Posts Tagged 'Charity'

The Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards 2016


The 14th of November 2016 will see the 23rd Mind Media Awards take place at the Troxy in London.

The Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards celebrate the best examples of discussing mental health in print, broadcast and digital media. Mental health charity Mind says that they organise these awards “to reward media professionals, organisations and students who report responsibly and sensitively on mental health issues“.

There are eleven categories on the night – including blogging and documentary making – and there are also two special awards.


This year, for the first time, we will be streaming live from the awards so that anyone can watch this special and inspiring event from the comfort of their own homes. Simply visit our Facebook page from 7pm on the 14th and you’ll be able to join in with nominees, winners, judges and celebrity guests as you watch the whole event. Plus, if you’re busy on the night itself, the awards will be available to watch afterwards!

Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving, Jo Barnett, said;

“Virgin Money Giving is really pleased to support Mind and the great work they do to provide Mental Health support across the UK”

#fundraiserfriday: Chronic pain won’t stop Nick Southorn


“It’s easy to just exist when you live with long-term conditions, so my #ReasonToRun is to live, not simply exist, with persistent pain and fatigue.”

On 23 April 2017, tens of thousands of runners will take to the streets of London and take part in the largest single-day fundraising event in the world; the Virgin Money London Marathon. One of those people will be Nick. Nick told us about his challenge and how his chronic pain is affected.

The event

“I chose the London Marathon initially as it is one of those ‘bucket list’ events. I completed London in 2016 and realised that it is so much more than a bucket list event, it is an all-consuming running and charity festival. Everyone is sharing the same emotions and there is a tacit feeling of community and compassion amongst not only the runners, but the spectators too. They gained my everlasting respect and I look forward to being a part of it once more this year.”

The challenge

“One of the biggest motivational factors for me, aside from charity work, is to spread the message that I try to sell in my clinics – it’s better to have a life with chronic pain and fatigue than to simply live with it. It is difficult, but worth it. On leaving the army in 2003 I was a reasonably fit 22 year-old, but I then developed a significant lower back and sacroiliac joint pain which drove me to inactivity. I became increasingly fatigued to the point that normal daily activity was a struggle which lead me to becoming out of shape, sluggish, depressed and unsociable. However, by starting off with a few gasping and limping 3 km runs, I was slowly able to run and make reasonable distances regularly.”

Nick’s 2017

“2017 is going to be my most active yet; five marathons and a couple of ultras (including three laps of Tough Mudder = 33 miles of obstacle running). When it’s all over I look forward to finding my next challenge. Knowing that I have two great charities to raise money for [Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care] means that I must get moving. My friends and family are amazing and supportive by forcing me out of the house when I really don’t want to. Whatever the future holds for me, I plan to always be an advocate for healthy living and not letting chronic pain and fatigue get in the way.”

Support Nick

You can help Nick raise as much money as possible for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice via his Virgin Money Giving page.

#charitytuesday: Walking home for Christmas


This December, why not carry your Christmas tree home, hand deliver Christmas cards or ditch your car and challenge yourself to walk home from work with a friend while raising money for a fantastic causeThe charity Walking with the Wounded is encouraging people across the UK to pull on their walking boots and Santa hats this Christmas in support of homeless and other vulnerable veterans.

Last year

Last year more than 2,000 people across the UK signed up to Walking With The Wounded’s Christmas campaign Walking Home For Christmas in a bid to have fun, get fit, and raise crucial funds to support veterans with physical, mental or social injuries. There were some amazing stories, including a Cheshire father and son who ‘stretchered’ their Christmas tree 10 miles home and a Suffolk super–granny walked 400 miles to relatives in Belfast!

The campaign saw more than 5,000 miles walked and raised enough to support more than 250 vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and regain their independence.

This year

In partnership with Virgin Money Giving, Walking With The Wounded is inviting people to join in again. It’s just £10, the charity send you a branded Santa hat and hi vis vest and you grab your friends and plan a walk anytime between 1st –  26th December, of any distance challenging for you.

This year walkers can also sign up as ‘Captains’ and lead a public walk to encourage more people to take part.

Walking With The Wounded events manager Andy Sloan said:

“We’ve been bowled over by the creativity and ambition of participants taking part and clearly having a lot of fun in their Santa hats. It’s a great way to have an adventure with friends or get to know colleagues better by wrapping up warm and walking together to  a destination, preferably featuring hot food or a sociable drink on the way. All while supporting vulnerable veterans who have little to look forward to this Christmas.”

