Article: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

Article: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

July 13th, 2017: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) sent 19 of their boats to take part in the rescue operation in Dunkirk in 1940, saving over 1,000 British soldiers from the beaches of North France.

But RNLI continues to save lives today. It is indeed a charity dedicated to save lives from the sea and to educate about water safety. From their website: “We are the RNLI: the charity that saves lives at sea. Every day of every year, people of all backgrounds get into danger in the water. It’s a problem that we’re here to tackle.”

RNLI was founded in 1824 following the appeal to the British Nation by Sir William Hillary to create a service dedicated to saving lives from the sea. RNLI activity is almost entirely supported by donations, it exists as a separate entity from the Coastguard, and is independent from the Government. All RNLI operations are carried out by volunteers.

(photo credit to RNLI)

Since its inception in 1824, RNLI has saved over 140,000 lives! It was estimated for example that 442 lives were saved and 9,763 people were rescued from the sea in 2015 alone. Currently, RNLI operations are carried out by a fleet composed of 350 vessels that cover over 19,000 miles of coastline in the UK and Ireland. There are also 100 vessels available to replace the ones being used due to regular or emergency maintenance. The vessels at RNLI are of two types: all-weather lifeboats and inshore lifeboats. The types of vessels present at the different stations along the coastline depend on the geography of the location and the needs. All-weather lifeboats are capable of high speed and work well in open ocean waters; inshore lifeboats are designed to navigate shallower waters closer to the coast and are even capable of entering caves.

Due to the hash conditions at sea, all the volunteers that take part in the RNLI rescue operations have to pass strict medical tests and receive top of the line training that prepares them to face even the most dangerous situations.

(photo credit to RNLI)

In addition to saving lives, RNLI is committed to educate about water safety and has educational programs especially geared towards children. According to their website 593,000 children received life-saving information about how to stay safe in the water in 2015 alone. Water safety education is also taught via their archive and library, collections, exhibitions and museums.

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(photo credit to RNLI)

Finally, SNLI is committed to stay on the cutting edge of water rescue by developing new technologies and ways to save lives, which they do by closely collaborating with academia and the private sector.

images-1To learn more how you can help RNLI, visit their website and especially their donation page.

Last year for Harry Styles’ birthday (February 23rd), One Direction fans set up a JustGiving donation page to benefit RNLI, which raised $11,400. Another group of fans set up a fundraiser to repair Skylark IX, one of the lifeboats that participated in the rescue operations in Dunkirk in 1940.

 

 

 

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Flashback: Liam Payne attends Queen’s 2017 Young Leaders Reception

Flashback: Liam Payne attends the Queen’s 2017 Young Leaders Reception

June 29, 2017: Liam Payne was an invited guest to attend the Queen’s Young Leaders of 2017 reception held at the Buckingham Palace in London this past week.image Liam was greeted by Queen Elizabeth II and her grandson, Prince Harry, after the Young Leaders Award ceremony, in which inspirational young people from the Commonwealth are celebrated.

Liam has met the Queen on several occasions, (with his bandmates of One Direction) in years past. Liam’s invitation to help celebrate the achievements of young leaders is not surprising, as Liam himself has had several occasions in which he has been celebrated as a young leader. Liam was awarded with the Sons&Daughters Award in 2013 by his own community of Wolverhampton and has been a recipient of several more through the years, as a member of One Direction. (More about Liam’s award from our article here).

Other celebrities attending the Queen’s Young Leaders ceremony and reception with Liam as special guests included Olympian Sir Mo Farah, Paralympic athlete Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, and YouTuber Caspar Lee. Distinguished and honored guests at the event also included the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew the Duke of York and former Prime Minister, Sir John Major.

imageLiam spoke with British media covering the event: “It was an honour to be invited. Obviously the Queen’s Young Leaders – there are some inspirational young people in there doing some great things. Not only do we get to meet the Queen and say hi, these people have done some of the best things in their communities at such a young age, you know setting an example. It’s great.”

At the ceremony Prince Harry, who is now 32, jokingly admitted in his speech to the 60 winners, all aged 18-29, that he no longer falls in the category of “young”. On a more serious note, he went on to address the importance of recognizing the contributions being made each year by young individuals from all corners of the world, who are taking on the role as leaders. The award winners representing 2017 are all note-worthy contributors towards positive change in a range of issues which face the citizens of the world today.

