids with Downs, this can be the difference between social integration and educational achievement, or being underestimated and written off as so many people with Downs were in the past.

DSEI's work is transformational, but they are a small outfit and even many families I've come across whose children have Downs haven't heard of them. Unfortunately they've lost significant funding over recent years which has forced a cutback in the services they offered to families like mine. I was devastated when they had to close their early years programme. The major stuff, the scientific research and resource development, goes on but they really do need money. DSEI's work not only greatly enhances the lives of children now; it gives those children a huge leg-up to an adulthood with independence and dignity.

ChineseFireball Fri 02-May-14 21:50:33

Can I nominate Scotty's Little Soldiers please?
Supporting the children of men and women killed while serving in the British Armed Forces.

The charity provides Christmas and birthday gifts, treats, trips and activities for the families of the fallen as well as enabling them to use the charity holiday lodges.

ChineseFireball Fri 02-May-14 21:51:39

I think this is a wonderful idea and lovely of MN to match. thanks

AndHarry Fri 02-May-14 22:12:05

Such a lovey idea and very generous of MN to match.

I'd like to nominate the Luton & Dubstable Hospital's NICU Appeal. They're trying to raise £200k to build overnight facilities for parents whose babies are in NICU and have been brought in from outside the local area or are so poorly that their parents need to be there around the clock. Two of my nephews and several of my friends' children have required special or intensive care at birth and it is such a traumatic, heartbreaking time for the parents that I know this facility will really help. More information here.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 02-May-14 22:38:37


Would you support an Irish one? Or is it just Uk? My friends run iCAN for children with arthritis. Tbey desp need money for funding fun days, family support meetings and funding a juvenule arthritis room in the main hospital.All children in ireland have to travel to one hospital for treatment, children as young as two and they haven't even a room.eWe have the second worst health record for kids with JIA and there is currently currently a nearly three year wait list to see a consultant. Im a JIA kid from 30 years ago and nothing has changed here.

We'd be very happy to have an Irish organisation in the mix, TakeMeUpTheNorthMountain - just need to check whether Yimby would be able to manage that. We've emailed them to ask; will let you know as soon as we hear.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 02-May-14 22:41:45

I have a question - is it only UK charities/groups or can we nominate organisations working overseas as well?smile

Sorry Bicnod - just saw your question after replying to TakeMeUpTheNorthMountain - again, we'd be totally happy; just checking with Yimby. They may all be away for the bank holiday now, but I'll post as soon as I hear back from them smile

I love the Cakes for Kids one thanks

Yay! That's great Sarah it would be brilliant for them to get a bit of support. All volunteers trying to make things better for little kids, some as young as two years old, bloated and in agony from steroids and infusions of chemicals that are usually given in the treatment of cancer. They are all heroes through the pain. If anyone suffers from arthritis, they will know the pain. Now imagine being a two year old dealing with it. [Sad]

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 02-May-14 23:05:04

I wonder if there is a way to support Women's Aid?

One of the most powerful things I have seen on MN is women affected by domestic violence being supported virtually by lots of other Mntters (on the relationship board).

A number then leave their abusive partners. They are always advised to call Women's Aid who provide lots of real life help.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Sat 03-May-14 00:18:12

I'd second that MrsMargo smile

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Sat 03-May-14 00:32:29

May I suggest HomeStart as well. May be tricky as each branch is responsible for its own funding and they are worldwide.

I know the one I volunteer as a Home Visitor for (South Downs) has had to reduce the period of time devoted to each family to 8 weeks due to pressure from County Council.

My limited experience of about 2 years has been that it takes 2 or 3 weeks of visits, at 3 hours each, to establish enough of a relationship to even start making suggestions and pushing ideas.

I've supported my families for between 6 and 12 months, and then sometimes left them reluctantly sad

turgiday Sat 03-May-14 00:38:47

Women's Aid. They have helped lots of mumsnetters over the year, and struggle financially.

I'll second Hope House Childrens Hospices - wonderful, wonderful charity.

Another hospice I'd like to nominate is Nightingale House in Wrexham - they have to rely so heavily on fundraising because so little of their budget comes from funding. They're an amazing hospice and offer so much to their patients.

Also any Young Carers group.

Bicnod Sat 03-May-14 07:52:45

Fab, thanks for replying SarahMumsnet smile

The Befriending a Child charity looks amazing. What a brilliant idea pants.

EasterSundaySimmons Sat 03-May-14 08:40:32

I nominate Huntington's Disease Association


mrscog Sat 03-May-14 08:42:43

I think this is an amazing idea, and would like it if alongside the charities chosen for money giving, if there could be a list of local projects which need volunteers? This could also potentially tie in with Mumsnet Local to encourage the charities which MNers are already involved in to list in the volunteering section?

Can't wait!

I would like to suggest Ronald McDonald House charity who provide amazing home away from home rooms in hospitals for parents who's children are undergoing major surgery/have long stays.

Wolfcub Sat 03-May-14 09:08:03

I'd like to second the vote for reubens retreat and add Martin house hospice into the mix

If i could second that suggestion of homestart, as it is all done at local level. My local branch has recently closed.

LostMyPants Sat 03-May-14 12:53:11

Mrscog that's an excellent idea.

hatchypomagain Sat 03-May-14 12:58:53


Helps profoundly deaf children to listen and speak. Supports the family in using their hearing aids or implants to the best of their ability and gives bursaries to low income families to access the service. Life changing for hearing impaired children.

turgiday Sat 03-May-14 13:02:39

No please not Ronald McDonald. I am sure the charity do great work, but MN would also be promoting McDonalds at the same time and I would not support that at all.

NowFourSpuds Sat 03-May-14 13:03:35

I second andHarry with the Luton and Dunstable NICU appeal, my twins were there for almost 5 months after their extremely premature birth. We could never thank the staff enough for saving our twins, but the unit and the facilities for parents desperately need modernising & improving.

anotetofollowso Sat 03-May-14 13:17:55

Waiting for MNHQ to let us know if we can nominate charities outside the UK. There is a wonderful charity in South Africa I would like to nominate. But I'll wait to find out if it could be eligible.

piscivorous Sat 03-May-14 13:50:24

Aren't there some fantastic causes here? Lovely people doing small acts of kindness which really brighten the lives of others. This is the great side of MN

mumsbe Sat 03-May-14 13:53:51

Could I nominate my local community centre as they are just starting out but have already done a lot in our community and provide well needed clubs for children

Springheeled Sat 03-May-14 14:38:32

There are so many important causes out there. I recently found out about the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which does great work in schools to promote tolerance and tackle the attitudes that can lead to hate crimes.

frankie80 Sat 03-May-14 15:05:34

Can I nominate 'hearing dogs for deaf people'. Not only do they provide assistance dogs for adults but they also do so for children.

Upandatem Sat 03-May-14 19:25:39

I'd like to nominate www.pdasociety.org.uk/ - this, along with MNSN, has been an absolute lifeline as we and DS1 deal with the stress of everyday life and dealt with exclusions (at 7!). I really do feel there are a lot of DC for whom this neurocognitive developmental disorder is a massive deal preventing them participating in life and being understood. Please consider it.

Life is a lot better since DS1 was given a place at an independent specialist school who understand the neurological root of the anxiety underpinning his avoidance of everyday demands. I feel my funny, generous, caring DS who struggles so much with life has a chance now.

Upandatem Sat 03-May-14 19:32:08

Just to be clear, are you going to back and raise awareness of multiple causes? I would like to see that, then people can support who they'd like to. I much prefer that approach to the competitive voting awfulness we see on national things like this, that is dreadful.

Upandatem Sat 03-May-14 19:34:10

Re-read, you'll choose/promote five, then match the funding for all up to max of £25k overall, is that right? Good approach if so.

I really love matched funding as I'm poor and I like the idea of my donation counting for more. I always use 'The Big Give' when it's on.

I'd like to nominate Horton Women's Holiday Centre
as it's a brilliant resource for mothers. It has a huge garden with play equipment. A playroom indoors is full of toys, books, art supplies. One room has a huge platform bed you can all sleep on together.

In the past, it's functioned as a place where women fleeing abuse have been able to turn up and stay at, although obviously that's not its main purpose.

It's on a train route so non-drivers can go.

Sadly, though, the subsidised prices for women living in poverty mean it's always in need of financial support.

What a lovely idea. Clicked on a few links and now I'm welling up. Will have a think about good causes.

Wow turgiday let's hope you are never in need of their help then. The Robald McDonald House Charity does amazing work that makes being in an utterly shit situation a little more bearable

turgiday Sat 03-May-14 20:19:36

I am sure they do do amazing work. But it also by association promotes McDonalds.

EasterSundaySimmons Sat 03-May-14 21:18:48

Turgidly, the Ronald McDonald House charity is funded by the generosity of staff fund raising and the general public, it is not directly funded by Mcdonalds.

It is petty and mean to disqualify this very worthwhile charity that takes away the worry for families who need to be near their sick child in hospital.

The accommodation provided by RMHC is of an invaluable help to these families and supports them at a time when their finances may not cover the cost of hotels etc.

RMHC opened at Birmingham Childrens' Hospital a few years after my parents were there with my brother - three hours away from home and from me, I was three at the time - but I'm fairly sure, if it had been open, they wouldn't have given a toss that it was sponsored by McDonalds. It would've given us the chance to all be together, and them the ability to spend time with their dying son without having to rush back every night to make sure I was alright, because I could've been in Birmingham with them.

I would like to second/third/fourth/whatever we're on whoever nominated Ronald McDonald House Charities

kikidee Sat 03-May-14 21:30:01

hatchypomagain thanks for nominating Auditory Verbal UK. I second that nomination! We have benefitted hugely from their unique service. We travelled from Scotland for appointments and it was emotionally and financially exhausting and it would be lovely to donate some money to help with travel costs, or even just the normal appointment costs as it's fairly expensive if you don't qualify for travel bursaries.

They are a small charity and their service is not provided anywhere else in the UK and their support and techniques change the lives of deaf children and allow them to achieve their potential.

Love this idea, thanks Mumsnet!