Walking With The Wounded supports veterans with physical, mental or social injuries on their journey to long term security independence and employment.

How To Enter:

  • Sign up for £10 + postage at
  • Get your pack and Santa hat, plan your walk and tell your friends
  • Walk as far as is challenging for you, 1 mile or 100
  • Any time from 1st – 26th December
  • Share your story on Social Media using #WalkingHomeForChristmas

Need ideas for your walk?

  • The Long Haul – Go large and surprise yourself and a relative
  • The workplace challenge – why not try walking as a Teambuilding or client engaging exercise?
  • School’s out – Walk home from school or uni with parents or friends
  • The Team Outing – Walk to a pub for dinner
  • The Ingenious Idea – Hand deliver a present, Christmas cards or carry a Christmas tree home
  • The Train-ing Plan – Get off the train a stop early; great if you live too far to walk the whole way home!
  • The (long) dog walk – Take the lead and have an adventure


Calling all Mo Bros and Mo Sistas this Movember


If you haven’t seen already, this month the Mos and beards are coming. Movember doesn’t have to involve growing a Mo however, but can also also moving for a mo, to raise awareness of male cancers and mental health. Movember is the time to tell the men in your life, big or small, old or young, that we’ve got their backs.

You can donate to the Movember Foundation today or, if you fancy giving fundraising for Movember a go yourself, set up your fundraising page and read on for our fundraising ideas.

Grow it

First thing’s first, if you don’t have a Mo, take a photo now for your before photo. As soon as you’ve taken it, stop shaving and start growing. Grow it any way you like, let it run wild, or shave it so it grows the way you like. And if you like, compare your before and after pics with your mates, and have a vote off on your fundraising page of who has the best one.

Style it

If you’ve already got a Mo or a beard, Movember can still work for you. Instead of being sponsored to grow one, you can get sponsored to style it. Get your supporters to donate and vote on your page which one to go for. They could vote for colours to dye it (you could use hair dye or mascara), the style you trim it, or even how you accessorise it – have you ever seen a glitter beard? Maybe get festive and wear mini baubles in your beard. Or if you dare, let your mates or family style it for you!

Make it

For the un-hairy of us who can’t grow Mos, why not make your own out of cardboard? Just download some tash stencils for you and your mates, glue some sticks to them and make your own Mo props. You could make it a photobooth style competition of who can make the best tash – while those with Mos could decorate top hats instead. You could cover them in wrapping paper, make them fluffy with cotton wool, or go retro with some diamante beads. Alternatively, stick your Mo on the TV screen, and see who can get the best photo of an actor wearing it.

Move it

Maybe you fancy your fundraising a little less hairy and a little less crafty. How about moving this Movember instead? You can do anything, just as long as it gets you off the sofa and on your feet. Heck, maybe not even your feet! You could do a sponsored handstand, or a Queen’s chairlift dash (where two people interlock their arms and run, whilst carrying the ‘Queen’ who tries their hardest not to fall off). Or make it simple and organise a 5k run – maybe even run with Mo balloons? Whatever you do, get your heart racing and move it for the guys who can’t.

Next steps

You can make a one off donation or regular donations to the Movember Foundation or set up your fundraising page and make a difference today.

Remember remember to fundraise this November


Bonfire night is a great time to start a clean slate in the run up to the New Year. There are lots of ways that holding a bonfire night could raise some money for your chosen charity so set up your Virgin Money Giving page, and see which of our ideas could see you on your way.

Hunt for wood

Before you begin the night, you’ll need some wood for the fire. Why not get sponsored to clean up the garden waste from your friends and family? Put as much as you can in the compost, and any suitable wood or twigs can go towards the bonfire pit. Plus you could use a work volunteering day and clean up a community garden.

Let it go

Go for a clean sweep and let it all go. Give your friends and family little paper notes to write on, and for a donation, write something you’ve been holding on to and chuck it into the fire. Anything you don’t want to bring into the next year. Or if you like, make it a wish.

Light it up

Swap donations for sparklers and write away with light. You could make a competition in teams of who can write the most words, or take the best photo. Make it a game of charades of who can guess the film from the swirls of light, or who can finish the catchphrase from the shining clues.

S’mores for charity

Fancy a tasty treat or two? Then delve into s’mores and get the marshmallows out. Compete to see who can make the best, and swap the goodies for donations to your page. Make them as you like – maybe toffee and banana instead of chocolate, or make mini pizzas with mozzarella and tomato.

Remember don’t burn any household waste, and be mindful of hedgehogs and mice that might be burrowing in your garden!

