Guest campaigns 2014
Here at MNHQ, we think it makes sense to use the not-inconsiderable might of the Mumsnet collective for the greater good.
You may have come across some of Mumsnet's own high-profile Better Miscarriage Care campaign and Let Girls be Girls, as well as This is My Child and We Believe You (and do click through to see what we've been up to). But on top of this, we regularly exchange links and public support with charities and pressure groups in areas Mumsnetters are interested in, such as special needs provision, child poverty, childcare, parenting, breastfeeding, maternity care and relationship support.
Occasionally, where an issue arises that most Mumsnetters want to do something about, we'll try to make a bigger splash. Find out more about Campaign of the Week here.
Ask for Evidence
It’s not always easy to tell whether the claims we come across - use this chemical, follow this diet, change school meals, limit phone use, avoid plastic - are based reliable evidence and sound science.
Ask for Evidence, a campaign co-ordinated by the charity Sense About Science, can help you to protect yourself from misleading information. Simply by asking when companies have made evidence-free claims, they've already seen policies retracted and products taken off shelves.
Mumsnetters have already seen the benefits of being empowered to ask – catch up with our Q&A on fertility claims here, and next time you are unsure about a claim from a politician, company, celebrity or the media, remember – Ask for Evidence.
Run on Sun
Imagine if every child went to a school powered by clean energy. Friends of the Earth’s Run on Sun campaign aims to make it easier for schools to save thousands through clean energy – meaning more money to spend on things like libraries, playgrounds and trips.
Saltaire Primary School in Shipley has already saved over £2,000 on its electricity bill, thanks to its new solar panels. And the children love them.
11,000 people and 500 schools have already signed up in support. Now, you can nominate a school to enter Friends of the Earth’s competition to win free solar panels.
Don't Stop the Music
Internationally renowned pianist James Rhodes is campaigning to stop thousands of children missing out on a good music education. He passionately believes this should be a right for all children. He’s calling on the Government to deliver on the promise they made three years ago in the National Plan for Music Education, to give every child in England the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Join his campaign to make access to a good music education fair and equal for all children across England.
To coincide with national Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awareness day on Tuesday 9th September, Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is campaigning for parents to have greater access to information on the risks and ways to prevent FASD.
FASD is a spectrum of behavioural, emotional, physical and neurological issues that are caused by the consumption of alcohol on a developing foetus during pregnancy.
It is a lifelong disability that has no cure but it is preventable.
There are many issues that affect young people and many excellent organisations that offer expert resources and support.
Safer Schools brings these organisations, education professionals and academic experts together in one place to support young people, parents and schools.
Whether you want to tackle bullying, sexism, racism, homophobia, domestic violence and abuse or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), then the Safer Schools network can signpost you to the experts. Led by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), Safer Schools seeks to engage with those involved in our children's education.
Shocking stories of historic child abuse cases have dominated newspaper headlines in recent months and years, yet covering up child abuse is not a crime in itself in Britain.
Avaaz – a global organisation for people-powered politics – is working to change that, by calling for support for a new law which will help protect children in this country.
The British Parliament will soon debate a bill which could force schools, hospitals and other institutions to report suspected child abuse. Over 65,000 people have already joined Avaaz's call for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse, and you too can lend your support.
Founded in 2014 by bereaved parents Andrea and John Kerslake and created in their late son's name, Elliot's Footprint is working hard to take the loneliness and frustration out of the systems and processes that families face in the aftermath of losing a child.
All too often heartbroken families are left alone to struggle with grief and are unable to access appropriate support services. Elliot’s Footprint helps families through child bereavement by offering help and guidance whilst campaigning and fundraising for improved bereavement services and a more joined up approach to supporting families that are affected by the sudden death of a child.
Congenital CMV is one of the main causes of children being born with birth defects in the UK, but pregnant women are not routinely told about it, nor the simple steps they can take to protect themselves.
CMV Action is working to raise public awareness of Congenital CMV, whilst campaigning for better prevention and management measures within the NHS.
Washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water during pregnancy, especially after changing a young child’s nappy or clearing up after meals, is one such simple precaution women can take.
Children's Air Ambulance
Little Alexander Forrest hasn’t had the easiest start in life. At four months old he needed the services of The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) after contracting a serious respiratory virus.
TCAA is the only dedicated paediatric helicopter emergency transfer service in the country, and it came to Alex’s rescue earlier this year. He was flown from Margate to London in just 28 minutes, getting him safely to the care he desperately needed.
Every year around 5,800 children need emergency transfers, because 95% of care for critically ill children is carried out in specialist units.
In July 2012, the Government made significant changes to family visa rules.
