Alan’s Week of Action Against Adani in Queensland



“I am semi-retired and recently became a grandfather. 10 years ago I became concerned about Climate Change and became involved with taking local action to address it. Initially I was involved reducing my own carbon footprint and others who wanted to do likewise. Four years ago I met a young Climate Warrior who had come from the pacific Islands to protest at Newcastle against our coal exports. She told me how she sat and watched the coal ships sail past and she cried because they were destroying her island home and she could do nothing to stop them.

I realised that Climate Change is not something that will affect us in the future but is affecting real people now.

Since then I have become more involved with taking global action on Climate Change. 12 months ago I became involved in the #StopAdani campaign. This campaign is to stop the Adani coal mine from being developed in central Qld. I see this mine as a pivotal moment in Australia’s fight against Climate Change. If we can stop this mine, it is unlikely that any other coal mine will be opened in Australia. The campaign has been very successful, convincing WestPac not to fund it, convincing CommBank not to fund it, convincing the Qld govt not to accept one billion dollars from the federal government to fund it, convincing China not to fund it, convincing 30 international banks not to fund it and convincing Downer not to help build it.

Block Adani

The only thing left is to get Adani to walk away from the project. They have started preliminary work in Qld on the rail line. Since September there has been an ongoing protest to disrupt this work with over 50 people being arrested. In early December I joined with 45 others to blockade the work site. I, along with 15 others, were arrested and charged with trespass and fined. We were also charged with obstructing police. My Chuffed campaign is to raise money to help pay my fines and the fines of others. I see this campaign as an opportunity for others to show their solidarity with the protesters even if they are unable to go to Qld and participate.

I have always been a law abiding citizen, but I am convinced that we must take a stand against this mine, even if it means breaking the law.

The recent arrival of my first grandchild has encouraged me even more to make sure this mine does not happen.”

Learn more about Alan’s week of action to help the environment on his crowdfunding campaign below:

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Above: Members of our community from the Hummingbird Project. They raised 15,000 to help people in Calais. Click the link to find out more.

The Inception of Saved by Soup: Helping Homeless People with Mental Health

Saved by Soup Image

Saved by Soup Image

“Two years ago, while on a lunch break, I walked past the Whitfield Street soup kitchen in central London. It is next door to my office – we are neighbours. At the time, I wasn’t sure it was a soup kitchen, but I had regularly noticed crowds of people outside  – people whose look and demeanour suggested they were homeless or had fallen on hard times. There I was with my £7 lunch from Pret-A-Mange, in the privileged position of having a good job, and a roof over my head and I was walking past… again.

In that moment I decided to go in and find out what was going on. I met the then manager (Miranda) and in that brief meeting I realised I could help her, and she could help me. She needed volunteers, and I had access to a couple of hundred people who work in the business I help to run (I am the managing director at an international media business. People who work in this environment tend to be from privileged backgrounds). I felt we could do with a sense of perspective: We all moan about our lives, work and pressure , but by comparison to rough sleepers and the long term homeless, what have we got to complain about!?

Fast forward to the present day and everyone at MKTG (my business), and its sister agencies (Posterscope and PSI) are weekly volunteers. We help prepare food, work front of house and raise funds to keep the larder stocked. We have got to know many of the customers, and this has given us a sense of purpose and helped us understand that homelessness is closely linked to mental health issues. Many of the guests at Whitfield St have such issues, which if left untreated, ensures they will remain homeless. Simultaneously, the sufferers we know have become disengaged with their health problems. The reasons for this are complex but include the reduction of funding for mental health outreach in the NHS. Being homeless also reduces the likelihood of being seen by a mental health professional.

After a company brainstorm we had the idea to launch a crowd funding campaign to create London’s first ever mental health drop-in centre inside the soup kitchen. We aim to connect guests back to their mental health issues in a trusted environment, and provide a model for all soup kitchens in London.”

You can have a look at Michael’s campaign to help Homeless people with their mental health, here:

Paper Airplanes: Skype Learning for Syrians

Paper Airplanes Team

Cheryl Hagan Paper Airplanes

“My name is Cheryl and I began tutoring with Paper Airplanes in the Spring of 2016. I had just returned from studying abroad in Istanbul, Turkey where I witnessed firsthand the lack of resources and infrastructure that Syrian refugees face. As a former refugee from Sierra Leone, who immigrated to Boston when I was six years old, I know the struggles of trying to learn English, which was my third language. I actually remember not speaking at all in first grade and remembering that struggle made me want to help a fellow refugee through their language journey.

Paper airplanes strives to unlock opportunities with live online language and skills instruction for conflict-affected teens and adults in the Middle East. We are a start-up nonprofit using technology to provide free, virtual, one-on-one language and skills instruction to people affected by conflict. We provide the tools people need to pursue education, secure employment, and ultimately, rebuild their lives. We teach English, Turkish, computer coding for women, and journalism to youth and adults inside of Syria and displaced across the Middle East and North Africa.

Paper Airplanes is working to address needs for skills acquisition, accessible training, and individualized instruction. We use Skype to match volunteer tutors and trainers with these conflict-affected students in the Middle East. Our programs rely on hundreds of volunteers who provide one-on-one personalized instruction. Learners enrolled in our classes receive individual support as they search for scholarships, apply to universities, write CVs, or enter the job market.