FloraPost Sat 03-May-14 21:58:59

Well, we were offered a place in one of the Ronald McDonald Houses so I am very aware of the good work they do. However, Ronald McDonald House Charities held net assets worth $120 million in 2012 (latest audited accounts) so MN's money will have much more impact elsewhere.

showyourloveforlucy Sat 03-May-14 22:12:03

I'd like to nominate 'Sports Driving Unlimited.' It is a small, innovative charity providing therapeutic equestrian experiences for disabled and disadvantaged children and adults. They never shy from a challenge and always find a way to accommodate any level of need, no matter how severe or complex.

My nephews have disabilities and have been attending carriage driving lessons for three years. It has given them the chance to experience success and taught them to become more responsible through caring for the horses. Their self-esteem is higher and they find it exhilarating. Many of the users would not be able to take part in other sports and this charity provides them with a unique opportunity. I think it's really worthwhile.


LocalEditorWandsworth Sat 03-May-14 22:33:10

Great idea, we've been giving a free ad space to a local charity each month on the Wandsworth local site but would be fab to give actual cash.

Can I nominate, First Touch NNU which raises funds for our local neonatal unit www.first-touch.org.uk and Cedar House Support which runs free local support groups for mums with PND www.postnataldepression.com/cedar-house-support-group.

Both make such a difference to local parents at the most difficult times of their lives and rely totally on volunteers and donations.

hatchypomagain Sat 03-May-14 22:34:02

pleasure kikidee - I'm attending appointments with DS2 after DD graduated. They helped us so much, emotionally as well as helping to teach us and DD life skills that will enable her to do whatever she wants, despite her deafness. Glad to find another AV-er !

stealthsquiggle Sat 03-May-14 22:55:02

The cakes for kids thing sounds right up MN's collective street, and we could really make a difference. I just searched and there are no groups anywhere near me sad. If there were, I would be happy to bake and to contribute financially, but simply don't have time to set one up. I think it would be an ideal candidate though.

Midlandsmom Sat 03-May-14 22:55:17

I'd like to nominate Portage www.portage.org.uk. They send home visitors to families with pre-school children with additional needs.

Our portage lady has provided the most wonderful support for our dd, who has developmental delays. She has supported us in learning signing, showed me ways to build my child's skills, and encouraged me when I have felt really anxious about my dd's development.

It's not that I will be upset if RMHC isn't picked as one of the charities supported flora there are loads of fantastic and amazing charities nominated on here, I was defending them against the sheer stupidity of dismissing the work a charity do as they happen to have the word 'McDonald's' in their name!

MrsDeVere Sat 03-May-14 23:09:43

Midlands thats what I do smile

Peregrin Sun 04-May-14 08:07:03

Do you consider charities abroad? I volunteer with a charity for disabled children in Serbia. They are a fantastic group in so many ways, operating in a very difficult institutional environment, but because they are based in Europe and not in officially developing regions of the world, there are very few donors to whom they can apply. (State support is barely existent.)

They were set up by parents, an entirely grassroots operation, transcending ethnic and religious boundaries. Many of the kids they care for had barely spent time in the outside world before because their families were ashamed, and others because their carers had no time or resources (knowledge, vehicles, money for fuel...). Ten years on, and the daycare centre and more importantly the kids in it are flourishing, they receive individually tailored therapy, they participate in community events in the town, daytrips to zoos etc... They have taken interactive lessons to the schools in the municipality to reach the generation now growing up... But they are always under the threat of funding running out and having to stop their services. There is no alternative to the care they are providing. (and yes they are working on trying to move to a self-sufficient model of funding - it is just incredibly hard given that the economy is so poor even for conventional businesses and they are already so tied up with running the centre as it is.)
Their website, a little out of date, is at www.bethesda.org.rs/EN/index.php

Midlandsmom Sun 04-May-14 08:09:32

MrsDeVere Portage has been brilliant for dd smile, we don't get much other support; speech therapy and physio only visit for 45 minutes every 5 or 6 weeks.

Hazchem Sun 04-May-14 08:25:36

great idea. What about the Positive Birth Movement. www.positivebirthmovement.org/

It's small grouped based spread right across the world but founded and run from the UK. It's women and a few men helping support women during pregnancy and beyond to have positive (for them) births. hoping to change the culture of fear that surrounds birth.

I'd also like to nominate Refugee Action www.refugee-action.org.uk/ in particular their fresh start project which works with homeless and destitute asylum seeking women to house and feed them so they can get their lives and then their legal cases back on track. Any of their projects would be suitable. Or even

Iggity Sun 04-May-14 10:12:47

I'd like to nominate the Winnicott Foundation.

They are a charity which supports the neonatal units at St Mary's and Queen Charlotte's hospitals in West London. Their aims are to
help save the lives of premature and sick newborn babies, help families to be with their babies and to help to give premature and sick babies a better long-term future.

They fund the following:

supporting developmental care, including staff training and buying materials and equipment to make babies more comfortable such as baby clothes and cot and incubator covers to reduce noise and light, and providing information for parents and staff

medical equipment not available from NHS funds, such as new equipment or early upgrades to benefit from new technology

parent support, including help with travel costs and hotel accommodation for families whose babies have been transferred or are very sick, books and information, parent support groups, a hardship fund, and bereavement support

family rooms and nursery environment, such as reclining cotside chairs for skin-to-skin cuddles and breastfeeding, TV, PC and internet access, and refurbishment of the parent bedrooms and sitting room

staff training: helping increase skill levels in the neonatal unit
information and technology including patient database, books and publications


So many great charities here.

MrsDeVere Sun 04-May-14 10:14:36

I am really pleased Midlands. I love my job. It has changed quite a bit recently but actually for the better (more freedom to do support stuff).
Now if I could only get my hands on some new toys.......grin

Lizziespring Sun 04-May-14 11:51:43

Can I nominate a new little social enterprise, linking women into a network, then a sustainable income selling goods we make? Sew Portobello brings together low paid or unwaged women to make beautiful soft furnishings from old or unusual textiles; we sell them on the vibrant Portobello market. In June we will get a shop and a website. Friendly, creative, practical and fun, SP develops the confidence of multi-cultural, very diverse participants completely naturally through building friendships and sharing sewing skills.

antimatter Sun 04-May-14 12:06:29

what a great idea Lizziespring - I am reading it in your website!

I'd like to nominate smiletrain.org.uk they give free surgery for children born with clefts around the world. It's day surgery which change children's lives.

hatchypomagain Sun 04-May-14 12:55:39

mrsdevere - is portage not just the local authority provision ? that's what it is round here - south east ? genuine question and that's terrible if not ...

MrsDeVere Sun 04-May-14 13:58:47

AFAIK most Portage teams are under the LA (although it is not a protected, statutory service) but the Portage Association is a charity.

Lisajanejames Sun 04-May-14 14:17:17

I'd like to nominate Zigzagleeds autism support group. Its only a small local organisation that relies on the generosity of others to support its activities it provides for families. Its a parent led support group , currently providing 40+ families with all issues in bringing up a child on the autism spectrum. Been running for 6 yrs now in Leeds. Would be a great worthy cause..any assistance given goes straight to the families ans NOT to any administration cost ;-)

you can find them on twitter @zigzagleeds and on facebook @zigzagleeds community organisation

CharityCase Sun 04-May-14 14:22:20

Hatchy The UK government s actually a massive funder of charities working in the social services space through commissioning of services.

WonderWomansSister Sun 04-May-14 14:43:27

It's so brilliant to hear about the different charities and projects that MNers are passionate about, and I think this is a great idea.

I'd also like to nominate the Sick Children's Trust, who are the longest-established charity offering UK home-from-home accomodation - free of charge - to families who have a child in intensive care. They have eight homes at hospitals across the country in Sheffield, Newcastle, Cambridge, London and Leeds.

The homes allow families - parents and siblings - to stay a short walk from PICU and NICU wards, when you really don't want to be far away from your child. Each home has private bedrooms as well as a communal kitchen so that families can shop and cook normally rather than spend a fortune on food at a time when they may be a fair distance from home. There is also communal space to relax away from the ward, and toys, books and space to spend time with siblings.

The Trust says "We're here so you can be there" and they do that with bells on. A brilliant charity that does so much for families at what can be the most stressful and upsetting time of their lives www.sickchildrenstrust.org

FatalCabbage Sun 04-May-14 16:09:26

I'm going to nominate Red Balloon which provides a safe learning environment for children temporarily (and in some cases permanently) unsuited to the school environment, typically because of trauma. I learned about it through a volunteer.

Their official funding is unpredictable because they don't know who'll they'll have and for how long.

From their mission statement:

The aim of Red Balloons is the recovery of bullied children.

We provide an 'intensive care' full-time education for children aged between 9 and 18 who are unable to go to school because they have been severely bullied or who have suffered trauma, such as the death of a parent, abuse, rape or some other experience that makes them particularly vulnerable. At least half of the students we take have attempted or seriously considered suicide.

We promise the students whom we accept a safe environment with clear boundaries for behaviour, and an individual full-time academic, pastoral and therapeutic programme.

Once the students have regained their confidence and are able to cope academically and socially, we support them in their return to mainstream school, their entry to further education or to employment.

joanofarchitrave Sun 04-May-14 17:19:43

This is such a great win-win - I would be delighted to see any of these charities get more support, though would particularly love to see something small and local promoted. I'd agree about the Free Cakes one, which does seem very MN.

I'm still going to nominate another - Full Circle Oxfordshire which runs sessions in primary schools bringing together older volunteers and schoolchildren to enjoy crafts and activities together. Perhaps it could be a Gransnet special?

lucmedeastan Sun 04-May-14 17:37:37

Fabulous idea. I would like to nominate The Miscarriage Association. I know it is a national charity but it is quite small and doesn't get much exposure. They helped me so much when I had a miscarriage and the information they provided was invaluable. xx

StampedLetter Sun 04-May-14 17:42:31

I would really like to nominate Angels Support group.
They a a charity that supports parents and carers if children with ADHD and or autistic spectrum disorders. They have recently lost their funding and will close if they do not receive support soon.
They are an amazing charity that helps out so many families in our area. They offer support and advice and will help families navigate through the school system ups and downs. I know many families they have pulled back, literally, from the brink of collapse. I cannot speak highly enough of them. They are small, with only three staff, but the support and advice they give is second to none.

