Street Child Ebola Crisis Appeal


As the death toll from the Ebola outbreak nears 4,000, the charity Street Child has written a guest blog to explain how they are helping and how you can join in.

The 10 children in the above picture have lost four members of their family to Ebola; their father, mother, great aunt and grandmother. Six other members of their family are in critical condition at a MSF Ebola Treatment unit in Monrovia, Liberia. The children are facing stigmatisation from their neighbours and the wider community, as they begin their fourth period of quarantine. They are not permitted to leave their house to get water, food or coal for the fire. Nobody will associate with them. They are completely alone.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common story for thousands of children in desperate need of humanitarian aid. It is estimated that 3,700 children have lost a parent to Ebola across West Africa and face being shunned by their own families and communities.

Through Street Child, these same children are now being provided with food, water and vital medical supplies to ensure their safety during quarantine. This response for quarantined families and orphaned children in particular is being replicated all over Sierra Leone and Liberia. In addition, Street Child are creating sanitation stations and Ebola awareness initiatives to limit the spread of the virus.

To multiply their efforts, Street Child is hosting the Big Sleep Out challenge event in support of its Ebola Crisis Appeal and invites you to join them in raising funds to increase the support for thousands of children in desperate need of our help. While benefiting a hugely important cause, this is an opportunity to enjoy the tastes and sounds of West Africa, and seek sponsorship for your challenge of sleeping on the streets to help ensure that thousands of children in the world’s poorest countries don’t have to.”

To donate to Street Child’s Ebola appeal, visit their Virgin Money Giving campaign.

For more information about how to get involved with the Big Sleep Out challenge event, you can contact Kris on or call 0207 614 7696. For more information about the Ebola outbreak and street Child’s response, please visit the Street Child’s website.

Our first ‘Dream Marathon’ winner


Each month, we will give away a unique Dream Marathon experience to one lucky Virgin Money London Marathon runner, including £100 of Adidas kit, two nights in Central London, upgrade to the Green Start and entry to Virgin Money’s after-party.

And this month we are delighted to introduce our first winner, Haydn Squibb, who is running to raise money for Anthony Nolan.

Haydn says “2013 was one of the toughest I’ve had; I’d never had to deal with losing someone close to me, and in 2013 I finally had to experience it. Oli was one of the most amazing people I’d ever met, and to have known him for a good 17 or so years makes me feel like one of the luckiest people in the world.  Anthony Nolan did all they could to help Oli and with him meaning everything to me, I’ve gone totally crazy and thought I’d do my bit to give something back!

Anthony Nolan is a blood cancer charity which works to match individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to those who have the disease, as well as educating and conducting research into this type of cancer. The charity also supports people with blood cancer and their families, offering advice and information. It is this which Haydn is most grateful for, after her friend Oli suffered from the disease.
We asked Haydn about her decision to run the marathon and how she was getting on with her training. “The London Marathon is the most well known marathon in the world, and after heading out to watch the 2014 one I added it to my list of things to do before I die.  It’s my most local run too so that’s rather helpful too! I’m finding the training rather hard, I’m not a strong runner at all so it’s starting from new and building up stamina and miles!
She also told us that although it is worth it for the cause she’s fundraising for, she was heartbroken to have to give up her favourite food, burgers! “I know that Oli is up there thinking I’m an absolute nutter but would be so proud of what I am achieving.  Plus a close friend of mine has said she will be waiting at the finish line with a bottle of Prosseco, that won’t go a miss.
When asked how she felt to have won, Haydn told us “I was very overwhelmed when I won the competition, it will certainly make the day a lot easier!”

To support Haydn, you can visit her Virgin Money Giving page and to find out more about the Dream Marathon competition, read our blog.

And for all you 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon runners out there, we still have six of these exclusive packages to give away – one a month from now until March.  Every donation you get on your Virgin Money London Marathon Virgin Money Giving fundraising page, gets you one entry into that month’s draw. So the more donations you get, the more chances you have of winning this dream prize.  If you haven’t set up your page yet, why not set it up now? There’s still a week to go to enter the October draw! Good luck!

Tailor made fundraising just for you!

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We recently launched Virgin Money Giving Campaigns. This is a new tool which allows you to bring fundraisers and donors together on the same tailor made Virgin Money Giving Campaigns page to target a specific objective. Whether that is through an event, Charity of the Year fundraising or a natural disaster appeal, Campaigns gives you more control over the charity pages you create.

Setting up a new Campaign only takes 3 simple steps:

1. Decide on your campaign. Is it a charity appeal, event or charity of the year?

2. Create your campaign pages. This tells your charity’s story through photos and videos and shows people how their donations will help.

3. Promote your campaign. Share your Campaign on Social Media, write a press release, share it with your corporate partners, there are lots of ways to shout about your completed Campaign.

Since we’ve launched there have been some great Campaigns set up. One is for the Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal, they set up a campaign to raise money for a new Breast Cancer Unit and so far have raised a whopping £199,133.28! There are fundraisers who are taking part in their own events to raise money specifically for this Campaign.

If you’re a charity, fundraiser or even an event that would like to set up your own Campaign, this is a great time to do it!


5 challenges for 5 charities


To mark Virgin Money Giving’s 5th birthday, today’s fundraiser – Jule Wilson – decided to take on 5 very different personal challenges for 5 different charities, and is hoping lots of others will do the same.

Jule is going Sober for October for Macmillan Cancer Support, doing the Stand Up To Cancer March around central Newcastle-upon-Tyne, walking barefoot over hot coals at the Leeds Firewalk for The Stroke Association, sleeping rough in Sunderland as part of the Centrepoint Sleepout raising money for homeless young people and finally dunking herself in the North Sea as part of the Boxing Day Dip for the mental health charity Sane.

