**Here is my A-Z guide of socially conscious businesses and grass roots UK charities. Hopefully it’ll come in handy for you at some point – click on the bolded text for more details. This is not a sponsored post.
A is for Action on Addiction. This national charity offers high quality, effective residential rehab and community based addiction treatment. Action on Addiction have been providing life-saving treatment for sufferers of addiction for 35 years. They have residential and day treatment programmes for addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling and other behaviours. Action on Addiction brings help, hope and freedom to addiction sufferers, and their families.
B is for Best Beginnings. Founded in 2006, Best Beginnings wasted no time in establishing themselves. Within four weeks, they formed and led a coalition to lobby for the implementation of the Breastfeeding Manifesto. Since then, Best Beginnings have worked tirelessly to reduce inequalities in child health to give every child in the UK the best start. Working closely with parents, leading healthcare professionals and other charities, they have created innovative evidence-based resources which are changing lives every day.
C is for Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Did you know that suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45? CALM uses young men’s peers, voices and interests to reach them in times of crisis. CALM believe that there is a cultural barrier preventing men from seeking help, and it’s seen as weakness and a loss of masculinity. They believe if men felt able to ask for and find help when they need it, hundreds of male suicides could be prevented.
D is for The Dock Cafe, Belfast. Run by teams of volunteers, The Dock Cafe serves award-winning locally sourced Sukí teas, freshly ground Dock blend and guest coffees, tasty soups, scones and bakes. They have plenty of space to relax, comfy sofas and free wi-fi. The Dock Cafe is unique, because there is no price list. Instead, they have an honesty box and allow their customers to pay what they choose.
E is for Ethical Superstore. By striving to protect our planet, Ethical Superstore find eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items – including food, cosmetics and cleaners – which do as little harm to the environment as possible. They are helping farmers and small businesses by guaranteeing fair prices at every stage of the supply chain. No-one gets exploited in the production process, and fair prices help to alleviate poverty. They also provide a platform to UK based brands, which means selling products that have been made right here in Britain, utilising local resources and cutting carbon emissions by not importing.
F is for Figtree Clothing. Ethical fashion and natural non-toxic toiletries do not get better than this! Founded by mum of three Rebecca, through desperately trying to lessen her own environmental impact on the world, she shares her journey to zero waste in real time. In her own words: “I wanted to create a trusted brand that others could buy from guilt free. I do the research so you don’t have to.”
G is for Goodness Gracious Gift. Founder Kat aims to put the good back into goodness. Working with brands that are spiritual, vegan, cruelty-free and ethical, she has sourced perfect products to create her Goodness Gracious Gift Boxes. There is a page on the website for each item to make it easy to read ingredients labels, and be safe in the knowledge that the items haven’t been tested on animals.
H is for The Hygiene Bank. Did you know that long before people turn to food banks, they stop using hygiene products? Think about that for one second. “Clean teeth, hair and body shouldn’t be a privilege. These things impact our self-esteem, our self-confidence and our dignity.” Says Lizzy Hall, founder of The Hygiene Bank. Will you support their #itsinthebag campaign this Christmas?
I is for Inspirational Youth. Their vision is to create a community where young people and adults unlock their infinite potential through self awareness, evolution and empathy. Inspirational Youth’s mission is to empower individuals to make meaningful decisions, which create a safe and respectful environment for maximum growth. Through delivering NEET (not in education, employment or training) prevention programmes in schools, Inspirational Youth have a proven track record. They improve behaviour, attitude to learning, attendance and academic attainment. Their proprietary method uses unique game based scenarios which engage young people. These games raise self-awareness and resilience, and lead to a more successful school environment – for both teachers and students.
J is for (The Real) Junk Food Project. Food waste is a big deal to me. Partly through experiencing poverty as a child, partly through seeing extreme poverty while travelling and living in Asia. With hunger being as real as it is, here in the UK, food wastage is absolutely abhorrent. There is no need for it, especially when it can be so easily avoided. The Real Junk Food Project intercepts food which would have gone to landfill, and redistributes it through a network of Pay As You Feel Sharehouses, cafes and school partnerships.
K is for Keep Britain Tidy and Keep Wales Tidy. In 1954 The National Federation of Women’s Institutes passed a resolution to “Keep Britain Tidy”, and this charity have been working hard to do so ever since. Over 374,000 people took part in The Great British Spring Clean 2018, during 13,500 country wide events. Why not get involved in their current #LitterHeroes campaign?
L is for Little Princess Trust. This hair donation service provides wigs free of charge to children and young adults (up to 24) who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatment and other illnesses. If you have good condition hair, and are willing to chop 17-30cm off, you can donate your ponytail to this wonderful cause. Take a look at this video for more details.
