Tuesday, 6 December 2011

An opportunity of a lifetime...

The CA Hospitalite organises to take sick and disabled adults to Lourdes each year for a week's holiday. The CA Hospitalite needs many volunteer helpers to come along and look after the guests, and the Living by Giving Trust assisted three helpers to go along in 2011.

Here Robert Bigge talks about his experience and time in Lourdes:

On a sunny Thursday in August 2011 I left London on the first leg of my trip with the Catholic Association to Lourdes as a Helper. We travelled by coach down to Dover where we were booked on a ferry to Calais.
When I boarded the coach it was full of new faces and I a nervous face stared back. Not knowing anybody was a little daunting but its the best way to get to know people on a 20 hour trip to Lourdes. Having to talk to a total stranger, whom by the end of the trip I could call a friend.
After a long journey we reached Lourdes on Friday evening and booked into our hotel rooms. Most of the Party were from my school in Croydon, we all unpacked and were down at dinner eager to develop friendships with both boys and girls we had only just met, some shared stories of Lourdes if they had been before and there was a great sense of excitement amongst the group.
On Saturday I was given my rota of jobs and we got stuck in straight away. I was asked to push Mary around in a wheelchair, our first visit was to hit the souvenir shops, I quickly worked out they were all selling very much the same things but Mary was eager to see if there were any new arrivals or bargains she had missed but I think it was an excuse to bump into people and have a chat. Mary was probably in her 70s she was such a great person to talk and good company she made me feel comfortable even though I had the responsibility of wheeling her around, it was amazing to share the 'torchlight' evening procession with her, she made ME feel welcome and she was not demanding at all.
After three days with Mary we said our goodbyes. I then met John and had the pleasure of him taking me around Lourdes for another couple of days. Well John was hysterical, he was so cheerful and great fun, he cracked jokes all the time and I could see why he had been to Lourdes 28 times – as well as being a holy place to visit its also a place to have fun and make friends and never be lonely. Physically John had many needs and it was a pleasure to be there to support him. I learnt that even though they are old Mary and John had so much to give.
Lunchtimes were spent back at the hotel enjoying the lovely lunch and dinner was there too – we never went hungry!
On my rota I had one evening duty at the Hospital and the rest of the evenings were spent with our group in the local bars where the atmosphere is amazing, lots of chat and impromptu singing, you find that you are all drawn to each other in a common bond.
I also had one duty which involved an early start, 5.30am – but it made the day last longer and meant I could spend more time awake and alive in Lourdes.
I went for myself and I was surprised at what I had achieved an opportunity in my lifetime not to be missed. I really want to go back next year and to get more of the boys from my 6th Form at the John Fisher School to come too – I know they will have a great time on a working holiday.
Robert Bigge

Monday, 14 November 2011

New Trustees Wanted

After a successful first year, the Living by Giving Trust is looking to appoint two
new trustees who will help us develop our projects yet further. We invite applications
from people who are...

  • enthusiastic about the contribution that charities make to society
  • able to demonstrate their commitment to voluntary work
  • supportive of our aims to improve the condition of people’s lives, as described in our Trust Deed and on our website (www.livingbygivingtrust.com)
  • willing to work as part of a team of Trustees, which meets about four times a year, normally in London
  • able to add skills to our Board, such as fundraising, publicity, outreach, administration, etc

To apply please send a letter of introduction by Friday 25 November 2011 to Matt Betts by emailing: contact@livingbygivingtrust.com. For further information, please contact our chairman, Johan Bergström-Allen, by emailing:chair@livingbygivingtrust.com

Successful applicants will be invited to interview in central London on the evening of Friday 2 December 2011.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A Word of Welcome and Thanks

A word of welcome from our chairman...

THANK YOU! I want those to be the first words in our charity’s first newsletter, because without support and interest from people like you, Living By Giving simply would not exist. It is your charity, so again, THANK YOU!

It’s amazing to think that as a Trust we’re only a year old, but already, for a small charity, so much has been achieved. In our first twelve months we’ve enabled a child to spend time at Derian House Children’s Hospice in Lancashire, we’ve sponsored other sick children to go on holiday and supported the families of sick children in hospital. In London we’ve helped out at a soup kitchen and also helped to initiate a fund for those affected by this summer’ s riots. In addition, we helped to fund a student volunteering in a reconciliation project at the Dachau Memorial Site – that’s a diverse set of projects to be involved in!

And that’s how Living By Giving hopes to make a difference. There are many great charities and social projects out there, but rather than compete with them, we hope to build networks between us, and initiate new projects. Our aim is to advance the standard of life for all people in need; the poor, the disabled, the deprived. With such a large remit, we’ve decided to take a particular focus for three-years and our first cycle of projects (2010-13) is associated with young people - “Living By Giving... Young People New Experiences”.