Blu Sun 04-May-14 17:59:34

There isn't a day goes by, sadly, when it doesn't become necessary for posters to recommend that someone contact Women's Aid. In fact I have often wondered, when urging MN-ers in a vulnerable situation how much extra pressure MN puts on Women's Aid, and whether we should make a special effort to support them.

I have also supported MN-ers living in abusive situations who have found that the FREEDOM PROGRAMME transformed their lives. I am not sure how this is funded, but again, so many recommendations are made via MN that it would seem a powerful partnership to add to the capacity to enable women to escape abusive relationships.

JessicaMae Sun 04-May-14 18:47:53

Just joined lovin it

joanofarchitrave Sun 04-May-14 19:02:33

I agree about feeling a bit guilty about the amount of recommendations for Women's Aid we make on here. Same for Citizens' Advice Bureau.

WonderWomansSister Sun 04-May-14 19:41:34

But Womans Aid and CAB are there to help people - and thank God they are and do the great job they do. I don't feel guilty that do many women are signposted to WA here, just pissed off that there are so many arseholes out there mistreating women in the first place.

An MNer has just set up a website called DifferentTogether, to help neurotypical partners of people with Aspergers Syndrome. So far it's only open to MNers, but the plan is for it to be rolled out to all, which will need funding. Gotta go - will come back.

Indith Sun 04-May-14 19:48:46

I am going to add millies trust. It was set up after a little girl lost her life to choking at nursery. It provides first aid courses free of charge in the north east to those with under 1s and for a small donation to others who want to take the course.

WheresTheCoffee Sun 04-May-14 19:48:54

I'd like to nominate Woolly Hugs!!

Cirsium Sun 04-May-14 19:51:06

Muirfield Riding Therapy is a Riding for the Disabled member group I volunteer with who help hundreds of children and adults each year. We work with physiotherapists who use the horse as a therapy tool with amazing results and also have many former educational professionnals volunteering who help us support riders with learning disabilities and conditions such as ASD. We don't charge any of our riders and need to raise £80,000 annually largely through fundraising to provide this service.

Indith Sun 04-May-14 19:52:44

Sorry, not just north east. North West too.

Doobydoo Sun 04-May-14 19:59:17

Chidren's Hospice Southwest....started by a couple who had 2 children with life limiting conditions.Run entirely on Charity donations....they now have 3...I have worked there...they are fantastic with families,the ill child and siblings and beyond.

As a mum of a child with Pathological Demand Avoidance autism, I'd like to recommend Society ink{http://www.pdasociety.org.uk/\www.pdasociety.org.uk]]/}. It's the only organisation dedicated to this particular 'colour' on the autistic spectrum as the condition is still unrecognised by many NHS areas. They're working on becoming a registered charity and is run by volunteers.

People with PDA are superficially high functioning but very easily and unpredictably get stuck in anxiety-based meltdowns. It requires a different handling to other ASDs and it takes an almost superhuman amount of understanding, thick skin and patience to help a PDA child through a meltdown. Families are generally covered in bruises and bites,houses are trashed, I know of many such parents who have contemplated suicide, marriages have been wrecked, and the children themselves face very uncertain futures. It's been suggested that much domestic violence and stalking could be down to undiagnosed PDA but there is not enough research done yet due to it not being widely known.

Whoops PDA Society

Solasum Sun 04-May-14 20:19:43

Is there any way this could be divided into national and local? So a few 'big' causes that MN can match (I vote WA and the cakes) but also a list by region so people could also donate to a cause very local to them? Administered through the local pages maybe? That way many many more causes could be supported, and presumably some of these charities would be very grateful of even small amounts.

Solasum Sun 04-May-14 20:24:17

Or, as WA is recommended to so very many women on MN, maybe MN could set up some kind of longterm funding connection to WA? Every little helps and all that.

Agree that WA should have the lion's share or be official MN charity perhaps (or even just 'Mumsnet Charity of the Year').

EvaTheOptimist Sun 04-May-14 22:34:17

I would also support donations to Womens Aid and/or local refuges. Or foodbanks.

FloraPost Mon 05-May-14 00:05:21

I know Penguin smile.

Ooh yes, the Portage Association. We have portage too, it's aces. If you do have a portage service where you live, please think about donating any games or toys aimed at preschoolers you no longer use. Our service always has items going missing or getting broken (hazard of the job) and doesn't have the funds to replace.

First vote still goes to Down Syndrome Education International though!

DraggingDownDownDown Mon 05-May-14 07:39:29

I would like to nominate Autism Concern. www.autismconcern.net

This is the only charity in the area that organises day's out and social groups for all children on the spectrum. However they can only do this if they have enough funds - which are rapidly running out.

My son accesses this group and it has given him the opportunity to feel "normal" and to be himself without the risk of being laughed at or teased. It also means that we get to spend time with our other son and to give him the attention that he misses out on.

LocalEditorRedbridge Mon 05-May-14 08:49:38

How about a food bank charity? www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects

Families all over the country, and within the Mumsnet community, are struggling to feed themselves.

Littlefish Mon 05-May-14 09:08:27

I would support any domestic abuse or rape crisis charity nomination.

Bunbaker Mon 05-May-14 09:43:57

Without Sheffield Children's Hospital DD, and a great many other children, wouldn't be here today. So I would like to nominate them.

DD has been a long term patient on and off for many years, and the dedication and the "leave no stone unturned until they get a firm diagnosis" view from the HCPs, plus support for the parents as well as the children has won my thanks and admiration over the years.

DD, on her own initiative has also done some fund raising herself without any prompting from me.

ilovemonstersInc Mon 05-May-14 09:48:12

Bunbaker I mentioned Sheffield childrens too. They have been the only hospital who have done something to help ds. Like your dd without their help ds wouldn't be here today. Sheffield isnt our local hospital, hes been to 2 local hospitals here and 1 is a childrens hospital and they did very little compared to Sheffield. They have been absolutely amazing with his care and now hes struggling again they are the only people who are willing to help just need another referral as he was transferred back flowers

Bunbaker Mon 05-May-14 09:59:05

ilovemonstersInc I skim read the entire thread to see if the hospital had been mentioned, but I must have missed your post.

I hope all goes well for your DS flowers

Iamfrankieheck Mon 05-May-14 10:21:26

Another vote here for pdasociety.org.uk

This organisation is doing such valuable work in trying to raise awareness for this condition, which is part of the Autistic spectrum but requires completely different handling.

They provided me with my 'light bulb moment' when I suddenly understood that PDA was what my child had. Years of visiting Pediatricians, SALT, OT, CAMHS, Educational and Clinical Psychologists and it was this little group on the internet that made me understand why my Son was struggling and provided my family with much needed support and strategies to help us help him.

All of the professionals above should have been able to tell me about this condition and help me sooner, but instead I had to educate them. Please help us make this the other way round.

Also, If you are reading this and don't know what PDA is...please click on the link smile

ilovemonstersInc Mon 05-May-14 11:00:11

You too bunbaker flowers

gardeningmama Mon 05-May-14 11:10:06

I second cheapskatemum above in support of DifferentTogether A much needed (almost totally lacking) support for partners of those with Aspergers. DifferentTogether is a new project and would benefit greatly from this kind of recognition. Living with someone with Aspergers can have a hugely stressful and emotionally abusive effect on the NT (Neurologically Typical) partner and children can suffer badly too. Without support, these marriages can fail and children can carry emotional problems into their adolescence and beyond.

Mumsnet Giving is a great idea smile

TittyNotSusan Mon 05-May-14 12:41:49

What a great idea!

Can I mention the charity I'm involved with? MedEquip4Kids provides equipment for neo natal and paediatric units that wouldn't otherwise be available. They fund the clown doctors previously mentioned and they also fund multisensory rooms, overnight beds, refurbishments of children's wards and outside play areas (eg recently at Countess of Chester and Burnley, shortly funding one at Stepping Hill in Stockport).

They have two projects that might fit well with MNers. They are working with paediatric continence teams across the UK to provide extra resources for families struggling with a disabled child. Things like musical potties and picture books. In particular focusing on children with learning and physical disabilities and those with anxiety etc.

Also they are about to launch a project working with CAMHS teams across the UK. They will be putting together boxes of resources for CAMHS professionals. Although the service is funded by NHS / LA, there is no budget for any extra resources for families eg picture books, stress toys for children with ADHD, emotions picture cards for children with ASD or trauma.

My DD has used equipment they provided throughout her life, and my niece was then in an incubator they provided when she was born at 30 weeks so it's a cause close to my heart.

WickedWitchoftheNorthWest Mon 05-May-14 13:08:15

I love this initiative, what a great idea.

I'd like to nominate the Skelmersdale Ecumenical Centre. The centre does so much good work for this community which is the most deprived community in West Lancashire. They have a food bank, lunch club, charity shop, and lots of classes and activities for people of all ages. They are particularly strong on supporting local immigrant populations (and goodness knows with UKIP on the rise these communities need all the help they can get at the moment). They have a Polish dancing group, a Latvian club, and more.

At Christmas last year they distributed hundreds of extra food parcels with mince pies in, etc. and they also distributed Christmas presents for children of all ages. They do not include any Christian literature with the presents - in fact they give them to the parents unwrapped and also give them wrapping paper so they know what their children are getting as the parents wrap them themselves.

This centre is woefully under resourced and there is so much more they would like to do if they had the money, such as extending the food bank and having a soup kitchen (nearest soup kitchen is in Southport which is a long way and people needing to go there can't afford transportation). The centre has been running since 1972 but with all the cutbacks lately they are really struggling.


Tenrec Mon 05-May-14 13:24:19

Great idea. I suggest Haven House Children's Hospice, in Woodford. They do so much work and mean so much for the families and children who go there.