M is for Mind. One in four of us experience mental health problems, yet hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling. Mind believe that no-one should have to face their mental health issues alone. They listen and offer support and advice, to empower those struggling with their mental health. Mind campaign tirelessly to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
N is for The National Autistic Society (NAS). Founded in 1962, The NAS is the UK’s leading charity for autistic people and their families. Their goal is to help transform lives, change attitudes and create a society that works for autistic people. They currently help over 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.
O is for Oasis Wandsworth. Founded in 1989, Wandsworth Oasis provides support to those living with HIV. They also challenge the stigma surrounding the illness. Their nine south London charity shops generate revenue, along with fundraising events. In the last ten years alone they have given over £350,000 in grants, to HIV-related projects.
P is for Prevent Suicide. This Brighton based charity has a simple powerful goal: for no-one to contemplate suicide alone. Working locally and nationally with communities, organisations and individuals, they support people at risk of suicide. Their training and consultancy helps save lives by enabling conversations which make a difference.
Q is for Queen Alexandra Hospital Home for Veterans. (I’ve cheated here, as they recently changed their name to Care for Veterans.) The facility in Worthing, West Sussex was established in 1919, in order to care for soldiers who were returning from World War I with life-changing disabilities. They provide long term nursing care, rehabilitation, respite and end of life care to ex-Service(wo)men from the RAF, Army, Royal Navy and auxiliary services. They accept residents aged 18 and over and have sixty beds. Anyone who has served in HM Forces at any time or in any capacity, and also immediate family members of someone who has served in HM Forces, is eligible for admission. Their multi-disciplinary approach towards care and rehabilitation includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and neuropsychology, as well as social and recreational activities and a chaplaincy service.
R is for Refuge. Since opening the world’s first safe house for women and children escaping domestic violence in 1971, Refuge has led the campaign against domestic violence. They have grown to become the UK’s largest provider of specialist domestic and gender-based violence services. Refuge support over 6,000 women and children on any given day.
S is for St. Raphael’s Hospice. Charity shops dotted around the London boroughs of Sutton and Merton raise vital funds for St. Raphael’s hospices. Although their philosophy and values are based on the Christian ethos of respect for human life, they welcome, respect and support patients and staff of any or no faith. Aiming to meet the needs – physical, emotional, spiritual and social – of patients, as well as their families and friends. Bereavement support is also offered for those who might find it helpful.
T is for Trussell Trust. Did you know that over 14 million people live in poverty here in the UK? Absolutely shocking numbers, ones our government should be truly ashamed of. The Trussell Trust was Founded in 1997 by Carol and Paddy Henderson, based on Carol’s mother Betty Trussell’s legacy. They now support over 420 foodbanks, working out of more than 1,200 foodbank centres. Trussell Trust provide emergency food and support to hundreds of thousands of people in crisis in the UK.
U is for UK Youth. UK Youth are committed to providing access to high quality services in every community. To ensure that young people are empowered to build bright futures, regardless of their background or circumstances.
V is for Vale Wildlife Hospital. With our wildlife facing more problems than ever before, this Gloucestershire based wildlife hospital are determined to treat all casualties. They help animals who have sustained injuries through an endless list of possibilities including road accidents; being attacked by other animals; fence injuries; mower and strimmer incidents; habitat loss and building work.
W is for Warehouse Cafe, Birmingham. This is a vegetarian restaurant with a difference. Completely committed to sustainability Warehouse Cafe recycles everything they use. Their menus are inspired by seasonal British fruit and veg, using local food as much as possible. Including using allotment produce gifted by friends and supporters, providing direct control and transparency over the supply chain. They are often able use ingredients within an hour of them being harvested.
X is for XLP. The eXceL Project has been changing lives since 1996, after a school stabbing in a London playground. Everyone who works at XLP share a common passion: to serve the community by meeting the social, educational and behavioural needs of young people. Which encourages them to make wise lifestyle choices and realise their potential. XLP has grown from working in a single school to operating in over 75 schools and communities across Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Islington, Camden, Hackney and Lambeth.
Y is for Young Minds. The crisis in the UK of children and young people’s mental health is real and urgent. Even for those brave enough to take the vital first step, help is often far too hard for them to find. Young Minds are leading the way for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. Through mental health support, they are fighting for young people to have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.
Z is for Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice. Through their hospices in Coventry, Liverpool and Middlesborough, Zoë’s Place provide palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants. It’s a free service available for children aged from 0-5, who are suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. With compassionate care at the heart of their philosophy, everyone is welcome to access their facilities irrespective of religious beliefs, colour, race, culture or gender.