At the grand old age of 32, I’m probably falling out of the bracket of ‘Young People’ myself, but I have to say that the new experience of becoming a Trustee has been wonderfully enriching and great fun. My fellow trustees – Matt Betts, Stephen Daly, Dail Maudsley and Sadie Vile – are all people I met in Lourdes, and our inspiration for setting up the trust was our life-changing experience of volunteering to help the sick and disabled.

So much in our society today encourages people to hold on to what they have got, and to hoard for an uncertain future. The world seems to promote a message of ‘Living By Taking’ – there is an unspoken fear that sharing your time, energy and resources with other people will leave you going without. In fact the opposite is true; our experiences as Trustees have proved that giving time and energy to others actually enriches you. Life is unpredictable, and so the best place to invest your resources is in the here and now, in relationships with other people. Giving really is the best way of living.

We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, and we’re looking to involve as many people as possible. We always need help with fundraising and publicity for events such as our first birthday party, and would appreciate anyone who can volunteer their time. If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can help or would like to get involved right now, please just get in touch with us. And if you have any suggestions for how we can be “Living By Giving...Young People New Experiences”, do let us know.

With sincerest thanks again for your help and support in our first year.

Johan Bergström-Allen, Chairman (2011 - 2012)
  • Read our newsletter here

Monday, 24 October 2011

Thank you

Thank you to all our supporters who came along to our First Birthday Party on Saturday 22 October 2011 and to all those who donated towards our event.

We have many people to thank, but we would like to publicly thank the following people for their help in making the event a success:

Firstly, we would like to thank our fundraising committee, for helping the trustees with organisation and for being heavily involved on the night: Anna Ball, Terri Betts, Jane Cadogan, Pippa Hembry, Andrew Loynd, Patrick Noble and Alex Turvey – thank you all for your incredible efforts.

A big thank you also goes to the following people (in no particular order):

  • Philomena and Mary for preparing all the wonderful food, and to Jane for your invaluable help in the kitchen all night
  • Christophe and Lina for helping behind the bar
  • The Bikini Beach Band
  • Paul and Tony – our brilliant DJ’s
  • Pauline – for cake, sausage rolls, and babysitting
  • John for various logistics and bringing us all the drinks
  • Claudine – for driving Steve to collect things
  • Duncan & Chloe for providing the PA system
  • Errol Bracken for his speech (and dancing)
  • Neil and Sophie for the lights
  • Janet for her generosity
  • Bluepepper Design
  • All those who donated a prize to our raffle
  • Gibbs Hartley Cooper for their generosity
  • The Arundell family
  • The CA
  • The British Province of Carmelites
  • Walworth Parish, but especially Kevin and Francis
  • All the Lourdites!
  • EBU
  • Kerry Betts and The Happy Tea Company
  • www.costumes4ushop.co.uk for loaning various props
  • The amazing staff at the St Bride Foundation
  • All the trustees! Dail, Matt, Johan, Sadie and Stephen

If you would still like to donate to us, please visit here, and thank you!

The Living by Giving Trust

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

First Birthday Party - Details

Thank you to everyone who has bought a ticket for the Living by Giving Trust First Birthday Party. We are looking forward to seeing you on 22nd October 2011 from 7.30pm!

Since we haven't had much of a summer this year, the event will have a summer theme and will include music from The Bikini Beach Band, a raffle, a cash bar, food, and much more, and will take place at the famous St Bride's Foundation in the City of London, close to the historic area of Fleet Street and the famous St Paul’s Cathedral. See details on how to get there, below.

Please feel free to dress up as summery as possible (though you may want to bring a jumper for the journey there and back!).

Please don't forget to bring cash for our cash bar and raffle!

And, finally, if a friend or family member would like to come along and haven't bought a ticket, please buy here.

How to get there:

St Bride Foundation
Bride Lane, Fleet Street
London EC4Y 8EQ
T 020 7353 3331 (Map)

Tucked away just behind the main streets, the building is signposted from Fleet Street and New Bridge Street.


Temple District and Circle line (13 mins to Foundation)
St Paul’s Central line (7 mins to Foundation)


Fleet Street, east end: 4, 11, 15, 23, 26, 76, 172
New Bridge Street: 45, 63, 100

Main line rail

City Thameslink (2 minutes to Foundation)

Nearest car park

Hillgate House
Limeburner Lane
London EC4M 7HY
Open 24 hours a day.

From Ludgate Circus, up Ludgate Hill and take the second left into Old Bailey, then left into Limeburner Lane.

Friday, 16 September 2011

A Year with ASF in Dachau

I’m Roy Scivyer, I come from St Albans and the Living by Giving Trust have helped to support my work with Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste e.V (Action Reconciliation Service for Peace, or ASF for short). Thanks to their support, I have had a year in which I have seen my preconceptions of Europe’s past, present and future change dramatically.