These issues include everything from preserving the environment through organic farming or bringing cancer awareness for women of Botswana, to addressing cyberbullying and bullying in schools and improving social-economic opportunities for youth with training and education. Pictured below with Queen Elizabeth II are Prince Harry and Prince Andrew and the recipients of the Queen’s Leaders 2017.

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Prince Harry said, “These young people are already tackling many of today’s most pressing issues and will be the creative minds to take on the biggest challenges we will face in the future. It’s our job – those of us who can no longer hand-on-heart call ourselves “young” – to create a platform where we can listen to the next generation and empower them to act.”

He continued, “The Queen’s Young Leaders award recognises what these incredible young people have achieved – not for themselves, but for others – for their peers, for their communities, for their environment, and for those less fortunate.” (Pictures credited to Getty/photos and quotes obtained through PA, video shared from YouTube and credited to owner).

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Flashback: Niall donates guitar from OTRA Tour for Trekstock’s Christmas fundraiser

Flashback: Niall donates guitar from OTRA Tour for Trekstock’s Christmas fundraiser

In December of last year, Niall donated one of the Gibson guitars he played while on the One Direction OTRA Tour, to benefit youth cancer charity, Trekstock , which gives support to young adults living with and affected by cancer. Sharing from their website, Trekstock describes their mission: 

 “Trekstock is a UK youth cancer charity that exists to provide support to over 100,000 young adults in their 20’s and 30’s living with or the affects of cancer. We work closely with the young adults we support to ensure that regardless of where you are in your own cancer journey, Trekstock can offer relevant physical, emotional and practical support.”

“At Trekstock, we work tirelessly to ensure that no young adult has to face cancer alone.”

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Trekstock initiated their December fundraiser “TrekStocking” through  Givergy Fundraising Auctions , an online fundraising auction. Generally, an auction conducted for items worth thousands of pounds would be out of reach in cost for most individuals, but Givergy offers the opportunity for anyone to have a chance to win an opportunity to enjoy the company of some of the world’s most acclaimed celebrities and prized rare items by auctioning with a small fee entry donation towards the prize of their choice. The more entries a donor makes, the better the chance of winning the item. In the past year alone, Givergy has helped raise over £25 million for incredible causes and charities in this innovative way.

This year’s TrekStocking fundraiser has many celebrity-donated items going up for raffle/auction and Niall’s guitar that he played while touring with One Direction for their OTRA Tour in 2015 has been successful in getting many bid donations.

Both Liam Payne and Harry Styles have been ambassadors to Trekstock over the years raising thousands of pounds to support young adults facing a battle with cancer.

Below is a video with Trekstock where Liam is serving in an ambassador role in a strategic meeting with other team leaders and patrons.

You can find more information about the charitable work Liam and Harry have been involved with helping Trekstock charity in our articles here and here

 

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Article: Action Against Cancer

Article : Action Against Cancer

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Action Against Cancer (AAC) is a charity focused on supporting critical research dedicated to understanding cancers origin and developing cures to eliminate them. Founder and Chairwoman, Hilary Craft, (having battled three different cancers of her own within the past 15 years), was motivated to create this charity with the desire to help as many people as possible who, like her, were facing a battle to beat aggressive cancer. image ( *Ms. Craft would later be awarded the British Empire Medal in 2013 for the founding of Action Against Cancer and it’s contributions in research).

Action Against Cancer began after Ms. Craft had several conversations with world-renowned oncologist, Professor Justin Stebbing involving the funding for cancer research which utilizes a more “cutting-edge” bold approach in understanding the origins of cancers in order to develop a cure. According to Dr. Stebbing (here), some of the larger cancer charities will fund only ‘safe’ research or sometimes research that takes no risk. Dr. Stebbing states that finding a cure is certainly not easy; that we don’t know why some cancers are curable and some are not, but that we need a system of research that can change and adapt quickly as more is learned.

Professor Stebbing is in charge of leading the research for the organization with Imperial College at Hammersmith Hospital, and describes the origin of Action Against Cancer in this way:

“One conversation led to another and then actions – lots of actions – thus the name Action Against Cancer – when words stop and the hard work begins. It’s 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration in the laboratory. Patients need better solutions, fast. That’s what we’re here for.”