Also, YoungMinds. Okay, not small or local, but adolescent and child mental health is often overlooked in fundraising. I know my DC's schools, my work and so on have been involved in fundraising for charities for people affected by a variety of diseases, but never a mental health charity. There's so little support, CAMHS are stretched and to try and prevent/manage mental health problems in adults, mental health problems in children must be dealt with, but often aren't because of ignorance and stigma. There's still very little awareness of even adult mental health, and YoungMinds help professionals, adults and the children/teens recognise and manage their health problems. I know that with my MH issues, it can feel very isolating, and especially for kids, who will have their classmates saying things like 'that's mental' or 'schizo' and so on. Like I said, it's not local, but it doesn't have as much recognition as it should do.

Tenrec Mon 05-May-14 13:30:42

Oh, this is YoungMinds and the real life stories are heartbreaking.

This is Haven House

MrsDeVere Mon 05-May-14 13:44:59

Haven house have helped us.

ouryve Mon 05-May-14 14:56:09

I recently discovered the Challenging behaviour foundation www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/

I've downloaded a few of their info sheets and they are absolutely brilliant. I've been doing as much as I can to point people in their direction, as, while some of the larger charities tend to be embroiled in politics and tendering for government contracts, the support this charity gives gets right down to the unfortunate nitty gritty of everyday life for so many of us. So, I think some support form the giving week would be a nice way of saying thank you for providing such good quality, sensible, detailed advice for free.

ouryve Mon 05-May-14 14:59:40

The PDA society is fab, too smile

babybabybabyoh Mon 05-May-14 16:54:10

What an incredible idea and many worthy causes who will benefit so much from MN's and MNetters generosity smile

There is a wonderful charity in North Yorkshire called Independent Domestic Abuse Services who support victims of domestic abuse. I know they struggle to find funding to support their work with children which is critical considering children don't have a say in the families in which they live and sometimes have no choice but to witness some really awful things. Their work involves helping the children to keep safe, giving them a voice and helping them to move forward. It also involves supporting teenagers who are in abusive relationships to recognise that they deserve better. This charity will always be very close to my heart.


DreadlocksMadeMeHappy Mon 05-May-14 17:59:43

New Name, been here a while though...

I'd like to nominate Sandwell Women's Aid

As with all women's aid charities, they are desperate for cash to help the scores and scores of women they help. They specialise in women subject to human trafficking and South Asian Women in need, escaping violence. They help ANY woman that comes to them in need.

I know Womens aids type charities are a cause close to mumsnetters hearts and really hope that this one is selected. Women raising money for other women whose chips are well and truly down would be so fitting.

Fingers crossed.

doublechocchip Mon 05-May-14 18:25:49

I second Millie's Trust www.milliestrust.com/ a great charity.

Back2Two Mon 05-May-14 20:14:40

I would like to recommend any charity that supports the "informal" (I.e unpaid) carers in Britain.

People who find themselves either gradually or suddenly transformed from a daughter/son/husband/wife/partner/friend into a carer.

This sort of charity gives support to people from ages 18-100 (although there are other charities working with the young carers too) and who support others who have any kind of condition/disease/illness/mental health issue .....from autism to dementia, MS, Parkinson's, cancers, lung disease, heart disease.....you name it.

The carers are just every day people and there will be thousands of them here on MN. They may care for a child, a parent or a partner. They may have to do it whilst still working and looking after the rest of their family.

There is often poor financial support for carers and some charities offer advice, support groups and access to financial funds for short breaks/Wellbeing grants.....even essential expenses like continence aids/pads etc, or some much needed respite.

So. Any charity for carers would do......THIS is a national and THIS one I have been involved with and have seen people benefit from their help and support

Lifestooshorttosleep Mon 05-May-14 20:17:49

Hi, this is a great idea and many worthwhile causes. This one is a little diferent and may not fit the bill, but I thought I'd include it anyway. I am working with a group of 8 Girl Scouts (we're based in Germany as Girl Scouts Overseas) who are fund raising a total of €20,000 to fund themselves to go and stay at the World Girl Guide Centre in Pune, India where they will undertake a 10 day sustainable project working with the local community. A big part of helping the girls own personal development is the fund raising! Between now and July 2015, each girl has a personal target of €1000 for which they are babysitting, selling cookies, doing sponsored events etc. We aim to raise the balance through group fund raising. I passionately believe every young person should have the chance to do something potentially life changing, to push themselves well out of their comfort zone and that this is especially important for young women if we truly want to improve gender diversity in the world. These girls are aged 14-17, amazing they even want to be in Girl Scouts these days. Anything mumsnet could do would be a huge boost. Thanks for the consideration.

nobeer Mon 05-May-14 21:25:47

I'd like to recommend Epilepsy Sucks UK esuk.uk.com/ which fundraises to provide expensive anti-suffocation pillows free of charge to sufferers of epilepsy. Having a seizure while sleeping can cause death by suffocation, so these pillows not only provide peace of mind, but also save lives.

NorksAreMesssy Mon 05-May-14 22:02:06

Brilliant idea, MNHQ, and great that you are able to match funding.
This is also working as a great platform for people to talk about their favourite charity, which may not have been visible before.

Heartily endorse support for WOmens Aid - but I am also very happy to support some of these amazing smaller groups as well.


flingingmelon Mon 05-May-14 22:07:25

Can we consider starsinthesky.co.uk ? They are a dating agency for people with learning difficulties and do a fantastic job on tiny money.

flingingmelon Mon 05-May-14 22:09:07

Sorry, messed up the link;


kaffkooks Mon 05-May-14 23:28:12
ancientbuchanan Tue 06-May-14 00:18:43

Another vote for DifferentTogether, as the effect of having an AS parent us devastating for children and casts a long shadow, and there is virtually no research or support or trained counselling

I'm in two minds about the next one, because it is mainly aimed at the religious community where it was founded, I think, ( though I may be wrong), Camp Simcha, which aims to support children and families where the children have life threatening diseases. It provides fun days and camps for the children, it provides places where mothers can go, sleep, have a facial knowing that their child is having a lovely time. It provides a befriender for the child and advice 24/7.
I met a/ the fundraiser on a train, and she was immensely impressive. It sounded like what I would have loved and so needed when Ds was ill. It helps in very practical ways, with the things that you just can't do or face or have the energy to cope with.

And finally, Thornhill House in Gt Longstone derbyshire. It was founded by someone whose husband was at home for years, dying of motor neurons disease. It has become a small village based old people's home, based in the community, supported by la and private fees and charity, where you can go when you are elderly and still be part if your village and community. Everyone knows you, and you know everyone. You don't need to leave your community to go to the local hospice, 16 miles away, or even to the next town, Bakewell. It is z godsend for people with elderly parents, worried about the next stage, not wanting them to have to tear up roots.

zzzzz Tue 06-May-14 00:33:32

Muir Maxwell Trust.

They provide alarms for children who suffer life threatening seizures so their parents can sleep. The waiting list was 9 months when we needed an alarm (they are not provided by Nhs, the care plan is you watch 24/7 or risk sleeping through a seizure).

AngryPrincess Tue 06-May-14 09:23:47

Mary's Meals is a great one.
They give one meal a day to children in schools, so as well as food the children are encouraged to get an education. It costs £12.20 to give a child one meal a day for a year. A year! Only £12.20!
I just watched their film Child31 and it was heartbreaking and moving.
Was just thinking about setting up a screening of it.

Here's the link.

MarcusAurelius Tue 06-May-14 09:29:18

Womans Aid/Refuge for the amount of women who appear on here in desperate situations.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 09:54:04


Just a suggestion but if the aim is to help smaller local causes then maybe you could select two or three? It would encourage donations from a broader spread of people if the locations and areas of benefit were varied, and smaller charities would be just as grateful for a slice of a huge pie as they would for the whole thing. If you see what I mean.

Also think it'd be great if the cause(s) chosen had a definite link to MN. For example a MNer has benefited directly from said charity thanks to the advice of another?

Hey kinkytoes - we're actually hoping to settle on five causes in the end, for precisely the reasons you mention smile

In terms of the causes having a link to MN, as we've never tried this before, we weren't sure what people would nominate, and I think at present we don't want to rule anything out. But obviously if a MNer has personal experience of an organisation's work and can champion it on that basis, it would definitely stand out.

turgiday Tue 06-May-14 09:54:42

I second Women's Aid. Not only do they help so many MNers and their children, but they are also a charity that struggles massively for donations. I would prefer MN to support a charity that struggles, rather than a relatively well supported one.

I also think the publicity for Women's Aid would help MNers by raising their profile and reminding women that they can help them.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 10:00:32


Re-read, you'll choose/promote five, then match the funding for all up to max of £25k overall, is that right? Good approach if so.

Yes, Upandatem, that's the plan - in order to spread the support around.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 10:26:20


I think this is an amazing idea, and would like it if alongside the charities chosen for money giving, if there could be a list of local projects which need volunteers? This could also potentially tie in with Mumsnet Local to encourage the charities which MNers are already involved in to list in the volunteering section?

Can't wait!

Hi Mrscog At the end of the project we can certainly pull together a page of all the good causes mentioned, linking through to their sites and how to get involved. Lots of the local sites already mention charities and volunteering and again we can share this page with our local eds to see if they can list specific branches and local contacts.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 10:31:41


I have a question - is it only UK charities/groups or can we nominate organisations working overseas as well?smile

Sorry Bicnod - just saw your question after replying to TakeMeUpTheNorthMountain - again, we'd be totally happy; just checking with Yimby. They may all be away for the bank holiday now, but I'll post as soon as I hear back from them smile

Hi there

We've checked in with Yimby and we are able to support good causes that operate outside of the UK, but all the causes must have a UK bank account to receive funds.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 10:52:44


Is there any way this could be divided into national and local? So a few 'big' causes that MN can match (I vote WA and the cakes) but also a list by region so people could also donate to a cause very local to them? Administered through the local pages maybe? That way many many more causes could be supported, and presumably some of these charities would be very grateful of even small amounts.

