Charities and How to Take Part

I have always been interested in the work that charities do to help people and animals facing adversity, and finding ways to contribute towards this effort. For me, the most realistic option at this stage in my life (I’m a student and not that well off) is taking part in fundraisers and donating where I can. It isn’t feasible for me to actually visit places like refugee camps at the moment. Regardless of anything else, I simply don’t have the time. I study full time and work during the holidays.

This doesn’t, however, dampen my desire to help. I feel sick when I hear about some of the atrocities people are facing around the world and guilty that, by sheer luck, I have been born into a relatively safe country, with an abundance of opportunities and a loving family.

Sometimes it is tempting to bury my head in the sand and just get on with my life, pretending none of it is really happening. A far better approach though is doing what little I can to help, anything is better than nothing. So, for this reason, I try to make small donations and take part in fundraisers when I can. Eventbrite (click here to visit their nonprofit fundraising page), in particular, is a brilliant website for finding out about fundraising events in your local area. For example, in Glasgow in the near future, there is an ‘Open to All 5k Midnight Walk‘ for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, ‘The Glasgow Christmas Carol Concert‘ in aid of Cancer Research UK and an ‘Action on Hearing Loss Ladies Lunch‘ among many others. Having all of this information in one place makes it far easier to get involved than having to scour the internet for different websites trying to piece together information.

Below are a few charities that, personally, I am quite passionate about.

The refugee crisis is something that I think about a lot. So many thousands of people are desperately trying to find safety and refuge from the dangerous and uninhabitable conditions of their home countries. I recently purchased a ‘Choose Love’ T-shirt from Asos. The one I bought cost £19 which goes straight towards helping people, and you also receive a super comfy T-shirt as a memento. The T-Shirts also help to spread the message. I think this is a really clever campaign and I think we all have £19 we can spare. Even if it means not going down to the pub for one night.

Choose Love Tshirts

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland is a charity particularly close to my family. We always make a point of donating our old clothes and belongings to them because they supported my Grandad when he was very ill with a lung disease called Emphysema. Chest Heart and Stroke have a number of charity shops around Scotland that are full of great bargains with the added bonus of your money going to a good cause.

Cancer Research is a charity close to a lot of people’s hearts. I don’t think enough money can really be put towards trying to develop medicines and treatments to fight this disease. This is the charity I have probably done the most for over the years. I’ve run many Race for Life races over the years. I have a little bundle of medals in my memory box (not for actually being fast or anything just for completing them) and when I was around 14-15 years old I volunteered in my local Cancer Research shop. Getting involved in fundraising for Cancer Research is easy and incredibly fulfilling.

The World Food Programme does incredible work to try and combat starvation and poverty around the world. Unfortunately, millions go without food every day. You can donate directly to this charity, after watching a video on their website the other day I donated some money. They also run a website called (click here) where you can answer trivia questions and for each correct answers a small amount of rice is donated via the WFP. If you sign up you can keep track of how many grams of rice you have donated. So instead of scrolling Buzzfeed articles, start answering trivia on FreeRice! You can even choose what categories to answer questions on!

Destroying habitats and causing the extinction of species’ is one of the most hideous marks humanity has left on the planet. So many species’ are on the verge of extinction, shockingly there are less than 4,000 tigers left in the wild. That is pretty much nothing considering there are over 7 BILLION of us. Whether it’s a donation or adopting an animal and donating monthly, this charity does vital work and is worth having a serious look at.

I would love to get more involved in fundraising in the future. Earlier this year I wanted to hold my own fundraiser but I struggle with pain in my hips and legs so doing a extreme physical challenge is kind of off the cards for me. I climbed Ben Nevis last year and since then my joint pain has worsened. Finding out these other ways to do good has been enlightening and I hope it will be as well for anyone reading 🙂

Until next time,

J x

My Dilemma about the 2017 General Election

As voting day is pretty much upon us now I thought I’d write a little post about my dilemma/frustration about this particular election.

Firstly, I’d like to quickly mention that the featured image for this post (also below) was conceived and expertly drawn by a friend from my hometown – Calum A.B. McMillan. He’s been drawing for years and I particularly like this political piece. I know some very talented people 🙂


For me this election has been the one with the most urgency and also the one that (from my experience) my generation has been the most involved in yet. Everywhere I turn people are being urged to vote and take part in political discussions (which is great!) and I’ve personally done more research in the run up to this election than any other.

There is one thing, however, that greatly disheartens me and leads me to believe that all of this research and discussion will ultimately be useless. In my opinion, and particularly in the past few years, there is no point in voting for anyone other than the SNP in Scotland. Every other party is so dramatically behind the SNP in all of the polls and also in previous elections. If you’re passionate about Labour regaining power or the policies of the Liberal Democrats you have to make the decision between voting for the party whose policies you’re passionate about and, therefore, essentially wasting your vote or going with the masses and voting SNP.

Now don’t get me wrong, I actually agree with the majority of the SNP’s policies. I read most of them through the other day. I particularly agree with their proposition to halt UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia immediately, BUT I think that their rhetoric is often preoccupied with referendum talks. I would, personally, be far more impressed with them if they focused on politics first and foremost whilst making plans for a second independence referendum on the back burner.

By voting SNP Scottish people are clearly expressing their wish to have people who are primarily concerned with Scottish issues in the House of Commons. I don’t disagree with that, but it does remove a massive chunk of what used to be, majoritively, a Labour stronghold (worth noting that SNP oppositions do seem to be changing a little). What does this do? It increases the likelihood of the Conservatives achieving a majority. We have had a Conservative government for roughly seven years now and, personally, I look forward to the day they fall from power. Unfortunately, despite the abomination that has been Theresa May’s campaign, that doesn’t look to be any time soon and I feel relatively powerless to stop it.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here because I think it should be mentioned, the massive success of the SNP in Scotland does also block the Conservatives from gaining many seats in Scotland, so in that interpretation it makes the possibility of the Tories winning a majority a bit less likely.

To be honest, I’m confused, and it has taken me a long while to decide who I want to vote for. My main point is that in Scotland it is relatively certain that the SNP will win most seats. My advice to anyone in England who wants to see the Tories out is to put their personal views with regards to which specific progressive party they prefer to one side and vote for the Tories’ main, progressive opposition. Blocking them from seats is the only way to deny them a majority. Basically, everyone needs to USE THEIR VOTE!

This was more thoughtful than usual and I’m aware that this post could open me up to some criticism. So I’ll end by saying I completely respect everyone’s individual views, these are just my own. I’m not in any way trying to tell anybody who to vote for. Just stating what will probably be the most effective choice for those who are similarly minded to me!

Also if any of my politics is like straight up incorrect please let me know as I’m no expert but trying to learn!

Until next time,

J x