How do charities catch your eye online?

I could really use your help this week. I’m not asking for money, or votes, just social media tips on gathering votes for charities. After #teamhonkrelay, and with blogging award season in full swing I know my readers will have some great ideas, I would love to hear from any charities reading this too.

I’m helping the often quite small charities involved in the Direct Debit Big Break for Charity initiative. Welcome to any charities reading this, I hope today’s tips are helpful! Continue reading

Behind the scenes, the real Team Honk Snowdon


I didn’t sleep a wink the night before Team Honk climbed Snowdon, all I could think was how responsible I would feel if anything went wrong, many of us just hadn’t had time to train or prepare. I was worried about how much we stood to lose if the alarm didn’t go off, or we were delayed, there are only so many hours of daylight in early March, but the walking alone is 7 hours. So I lay there in a YHA bunk bed trying to pass the sleepless night cracking the logistics of transporting 23 people to and from our start and finish points.

Flashback a month. Annie read this post and convinced me to climb Snowdon. I agreed, then I looked into it properly. Except by then it was too late, Annie had told everyone it was happening.

I called the most outdoorsy, mountain-climbing-savvy person I know, Gemma. Lots of nervous phone calls. Gemma’s stories of friendships ruined on wet, windy and cold mountain treks. My stories of booked up Youth Hostels and guides who don’t like to take novices up in early March, not without crampons and ice axes.

Gemma made kit lists, shared weather reports and found two old friends, locals willing to give their time to guide us. I managed to call after a cancellation, and snaffle the last beds in Snowdon Ranger hostel. It was happening. Team Honk Snowdon was growing, the fundraising and enthusiasm was infectious, as was the sponsorship. Mari had cancelled her hen to join us, Kate had booked a ferry from Ireland.

But the weekend before, the weather was -13 on the summit, with high winds, fog and rain. I couldn’t see the climb happening in those conditions. Meanwhile team honk Snowdon bloggers were struggling with flu, taking kids to A and E, cars for emergency repairs, getting high flying jobs and having to drop out and generally stressing about how to extract themselves from family life for a weekend, nevermind how to get to Wales from Cornwall, Southhampton and Ireland, to name a few far flung places. Mountains had been climbed long before we even set foot in Wales.

So all in all, a tough few weeks of worry. Fortunately we got lucky with the weather. It was a very tough climb, there was ice, snow, sweat and tears and a touch of vertigo, but still, just a day of my life. Here it is on film, see for yourself what we went through:

(Filmed on a Panasonic HD Camcorder HXDC2 as modelled by Mari in the video)

For some people in the UK and Africa dealing with stress, fear, loss, pain, illness, poverty, homelessness, death, addiction is a daily ongoing battle. Which is where Comic Relief comes in. It is never too late to do something funny for money for Red Nose Day or to sponsor us and help Team Honk smash the £6000 mark.

Thank yous All our amazing sponsors. Our wonderful guides Marit and Al. We wore sexy lace pants from ethical pant maker Who Made Your Pants on the climb. We stayed comfortably and very economically at the scenic YHA Snowdon Ranger Hostel and stoked up on hearty breakfasts and packed lunches.  We wore hiking socks from HiTec Sports which kept feet dry and snug and any blisters away. I took a Panasonic handheld camcorder with me on the climb to make this film. Gower Cottage sent some amazing Chocolate Brownies to keep the spirits and energy up and the shorter films were made on a Nexus 7 I am reviewing for Idealo.

Team Honk Snowdon who are, AnniePennyTGemmaKateLauraMariGreg, Marit, Al, StephDanielleHannahKatJenniferNikkiBruce, J,  Kim, Miles,  Emma, Leela and Stefan.

Your Online Shopping – Give as you Live

Give as you Live

Did you know you can give to charity as you shop online at no extra cost to you?  When I heard about Give as You Live I was totally, utterly bowled over by the genius and simplicity of the concept.  There are untapped billions out there and I am on a mission to claim them back for charity, are you with me?

We all have the best intentions about giving to charity, but finding the money can be tricky. Estimates suggest charity giving is down 50%.  It’s not surprising, in these uncertain times. When people’s circumstances change, donations and direct debits to charity are often one of the first things to go. I posted recently about the creative accountancy that was required to enable our family to sponsor a child through Action Aid.

We sponsor Luqman and his community in a Pakistani village through the Action Aid sponsorship programme. Having a connection to someone far away who needs our help has changed me. I have a photo, beautiful drawings and accounts of life in a village in Pakistan from 7 year old Luqman. Luqman’s letters make me so determined to sort out these billions that we are spending without giving as we live.

So how do you do it?  Simple.  Sign up for Give as you Live here.  It’s a nifty piece of software that prompts you to Give as you Live whenever you shop online.  So instead of the profits from the fee that’s added to all online transactions lining someone else’s pockets, it goes to charity. So simple.

You’ll find over 2000 online retailers on there and you can pick from any charity you like to donate to. I’m on a mission to help more children like Luqman through Action Aid, but you can support any charity you like, and you can even change your charity with each shop.

So what you waiting for?  I was just waiting for it be available on Google Chrome, and now it is hurrah! Every time I browse a participating retailer’s site, up pops Give as you live. So easy. Please help me. Let’s make billions.

Here’s what my internet Browser looks like each time I shop online, you can see it tells me Give as you Live is ON and that I am currently supporting Action Aid. Clever eh?

If you go to my Ambassador page and sign up we can track what we all donate collectively. You can choose your charity or help mine. As you can see from my total, I am starting today, I’ve downloaded the software and I’m ready to give as you live. Please join me and do check out #mums4good on Twitter.

Here’s a video that makes it all very clear:

And here’s to happier shopping.

Who are you going to give as you live for? Here’s my last letter from Luqman, I love that his favourite thing is sheep.  I’m going to ask him all about them in my letter.

Proud supporter of Brit Mums for good!

I’m a Give as you Live ambassador and this is a sponsored post in conjunction with Britmums and Give as you Live for #Mums4good.