Hi Solasum Sorry - should have included you in my reply earlier. The plan is to pull together a page of all the good causes mentioned, linking through to their sites and how to get involved. Lots of the local sites already mention charities and volunteering and again we can share this page with our local eds to see if they can list specific branches and local contacts.

Flopsygrowsup Tue 06-May-14 11:02:29

I would like to nominate Emyr Owen LATCH Branch in Porthcawl in Wales. It was set up by my bf, her husband and eldest son after the death of their youngest son. LATCH is the welsh children's cancer charity and they wanted to do something in memory of Emyr which recognised the support they had received but also had a local angle to recognise the amazing support that the local community had given them all too both before and after Emyr died.

In the relatively short time since he has died they have set up an annual memorial walk for anyone who has lost a child and people who support them, run a annual ball and there have been many other smaller local events. With the funds raised so far they have managed to buy, equip with specialist equipment and furnish a mobile home in a holiday resort near Porthcawl so that families can spend valuable time together without having to worry where the money is coming from or if their child will have what he or she needs.

I cannot begin to tell you what a difference it makes to the families but some money to help them provide more support, equipment and research would be fantastic.

hanette Tue 06-May-14 11:13:37


I would like to nominate the Choir With No Name. It's a fantastic organisation that runs choirs in London, Birmingham and Liverpool for people on the margins.


Watch this fab video if you have 3 minutes, it's brilliant


Choir members meet each week for a rehearsal followed by a home-cooked hot meal (many have experienced homelessness or other problems which means this meal is important). The aim is to provide a boost from singing and social links/community with the other members. Many have little or no contact with family so this is a big part of the choir. Birthdays are celebrated with cakes each month. The choirs perform at concerts which gives confidence and a sense of achievement. They're well worth watching.

They are amazing and make such a difference on a shoestring.

OneSkipAtATime Tue 06-May-14 12:34:54

On the support for unpaid carers front, can I please nominate Trafford Carers Centre? They support over 4,000 unpaid carers in the Trafford Borough, but there are still another 20,000 to reach. They've recently started a project that will be supporting carers and their families (including children) through end of life care for their loved one, helping people to have their partner/parent/relative die at home, and supporting them during and after the process.

PS - regular name changer as this leaves me out like a pickled trout IRL.

SacherTortured Tue 06-May-14 12:39:20

What a great idea! I'd like to nominate the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. They are a tiny charity, run mostly by volunteers. I just don't know where I, and many other women who've been through EP, would be without them. They offer a unique service and because most of their volunteers have been through EP they really understand both the physical and mental effects it can have on women, which makes such a difference when you're struggling to make sense of what's happened. They provide reliable information that it's really difficult to find elsewhere. Their helpline and forums have been such a lifeline to me. I'm sure they really need the money to help them keep running these services.

hairtwiddler Tue 06-May-14 13:38:34

I'd like to nominate the North East Trust for Aphasia. This local charity supports people with aphasia (most commonly after a stroke) in the North East region by running a support centre at Newcastle University.

Imagine life if you suddenly found yourself unable to read a newspaper, write a shopping
list, talk to family or friends, use a telephone or do many other everyday activities.

Aphasia (or dysphasia) means problems with communication (speaking, understanding,
reading, writing).

About 130,000 people in Britain have a stroke each year (Office of National Statistics) and it is generally accepted that a third of these are left with some form of aphasia.

Aphasia has a sudden and profound effect on the person, their family and friends. It impacts on the individual’s confidence, personal relationships, employment and social life.

I am a trustee of the charity and we work hard to fundraise to keep the support centre going. Many of the trustees have aphasia themselves, and this can make it very difficult to speak out about such a fantastic cause, or to organise events. NETA is a small charity but does fantastic work by running a range of activities and training events for people with aphasia and their families and carers.

ChubbyKitty Tue 06-May-14 13:43:55

Oh lovely idea!

Is Sophie charity too big a charity? It's still quite unknown ime, but I might be meeting the wrong people. It's very close to my heart and was always close to my mums heart as well.

I'd like to nominate Jump Space (www.jumpspace.org.uk), a small charity based in Stockport, Greater Manchester. It's a highly specialist trampolining, rebound therapy and soft/sensory play centre that caters for young people across the whole spectrum of physical and learning disability (as well as their siblings), and has become a lifeline for many individuals, groups and families in the north west, many of whom find themselves becoming lonely and isolated. My 10 year-old son has autism, and Jump Space has made an incredible difference to him over the years; it's also enabled me meet many like-minded, empathetic parents who understand the challenges we face. Like most charities, it's always struggling to make ends meet - it receives no central government funding - and I know that any donations would be so gratefully received by their FABULOUS staff and volunteers x

Chocomint Tue 06-May-14 13:48:53

I'd like to nominate Adoption UK and BAAF.

Following on from the recent tv programmes on adoption, there are so many children, families and parents-to-be who need advice, assistance and support. Both charities have been invaluable to me.

I didn't post link for Jump Space (trampolining charity for disabled children) correctly blush


Laux87 Tue 06-May-14 14:03:42

I'd like to nominate this very brave lady! Cheryl's fight fund, At just 34, and after losing her dad to cancer in 2011; she was given the all clear after having cervical cancer but it returned a year to the day at stage 4b which is inoperable. She has 2 young children and her last wish is to take them in a holiday of a lifetime to disneyland paris and make memories to remember together.

Lana67 Tue 06-May-14 14:14:18

Id like to nominate Multiple Sclerosis, in particular highlight Paediatric MS as it does not get any publicity and people are not aware that children and teens DO get MS. My son was diagnosed at age 15. He was a normal 15 year old boy, looking forward to starting Uni, learning to drive, go holidays, escaping the clutches of parents and venturing out on his own into the world. Literally overnight his life changed with this unpredictable disabling disease which claimed almost every function, mobility, sight, speech, use
of limbs and more. He was 15 and dependant on us for everything. The first time he spoke about how he felt, he wrote this... It still breaks my heart to read it... archive.today/74IqN

skyninja Tue 06-May-14 14:25:28

A school friend has just had a double lung transplant at the age of 40 because she has Alpha 1, a genetic condition that slowly destroys lung function. alpha-1foundation.org/what-is-alpha-1/. The illness has been very quick to strike and before her transplant she was bedridden and reliant on oxygen. She's only just had the op and it's really early days, but everyone is very hopeful.

So many charities on this thread, very hard to choose I should imagine.

Gemmadalymumof4 Tue 06-May-14 14:25:28

Dravet Syndrome uk. This charity not only researches the condition but also supports children and parents of children with this life threatening condition.
It causes a child to have every type of epileptic seizure and can cause a lot of learning difficulties. We sadly lost our 2 year old nephew at Christmas to this syndrome my sister wants us as a family to continue to raise funds and awareness of this horrific condition in the hope that one day a cure will be found. X

slug Tue 06-May-14 14:54:23

The single most referenced charity on the mumsnet talkboards is Women's Aid. I think it's only fair, given the amount of work we have sent their way, that we do something to redress the balance.

cheznal Tue 06-May-14 15:11:23

I'd like to nominate The Charlie Cookson Foundation. They provide families of sick//terminally Ill children and children with life limiting conditions with financial support to help pay their bills for 3 months whilst looking after their children x

cozietoesie Tue 06-May-14 15:21:18

What a really great idea and very generous of MNHQ also. The only problem I would have is who to nominate in the face of so many people and charities trying to do so much on so little money.

Women's Aid would receive a strong vote from me as one of the 5 but I also wondered whether I might put forward one of the microfinance charities lending money to people who are, for instance, trying to start small enterprises but lack the funds - for example - to buy a new cow or some small supplies for their shop. lendwithcare is the one I currently support but I know there are others in the field.

That might require some further thought because additional nominations would be required after the initial allocation but I'm sure there's a way round that. Many of the loans made by microfinance organisations are also to women who are aiming to support themselves better independently so I think that would reflect what many MN members are trying to do.

Mumfortoddler Tue 06-May-14 15:22:51

I would like to nominate a new project I am working on which is raising money for Childrens Homes in Kenya. Children in Kenya are homeless as a result of their parents becoming murdered, and there is no social services to provide care placements for these children who are on the street as young as six sniffing glue. Our goals are to build a childrens home for them where they can be educated and supported to move away from drugs. £20,000 would buy a home from which we could start operating. We are in early days and just registering as a charity but we will have a charity name this week and in the process of registering as a charity- we are a committed group of British and Kenyans with experience of managing homelessness and foster care placements.

CorporateRockWhore Tue 06-May-14 15:34:10

I'd like to nominate the Blake McMillan Trust - Mecp2 Duplication Syndrome.

Blake is a very beautiful wee boy with a family who work tirelessly to raise money to help fund research for Rett Syndrome and Mecp2 Duplication Syndrome.


EmLH Tue 06-May-14 16:04:30

I would really like to nominate Hounds First Sighthound Rescue, a charity that rescues, fosters and rehomes lots of lovely pointy dogs. It is a fairly new charity but they have already accomplished a lot and quickly established themselves as a reputable and caring rescue. The ladies that run it work tirelessly and selflessly, organising treatment, pick ups and transport runs, food, fostering, fundraising, home checking, and offering endless support to fosterers/new owners. Their vet bills are high and they recently took in a dog that was badly injured and one that was almost starved. I know lots of MNers are dog lovers and I really enjoy reading through the pointy hounds threads. This would be a lovely way to help some of these gentle little souls, they really don't deserve all the neglect they so often seem to encounter.

AmazingDisgrace Tue 06-May-14 16:22:54

I'd like to nominate Tourette's Action Please. They do incredible work with people who have Tourette Syndrome as well as in educating others about the condition.

Musetta Tue 06-May-14 16:26:38

I know its probably already been mentioned but I would like to nominate Sands. I have suffered the loss of 3 dcs and it meant so much to us that we were able to have a special room in the hospital to say goodbye and a lovely memory box to keep.

