Article: Louis Tomlinson donates $10,000 to Rylee Sanford’s fundraiser

Article: Louis Tomlinson donates $10,000 to Rylee Sanford’s fundraiser

January 15th, 2018: Today MaKayley Sanford from Georgia shared on her twitter account that Louis Tomlinson donated $10,000 to a fundraiser set up by her family on YouCaring. The fundraiser was established to raise funds for MaKayley’s sister Rylee who suffers from cerebral palsy and needs her home adapted to her special needs.

rylee1Rylee, who is 9 years old, was born with a very rare form of brain malformation called bilateral closed-lipped schizencephaly. This brain malformation causes a number of serious symptoms including developmental delays, including delays in learning speech and language skills. It can also cause problems with movement, poor muscle tone, accumulation of fluid in the brain, seizures and also paralysis. On the fundraising page MaKayley explains that Rylee can only say a few words and cannot walk without assistance.

Rylee’s home needs to be adapted to her special needs so that her family can care for her and give her the best life possible for her condition. In particular they are seeking to install a walk-in shower, widen doorways and add a ramp to their porch. They had estimated that $10,000 should cover the cost of these modifications. By donating $10,000 Louis basically will be covering the entire cost of the work needed to adapt the family home to Rylee’s needs. In fact, given that the goal has been now surpassed thanks to Louis’ donation, Rylee’s family can now work towards other goals including stem cell treatments which have shown great results for this type of condition.

Over the years Louis has donated to many causes dear to his heart and has used his visibility to raise awareness for causes ranging from childhood cancer to organizations that help seriously ill children and young adults. Louis has done much of this work with his mom Johannah before her passing in December of 2016. Joannah had indeed said at one point that the publicized charity is only a fraction of the charity that Louis does quietly behind the scenes.

If you want to contribute to Rylee’s fundraiser you can visit her site here.

Pictures are shared from Rylee’s fundraiser page.

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Article: Louis Tomlinson donates holiday gifts to @BluebellWoodCH hospice

Article: Louis Tomlinson donates holiday gifts to @BluebellWoodCH hospice

January 15, 2018: In their January Newsletter, Bluebell Wood shared the news about Louis Tomlinson’s generous gifts to all the children of Bluebell Wood Hospice for the holidays. Louis has been a long time supporter of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice as it offers care and support to children and young adults with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions. With their support, both at the child’s home or at their hospice center, Bluebell Wood Hospice is able to support the whole family as they go through a very difficult time with their seriously ill child. (see our previous article about Bluebell Wood for more about the hospice). image.jpeg

Throughout the year supporters will ask Bluebell Wood what things are needed for the children and their families, especially at the holiday season and one of the ways they are asked to help is through their children’s wish list they post online at Amazonimage.

However, as Emma Doughty, Head of Family Support and Wellbeing Services for Bluebell Wood explained, Louis’ generous gifts made all the difference as he gave everything that was left on the wish list right before the holidays.  She said: “It was a wonderful surprise to get a call from Louis’ team to let us know he wanted to give some gifts to our families at Christmas, but when he then decided to buy everything left on the list we were stunned. This was an amazing and unexpected bonus. He really is a star supporter of Bluebell Wood.

This is not the first time Louis has supported the Sheffield hospice Bluebell Wood. Indeed, he has been a long time supporter by donating, organizing football charity fundraisers, and using his social media platform to raise awareness of the service Bluebell Wood provides the community. It costs about £4 million per year to run Bluebell Wood. About 10% of this comes from government funding and the rest from the profits generated from the 10 shops that BlueBell Wood has and from donations. In this regard Bluebell Wood fortunately can count on the support of its patrons, like Louis, who help bring awareness to the hospice and who organize fundraising events for Bluebell Wood.

(Pictures, quote, and video are shared from and credited to Bluebell Wood website)

If you would like to find out more about Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice or would like to help support, you can find all you need starting here

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Article: Gemma Styles brings to our attention twitter feature for the blind

Article: Gemma Styles brings to our attention twitter feature for the blind

January 7th, 2018: Two days ago Gemma Styles, sister of Harry Styles, commented on a tweet from visually impaired Rob Long, that had gone viral, on a Twitter feature that makes it possible for the blind to know what’s in images posted on twitter. Gemma said: “Didn’t know you could do this!”.


In reality this feature has been set in place 2 years ago, but hasn’t been properly publicized. The feature is not enabled automatically, but it can be in 3 simple steps.

1. Open ‘Settings and Privacy’

2. Scroll down to ‘Accessibility’

3. Check the box that says ‘Compose image descriptions’

Once the feature is enabled the user has additional 420 characters available to describe an image before posting the tweet. These 420 characters are on top of the normal number of characters for tweet composition (140 for most users and 280 for a selected number of users). The image “caption” will be visible only to twitter users that employ screen readers or braille displays.

