2020 is definitely the year which made us realise how important it is to think of others and those less well off.
While many of us now have the choice to spend Christmas with our loved ones, feasting on turkey and opening multiple gifts around the tree – many people will not have that option.
And so it was great to hear that leading gift retailer Thumbs Up has partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Salvation Army to create the 2020 Charity Gifting Appeal and donate a massive 2,000 presents to those who might not otherwise receive anything for Christmas.
To help them carry out their target Thumbs Up are asking people to contribute just £5 for postage and packaging.
The donation will see each individual receive a package full of presents worth £30.
You read that right people! All they’re asking is for £5 towards postage and packaging!
Times are hard, but if you feel you can help please visit thumbsup.com to choose from four different packs (Teen Girls 12-17, Teen Boys 12-17, Male or Female 18+).
LOCKDOWN life has become way too much of a reality for my liking, but, it’s also been a chance to explore the opportunities out there, open new doors and find comfort in talking to strangers who you can’t help but connect with over this crazy shared experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m struggling with this new way of life just as much as the next person, but I’m desperately trying to remain positive.
For me it was a great moment when I was asked to be involved in Joanne Warren Moore‘s amazing photography series raising funds for Smart Works, a UK charity that dresses and coaches unemployed women for their job interview.
After months of being stuck indoors with a hyper toddler and the challenges of homeschooling a tweenager, I was more than ready to put on some lippy and (attempt to) strike a pose! Not to mention the challenge of juggling all that with my ‘day job’ as a journalist AND my clothing and home decor business, By Kala X.
The project is entitled This Woman’s Work and in her own words, Joanne, who is a fellow East Londoner, explained: “I’m an advocate for women supporting women and this project is designed to do just that.”
“Juggling homeschooling, a business & in general keeping everyone alive & well is not easy!”
She went on: “I also want to provide a platform where women can share their strengths in having to adjust during very difficult circumstances and to tell other women of any success stories or top tips in business reform.
“In return for the photography session and images I am asking those that can for a voluntary donation to Smart Works to help support unemployed women into work during the recovery of this pandemic.
“All proceeds raised will go directly to this cause. There will be so many more women in need of support during these uncertain times.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself and to date, Joanne has helped raise over £3,000 for the much-needed organisation.
I loved having the chance to focus on just me for my session with Joanne and as you can tell by the resulting pictures we got on like a house on fire!
And what was my own little Lockdown Lesson, I hear you ask? Read on for my pearls of wisdom…
“I think lockdown has helped thousands of us to realise just how strong we are. Juggling homeschooling, running a business and in general keeping everyone alive and well is not easy!
“For me forward planning went out of the window, but I found it easier to deal with smaller, daily, bite-sized tasks. It felt more manageable and much more of an achievement when completed.
“I’m also very lucky to have a network of friends who regularly remind me to not be too hard on myself.”
IT may seem that normal life has been put on hold at the moment.
But when you’re a mum, you still have kids who want to go out to experience new things and explore.
After six months behind closed doors, options may seem limited, but it’s always good to have a look at things which take you outdoors while allowing you and the little ones to stay safe.
We recently enjoyed a trip to Vauxhall City Farm and I was impressed by the measures being taken to ensure social distancing and general post lockdown safety.
The space is small but perfectly formed and the kids absolutely loved the chance to feed the animals. I thought we would be in and out in ten minutes, but I simply could not drag both my three and ten-year-old away.
Entry to the site is free with a voluntary donation and food for the animals is just £1 a bag.
The kids also loved the chance to walk around the farm’s community garden following our own recent endeavours into growing fruit and veg at home.
Staff are constantly communicating to ensure there are only a certain number of visitors inside the farm at any one time, which means that entry numbers are limited and queues can form when busy.
There are also lots of handwashing stations and a one-way system in place to help with social distancing.
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