Shallishanti Tue 06-May-14 16:27:15

I'd like to nominate BeyondFGM
Lots of people were talking about fgm back in february, this charity has had amazing success tackling FGM in Kenya, by working with a local group and engaging with the whole community- so far 1000 girls have been diverted from fgm, which also means they will stay longer in education- this has all been acheived with a handful of dedicated supporters in the UK doing sponsored walks and benefit gigs in community centres. The ws is being developed but there's a fb page or anyone can pm me for further info

klbb Tue 06-May-14 17:40:27

I'd like to nominate Spear Camden Trust camdenspeartrust.org/ - a six week employment training course for 16-24 year old unemployed young people who are not in education employment or training (NEET). The highly interactive course addresses the most common causes of underachievement, such as the absence of motivation to consider opportunities, life skills, and job search skills; and the need for information, advice and guidance, qualifications and opportunity. Spear Camden is the charity's newest site, 6 months old. Already over 70% have roles within three months of the course. This issue is a huge one for our country and world right now and it is great to see some people doing something about it.

Tjm5 Tue 06-May-14 20:14:10

Reuben's Retreat, an inspirational local charity who have achieved so much in such a short space of time.
They have just secured the purchase of a stunning property in the peak district, once open it will offer respite and support for families all over the United Kingdom.
They sure could do with any help to get them up and running as soon possible.
Take a look www.reubensretreat.org.

kinkytoes Tue 06-May-14 20:15:48

Thanks for clarifying Sarah I actually don't think I read the first post properly! It clearly says five charities will be chosen..

My nominations go to The Birth Trauma Association and Cry-Sis. Both charities' websites have helped me a lot since I became a mum.

Another vote for Women's Aid too, would be very happy to see them benefit from this.

Pasithea Tue 06-May-14 21:19:07

Great idea. Please consider the Pancreatitis Support Network . I would not be here if it was not for them. Although they do support sufferers and their carers from anywhere they are a very small group and are desperate to raise money for support and research. Thanks

Sarahbo74 Tue 06-May-14 21:23:06

I'd like to nominate Reuben's Retreat. A charity founded in August 2012 in memory of a beautiful boy by his inspirational parents. Aiming to open a retreat on the North West countryside where families with children suffering life threatening and life limiting illness can build memories together, they also provide bereavement counselling already for parents and sibling who have lost precious children and the retreat will include a bereavement and counselling centre.

Sarahbo74 Tue 06-May-14 21:25:12

I'd like to nominate Reuben's Retreat. A charity founded in August 2012 in memory of a beautiful boy by his inspirational parents. Aiming to open a retreat on the North West countryside where families with children suffering life threatening and life limiting illness can build memories together, they also provide bereavement counselling already for parents and sibling who have lost precious children and the retreat will include a bereavement and counselling centre.

jillycats Tue 06-May-14 22:07:46

I'd like to nominate the Down's Heart Group. They are a small national charity supporting parents of children with Down's syndrome who also have a heart defect. My daughter has Down's Syndrome and very complex heart defects, they have been a great source of information and support.

littlemiraclespeterborough Tue 06-May-14 22:09:25

I would love to recommend Little Miracles (was on children in need last year as part of DIY SOS) I am biased as I started that charity after my son was born severely disabled but any money would be used to set up other branches to replicate the success that we have had in Peterborough and to support more families (in 4 years in Peterborough we have supported over 3000 children and their parents!)

WonderWomansSister Tue 06-May-14 22:14:27

Ooh yes, have also re-read and see that we'll be supporting a number of causes. Woolly Hugs as well then please! If you've only seen the thread titles, you may only have an inkling of how fantastic Woolly Hugs is.

As well as bringing MNers together to make squares to turn into blankets for bereaved MNers, Woolly Huggers also knit blankets for critically ill babies at the Brompton Hospital (Angel Hugs), colourful blankets for ill children at Yorkhill Hospital (Little Hugs) and beautiful comforting blankets for children with cancer in partnership with World Child Cancer (Billie's Blankets). There have also been two FaceBook auctions raising funds for Winston's Wish and Mind.

All of these beautiful crafts are created by MNers and everything is voluntarily (and often hilariously) coordinated by two utterly brilliant and selfless MNers - KnottyLocks and RatherBeOnThePiste. You can find out more here beta.woollyhugs.com and on Facebook here https://m.facebook.com/pages/MNWoollyHugs/349028448480855?fref=ts&_rdr

littlemiraclespeterborough Tue 06-May-14 22:21:32

I would love to recommend Little Miracles (was on children in need last year as part of DIY SOS) I am biased as I started that charity after my son was born severely disabled but any money would be used to set up other branches to replicate the success that we have had in Peterborough and to support more families (in 4 years in Peterborough we have supported over 3000 children and their parents!)

That's a shame katiemumsnet not many local charities will have a UK bank account when they are not in the UK.


Nennypops Wed 07-May-14 00:22:30

SOS-SEN. MN already refers parents of children with SEN and disability to them for much-needed advice and help in getting their children the support they desperately need, and they are absolutely invaluable.

Nennypops Wed 07-May-14 00:25:37

SOS-SEN. MN already refers parents of children with SEN and disability to them for much-needed advice and help in getting their children the support they desperately need, and they are absolutely invaluable.

MrsMarigold Wed 07-May-14 08:46:18

Corrupt political regimes, drought and poverty mean millions of women and girls in the developing world cannot afford sanitary protection and are bedridden when menstruating. They are missing out on education and employment because of this.

Dignity! Period aims to help some of these women.

Initially I thought the Mooncup would be a better cheaper, longer term solution but a woman from Dignity! Period explained that many of these women lack clean running water and couldn't sterilise it sufficiently. Tampons are regarded with suspicion in some rural areas, which leaves sanitary pads as the preferred option.

Even if every Mumsnetter just donated enough for one pack of sanitary towels it would make a massive difference.

MrsMarigold Wed 07-May-14 08:48:02

Not sure why the link doesn't work but if you go to www.actsa.org and click on Campaigns you will see Dignity! Period work.

TheHouseatWhoCorner Wed 07-May-14 09:02:24

My nomination is for Demand. Www.demand.org.uk

They design and manufacture bespoke equipment to help transform the lives of people with disabilities.

From helping people to carry out everyday needs easier, such as bathing, eating, getting around. They'll also help people to enjoy sport and leisure activities that were previously inaccessible. And they have the expertise to design or adapt equipment needed to aid recovery from accidents.

Brilliant charity, focusing on the individual's needs. I've visited their workshop and seen how they've made a trike for a child with very difficult mobility, a gadget that clips a straw to the side of a cup to help people drink without the straw wiggling about right up to neurologigical chairs for the rehabilitation after stroke.

Thanks MN, this is what I love about the site.

mothermirth Wed 07-May-14 12:28:55

I'd like to nominate Kith and Kids, a charity that provides support and respite for people with a learning disability or autism.

I volunteered for them years ago and found it a life-enhancing experience, which has shaped my attitude and outlook. smile

Please can I nominate pop n grow, who provide adapted clothing free of charge for children in NICU or hospital that can accommodate feeding tubes etc.

Also, Lisa's Stars who provide clothing, blankets etc for stillborn babies to wear (hospitals don't often provide this).

Can't link at the moment as I'm on my phone, will be back later with links.

sarahmollygrace Wed 07-May-14 14:20:00

please support actsma.co.uk/ they do a an amazing job! please visit there web to read there story xx

1Rutlandmummy Wed 07-May-14 16:28:33

My suggestion would be Action on Pre-eclampsia.


Action on Pre-eclampsia (also known as APEC) aims to raise public and professional awareness of pre-eclampsia, improve care, and ease or prevent physical and emotional suffering caused by the disease.

Pre-eclampsia is something that most people have heard of and are aware about during their pregnancy but there is so little funding into pre-eclampsia research.

Having been through it myself, I know that it's the most scary and frightening experience, not to mention incredibly dangerous for both mother and unborn baby.

rubyslippers Wed 07-May-14 16:36:50

I would like to nominate Haven House Children's Hospice -it's an amazing place looking after life limited children from birth to 19 years

Just imagine what it must be like to know that your child may not live to see adulthood. Now think about having to cope with that emotion every day whilst trying to deal with the additional practical and financial pressures that would be placed on your family.

This is the reality that thousands of families across London and the Home Counties have to face every year. Haven House Children’s Hospice knows how difficult it is to be told that your child has a life-limiting or life-threatening condition as we have provided care and support for 400 such families across North and East London, West Essex and East Hertfordshire since we opened in 2003.

By combining specialist nursing care for seriously ill children with help for the wider family, Haven House delivers a sense of support and trust, and, most importantly, can ease the burden of care.

The services at Haven House include day care, overnight stays and end of life care for children whose needs are complex. There is further assistance for the family including:

Toy home loan
Special yoga
A community play specialist
Music therapy
Coffee mornings for parents/carers
Support group for siblings
Pre-school children day care
Complementary therapies
One-to-one and group counselling

Every year it costs £2.5 million to fully resource the hospice, of which we need to raise 70% from voluntary sources.

I know all the families who use the services would be delighted if Haven House was chosen


snorris Wed 07-May-14 18:17:48

I would like to nominate *Youth Cancer Trust* please. They provide support and free activity holidays for young people (aged 14 to 30) living with cancer or any malignant disease, from anywhere in the UK and the Irish Republic, or who are patients of any UK hospital. I have a friend who ran 10k last year in aid of them and is training to do it again this year.

MrsDeVere Wed 07-May-14 19:09:26

I have never heard of them snorris.
I will have a look.

snorris Wed 07-May-14 20:06:47

Despite them being local to me, I hadn't either until last year when I sponsored her.

Back with links:

Pop n Grow

Lisa's Stars

Awks Thu 08-May-14 10:34:10

I'd like to nominate SSAFA's Norton Homes. Imagine if you are the wife or partner of a soldier and your worst fear actually happens. You get the knock on the door and someone tells you to sit down. You hear how the person that you love has been dreadfully injured by a roadside bomb and is being flown back to Birmingham. You have to immediately go there not knowing anything. Can you imagine how awful that would be to have to stay in a strange city, in a hospital room, with noone to talk to? A woman told me that when this happened to her, she cried herself to sleep in a Travelodge room every night for 3 weeks.