Here is Rob Long explaining how it works in this video posted on twitter:

The more details are added in the caption the better it is as it gives a better description of the image. Adding a caption for each image will definitively add some time to your tweets composition; however, there are two major advantages to this: 1) you will greatly increase your audience as visually impaired individuals will more likely interact with your tweets and follow you and 2) you will be even more inclusive in your social media interactions. Rob Long is asking to spread this information; both Gemma Styles and we agree with Rob that everybody should know about this Twitter feature.

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Article: Louis Tomlinson tweets in support of Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds

Article: Louis Tomlinson tweets in support of Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds

December 20th, 2017: Yesterday Louis Tomlinson tweeted in support of the tv show Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds and RTed the tweet from channel 4 announcing its screening. Channel 4 replied to Louis saying “BIG LOVE”, a quote Louis often uses. This show has aired in two parts, one in August and one this week.

The show, a CPL Productions, was modelled after an American tv show in which a group of elderly was made to spend 6 weeks with a group of children. The idea behind the show was to introduce in the lives of elderly people suffering from loneliness a group of children in the hope to alleviate the sense of loneliness and isolation. The U.K. version of the show has brought together children from Bristol nurseries with elderly people  from the St Monica Trust’s Cote Lane retirement home in Westbury-on-Trym.

The episode that aired this week on channel 4 , which has partnered with Age U.K., was a Christmas special with children designing Christmas cards, singing of Christmas carols by both children and adults, and playing in the snow. Chief executive of St Monica Trust, David Williams said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome CPL and the children back to the Trust to film the Christmas special. The trust has worked in partnership with Age UK on a number of community initiatives in Bristol and we’re excited to be helping them spearhead this national campaign to highlight social isolation among the older population.

Finally three geriatric specialists, Professor Malcolm Johnson, Dr Zoe Wyrki and Dr Melrose Stewart commented on the effect of the interaction with the children on the sense of isolation and lonliness felt by the elderly. It was found that both elderly and children benefited from being together and learned from one another.

The show is still available online on All4 if you want to watch it.

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Article: The Stacey’s Smiles charity

Article: The Stacey’s Smiles charity

December 6th, 2017: The Stacey’s Smiles charity was created by Warren and Samantha Mowle after the passing of their daughter, Stacey on March 6, 2015, who had battled a very aggressive childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.  Neuroblastoma is a very aggressive type of childhood cancer which takes the lives of more than 2000 children worldwide each year. Approximately 8 in a million children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which represents the most frequently diagnosed cancer in babies and the third most common cancer in children under the age of 15. Approximately 15% of the deaths by cancer in children are due to neuroblastoma.

What began as the Stacey Mowle APPEAL, which was primarily organized to help Stacey get the treatments she needed throughout her battle with the disease (especially trial treatments that could only be obtained for her abroad), changed into the Stacey’s Smiles charity after her passing. The Stacey’s Smiles charity helps to give families with very sick children the opportunity to create lasting memories together with their sick child and to bring awareness to neuroblastoma and the need for vital research in treating the disease.

image A special memory, wish or treat can make all the difference in the lives of children who are suffering through the ravages that battling neuroblastoma and other serious illness can do to young lives. Granting wishes which, to a small child, may seem near impossible, indeed has been shown to be helpful psychologically for a child to believe that they can begin to get well. Ultimately, it can be very beneficial to the success of their treatment regime.

Some of the areas of wish granting which Stacey’s Smiles offers is the families is with a special photo session with a photographer for lasting memories. Below are the ones Stacey took with her family (photos shared from Stacey’s Smiles site).

Another wish-granting opportunity offered is meeting a special athlete or celebrity. Before Stacey passed, she had a special wish of her own granted which was to meet One Direction, and especially Louis Tomlinson. She was granted that wish at one of their rehearsals in 2013, (Read about her visit with 1D in our article here.)
Louis Tomlinson became an ambassador of Stacey’s Smiles in April of 2015.

If you would like to volunteer or to donate to help the Stacey’s Smiles charity, you can start here.

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Article: Cancer Research UK

Article: Cancer Research UK

IMG_0609November 27th 2017: Cancer Research UK is a UK based charity dedicated to raise funds to prevent and treat cancer. It is estimated that in the 70s the percentage of cancer patients surviving 10 years after diagnosis was less than 25%; nowadays 50% of cancer patents survive 10 years. Cancer Research UK envision bringing this percentage to 75% in the next 20 years and to especially raise the survival rate for types of cancer that have a particularly poor prognosis, such as pancreatic cancer (1% survival at 10 years) and brain cancer (13%). Among the goals pursued by Cancer Research UK is that of making the UK one of the nations in which survival from all types of cancers is among the highest and in which patients receive the best treatments and care. Shared from the charity website:

“Every year, tens of thousands more people are surviving cancer a decade after diagnosis, showing that we’re gradually reversing the tide on this devastating disease. This is thanks to the work of our scientists and doctors, but none of it would be possible without the generosity of the British public, whose donations we rely on to fund all our research.” (Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive)


Cancer Research UK has put forward an aggressive plan to reach this goal which includes the investment of 50 million pounds per year for the prevention and treatment of cancer. One of the areas in which the charity is putting more emphasis is early diagnosis which is usually associated with better prognosis. Another large portion of the funds raised by Cancer Research UK is invested in scientific research through the support of laboratories across the country that compete for research grants. The specific goal of Cancer Research UK are:

  • To build a better understanding of cancer.
  • To facilitate a major shift in early diagnosis.
  • To tackle cancers with major unmet needs.
  • To accelerate translational research.
  • To develop the cancer research leaders of tomorrow.

