One way to keep hold of that loved-up vibe all-year-round is to do something good - and supporting a charity, going on a march, or raising awareness about a cause close to your heart is a great place to start. In fact, it’s proven doing good can make you feel good, that donating your time or money is a better pick me up than a bout of retail therapy, and that acts of kindness can make you happier.
So here’s a few organisations who attended the Lush Summit 2018 that you might not know about. They’re are all doing good things for animals, people or the environment and have important messages to share. It might be a simple act of donating a couple of pounds, signing a petition, or learning more about an important cause, but you’re sure to feel that little bit cheerier knowing that you’re contributing to making the world a better place.
Joshua Coombes is a hairdresser from Devon. He’s also the founder of #DoSomethingForNothing - a social media movement that, you’ve guessed it, encourages people to do something for nothing.
Joshua started using the hashtag when he began to try and tackle homelessness by giving free haircuts to homeless people after his workday was done. Since then, his aims, perspective, and life has been transformed and he wants everyone to follow suit.
He says: “Since I’ve been doing this, i’m the happiest I’ve ever been. It really is so good for everybody.
“Don’t look at it as volunteering, it is doing something for you. You get paid in a way you can’t see. We have a lot of potential to do good things, and it’s just waiting to be used. It is logical to give yourself and your skills to others in this way, it de-stresses you. And there is even real science behind it, oxytocin and all that stuff. The true asset in life is what you give, not what you take.”
At first, it might not seem like tech and finding solutions to the global refugee crisis go hand in hand, but non-government organisation Techfugees are here to prove otherwise. The group of over 15,000 likeminded techies, designers and entrepreneurs, organise hackathons, conferences and workshops to find ways to support refugees deal with the problems they face everyday.
Past tech solutions have included apps to make healthcare accessible to refugees in Norway; a ‘robot lawyer’ called DoNotPay that gives free legal aid to refugees seeking asylum; and chatterbox - a service that utilises refugees’ language talent by employing them as language mentors.
Alice Piterova from Techfugees says: “A lot of NGOs say that refugees in general are tech illiterate so giving them apps is useless. We don’t think so. In 2016, the service showed 68 percent of migrants had smartphones - it is in our case a game changer. How do we make sure they can use them to help themselves?”
If you’re a techie, or have an idea that you’d like to share, visit the website to volunteer your skills or simply find out more.
HSI- Humane Society International
You might have seen the national coverage of HSI and Lush’s What The Fur Campaign, which highlighted mislabeling of real fur as faux-fur in high street fashion. Since then, the topic has gained traction and media outlets across the world have picked it up. Now there’s even a petition to discuss the issue in UK parliament. Sign it here, or find out more about HSI and the work they do.
The Sophie Hayes Foundation
Slavery might seem an issue of the past, but today there an estimated 45 million slaves in the world, with around 30,000 in Britain alone.
Modern day slavery is the act of recruiting, transporting or harbouring someone for the purpose of exploitation. This can include sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, forced marriage, organ donation, child soldiers, forced begging or forced crime.
The Sophie Hayes Foundation empowers survivors of trafficking to build hope-filled futures. Set up in 2011 by Sophie Hayes, a British girl trafficked to Italy for sexual exploitation, the foundation provides confidence and employability workshops, placements, training and education opportunities to help survivors of trafficking rebuild their lives.
But what can you do about a problem that is global in scale, and so serious in scope? Talking at the Lush Summit, the foundation’s Sakira Intrabal explains: "It can be hard to work out what you can do to help, but there are things in your daily life that can really make a difference. Modern day slavery is everywhere, and it takes each one of us to open our eyes so we see it. Whether that is the nail salon that only takes cash, the cafe worker who doesn't seem to be allowed a day off, or the car washer wearing flipflops and offering a price too good to be true. If you see these signs, phone the Modern Day Slavery helpline - 08000 121 700. Speak to your friends and family about modern day slavery, because so many people don’t know it goes on today"
So what can you do? Find out how to spot signs of modern day slavery, find out more about the Sophie Hayes Foundation, and support the free for good bill, which is fighting for more support for victims of trafficking in the UK.
All Out is a global movement for love and equality that aims to build a world where no person has to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love.
LGBT+ rights differ vastly across the world. While in the UK and much of Europe people are able to love who they please openly and freely, in other countries being LGBT can be a matter of life or death.
All Out run campaigns and raises awareness to improve LGBT+ rights across the globe. Find out more about them and add your name to their latest petitions and activities here.
The great barrier reef is the largest living organism in the world. But in the past 2 years, over 50% of the coral it’s made up of has died as a direct result of climate change. This shocking environmental crisis is a warning from nature that something isn’t right.
But what’s the answer? #StopAdani believe the most effective way of saving the Great Barrier Reef is to put an end to the use of damaging fossil fuels that send co2 into the atmosphere.That’s why they opposed the construction of what would have been the biggest coal mine in the world - by global clongomorate Adani. If it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of thousands of people opposing them, then it’d be being built right now.
Instead, after years of campaigning and lawsuits, plans to build the Adani oil reserve are set to collapse. The #SaveAdani movement serves to show what can be done when a group of people come together and pool their resources. Find out more here.
Sam Regester, Senior Campaigner at GETUP, one of the many groups that make up the #SaveAdani campaign, spoke at the Lush Summit 2018. He said: “We’ve gone from a place where six months ago we thought we were going to lose [the battle to oppose the plant], and now we are so close to locking the biggest coal reserve in the ground where it belongs, and protecting the Great Barrier Reef.”
And Sam’s advice to people who want to make a difference? “Be simple, be clear in what you want, and just be relentless. Don’t let anyone tell you what you are trying to do isn’t possible.”