Thankfully SSAFA's Norton Homes are there now and when the worst happens, families have somewhere to go now. Watch this video and look at the dad's face. It makes me tear up every time. https://www.ssafa.org.uk/how-we-help/housing/ssafa-norton-homes/

I'd like to nominate 'Small Steps' Huntingdon

Alison set up the group after her daughter was born & found there were no groups in the locality.

They offer support for families and children with Down syndrome. The group fund raise tirelessly I often see them bag packing the local supermarket.


kafkesque Thu 08-May-14 15:05:11

Anything Autism gets my vote because it's a hidden disability.

Ambitious about Autism or National Autistic Society??

JoC1979 Thu 08-May-14 15:47:00

I’d like to nominate Asthma UK – I saw all the coverage this week about people dying from asthma and I was really upset about the fact that so many of the children who have died from asthma could have been saved. According to the charity every 10 seconds someone has a potentially fatal asthma attack which I find just terrifying. I don’t think any child should die from asthma – my children don’t have it but I know people who do and I find it unbelievable that people still die from it especially children. The charity is also campaigning for children to be allowed to access a spare emergency inhaler in schools if they have an attack and can’t find their own. I think it’s really important to choose Asthma UK so they can continue their work to prevent families from losing a much treasured child to asthma.

LineRunner Thu 08-May-14 15:50:56

Women's Aid.

Just for the amount of times they are recommended on Relationships here on MN. And used. And relied on.

They are amazing.

lalamumto3 Thu 08-May-14 17:33:07

Hi I would like to nominate a small local charity (LB Richmond Upon Thames) called Twenty One and Co www.21andco.org.uk They are committed to enhancing the lives of children with Down Syndrome and their families.
They provide help and support to new parents, baby groups, children's groups, teenagers discos and much more. It is run by parents for parents and all are welcome.

tinypumpkin Thu 08-May-14 20:40:25

I would like to nominate Towards Tomorrow Together. They are a small charity which offer support to bereaved families at the worst time in their lives. This involved educating health professionals, offering memory boxes for bereaved parents to take home from hospital and also running services which enable bereaved parents to talk about their experiences in a safe space. It's work truly is invaluable and the charity was developed by a bereaved mother after losing her son in 2009.


Hakky Thu 08-May-14 21:22:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FinleysFootprints Thu 08-May-14 21:33:26

I think this is a great idea. Smaller charities need so much help. I'd like to nominate the charity that I run, Towards Tomorrow Together (1151022). 4 years ago my son Finley died during labour and I started to help others in the same situation.

We have been registered a year now.

We supply resources to hospitals, to support parents at the time of their loss, and support directly to parents. We supply cold cot systems, which help to allow extra time with their angel babies. They cost £1800 to supply.

We also supply Butterfly Memory Boxes (as shown in the photo if it attaches). These contain lots of different items to help parents make memories with their babies. They cost £38 to supply each one. We supply approximately 100 every 3 months to hospitals in the UK

We run peer support groups for parents, fund days out for families that have lost a baby and have other young children.

We have several project in planning which we cannot afford to start yet, so the help from Mumsnet would be amazing. We can then help parents pregnant after a loss, and provide specific resources to parents who have a miscarriage.

my e mail is mel@towards-tomorrow.com if anyone needs more information.

website is www.towards-tomorrow.com

Catmint Thu 08-May-14 21:57:16

Hi, I popped on to say it is great to support smaller charities, they do great work. It's a pretty impossible task to choose between one life changing organisation and another.

And I wanted to mention that some charities that may appear big actually aren't. For example, every CAB is an independent, individual charity that has to source it's own funding.

PreciousMemories Thu 08-May-14 22:14:08

I would like to actually nominate my non profit organisation Precious Memories. It was set up by myself in 2012, following the loss of my little boy at 20 weeks gestation. Precious memories provides baby loss memory boxes to my local hospital and to those that request them. www.precious-memories.org is our website.

Loobylou11 Thu 08-May-14 22:34:05

I would like to nominate my friend's amazing charity Little Fingers which supports bereaved parents following stillbirth miscarriage and neo-natal death. My friend established the charity last year after receiving very little information and support following her own stillbirth back in 2012. Little Fingers has initially produced a book which is being made available to families across a number of hospitals in the midlands and beyond thanks to lots of hard work fundraising and charitable donations. This is just the start for Little Fingers. The charity wants to reach out further, provide the books as widely as possible and build on the work that it's started. Please support Little Fingers! www.littlefingers.org.uk/

schlafenfreude Thu 08-May-14 22:50:54

I second the nomination for Women's Aid.

I'd also like to suggest PANDAS Foundation which supports women with ante and postnatal depression, although few know about it www.pandasfoundation.org.uk and the Antenatal Results and Choices charity www.arc-uk.org which helps parents and HCPs.

Fragz Thu 08-May-14 23:13:00

Great idea. I would like to nominate the charity 2 Wish Upon A Star www.2wishuponastar.org/, a charity established to raise funds to improve bereavement services initially in South Wales.

The charity's emphasis is on bereavement support for parents after losing their child suddenly and traumatically. Its aims include: ensuring every A & E Department in South Wales has a suitable bereavement suites for bereaved relatives, bereavement boxes are available for parents at each of these hospitals, immediate bereavement support is available for parents and siblings and to provide a professional counselling service for bereaved parents.

The charity was established by an amazing woman following the sudden loss of her son and the loss of her husband 5 days later.

Catmint Fri 09-May-14 07:25:49

Popped on again to say that Women's Aid is one of those charities that people think is massively well resourced but isn't. As others have said, not a day goes by without it being recommended on MN, and I'd love to see MN give something back.

The same goes for CAB, as I mentioned.

bumbumsmummy Fri 09-May-14 07:49:47

I like it grin can we please support Christian around Britain he got no help and had to sleep in people's garages and sheds because he'd made a pledge to sleep outside while he did it

Failing that we are setting up a local mums n tots music group to help isolated mums we live rurally we could use some help with instruments and cd's

runjennirun Fri 09-May-14 08:25:52

I'd like to nominate Haven House Children's Hospice. www.havenhouse.org.uk

They help families with children who have complicated and often rare medical conditions which means they are unlikely to live to adulthood. The nurse led service, run from a locally, listed, 5 bedroom former family home, offers respite and day care to children aged 0-19 and practical and emotional support services for mum, dad, brothers and sisters.

They are also there when the worst possible news is given and helps families prepare themselves for life after their child has died.

Whether you have children, grandchildren or are an auntie, you will know how precious a child's life is. Haven House offers holistic care to families, to ensure that every day in their short lives is treasured.

Thank you

zzzzz Fri 09-May-14 11:11:09

I think it would be lovely if we could do something for the posters on the MNSN board.

JustSquirted Fri 09-May-14 12:49:39

I would like to nominate the NCCA UK Oscar Knox Appeal

This beautiful wee boy had a long and brave battle against Neuroblastoma childrens cancer. The family had to travel from Northern Ireland to London to get specialist treatment, and then on to the USA for treatment. The appeal was initially set up to help pay for the expensive treatment in America.

At this moment in time, there are no treatment options in the UK which would give Oscar access to the immunotherapy that he desperately needs to give him the best chance of life. Parents have been waiting since March 2010 for a new immunotherapy trial to open that all UK children with neuroblastoma can take part in. However, they are still waiting.

Oscar passed away yesterday afternoon.

Although local to Northern Ireland, this appeal aims to get the UK trial up and running and to help other children in the same circumstance.

bouncingbelle Fri 09-May-14 20:10:57

Instead of one particular charity could it suggest the money raised is given to a neuroblastoma appeal, to be split between a number of individual appeals?

Great idea! (The giving week - not my idea!)

maccazen Fri 09-May-14 20:11:50

I would like to nominate Elliot's Footprint, a new charity, launched in March this year to provide families with support, information and counselling after the loss of a child. My friend Andrea lost her sweet and lively little boy, Elliot, totally unexpectedly at the age of 2, in March last year, and found that their grief and devastation was compounded by the lack of support available to parents and siblings finding themselves in their position. Andrea blogged about her experience here recently and is working hard to help families get better support and care in future: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/guest_posts/a2031013-Guest-post-When-my-little-boy-died-I-was-given-a-leaflet-Where-is-the-support-for-bereaved-parents
Please consider supporting this cause! Thanks.

Roseformeplease Fri 09-May-14 20:23:51

Winston's Wish - have done incredible things to help bereaved families. Also, Changing Faces that do so much good work for children's self esteem when they are born with, or end up with facial disfigurements. Both brilliant charities.

nomorequotes Fri 09-May-14 23:31:56

I would like to nominate my friend Robbie

Robbie was in a car accident last September and has suffered permanent and life-changing damage to his spine. He will never walk again and is confine to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The NHS have given him an amount of money towards a wheelchair but not enough for him to be comfortable and to have the independence to live a full and happy life. We have collected a small team of people to fundraise for Robbie, he is really down and out at the moment, living in a temporary bungalow 45 miles from his friends and family while the council sort him out somewhere to live so I have taken the bulk of the charity organising to try and get him some help from anywhere. I met with the local Lions today who said they would be able to offer some help and every other day I haul my rather large backside around the town because Robbie and I are planning to run a half marathon together in October to fundraise for him.

I know we aren't 'a charity' we are just a group of people devastated by the change in our friends circumstances but it is a worthy cause and it is little things like this that often get overlooked and are hard to fundraise for.

We would love to be considered for any help from kind Mumsnetters, after all it was only through Mumsnet that I got some help finding out who to contact RE funding assistance.

We are doing everything we can our end, I've spoken to the local paper who will support us and even contacted the local parish to see if they can help. Any support at all, would be a huge boost for us and help us see some light at the end of the tunnel. We aim to have Robbie his wheelchair by the end of the year if at all possible.

Great that you guys are doing this, I hope our pledge doesn't seem too selfish next to such worth, general charities.

lnewie Sat 10-May-14 08:02:17

I would like to nominate a pregnancy charity called Count The Kicks (www.countthekicks.org.uk)

Count The Kicks educate mums-to-be on the importance of monitoring baby movements, and provide the latest guidelines on how to do so. This knowledge empowers mums to report any change in movement to their midwives and, ultimately, saves lives of babies which may otherwise be lost.