To support its goals Cancer Research U.K. relies on donations and fund raising. More specifically, there are several different mechanisms that lead to raising of  funds for this charity. These include individual donations, gifts, official fundraising events, and  individually organized fundraisers. The charity also benefits from volunteer work and campaigning.

IMG_0612One Direction has been involved with Cancer Research U.K. in the past. For example during the the Where We Are tour they partnered with Prizeo to offer fans the once in a lifetime opportunity to win tickets to their last tour date in Miami. Fans were able to enter the draw by donating 5 pounds.  The One Direction fundraiser which was part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign  – a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, raised a total of $346,413. Liam had said at the time: “Stand Up To Cancer is an amazing initiative that we’ve been working with for a little while now. We wanted to offer this amazing trip to Miami as a really special prize that we hope will help raise funds for such important research.”

IMG_0614More recently Niall Horan partnered with golf pro Justin Rose for a golf charity event which benefited Cancer Rerach UK, in particular funds dedicated to childhood and teens cancers. You can read our article on this event here.


If you are interested in supporting work done by Cancer Research UK, you can start by visiting their Support Us page.

Some pictures and images are shared from the Cancer Research UK website. 

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Article: UNICEF UK

 Article: UNICEF UK  

November 21,2017: imageThe UNICEF UK, or the United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF, is a part of the UNICEF which is based around the world and for the past 70 years, has committed to the welfare of children in over 180 countries and territories globally. The Unicef UK is 1 of their 36 worldwide committees with various programs designed to meet the needs of children at home and around the world in these main areas: education, access to life-saving nutrition, clean water, vaccinations, disaster relief, and protection from violence.

According to the 2016 UNICEF Annual Trustee Report for 2016, supporters and fundraisers with UNICEF UK raised a record amount of £102.8 million for UNICEF’s work with children worldwide. One of its largest single sporting event donations was created through the 2016 SoccerAid, with the aid of soccer legends, athletes, and celebrity artists (see our article from May 12, 2016 covering this event, in which Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan participated). Through the SoccerAid event, UNICEF UK received a record amount of more than £5 million pounds! image
This along with other voluntary donations throughout the year allowed funds that provided massive emergency humanitarian aid to children in dire need in over 40 less developed countries.

Specifically, clean water was provided for 4.5 million refugees in Syria, more than 14 million tetanus vaccinations were given to mums and their babies worldwide, and supplies of life-saving food were provided for more than 1 million severely malnourished children in East and South Africa. Still more was provided for the wellbeing of children dislocated from their families as refugees world wide.image

Not only the children of war torn nations and those affected by famine world wide were aided, but many children needing help within the UK. With over 4 million children in the UK living in poverty and with obesity and mental health issues on the rise, there is plenty of work here at home for the UNICEF UK committees.

For example, with just the 2016 funding this year, the Unicef UK was able to help more than 600,000 newborn children of the United Kingdom through their Baby Friendly Initiative which promotes and supports breastfeeding for the nutrition of infants and close parent/infant relationships. (All statistics and photo credit shared through website)image

In addition to supporting the child in their developmental years, UNICEF supported in 2016-2017 more than 1.5 million children while attending a Rights Respecting School.  These schools help children feel safe,  encourage them to build learning relationships with one another, and teach them about their rights and how to protect them, to insure their future as learners in the world as global citizens.

The primary focus of UNICEF UK has always been the advocacy in lasting life-improving change for children. This week UNICEF UK celebrated  #WorldChildrensDay which was created to support and encourage children around the world to use their voice to promote the changes they want to see in the world and to know the right they have to express their voice to promote their well-being. The #WorldChildrensDay was recognized yesterday, November 20th throughout world wide social media supporting children and young adults bringing awareness and taking a stand for children that are less fortunate, especially those suffering the plight of being displaced as refugees around the world. As the bitter cold season of winter approaches, the drive for warm clothing, blanket and heat sources continues for the refugees throughout the month.

(Photo below and in header credited to


The tremendously important work that Unicef UK has been doing and continues to do for those children displaced by war, disease, or famine and to promote their rights in government policies worldwide depends on continued support through steady fundraising. The leaders in the communities, in schools, and in community-sponsored events, and individuals who care to join the UNICEF U.K. team to make a difference can start by visiting the UNICEF site here.

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