Our COO Laura is running the London Landmarks half marathon at the end of March to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Laura sadly lost her dear friend Ella at the end of 2019 after a fight against Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and will be running and fundraising in her memory. Ella was part of the production team behind our first events in the early days of Silicon Milkroundabout. You would find her at attendee check-in with a huge infectious smile at all times. Join us in supporting Laura and remembering Ella by donating to her page here.
The race has now been postponed due to coronavirus. Laura still plans to get out there and run the 13.1 miles locally on the day where possible.
Choose Love, the world's first store where you can buy real gifts for refugees, contains practical items like tents, nappies and sleeping bags. But instead of taking them home, each purchase buys a similar item for someone who truly needs it.
At both #SMRapril19 and #SMRnov19 we were joined by our friends from Imad's Syrian Kitchen. They serve up what's been (correctly) called the best falafel in London & for each order at the event, £1 is donated to Choose Love.
At #SMRnov19 the Choose Love cafe showcased a series of prints featuring a series of adaptations of the charity's iconic logo designed by different artists. The prints were kindly lent to us for display at the event by Print Club London and are still available to purchase via their website, with 100% of the proceeds going to help refugees.
A Space Between is a non-profit organisation with the core belief that art-making in its simplest, most accessible form is a powerful connector and a vehicle to better health and wellbeing.
They offer weekly open-access art tables and deliver bespoke colouring-in material into the community. While their main charitable arm is based in hospitals, the project was scaled to reach out to local centres, public areas and workplaces with the unifying ethos that ultimately we all need the creative respite.
Key to the project are collaborations they build with creatives from all walks of life (exhibiting artists, art students, midwives, illustrators, bands, fashion designers, children & more) to contribute to a growing collection of colouring-in sketches.
These sketches are delivered through hospital, community settings and workplaces. They provide a safe, recognisable entry point into the flow of therapeutic art and prove a huge help in facilitating the process of creative release.
The Sleep Pod Co-Founders, Ian, Justin and Pete met while they were volunteering in refugee camps in Europe in 2016. Through these shared experiences they were driven into action and designed the Sleep Pod to help prevent unnecessary deaths on our streets. 1 Sleep Pod costs £25 to make and can help keep somewhere warm and dry.
"Sleep Pods can never make sleeping outside safe, however our hope is that they can offer some meaningful protection from the elements to help rough sleepers through the night. As an organisation we look forward to the day that Sleep Pods are not required. Until then we aim to keep providing them to those most in need of our help.
We believe Sleep Pod is one way everybody can make a contribution and know that it will make a difference. We are a small team of friends who are heavily dependent on the support of our volunteers to help fundraise and build new Sleep Pods at volunteer workshops."
Bagboard reward their users for carrying around their eco-friendly smart bags, printed with ad campaigns from planet-friendly brands. Thanks to their partnership with the Plastic Bank, using one of their bags also offsets your plastic footprint, as a portion of the revenue produced from the adverts on the bags goes straight to helping keep our oceans clean.
At #SMRnov19 Bagboard helped provide us with an environmentally-friendly alternative to the cotton tote bags we handed out at previous events.
We're hugely passionate about learning and developing ways to make the running of our events as sustainable as possible. We posted a piece on our blog on the journey we took between #SMRapril19 and #SMRnov19, and what we learnt in that time while trying to decrease the environmental impact of the event – check that out here. We're currently working on making an even bigger impact at future events.