I am a volunteer for the charity and receive messages of thanks from mothers daily, as they followed our message and their baby was delivered in time. I also get messages from parents who weren't so lucky, and who wish they had known about us sooner.

Count The Kicks is a really relevant charity for the users of Mumsnet smile

Luckyh678 Sat 10-May-14 08:25:38

I would like to nominate 'Count The Kicks' Charity, a completely relevant and vital charity aiming to support and give knowledge to moms-to-be in an attempt to prevent stillborn births.

Three in a row support for that one - "Count the kicks" as sadly I know several people who have suffered the still birth of their baby, and I feel that as a society more could be done to prevent this tragedy - though sadly not always of course (so if you look at and compare national stats on still-birth and neo-natal death some countries are doing better than UK)sad

Lolly86 Sat 10-May-14 12:45:15

I'd like to nominate a charity very close to me , Haven House Childrens Hospice in woodford green. It provides respite, end of life and bereavement care for children with life threatening and life limiting conditions aged 0-19 and does an amazing job.

MrsDeVere Sat 10-May-14 12:58:02

You must be local to me lolly smile

Lolly86 Sat 10-May-14 13:21:11

At the risk of outing myself mrsdevere I work there, but don't live local x

MrsDeVere Sat 10-May-14 13:40:16

I won't dig. smile
You might see me sometimes

I don't get up there much these days but my boys go to buddies and I refer children to the service and lots of my families use Haven.

Its lovely up there.

DD never used Haven but I did call them when she came home from the hospital and they were very kind and open with me. They said there would be a bed for her if we needed it.

I will always be grateful for that.

Upandatem Sat 10-May-14 18:30:55

I think MN should support Count the Kicks too.

alreadytaken Sat 10-May-14 19:00:07

there are a great many charities but my vote would go to Women's Aid and the Trussell Trust.

ColinFirthsGirth Sat 10-May-14 21:16:15

I would like to nominate PANDAS - [[ www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/ ]]
This national charity offers support and advice to people sufering from ante and post-natal depression. They have helped many people and probably saved some lives as well! They are a fantastic charity.

Sayaka2 Sat 10-May-14 22:09:17

I'd love to nominate www.lovequiltsuk.com - we are a volunteer charity who makes quilts for sick/terminally ill kids. So difficult to get funding when you're a small charity - most of the grants available favour bigger charities.

Sayaka2 Sun 11-May-14 09:13:59

I think it would be great if Mumsnet could support some smaller charities run by volunteers - no offence to the larger charities, but it's such a struggle for the smaller charities to get funds - noone wants to know if you apply for grants because you're not a registered charity...but you can't be a registered charity if you don't turn over £5000 or more a year.

FrontForward Sun 11-May-14 15:28:56

Please consider Women's aid or Refuge considering the Relationships board's referrals!

Just read this here and wonder if the is something we can do for this situation

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 11-May-14 15:58:45

So many amazing charities and groups on here. Goodness only knows how you will choose.

Would love if Woolly Hugs would be considered, I see we have already been mentioned, thank you!

We are such a small charity with big ambitions, we'd love to help even more families. We have lots of supporters who are Mumsnetters, and increasingly working with others too. Our latest project is supporting Children of Chernobyl, by making some Little Hugs for teens coming over to Leeds this summer.

We make Little Hugs for Yorkhill for very poorly babies and children in Yorkhill and Angel Teds for Yorkhill's PICU for babies who sadly don't survive.

Our Billie's Blanket project sees us teamed up with World Child Cancer, right now our little blankets are being given to very poorly children In Tanzania. We can't really take it all in. Our next collection will go to Bangladesh in June, then Myanmar in October.

We send Angel Hugs to the Brompton, London for babies who because of serious heart and lung problems don't survive. Our blankets are always handmade with love and compassion and so are perfect. We can help care for the whole family at this time by making the baby comfortable and snuggled up whilst sending love and a hug to the parents.

This is in addition to our big blankets for Mumsnetters, we currently have ten in various stages of creation. sad

And we are utterly reliant on donations, so we would be very grateful if you'd think of us.


MysticMugBug Sun 11-May-14 20:50:18

there's so many good ones, but my personal faves include:
Rethink Mental Illness, Mind, Mary's Meals and Macmillan.
That's just to name a few

MysticMugBug Sun 11-May-14 20:53:29

Lisa's stars
- knitted clothing and tiny beds for still born/miscarried babies,

Lawrence's roundabout well appeal

MysticMugBug Sun 11-May-14 20:55:37

Joy Jars for children with cancer
set up by a now dead little girl who suffered from a deadly brain tumour

ishouldcocoa Sun 11-May-14 21:06:20

I'd like to second, third.. or fourth Homestart.

I volunteered for them for about 6 years. If they were available to more families, I think a lot of problems posted on here would possibly be avoided - or at least helped with smile

As an aside, I bloody LOVE making cakes, so am signing up for the local Free Cakes for Kids. The more complicated, the better! Bring on Barbie and the Gruffalo!

GanymedeAndCallisto Sun 11-May-14 23:34:30

I would second the Oscar Knox Appeal mentioned above, or any charity for childhood cancer research / support.

Also, if Irish (ROI) charities are allowed, the BUMBLEance Children's Ambulance is a great cause. It was initiated by a family who has both of their children at the age of 5 to Batten's disease - most recently their son, just last week. It's a service intended to alleviate the stress and worry of long journeys to Dublin for families of ill children throughout Ireland who must travel to the central Children's Hospital for treatment.

bibliomania Mon 12-May-14 10:08:02

Another vote for Women's Aid/Refuge. It's rare for a day to go buy without a poster on the Relationships board being advised to make contact.

Not necessarily a fashionable or "feel good" choice, but it's made a huge difference to a significant number of mnetters.

nuru Tue 13-May-14 13:18:56

Please can I nominate Carers Worldwide, a charity set up by my husband to achieve recognition and change for carers in developing countries. We all know how much carers of people with disability, mental illness, chronic conditions, dementia and so on do, and what a toll this can take on their own lives. In developing countries there is no recognition of this by society or Governments and no practical, emotional or economic support.

My husband set up Carers Worldwide 2 years ago, as a result of his previous experiences working with people with mental illness in India and also because of our own experience raising a daughter with a disability. The charity runs from our home and we have very little funding. Being supported by Mumsnetters would not only bring much needed financial support but would also massively help in raising our profile. You can visit our website www.carersworldwide.org or go to our facebook page www.facebook.com/carersworldwide for more info.

nuru Tue 13-May-14 13:20:32

Just to add, we are a registered charity in the UK and are currently working with local partner organisations in India and Nepal. We are hoping to start work in Kenya soon if we can raise enough money.

NewMummyLou Tue 13-May-14 15:05:06

I think this is a fantastic idea.
I'd like to nominate Elliot's Footprint (www.elliotsfootprint.org). A charity that supports families in Leeds through child bereavement. It's a fairly new charity, founded in 2014 by bereaved parents Andrea and John.
Losing a child is one thing you hope and pray never happens to you or anyone you know but when it does there is very little support available; Elliot's Footprint aims to change that.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-May-14 15:17:11

Thanks to everyone who's contributed to this thread which is now officially closed for nominations.

There are hundreds of worthy suggestions here and it's almost invidious to pick any out but we'll go through the thread carefully now and come back to you with a suggested shortlist tomorrow.

Thanks again.

WonderWomansSister Tue 13-May-14 22:00:33

I don't envy you Justine - so many fantastic nominations.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-May-14 16:03:39

Hi again all,

Thanks for all of your nominations. We've been really moved by the sheer number of wonderful causes that Mumsnetters are supporting and have reason to champion up and down the country (and indeed overseas) .

In all honesty it's hard to single any out and it's been really tricky to narrow them down to a promised shortlist of five, but we think it's worth doing, as we're keen to make a meaningful impact to those chosen.

So apologies for the inevitable disappointment if your cause hasn't been chosen, but we hope we've come up with a really great selection of causes that represent Mumsnet well.

In choosing we looked at every single nominated cause and our selection was based on a combination of number of nominations, size of the organisation (with a bias towards smaller rather than bigger) and relevance to Mumsnetters. As well as that we've tried to have a range of different issues covered.

So <<drum roll>> here's our list of causes we'll be supporting during Mumsnet Giving Week:

Women's Aid
Free Cakes for Kids
Haven House
Woolly Hugs
PDA Society

We'll be contacting each of the sponsors of these charities and asking them to make a page on crowd funding website, Yimby. Then we'll be promoting the causes w/c June 2nd (week after English half term).

And, as promised, we at MNHQ will be match funding your contributions.

Thanks to all who've taken the trouble to nominate a cause.

FatalCabbage Mon 19-May-14 16:07:07

I think that's a great set - three of my top five are there anyway, and they're very MN causes.

I'll see what I can save up over the fortnight between now and 2/6.


Deverethemuzzler Mon 19-May-14 16:22:54

Well that IS lovely
Haven House helped me when Billie was dying
and of course I love Woolly Hugs.
I have a child with ASD which has aspects of PDA and I LOVE the idea of cakes for kids.
WA is a fantastic cause for MN to support.
So I am happy smile

Lolly86 Mon 19-May-14 17:41:18

So happy Haven House is there! All the other causes are fantastic too! [grun]

Lolly86 Mon 19-May-14 17:41:36

Errr grin

Some great charities there, and several such as Free Cakes For Kids and Woolly Hugs which I can see Mumsnetters getting behind in alternative ways as well as through giving funds which is good for those of us who are a bit broke
- as is the fact that lovely MNHQ are match funding smile

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 21-May-14 12:11:54

Oh wow! This is amazing, it means so much, thank you!


BIWI Wed 21-May-14 13:48:09


Oh the PDA Society grin

Upandatem Mon 02-Jun-14 23:01:20

So thrilled about PDA Society, thank you!

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