After two years of operating as a program on college campuses, Paper Airplanes grew from just 10 pairs of students and tutors to 325 per semester. We’ve served over 1,200 beneficiaries to date, and our work has been featured nationally and internationally.

We have an incredibly dedicated team of people willing to volunteer their time. We are harnessing the widespread volunteering power and interest from American college students who are passionate about tutoring and doing their part to help mitigate the repercussions of the global refugee crisis.”

Discover more about Cheryl’s journey with Paper Airplanes and their work to refugees, here:

Greyhound Rescue is Moving!

Cruelty Free Festival

Cruelty Free Festival

“I became involved in Greyhound Rescue several years ago after we adopted
our first greyhound, Zac. He changed our lives completely and I knew that I had to help more greyhounds. Now, I volunteer and run the social media and fundraising for Greyhound Rescue, and it gives me new and interesting challenges every day. I really have to take my hat off to the volunteers who do the hard slog at the kennels day in and day out, taking care of the dogs and showing them human kindness, helping to prepare them for their new life as a pet.

Greyhound Rescue has been looking for a new property for a while, as Sydney expands, urban sprawl is taking over. We have the challenge of making sure that we are near enough so that all of our volunteers can continue to come and care for the greys, but also rural enough that we have enough space. We searched for ages to find a new property and we really need to move! The current kennel land has been sold.

Our team of volunteers are absolutely the most incredible bunch of people you’ve ever met. Unending compassion and care for these dogs, some of whom have really been through some tough times. Volunteering at the kennels is hard work and certainly not glamorous, but the reward of seeing these beautiful animals come out of their shell is worth it.

The campaign has really taken off. We’re happy to say that we will be able to make some fabulous upgrades to the facilities so that we
are able to care for these dogs at the highest standard, and hopefully will be able to rescue many more in the future.

It’s not my first time running a campaign on Chuffed, I’ve done a couple of other fundraising projects using this platform, including Pointy Pembleton, a children’s book that I wrote to raise money for Greyhound Rescue. Chuffed is a great platform for social causes, and I look forward to being able to continue to use this tool in our fundraising.”

Learn more about the awesome Greyhound Rescue cause on their latest crowdfunding campaign:


Corazón de los Apus ; a safe place for children.

Children of Corazon de los Apus

Children of Corazon de los Apus

“My wife and I sensed the call to work among street children in Latin America more than 30 years ago. We first traveled to Bolivia early 1990. Bolivia was far a away the poorest country in South America and continues to be poorer than all its neighbors. When we first arrived in Bolivia no one was working with the teenagers that lived full-time on the streets and they were treated as garbage by the authorities, and society in general. There are still very few people who work with these youngsters and we continue to have the only home that is specifically for teenage street girls. Having seen the depth of poverty and the massive need among children that live full-time on and under the streets, we launched Operation Restoration in 1991.

We now reach out to over 500 children on the streets and run a reception home, two restoration homes and two reintegration homes, bringing children from the streets through to university graduation or technical qualifications.

We have had over 200 children come through our homes in the last 10 years and over 25 youngsters finish high school in the last few years. Many of them have gone on to study environmental engineering, auto-mechanics, international relations, industrial engineering, electro-mechanic engineering and more.

Because of the ever increasing numbers of children finishing up on the streets and increasing costs in Bolivia, we’ve run another campaign to try and raise £20,000 to cover all our end of year costs which include high school graduation (for 4 young people December 2017) Christmas and New Year celebrations.

We have an all Bolivian team working with the children and have no UK or USA costs other than costs of transfer of funds to Bolivia.

We hope that our work ensures that all our children have a safe place to go to. “

 To find out more about the children of Corazon del los Apus, visit their campaign page:

Giving Rigby House Children the Freedom to Learn

Sarah, Jamie and Lisa from Rigby House

Sarah, Jamie and Lisa from Rigby House“When my second child was just 6 months old, we discovered that he had been born with a very rare genetic condition causing overgrowth on one side of the body. The rollercoaster of specialist appointments, scans and blood tests that followed caused a lot of anxiety. Luckily, he was already enrolled at The Infants’ Home, where he could receive the best quality of early childhood education and care. He also had access to occupational therapists, speech therapists and an early childhood health nurse, all onsite.

Knowing that he had all of the support he needed while he was in day care was a great weight off my shoulders. When a position became available to work in the fundraising department of The Infants’ Home, I just knew I had to apply. It is highly satisfying to work in a team that raises funds for such a unique and inclusive organisation, knowing that every day you are helping struggling families find a safe place to receive the support that they need to live their best life.

After attending a Chuffed workshop earlier this year, we decided to run a campaign to raise funds to renovate one of the childcare centres at The Infant’s Home, which was built in 1959. This was our first crowdfunding campaign and, thanks to mentoring from Chuffed and a generous donor who is matching funds raised, our first crowdfunding campaign has been a big success- and it’s been fun!

We met our target of $10,000 with 5 days to go, so we decided on a stretch target of $12,500 and look forward to hitting that one as the campaign concludes. We’ll definitely be add crowdfunding to our fundraising toolbox into the future.”

You can read more about the Infant’s Home and their Crowdfunding Campaign, here: