Mumsnet Giving Week 2014
Mumsnet users have always shown each other support in times of need, and we wanted to acknowledge this by recognising some of the external organisations that do the same. In our inaugural Giving Week, we're shining a light on five great causes - 2 fantastic charities and 3 inspiring community projects - nominated by Mumsnetters, that are making a difference in people's lives. Read the thread from JustineMumsnet here.
Each organisation has its own Yimby or Just Giving crowdfunding page, on which we're encouraging those who can to donate; at the end of the week MNHQ will match your donations across all five up to the total value of £25,000. And if you can't donate, don't worry: instead, help us spread the word via Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #MumsnetGiving).
A charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. It runs 24-hour lifeline services for women, and has provided invaluable support to Mumsnet users over the years.
They say: "We are thrilled to have been chosen for Mumsnet Giving Week 2014. Domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime, but as it happens behind closed doors people are often reluctant to talk about. By raising funds, Mumsnetters will help us provide support to the tens of thousands of women and children who contact us every year as well as allowing us to campaign to keep the national network of local refuges open and available for every woman who needs them. We really appreciate all the wonderful comments about Women's Aid from the posters who nominated us, and want to say an enormous thank you to everyone who voted, and everyone who will be fundraising."
"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." Blu
"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. The publicity for Women's Aid would help MNers by raising their profile and reminding women that they can help them." turgiday
A community of Mumsnet users who make beautiful blankets for fellow users and their families who are facing serious illness or bereavement.
They say: "We're absolutely delighted to have been nominated for Mumsnet's first Giving Week, thank you, this means so much. Woolly Hugs is a small charity with big ambitions but at the very heart of all we do is the desire to extend compassion, give comfort and make those going through very bleak and difficult times feel loved and looked after. Our little blankets (Little Hugs) have gone to children and families all over the UK, including to Yorkhill Children's Hospital, Glasgow. We send Angel Hugs to the Brompton in London, and our Billie's Blankets to children as far away as Bangladesh and Malawi with World Child Cancer. We are currently working hard to support the fabulous Children of Chernobyl project.
"Our online woolly community is very busy with these current and ongoing projects, but we always want to achieve more, and this amazing opportunity will mean we can. Once again a huge thank you."
"Woolly Hugs then please! 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). 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." WonderWomansSister
A national network of independent community projects providing wonderful home-baked cakes to families who find it difficult to provide these for their own children. They have 84 groups across the UK, all run by volunteers. They aim to help more communities set up their own groups.
They say: "Free Cakes for Kids is not just about the cakes. As a community project, we create memories and build relationships with people who are struggling to make ends meet. Mumsnet's support will help us build a stronger network of people who care for their communities."
"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. I volunteer at the Sheffield group and 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." afullroux
"Reading about the free cakes for kids charity moved me to tears." tkband3
A children's hospice supporting families and caring for children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions across North and East London, West Essex and East Hertfordshire.
They say: "We are delighted that Haven House is part of Mumsnet's inaugural Giving Week. It's a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our work with children and families to Mumsnetters. Most parents will know how common sleep deprivation is and how a good night's sleep is something to cherish. The majority of our families have children who need 24-hour, round-the-clock care resulting in years of broken sleep. By supporting Haven House and donating to the Mumsnet campaign, you'll be giving our families a well-earned rest."
"Haven House Childrens Hospice in Woodford Green is a charity very close to me. 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." Lolly86
"Haven House have helped us." MrsDeVere
A society that offers support, advice and information to anyone involved with an individual with Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome, whether suspected or diagnosed. PDA is increasingly recognised as part of the autistic spectrum.
They say: "We are honoured to be selected as one of the five causes for Mumsnet Giving Week. Working with Mumsnetters will help us to generate more awareness of PDA in local communities, and we will use any funds raised to distribute information to services, schools and parents. We also hope to deliver more parent training courses following our pilot course in Nottingham."
"I'd like to nominate the PDA Society - they have 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." Upandatem
"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." Iamfrankieheck
How Mumsnet Giving works
You'll notice that some of the fundraising pages look different to the others. This is because both Women's Aid and Haven House are national registered charities and are eligible for Gift Aid, whereas Woolly Hugs, Free Cakes for Kids and the PDA Society are community projects.