Jule tells us “was determined to do some fundraising this year, but I wanted to find events that were a bit different, and that didn’t require huge amounts of physical training as I have a weak ankle following an injury and am not long back on my feet after illness. “

All five charities being supported in the challenge mean something to Jule. Since 2003, as well as volunteering for Cancer Research UK, Jule has donated annually to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan on her Grandma’s birthday, after losing two grandparents to cancer. She points out that the care her grandma received from a Macmillan nurse was a great support to her mum. Jule says “Giving up the demon drink for a month was certainly not going to do me any harm, and I loved the idea of the country uniting together for the March.”

Jule says that stroke can happen to anyone at any time and can have a huge affect on families, but with the right treatment and support, available due to orgnisations like The Stroke Association, people can now make amazing strides. Similarly with CentrepointJule knows how easily homelessness can happen to people from all walks of life.

The Firewalk was something I didn’t think many people would try, but I fancied giving it a go, and I’ve roped a friend in tooI’m hoping it’ll be mind over matter, and although the thought of it is a little bit scary, I’m sure the fact it’s for such an important charity will help spur us on on the nightI’ll be able to layer up for the Sleepout, but most homeless people don’t have that luxury, so I feel it’s important to experience just a little of what they go through each winter, to help raise awareness of the issue as well as some funds to help tackle it. 

The final challenge, the Boxing Day Dip, means the most to Jule. “I chose Sane because it is one of the lesser known mental health charities, which offers practical support not just to sufferers but also to those who live and work with them. One in four people will have a mental health issue at some time; myself, several close friends and family members have been and are affected by mental illness – it is a widespread issue, but doesn’t have to be as debilitating as it is assumed to be.”

Jule adds “What would inspire me to keep going even more would be if more people would join me and do 5for5 of their own, using Virgin Money Giving – whether that’s five one-off events like me, for different charities, or five events for the same charity.

You can support Jule via her Virgin Money Giving page and, if you want to start your own fundraising, you can create a page here.

Virgin Money Giving turns 5

Virgin Money Giving 5th birthday

We are delighted today to be celebrating our 5th birthday.

We launched on 14 October 2009 and in just five years over 9,000 charities have registered with us and over 425,000 fundraisers have used the site to receive donations.  Our goal has always been to help charities raise more, and we’re very proud that we’ve been able to make that happen.

A massive £300million has been raised through Virgin Money Giving for UK charities and, because we are 100% not-for-profit, an extra £10million went to charities than if those fundraisers has used other fundraising platforms. And if that isn’t impressive enough, a massive 86% of donations through the website have been boosted by Gift Aid – which we don’t take a penny of.*

You can have a look through previous blogs to meet some of the amazing fundraisers who have used Virgin Money Giving, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for competitions and all our latest news.

*Figures based on a comparison of the cost of service and transaction with JustGiving, based on Virgin Money Giving’s fundraising total from its launch to 25 August 2014

Catch up with Eve’s fancy year


In July, we brought you one of the most unique fundraising challenges we’ve ever encountered when Eve Hazelton told us that she had given all of her clothes to Rowcroft and decided to wear fancy dress every single day for a year. Well this week, Eve celebrated 100 days in fancy dress so we thought we would catch up with her and see how her very colourful challenge is going.

As with any challenges, Eve’s has certainly come with its peaks and troughs. She has found herself travelling to several foreign destinations and has been on film shoots with her job, all of which proved interesting in fancy dress. She also found herself at her friend’s wedding in full 1950s vintage attire. The down days in Eve’s challenge are quite unique, Eve tells us how she was ill recently and “wanted nothing more than to be snuggled in bed in [her] PJs“, but even her pyjamas had been donated to charity, so Eve had to find her most comfortable fancy dress outfit and get into bed in that instead!
Eve has even started taking fancy dress requests, with donations coming as large as £250 to have her dress in a particular costume. So if you have a particular character you’d like to see Eve take on, head on over to her Twitter.
Eve tells us “On day 100, I challenged followers on Facebook to see if we could raise a daily amount of £100. 27 people donated that day and raised over the £100, which was an incredible feeling! I have to raise at least £52 a day to stay on track to my £20,000 target, so doubling it that day was brilliant.
Eve also tells us that people have been really getting involved with her fundraising. “There have been fancy dress coffee mornings, fancy dress parties being arrange throughout the year, a friend got in touch and said her class were planning on doing a fancy dress day to help raise money, and a lady donated £15 from her kids who made and sold loom bands and wanted the money to go to a good charity. It is so lovely that people feel strongly enough to get involved. That’s what its all about at the end of the day, raising awareness for CoppaFeel! and of course raising loads of cash!

To hear more about what Eve was inspired to fundraise for CoppaFeel!, visit our previous blog and to support Eve in her fantastic challenge and to donate to CoppaFeel!, you can visit her Virgin Money Giving page.

Virgin Money London Marathon Charity Places


The Virgin Money London Marathon is the largest single fundraising event in the whole world and fundraisers have raised £250million since Virgin Money started sponsoring the marathon in 2010. Last week, 125,000 people were finding out whether they had won a ballot place to the 2015 event.

However, it is not too late to get a place to run the marathon; there are numerous charities with places to give away. So whether you want to run wearing fancy dress, singing karaoke or with a fridge on your back, have a look at our list of charities and see who you could be fundraising for in April.

Don’t forget that Virgin Money Giving are completely not-for-profit, meaning that if you fundraise through us, more money goes to your chosen charity. So once you have your marathon place, don’t forget to open a fundraising page and get started.

And if you need a little extra encouragement to apply for a charity place, we’re giving away a VIP Marathon package to one lucky winner every month from now until March. All you need is one donation on your Virgin Money Giving page for a chance to win. So once you’ve secured your charity place, visit our website to find out more.

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