Tag Archives: charity

Why are there giant snails around Brighton? #bemoresnail

Members hurrying from conference chamber to fringe meeting hall in Brighton have asked the question:

Why are there giant colourful snail sculptures dotted around Brighton?

Posted in Conference | 3 Comments

Willie Rennie to run almost 5 marathons in 4 days to raise funds for mental health charity

As far as we know, Scotland doesn’t have any elections this May.

Willie Rennie isn’t going to be slacking though.

Over the Easter weekend, he’ll be running the 117 miles of the Fife Coastal Path which runs from the Firth of Forth to the Forth of Tay. He hopes to raise £1000 at least for the Scottish Association for Mental Health a Scottish mental health charity. This reflects his personal and political priorities of securing better mental health care.

That 117 miles is not far off being 5 marathons so …

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Farron to run charity half marathon on Saturday

Tim Farron has never been known for being able to sit still for more than 30 seconds. The word “irrepressible” was probably invented for him. Even so, running a half marathon up a whole load of hills is a tall order, even for him.

But that’s what he’s doing on Saturday to raise money for  local hospice care.

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What I learned when I cycled through Palestine

Rosina Credit Rugfoot PhotographyJust as tensions began to rise in Israel and the West Bank, I undertook a cycle and study tour of Palestine organised by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). We covered around 200km in five days in 40oC heat – at the time if it felt like the cycling version of the Sahara’s ‘marathon des sables’. I’ve read a lot about the situation in Palestine over the years but nothing could really prepare me for what I saw and experienced in that single week.

Over five days, the sponsored ride took us from Nablus in the North to the enclave town of Qalquilya then on to Ramallah. We then swept down into the Jordan Valley to Jericho and the Dead Sea, 300m below sea level to then climb the next day up to Hebron and back on the final day through Bethlehem to Jerusalem. We were never far from the tensions with Ramallah city going into ‘lock down’ with roads closed not long after we left and one of our group getting trapped in the Al-Aqsa mosque as violence grew in Jerusalem.

What we saw was the suffocating pressure faced by Palestinians in every part of their existence and the resolve needed just to do the day-to-day things we take for granted. The general sense of unease was apparent walking around Jerusalem where there was a heavy military presence and the Jewish civilian settlers were openly carrying hand guns in the street.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Sniggered at Stephen Tall’s naked run? You need to donate. Them’s the rules

You do wonder what was in Stephen Tall’s mind. He could so easily have said: If the Lib Dems only get 24 seats, I’ll bake everyone lemon drizzle cake. But, no, he said he’d run naked down Whitehall. It’s one thing to do it in the pub with a few mates, but he did it on live tv.

Yesterday, Stephen’s run hit the Sun. Not the yellow thing in the Sky, the Murdoch raggy thing in the newsagent.

A prominent Lib Dem will run half a mile down Whitehall semi-naked after losing a bet.

Before the general election Stephen Tall, the former deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford, bet the Daily Politics that if the Lib Dems were reduced to 24MPs or fewer he would do a naked dash.

The party was all but obliterated at the polls in May with just eight MPs returning to the Commons.

And now Mr Tall, a Lib Dem blogger, has pledged to jog naked from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square – for the viewing pleasure of office workers from a string of government departments.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Stephen Tall really is running naked down Whitehall – how you can help him raise money for charity

Stephen Tall is making good on what turned out to be an ill-advised pledge in 2013 that he would run naked down Whitehall if the Liberal Democrats got 24 seats in this year’s General Election. He has decided that others should benefit from his immodesty and is raising money for Medecins Sans Frontieres. The charity will already be benefiting from £5000 promised by Kelvin Mackenzie, the former editor of the Sun, on live television last week. Stephen has set up a JustGiving page to augment that sum.

You can find out more about the amazing work that MSF does here on its website. I was particularly moved by this post where former MSF emergency co-ordinator wrote about the people she met while working on MSF’s search and rescue vessel. Here she tells the story of 17 year old Sako:

He had been in Libya for five years, and he had seen it fall into lawless anarchy and violence. His uncle who brought him there, died. His best friend died last year after a child soldier, about the same age as him, hit him in the head with a steel bar. He didn’t die immediately; it took a long time before he gave up. There are no hospitals.

“Child soldier my age.” Suddenly it struck me how young he looked. “17,” he said with a big smile. My mind spun again. So he was 11 when he arrived in Libya? He is still a minor, even though he has seen and survived more than any man I know has in a lifetime.

I explained how in Europe you are still a child until you are 18 and that if he wanted I will make sure he gets off together with all the other minors we had on board.

He nodded. Looked down. Suddenly he looked like a child after all.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

A close shave. Can you help?

A good friend who was coming to Lib Dem conference was going to shave all of my hair off, for Cancer Research, at the Glee Club on the last night of conference. This has all been agreed with the Hotel and the Glee Club thanks to the efforts of Gareth Epps and the conference office.

However, my hairdresser cannot make it. So, if you know any hairdressers with a pair of clippers coming to conference who are able to give me a close shave for a good cause at the Glee Club, please put them in touch.

In the meantime, I still need sponsors, so if you can donate £5 or any amount, please do so here.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 11 Comments

Ros Scott writes… The spirit of philanthropy

Christian Aid Week collector, WaterlooThree hours passed in the House of Lords yesterday without a single party political point made by any of the 21 speakers taking part in the discussion. The occasion for this unusual occurrence was my debate on the contribution made to society by the voluntary and charitable sector, held as one of three Liberal Democrat sponsored debates taking place yesterday.

Charitable giving from the public has held up remarkably well despite the long recession, although we should all be concerned that what my colleague Baroness Claire Tyler …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Greg Mulholland MP writes…We made it! From the summit of Cotopaxi

Greg on CotopaxiThere could hardly be a greater contrast than the one I experienced recently- from the hustle and bustle of the local and European election campaigns to scaling volcanoes in Ecuador to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre.

Our challenge to climb Cotopaxi, a 19,347ft active volcano, was almost derailed due to bad weather and the mountain being closed the days prior to our climb. However, our successful Cotopaxi summit attempt was carried out despite fresh snow and treacherous conditions; I knew this was the only chance to climb

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall names Matthew Parris ‘Liberal of the Week’ for calling for end to private schools’ charitable status

Over at CentreForum’s blog, LibDemVoice Co-Editor Stephen Tall has named columnist Matthew Parris the inaugural winner of the think-tank’s ‘Liberal of the Week’ for ‘his attack on the charitable status of private schools that are bastions of privilege.’ Here’s an excerpt from Stephen’s reasons:

The fact that private schools are directly equated with charities such as Cancer Research UK and Oxfam – and can therefore benefit from rates relief and exemption from tax on investment income – is breathtaking. It means that the low-paid in society – including those earning less than the minimum wage – are helping to subsidise through

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 13 Comments

Aber Uni Lib Dems: Football, Cakes and Glee Club Songbooks

You don’t often see politicians redirecting their gaze at election time. However, the Aberystwyth University Liberal Democrats spent the early days of May raising money and awareness for a disease that is renowned for afflicting young people, many of which are students.

What the AULD had planned was to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC) through cross-party football, selling cakes on an industrial scale and using social media to promote their cause. It’s fair to say, we could not have expected such a successful campaign, let alone such a whirlwind of support from students and University staff.

It all …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Opinion: If rich philanthropists don’t like the idea of a tax exemption limit, they know what they can do

It is as if George Osborne has got a political death wish. First, there was the botched pensioners’ tax announcement. Then, there was the hilarious pasty tax. Now, the charitable donations tax ememption limit idea is attracting great opprobrium.

But hang on a minute.

There is something in that tax exemption threshold idea.

It is quite wrong that tax exemption is given for donations to “charities” beyond the remit of the Charities Commission. There is rather vague talk of unspecified East European “charities” being used. …

Posted in Op-eds | 18 Comments

Opinion: What do Charity tax and higher rate pension relief have in common?

We have seen much furore over the effects that a restriction on the level of higher rate tax relief for charitable deductions may have on philanthropy. Nine out of ten charities are opposed to such a move and warn that large donations could reduce by as much as 20%. In the Lib Dem 2010 manifesto, we proposed reforming gift aid to operate at a single rate of 23%, giving more money to charity while closing down a loophole for higher rate taxpayers.

The 2010 manifesto also proposed giving tax …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

A question for the Coalition: Would Lib Dems and Tories support the Charity Tax if Labour had proposed it?

One of the aspects of the furore over the Coalition’s Charity Tax that has struck me is that charity is a more divisive issue than I’d realised.

Those of us who work in the charity sector probably take for granted that our organisations provide a public good, that the aggregated generosity of donors and the endeavours of staff make for a better society. That’s probably a majority view among the wider public, but it clearly isn’t a universal attitude.

Look at the reader comments on major news …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 23 Comments

Time for Nick Clegg and the Coalition to see sense and stop the ‘Charity Tax’

This year’s budget was, in general, a good one for Lib Dems. Most notably, the party’s number one priority of taking more low-paid workers out of tax was fast-tracked, while the controversies, and specifically the cut in the 50p top-rate at a time when pensioners’ tax allowances are being frozen, have hit their Tory backers’ support in the polls.

However, there is one lesser noticed and malign Budget change, the ‘Charity Tax’ — a cap on tax relief which threatens to cost the charitable sector hundreds of millions of pounds — which has not attracted mainstream media attention. That needs to change if the Coalition is to be talked down from a policy with Lib Dem fingerprints on it, and which will undermine philanthropic giving at a time when it is needed more than ever during the public funding squeeze.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 11 Comments

Lib Dem Tim Farron leads campaign for charities VAT exemption

Third Sector reports:

A Liberal Democrat MP is campaigning to win exemptions from fuel tax and VAT for mountain and cave rescue teams. Tim Farron, the party’s MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, wants the coalition government to provide rescue teams with a VAT refund each year – a policy that was part of the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

“We’re hopeful,” said a spokesman for Farron. “We’re still awaiting a response from the Treasury, but this is something we can make a strong case for. These are emergency services, and they should be treated differently.”

Andy Simpson, a volunteer with Mountain Rescue, said that

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Daily Mail: it’s a scary place

As a paid up member of the liberal élite that’s ruining our country, I do like to pop over to Daily Mail Island every now and again to see what’s exercising the minds of Britain’s tablerati.

This week had two eye-poppingly awful pieces that I just had to pick up on.

Firstly, Leo McKinstry’s sensitive, and thought provoking piece deftly picking at the complex moral issues surrounding the execution in China of Akmal Shaikh: HEROIN TRAFFICKERS DESERVE TO DIE.

No, wait, sensitive and thought provoking it is not. For a line-by-line demolition of the mountains of crud streaming forth from the piece, …

Posted in Humour and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 10 Comments

Charity at Christmas

Are you supporting a charity this Christmas? If you’d like to promote their work, why not phone our Podcast Hotline on 020 7617 7221 and tell us all about it?

Phoning the Hotline is exactly like leaving a message on an answerphone, except your message will be shared with the Lib Dem Voice readership. So think for a few moments about what you want to say, maybe even jot a few notes down, shut yourself in a quiet room with a phone and give the service a call.

The messages will be posted between Christmas and New Year.

Posted in Podcasts | Also tagged | 2 Comments
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    David, I obviously meant Lib Dem, not Lib Cem! (It’s getting late - so it’s now goodnight from me.)
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