Second Hand Clothes Only (#FIPI)

A really interesting story about someone who gave up her £100 a month clothes shopping habit and wore only clothes from charity shops, setting herself some rules:

First, I set myself some rules. All the clothes I bought had to be thoughtful purchases (no more impulse buys) and from shops where the proceeds go to charity — vintage, or any other variety of second-hand, did not count. I made an exception for underwear. Weirdly enough, I’m not crazy about wearing  other people’s knickers.

The first challenge of my new shopping life was to find some “new” work clothes. I’m employed in a high-end hotel, so looking professional in the office is a necessity and attending a meeting looking like a rag-bag was not an option.

In a panic I started scouring the charity shops in my local area, Notting Hill. To my surprise I found most were stocked with a vast supply of smart cast-offs from locals a lot more affluent than me. I was quickly knee-deep in an array of great skirts, jackets and dresses — and even managed to acquire  a Gucci blazer for just £21.

Picking up more casual items for the weekend and nights out — including everything from suede and leather skirts to chiffon, floral print tops — was also not a problem. I soon found that other recent high-street styles, including a leather 1920s-style aviator jacket (just £15!), were easily found on the second-hand rails.

Read the full story.

Robin Hood Tax

How it works

The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax on bankers that would raise billions to tackle poverty and climate change, at home and abroad.

By taking an average of 0.05% from speculative banking transactions, hundreds of billions of pounds would be raised every year.

That’s easily enough to stop cuts in crucial public services in the UK, and to help fight global poverty and climate change.

Why now?

Because of the financial crisis, frontline services at home – like the NHS and our schools – are under fire.

At the same time, poor communities and the environment are being hit hard – as aid and green budgets are slashed by rich countries.

So it’s time for the people who caused this mess to pay to clean it up.

Who’s in?

Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel (the German Chancellor) and Nicolas Sarkozy (the French President) have all spoken out in support of a tax on financial transactions.

Plenty of business bigwigs are on-board too. Like Lord Turner (from the Financial Services Authority), George Soros (the philanthropist) and Warren Buffet (US businessman extraordinaire). And then there are the hundreds of economists who have backed the idea, too.

This isn’t some crazy pipedream. It’s a simple and brilliant idea which transcends party politics and which – with your support – can become a reality.”

Sign up on the website, follow on Twitter, join on Facebook and YouTube.

Winchester Churches Nightshelter

wcns

WCNS offers an essential lifeline where basic needs of shelter, food, and hygiene can be met but also offers other vital help in easing loneliness, providing a secure support network to address problems, and a start to being included in society and ‘feeling more human’ again. See ‘The Big Sleep Out

Tear Fund

TearfundTearfund is committed to working in partnership (both short and long-term) with evangelical Christians, enabling them to fulfil their ministry to the poor. Tear Fund focuses upon the following issues, although it remains open to change/reaction to current needs:

  • Development and Capacity Building
  • Public health, including HIV/AIDS
  • Children at Risk
  • Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation

The Royal British Legion

British Legion LogoThe Royal British Legion provides financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces, and their dependants. Currently, nearly 10.5 million people are eligible for their support and they receive thousands of calls for help every year.

Medair

MedairMedair is a non-governmental organisation independent of any political, economic, social or religious authority. Its mission is exclusively humanitarian and it accomplishes its work in a spirit of dedication and solidarity, inspired by its Christian values. It does not proselytise.

Medair’s objectives are to respond to suffering victims in war and disaster situations (especially those which have been forgotten or neglected) through various kinds of emergency and rehabilitative projects.

Damaris Culturewatch

CulturewatchCulturewatch helps you explore the message behind the media. We have hundreds of articles, study guides and video podcasts reflecting on films, books, music, television and more. CultureWatch contributors are all Christians, but it’s for everyone who wants to explore the message behind the media.

I have written a number of articles for Culturewatch:

And I’d love to write more if I can find the time!

CPAS

cpasThe Church Pastoral Aid Society trains leaders to be more effective and relevant in the modern world, therefore reaching more with the gospel of Christ, through means of Church patronage, training courses and youth camps.

Really pleased to see a new website up November 2009, as I was interviewed for a post which would have had me responsible for that (alongside lots of print media, which was where I had little experience).

Church Army

Church Army LogoChurch Army has over 300 Evangelists Transforming Lives by sharing the gospel in a variety of situations right across the UK and Ireland.

I was interviewed for a post as their Comms Officer (Web & Events), which was a great opportunity to learn about the organisation, and I have since seen people at Churches Media Council and Greenbelt events!

Winchester Cathedral: My Second Home?

Been spending a lot of time at Winchester Cathedral at the moment… on Friday night, I was there for “The Big Sleep Out” (which I’d probably rename the Big Rough Out as it didn’t involve a whole lot of sleep! The photo above is of me looking like the Michelin woman, Charly strapped into her sleeping bag, and Amanda well prepared with plastic sheeting!

The event was officially running on a wet weather plan inside the Cathedral, rather than the Cathedral grounds, and plenty of people took advantage of this, finding the warmest spots, inflating airbeds and campbeds… how many homeless have you seen with those… good old concrete is what we were looking for! I know several who stayed outside ALL night, but although we started outside, it started to rain around 2.30am, so we bolted for the Cathedral… which was very cold, and the floor was very hard (and quite damp still)… but this is similar to what someone who is homeless for real would do, they would find a carpark or some such to camp out in.
Sponsor: Still time on: http://www.justgiving.com/drbexl and a HUGE thanks to all those who have already sponsored me!
Twitter Feed for the Event: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23bigsleepout

The Big Sleep Out: Winchester

Winchester: 15th May 2009

Do you feel inspired to sponsor these people who are CHOOSING to spend a night out in the cold, in the aid of those who feel they have no choice?

I’M NOT ASKING FOR BIG AMOUNTS, BUT IN TUNE WITH THE IDEA THAT SMALL CHANGES ADD UP TO BIG CHANGE(S), AM LOOKING FOR 50 PEOPLE TO SPONSOR ME WITH £2.00 EACH… of course you can pledge more if you wish… I’m just looking to get lots of people involved/raise awareness, etc.! If you’d prefer to give me the money offline, that’s fine too…

Companions: Amanda Henocq Charly Norton, been chatting to Martin Tod on Twitter about it, and also from the University The Sleepy Heads!

About the charity : Winchester Churches NightshelterWinchester Churches Nightshelter
Big Sleep Out: a fundraising event in Winchester Cathedral Close, in aid of Winchester Churches Nightshelter and Trinity Winchester. Both charities are extremely stretched by high demand and need your help; so do their guests, those sleeping rough and the hidden homeless. Please support us.

Winchester Churches Night Shelter offers an essential lifeline to the homeless, providing high quality food and shelter and a secure support network offered to address problems and re-develop life skills. We are the only direct access accommodation for the homeless in Hampshire, and a vital first port-of-call for our guests. Our team of professional support workers and staff is focused on helping guests move into sustainable, long-term accommodation and escape the homelessness cycle for good. Further details: www.wcns.org.uk

Trinity Winchester is a day time drop-in centre that provides services for those experiencing the effects of homelessness, vulnerable housing, problems with substance misuse, mental health issues, poverty, unemployment and social isolation. Further details: www.trinitywinchester.org.uk
Charity Registration No 1080443

[Addition on the day: Please help get my sponsorship up to £100! It’s raining, and we either sleep outside, or we sleep in the Cathedral – which will be FREEZING (a hard stone floor)… Every penny counts]