It is now much more difficult for Brits to bring their foreign husband or wife to live with them in the UK. In many cases, this means that children are separated from a parent for months or years.
A Brit with a spouse from America or India now needs to earn at least £18,600 per year to bring them to the UK. The rules are very strict and many families are unexpectedly refused.
Migrants Rights advocates that everyone should have the right to live with their family regardless of how much money they make.
Ambitious about Autism
Every day hundreds of children with autism miss out on school. Ambitious about Autism, the national charity for children and young people with autism found that 40% of children with autism are illegally excluded from school.
With their new 'Ruled Out' campaign, Ambitious about Autism wants to stop children with autism missing out on education.
They want families to know their rights, schools to understand how to get more support and local authorities to fulfil their responsibilities.
Children with autism are entitled to a good quality, full time education just like their peers.
Brain tumours kill more children in the UK than any other type of cancer. The symptoms too often go unrecognised, costing lives and leaving survivors with long-term disabilities.
HeadSmart sends pocket-sized brain tumour symptoms cards to schools and GP surgeries around the UK.
The campaign has already cut the average diagnosis time for children with brain tumours from 14 weeks to 6.9 weeks.
HeadSmart has been shortlisted for a National Lottery Award which would help bring that figure down even further.
You can help save children’s lives by voting for HeadSmart to win the award. To vote before the July 23rd deadline, go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/headsmart
July is GBS Awareness Month - Making mums #GBSaware
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the most common cause of serious infection in newborn babies. Many countries routinely test pregnant women for GBS, not the UK. Thankfully, with urgent specialist treatment, most babies recover from their GBS infection. Tragically, one in ten sick babies die. Others suffer life-long disabilities.
Most GBS infections are preventable.
Charity Group B Strep Support is raising awareness and asking that pregnant women are fully informed about GBS – and offered testing – during routine antenatal care. If you’re pregnant, or know someone who is, be #GBSaware - it could make the world of difference.
Every year the equivalent of a classroom of children dies because of asthma and every single day more than 70 children are admitted to hospital due to the condition. A major new review from the Royal College of Physicians found that children who died from asthma were more likely to have received poor care than adults, and that treatment was littered with shocking prescribing errors.
Asthma UK won’t rest until children receive the care they deserve.
They urgently need you to share your experiences so that they can demand change from your local NHS and stop children dying needlessly. To help, visit www.asthma.org.uk/compareyourcare now and take the survey.
The Big Lunch
The Big Lunch is a Lottery-funded initiative from the Eden Project encouraging neighbours to have a Big Lunch annually, as a simple way to get to know each other better.
The aim is to build stronger, friendlier communities in which people share things, from conversation and ideas to skills and resources, with over 4 million people across the UK taking part in this year's event on Sunday 1 June.
If you missed it then, be inspired to give it a go now. You can get started by downloading the free pack - there’s even special edition Commonwealth Legacy materials up for grabs! Email email@example.com for details.
The Big Lunch free pack contains kids Aardman character stickers, vegetable seeds, posters, bunting template sand lots of inspiration to have a street party or garden get together where you live.
Macmillan Cancer Support
The UK is facing a cancer crisis. By the end of the next government’s term in 2020, almost one in two of us will have to face cancer sometime during our lives. And while the majority of us will receive a good standard of care, this sadly isn’t the case for everyone.
Macmillan says we urgently need to change this.
The UK’s cancer survival rates are among the worst in Europe – not least because thousands of us are diagnosed too late. Thousands more are treated with a lack of compassion or denied a ‘good’ death, with over half lacking complete pain relief in the last three months of their lives.
If we’re struggling to ensure everyone receives a good standard of care now, how will we cope with the growing numbers in the future?
Join Macmillan Cancer Support’s campaign to today to make sure cancer care is a priority for the next government:
In 2012, four children were seriously hurt or killed while walking in the UK every day.
Giant Walking Bus is an annual event co-ordinated by Brake, this year on Wednesday 11 June, where primary school children march in supervised groups to campaign for safer roads in their community by encouraging drivers to slow down around schools.
This event is a great way to engage with the community, as well as getting road safety into the curriculum.
Brake are encouraging schools to register by 30th May by visiting brake.org.uk/walkingbus or ringing 01484 550 061.
A Child of Mine
A Child Of Mine helps and supports anyone affected by the death of a child, in as many ways as they possibly can. Their website is dedicated to providing guidance, as well as practical advice, and is a valuable resource for families following a child’s death.
This year, they’re inviting people to help fundraise by sharing their best childhood selfies. You can get involved by uploading your favourite shot to Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #APhotoOfMine, before nominating three friends to do the same. You can donate at the same time via the charity’s website, or by texting BFLY23 (followed by the amount you wish to donate) to 70070.