The research team at Action Against Cancer is willing to take some calculated risks in pushing the envelope with the newest information on genetics and stem cell research available, so that a cure can one day be found.

The AAC research team have already had a major break-through (in late 2016) in solving the structure of a cancer-causing gene (LMTK3). This break-through enables the team in developing a new drug/therapy to defeat cancer. More can be found about the progress of their cutting edge research and the cancer drug development from their website section here: Updates from the Lab. 

All of ACC’s major research projects could not take place if it were not for the Action Against Cancer patrons as well as the individual fundraisers and supporters; for example, the fundraising efforts of Anne and Robin Twist, (mum and stepfather of Harry Styles). imageAnne and Robin, pictured to the left, organized a group to participate in a 5k walk Through Knowsley Safari Park raising nearly 6x the amount set for their goal. (More about it here in our May 2016 article). As the mum of Harry Styles, Anne Twist has a social media reach in the millions and she has used her massive platform to spread the word in support of @ActionAgainstCancer or aacancer.org to all her followers. She posted a tweet and set up a donation page about the fundraiser that she and Robin would be participating in for ACC, which raised over £6,000!

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The charity thrives upon the donations and support from their volunteers and fundraisers and just like Anne and Robin Twist, anyone who wishes to help Action Against Cancer research is welcome to be involved. (From their donation webpage):

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(all credit for photos and quotes given to aacancer.org) Charley Cranmer posts his info on their fundraiser webpage to help anyone lining up a fundraiser event:

“Please get in touch with me if you have any questions or would like to discuss your fundraising ideas. I will be delighted to help in any way I can. You can call me, Charley Cranmer on 07535 806067 or send me an email to charley@aacancer.org.”

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Article: MacMillan Cancer Support

imageArticle: @MacMillan Cancer Support 

June 21, 2017: The MacMillan Cancer Support is one of Britain’s oldest and largest charities offering support to anyone affected by cancer. Founded in 1911 by a young man named Daniel MacMillan after the loss of his father to the disease, MacMillan experienced how vital it was to have access to information involving treatments and their side effects, what financial help is available, and where to find immediate help in getting these resources.

Below is a video (shared from the website ) of their historic timeline from the beginning of MacMillan Cancer Support to present day, depicting how the charity has grown through the years:

MacMillan Cancer Support has been able to provide many people with the help that young MacMillan wanted for his father and the motivation for creating this kind of charity. Through the years, the charity has been able to grow and change as needed with more that is learned about the disease. According to the MacMillan Research Statistic Factsheet there are 2.5 million people in the UK alone living with cancer and a predicted estimate of 4 million by 2030.

Therefore, the continued support for information and research funded from volunteer help has never been more vital. Operating primarily by donations through very organized fundraising; (see our earlier articles about the generous volunteer work that Harry Styles’s mum, Anne Twist, has been doing for MCS), the MacMillan Cancer Support has been able to help more than 5.8 million lives dealing with cancer!

The charity helps those living with cancer by operating like a powerhouse source of the latest, most reliable and well-researched information involving cancer that’s available. Whether a person has just discovered the cancer or they are well into the progression of treatments, the charity joins the individual right where they are and continues with them on their journey.

It provides help in medical needs with nearly 4,000 specialized nurses experienced in the care of patients receiving cancer treatments and in palliative services. MacMillan also provides a Help Line by phone or website to answer any questions and offer a place to chat with others who are experiencing similar needs. imageMacMillan Cancer Support is able to support grants for medical research involving the latest development of treatments towards a cure for those who seek education coursework in that field.

MacMillan makes this statement about their belief on its website:

“Life with cancer is still life and we’ll help you live it. Right from the moment you’re diagnosed, through your treatment and beyond, we’re a constant source of support, giving you the energy and inspiration to help you take back control of your life, and feel more like yourself again.”

Here are just a few stories of the many ways MacMillan Cancer Support has touched lives: (shared from their site):

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You can become involved with MacMillan in several ways; by becoming a volunteer to help at one of their centers, be part of an organizing event like Coffee Mornings and marathons, or through your own individual fundraising donations.