Bring your fundraising to work


At Virgin Money Giving we totally get that pestering your work mates and, even worse, your boss for cash is really hard. But to reach your target it takes more than just hassling everyone around payday – don’t just leave your fundraising at home, bring it to work with you.

To help get you started – check out our fundraising toolkit.

Spread The Word

Instead of just emailing round your colleagues, see if you can raise awareness 24/7. Get a mention on your work community boards, newsletters or intranet as well as including your event on your email signature – that way you’re reminding everybody about your event without opening your mouth. Or why not leave a few carefully placed posters? There are tonnes of ways to spread the word, you just need to get people to notice.

Grab Their Attention

Let your workmates know exactly why this cause really matters to you. The more they can understand why the charity is so important, the more likely they are to donate to your page. Make it memorable by showing photos which illustrate your challenge and the importance of your charity.  Above all, make it personal, and let people in.

Show Where It Goes

Your colleagues are more likely to invest if you can demonstrate exactly how much they are helping. Let them know what they’re ‘buying’ – £7 could buy 100 test tubes in a Tommy’s laboratory and help a scientist trying to find out why some mums go into labour early. Find out what the money can do for your charity. Think about making it relative when you ask – your supporters could give up their Saturday night takeaway, and instead buy test tubes for Tommy’s.

Add the extra details

Think about adding detail to your own fundraising quest. See if you can engage your workmates and get them talking. Could you hold an office auction where people bid for the right to choose what you wear for your event? Or give people the chance to pick what colour you dye your hair for your race day? Make the most of your fundraising page and experiment. You could get people to vote what you do by donating £2 extra to your page, and leaving a comment with their choice.

Get More From Your Workplace

See if your workplace does matched giving, where they match your donations up to a certain amount, or payroll giving, where you can donate directly from your salary on a tax free basis. Any way that they can boost your fundraising total is a plus. You could even see if you have volunteering days – that way you can find out more about your charity and raise awareness for them, even getting your workmates to join you. And while you’re at it, why not present your charity as a potential Charity of the Year?

Get People Involved

Get your workmates involved. If you’ve got a carpark, rent places for donations or offer sponsored car washes. If you’ve got foodies in the office, do a coffee morning or a cake decorating time trial. Or – if you want something quick and easy – organise an office lottery, and split the donations/prize money as you like.

Party for charity this Halloween


The spooks and ghouls are coming! With Halloween just round the corner there’s no reason why you can’t add some trick or treat to your fundraising. Get together with all your mates this Halloween and do some good for charity. Here’s how:

Something tasty

Try your hand at making your own ghoulish pizzas. Challenge people to make ghosts out of mozzarella, Dracula out of tomato, or a zombie out of ham. Get competitive to get fundraising. Set up a Virgin Money Giving page and get your mates to enter the competition by donating to your page, and cast votes on who wins in both a taste and scare test.

For those with sweet tooths, have a go at spooktacular baking. You don’t even have to bake the whole thing, you could just do the decorating if you’re tight for time. Have a go at cake pops – you could make ghosts with white chocolate, or pumpkins with orange fondant, or maybe even Frankenstein’s monster with some bright green icing. Get donating, then get decorating.

Or if you fancy, see if you can make a Bloody Mary cocktail (non alcoholic for the under 18s), and see who can hold their nerve and drink the tomato & Worcester sauce down. Forfeit donations to whoever can’t keep a straight face, or drink the whole glass.

Tasty, ghoulish and a whole lot of good for charity.

Something fun

After the food’s done, introduce some games to keep the scares (and donations) coming.

Get a few ghoulish prizes – some sweets or a good old horror DVD – and host a raffle. You could get a cauldron prop to keep the tickets in, or up the ante and have a trick or treat tombola. See if your mates dare to delve their hands into the cauldron – some tickets are treat, some are trick! Instead of collecting cash, get people to make donations to your Virgin Money Giving page.

Or if you fancy yourselves as a movie buff, see if you can create a “Guess The Monster” quiz from your favourite horror films! Whoever wins gets to pick the horror film for the evening. Elements could include guess the character, guess the actor, or even guess their kill count!

For the gamers out there, find a horror game and see how long you can play before dying – every death is a forfeit donation to your page, and a change of player. You could ramp up the competition further by doing a scoreboard of who lasts the longest, who has the most wins, or who was the hardest to scare when the monsters ran on screen.

Whatever you do this Halloween, see if you can be good for your charity, even if it means something slightly bad for you!

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