Is your child’s route to school safe enough to allow them to walk, scoot or cycle?
In 2012, 33 children were killed and the equivalent of over seven primary schools (1,836) seriously injured while walking or cycling on our roads. And 41% of parents say their child has experienced a ‘near miss’ on the school run.
By calling on government to make dedicated funding available, commit to lower traffic speeds, and transform local walking and cycling routes, Sustrans hopes more children can step out from the back seat and enjoy a more active start to their day.
Hand on Heart
In the UK, 12 young people die every week from cardiac arrest. Of those, 270 will die at school. The only definitive treatment for cardiac arrest is immediate CPR and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which must be delivered within 3-5 minutes following collapse.
Hand on Heart Charity has one simple goal; to reduce the number of young lives lost to cardiac arrest each year. That is why they work to fund defibrillators and training for schools across the UK.
Saving Newborn Lives
Around the world, far too many newborn babies are dying on their first day. Yet most of these deaths could be prevented if a midwife was present.
This year, Save the Children, the world’s leading independent children’s charity, wants to ensure more babies are born with the support of a life-saving midwife.
They're calling on David Cameron to champion a global drive to train more midwives, and they need your support. Sign the petition to the Prime Minister here.
Together, we can ensure the first day is just the beginning.
Women Taking Action
Influential women are changing children’s lives through supporting Action for Children’s prevention of child neglect.
1.5 million children in the UK suffer neglect. Hungry, dirty and lonely, many do not go to school, attend health appointments, or even know their names.
By identifying neglect and tackling problems early, Action for Children turns families’ lives around. They enable parents to make lasting changes before difficulties escalate to social service intervention, when long-term damage has already been done.
Through Women Taking Action, you can join a collective of women who are helping more children to grow up safely, with hope for a brighter future.
Every Newborn Matters
Imagine watching your baby die in your arms, thinking there was nothing you could do. Three million newborns don’t survive their first 28days and the true horror is that up to 75% of these deaths are preventable.
Kidasha are launching Every Newborn Matters to stop these deaths. Kidasha has worked in Nepal for over 15 years, reaching over 100,000 women and providing essential maternal and newborn healthcare to some of the poorest and most marginalised communities.
Find out more about the campaign and how to support their work by hosting a Babyccino Morning at www.everynewbornmatters.org or text KIDA13 £5 to 70070 to donate.
Campaign for Better Hospital Food
Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.
In the midst of a government review of hospital food standards, they’re calling for better quality and compulsory standards – where opportunities to support Fair Trade, animal welfare, and local producers, are not overlooked.
You can help by signing up to their Campaign for Better Hospital Food, joining 11,500 Sustain supporters to send a clear message to the government to put higher food standards for hospitals on the agenda.
Being Parents Apart
Relate is the nation’s leading relationship support charity. When they discovered that 58% of separated parents don’t believe in a ‘good separation’ they launched Being Parents Apart, to let mums and dads know that help is there to get children and young people through separation in the best way possible. They’re providing personalised online support for dealing with the practical and emotional realities of separation, alongside video advice and further information about Relate’s other services like counselling and mediation. Relate will be soon be holding an event for MPs to call for improved support for separating families.
In war zones worldwide, sexual violence can be as devastating to children’s lives as bullets and bombs.
Most cases go unreported because girls and boys have no one to confide in, they fear their attackers or they’re afraid of being stigmatised. Instead, many children bottle up the hurt, causing psychological scars that can last a lifetime.
Together, we can end this.
Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts, J.K. Rowling, Victoria Beckham and UNICEF UK Ambassador Jemima Khan are among a group of leading women who have called on the UK Government to protect children from sexual violence in conflict. Join the campaign.
Help flush away poverty by twinning a toilet at home, work or school with a loo overseas!
Toilet Twinning is a partnership between development agencies Cord and Tearfund, raising funds to help provide access to better sanitation, clean water and hygiene education. 2.5 billion people worldwide don’t have access to a safe, private and hygienic loo and three children die every minute from diarrhoeal diseases.
When you twin a toilet, you get a Toilet Twinning certificate to hang in your loo, showing a photo of the twin latrine with its exact GPS coordinates to help pinpoint the location online.
BeatBullying's Big March is a digital demonstration - where instead of streets, crowds will march across websites - and on 11th June, they will stage the biggest fight against bullying Europe has ever seen.
Thousands will march over websites across Europe to help put an end to bullying and join us in delivering an e-petition to the European Commission.
Sign up and join the movement, be a part of the #BigMarch, and give a voice to children and young people badly affected by bullying across Europe.
For online mentoring and counselling support visit beatbullying.org
Kidney Research UK
Over three million people in the UK are at risk from Kidney disease – for which there is no cure.