Ways to get involved start here

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Article: Liam Payne gives first performance of “Strip That Down”

Article: Liam Payne gives first performance of “Strip That Down”

June 10, 2017: Liam Payne gave his first live performance of “Strip That Down” for Capital’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium.  Packed with over 80,000 music fans and a line up of some of Britain’s most popular artists, the event was sold out in record time of just 90 minutes.

Co-written with Ed Sheeran ‘Strip That Down’ has already had an impressive start on chart activity around the world. The solo single hit is #1 on the Billboard and Twitter Trending 140 Chart and #1 in US iTunes chart upon its release. This week ‘Strip That Down’ hit Gold 📀 in Australia selling 35,000+ the first weeks out, and now nearly 20 million views on Vevo YouTube, here is Liam’s live performance of his new solo single at the CapitalFM Summertime Ball:

A release date and title for his upcoming solo album has yet to be announced, but Liam has kept his fans informed about his work this year in the studio on his social media accounts, with a few hints of collaborating with Conor Maynard, Charlie Puth, and possibly Juicy J to name a few.

In a recent interview with CapitalFM Liam stated this: “I’ve come a long way since our One Direction debut, and I hope everyone likes my new sound as much as I do. 2017 has been a big year for me already, and I’m looking forward to what the rest of it will bring.”

After his performance, Liam posted a thank you to his fans on his Twitter for their continued support and gave them a video glimpse of the moments right before he rose up to the stage, successfully launching his very first solo music for the festival.

Yesterday, Liam posted an acoustic version of ‘Strip That Down’ , now available on his Spotify

Liam’s music can be found through his website

 

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Article: The Little Princess Trust

Article: The Little Princess Trust

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June 9, 2017: The Little Princess Trust is a registered charity established in 2005 in the UK, honoring a child named Hannah Tarplee after she lost her battle with cancer at the age of five. imageHer parents, Simon and Wendy, along with the help of Tim Lowe, Hannah’s headmaster and hairdressers Peter and Tracey Prosser worked together to create a charity that provides wigs made for children experiencing loss of hair as a result of harsh cancer treatments.

When battling cancer with rounds of radiation and chemotherapy a side effect can be to experience a complete loss of hair. This result can be difficult for anyone, but especially traumatic for teens and for children of school age. Some teens have even considered discontinuing their treatments due to this. (See video about this below).

The Little Princess Trust made a commitment to alleviate this stress by providing wigs made of human hair which closely matches the recipient’s own style and color. The wigs are made using a thin base that fits closely to the head creating a very natural look. Due the care in this design, however, wigs need replacing every few months which the charity continues to provide; again, free of charge. This mission can only be accomplished by continual donations of lengths of hair and generous monetary support.

(Pictured below are children donating their hair for littleprincesses.org.uk)

 

Our article in May of 2016, mentioned Harry Styles donating his hair to the charity when he was preparing for an upcoming movie role. Harry’s support went beyond the donation of his long hair by exposing more than 30 million followers on his social media to the charity. Harry’s Instagram post for #littleprincesstrust was liked by more than 100,000 people within 5 hours of being posted; to date it has climbed to more than two million and created a worldwide global trend.image Harry continues to support Little Princess Trust; in May 2017, he donated all proceeds from his one-night performance at the Garage to the charity. (See our article ).

The generous donations through the years have now allowed Little Princess Trust the opportunity to also provide support for the development of less toxic and harsh forms of cancer treatments when they are given to children.

 

The charity website has a message from co-founder and chairman of the Trust, Wendy Tarplee, expressing gratitude at what the charity has been able to accomplish in pediatric cancer research so far:

“I am incredibly proud of what has been achieved since the charity was launched. We have given away 5,000 real hair wigs to sick children which is astonishing! When we initially started the charity we spoke of how wonderful it would be if one day there wouldn’t be a need for an organisation of this kind. I could never have imagined that 10 years later we would be able to fund research which might one day help to achieve just that.”

By partnering with the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group UK or CCLG, Little Princess Trust has funded a grant of £500,000 towards research into pediatric cancer. By working together in funding this research they are helping to potentially eliminate the need for wigs altogether.

More information about their specific research projects chosen for support can be found here

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