With the number of patients presenting with kidney failure rising by 4% every year, raising awareness is more important than ever.
That's why Kidney Research UK – the UK's largest funder dedicated to kidney research and kidney problems – is urging you to 'Go Purple' in the run up to World Kidney Day on Thursday 13 March.
To download their 'Go Purple Pack' of fundraising ideas, visit www.kidneyresearchuk.org/gopurple
National Ugly Mugs
National Ugly Mugs provides vital protection and greater access to justice for sex workers who are targeted by dangerous offenders but often unwilling to report to the police.
It has been responsible for the conviction of at least 12 serial offenders, whilst 16% of sex workers said they’d avoided specific individuals thanks to NUM warnings.
Despite these successes, the pioneering project will be forced to close if urgent funding is not secured.
For an entire year’s worth of potentially life-saving work, NUM needs to raise just £100,000.
You can help. Text “UGLY00 £5" to 70070 to donate £5 toward the cause, or visit justgiving.com/uknoswp
Tamba is the only UK wide charity dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of families with twins, triplets and more.
As well as campaigning on issues that affect our families, Tamba provides; expert information, a free national helpline, social networking opportunities, a local club network, unique courses and now, for the first time, is conducting clinical research to help prevent still births and reduce prematurity.
So if you’re a mother, father or family member of multiples, or if you’re soon expecting the pitter-patter of more than one pair of tiny feet, register free with Tamba to receive access to guides and online resources.
I CAN's Chatterbox Challenge
This week, the children’s communication charity I CAN presents its annual sing-along, the Chatterbox Challenge. Thousands of children are taking part across the UK, with sponsorship from Openreach and TTS, and the support of Nick Jr’s Humf.
It’s not too late to get involved and raise money to support children with communication difficulties.
1.2 million children in the UK have long-term difficulties with their speech, language and communication and will need extra support.
'Chatterbox Challenge: Sounds like fun with Humf' develops the communication skills of children under 5 through songs and rhymes based on sounds and noises.
Cold Homes Week
High energy bills are causing a cold homes crisis across the UK, with one poll indicating that almost half of households are cutting back on spending essentials – including school equipment and food – to be able to cover their energy bills.
As new research finds that over 2 million children in the UK are growing up in cold homes, Cold Homes Week is about confronting the government to end the scandal of high energy bills – and the suffering of families affected by fuel poverty.
Thousands of people will be asking their MP to support the campaign. You can help.
National Deaf Children's Society
The National Deaf Children’s Society has found that deaf young people are struggling to access the support they need from their GPs. A lack of deaf awareness and difficulties accessing information in surgeries is leaving them less independent than other young people when it comes to their health.
Next week the charity is launching ‘My life, My health’ to raise awareness of these barriers and provide resources for deaf young people, their parents and GPs to help them get the health service they need.
Further information will be available from Tuesday 4 February at ndcs.org.uk/mylifemyhealth. Don’t forget to check the website out next week.
The Saatchi Bill
Lord Saatchi’s ‘Medical Innovation Bill’, as it is officially known, aims to rewrite medical practice to give patients the right to demand more options in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
Current law requires patients receive only standard procedure – which can mean a cycle of unsuccessful treatment. But the Medical Innovation Bill will change the law to encourage responsible medical innovation for all patients.
Armed with legislation, the patient can say: “Is there anything else you can try? I know you can, because of the Medical Innovation Bill.”
Now it needs your support.
Was one of your resolutions to volunteer more in 2014? You could make a difference to a child’s future by becoming a Beanstalk reading helper.
Beanstalk is a national literacy charity recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to work with primary school children who are struggling with reading. They provide one-to-one support for the children that need it most.
Beanstalk urgently needs more volunteers. Could you help a child achieve the literacy skills they need to succeed in life?
Click here or call 020 7729 4087for more information. You can also donate £10 to Beanstalk by texting GROW40 £10 to 70070.
Streetbank brings communities together by letting you see all that your neighbours are happy to lend you, the things they’re giving away and skills they’re willing to share.
It's like a giant tool box, garden shed, fancy dress chest, DVD collection, toy box and skill-share all rolled into one and it’s already helping thousands of parents tap into a new, greener type of wealth.
The range of things listed is vast – anything from children’s toys, car seats, books and baby gear to tutoring, dog walking, lift-sharing and personal styling advice.
What will you find in your area?
Many of us think the way we drink isn’t a problem, but even a few beers or glasses of wine at home too often can take you over safe limits, potentially causing problems for the future.
It’s not about detoxing or never drinking again. It’s just an opportunity for all of us to slow down and start thinking about our drinking.