ASF is a German charity set up in the wake of the Second World War originally to give young Germans the chance to perform small acts of atonement in lands affected by Nazi crimes. ASF now supports over 250 volunteers in thirteen countries in projects ranging from working in residential care homes to supporting economic migrants. In the 1980s ASF began to offer young people from outside Germany the opportunity to come and work in Concentration Camp Memorial Sites and German Jewish communities, in order to foster an atmosphere of cultural exchange.

I was given the opportunity to work with the Protestant Church of Reconciliation at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, just outside Munich. I originally came to Dachau (which is also a beautiful Bavarian town) with the hope of learning something about German culture and how Germans deal with the past, as well as dealing with the legacy of one of history’s most notorious crimes..

My main work in Dachau has been giving tours of the memorial site, which as we mainly have groups in German was quite a learning curve! It has been a humbling experience taking young Germans, some only thirteen years old, round the memorial site and in a way explaining their history to them. How do you explain the Nazi persecution of minorities to someone? It is a question that I still find hard to answer. I talk about how people were dehumanised, how the concentration camp system developed and thrived, though I still cannot answer why. All groups are different. Some groups are tired and simply want to go home, others ask questions and test my still limited German!

While in Dachau I have also had the pleasure of coordinating the Remembrance Book for the Prisoners of Dachau Concentration Camp, which gives people the chance to research the life of a former prisoner and produce a four page biography to be inserted into the book. Over 150 have so far been written, and a corresponding exhibition and brochure, Names Instead of Numbers, has also led to international success. Over the course of the year I have coordinated the display of the exhibition in the United States of America for the first time, and it is my hope that by the time I leave there will be dates booked well into 2012, including the first displays in Canada.

All the work I have done in Dachau has been accompanied by a number of other smaller events, such as meetings with survivors from countries in the former Soviet Union, which have made me think beyond this history. We learn about the Nazi persecutions not only in order to remember the victims and their names, but so that we may understand the present as well. I have lost count how many intercultural associations and youth exchanges there are here, and ASF is often found working alongside them. Germany is not only geographically the centre of Europe, but also politically as well. I have been shocked to find out just how many Russian speakers there are in Munich and Germany, as well as how many Poles. In April I attended an event run by a number of Munich residents affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1985. Europe is no longer something ‘across the English Channel’ for me, but a complex and wonderful multicultural mix, and one which I can no longer ignore.

ASF gives young people the chance to really engage with what it means to be a European. Its original purpose remains vital to its work, especially given European society is still marked by what happened over two thirds of a century ago, though today it is helping us to see life in a globalised society not as something to overcome but as something to treasure and nurture. For that I am grateful to the Living by Giving Trust for their financial support for this extremely worthwhile cause.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

First Birthday Event

We are very excited to reach a year of our charity Living by Giving Trust, especially as we have been able to support so many different projects in just one year.

Amongst the various undertakings we have been able to support, in 2010 we sponsored a child to travel with the Glanfield Children's Group and in 2011 we gave some financial support to CA helpers and also provided some funding to support the gap year work of Roy Scivyer in Dachau. If you would like to support us in fundraising for future projects like this, please join us for our "First Birthday Celebration" on 22nd October 2011 in London.

Since we haven't had much of a summer this year, the event will have a summer theme and will include music from The Bikini Beach Band, a raffle, a cash bar, food, and much more, and will take place at the famous St Bride's Foundation in the City of London, close to the historic area of Fleet Street and the famous St Paul’s Cathedral. Book your tickets before 1st October 2011 and they will cost just £15 each.

You can purchase tickets online here: http://www.bmycharity.com/1stBirthday

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

New logo

The Living By Giving Trust is proud to have reached a year of existence this month. In celebration of our anniversary, we have worked with our favourite graphic design company The Happy Tea Company to create a new logo. We would like to thank Kerry Betts very much for helping us to create a logo that really sums up our charity.

In its first anniversary year, the Living By Giving Trust will demonstrate the work of our charity when we hold a first anniversary event later this year. The event will provide the Living By Giving Trust an opportunity to demonstrate the beneficial contributions that it's providing over our three-year cycle of ‘Living By Giving… Young People New Experiences.’

More news soon!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Become part of our team!

Next month the Living by Giving Trust is proud to celebrate a year of registered charitable status! Our first cycle of projects (2010 – 2013) will be associated with the young and our theme is: ‘Living By Giving… Young People New Experiences’, more details of which will be published here soon.

As we grow as a charity in the UK we would like to set up a small fundraising committee of like-minded people to help us in our fundraising goals. If you would like to be a part of our fundraising committee, please email Dail Maudsley at Dail@livingbygivingtrust.com.

There are no specific requirements other than being willing to get stuck in, but if you’re also creative and resourceful we definitely want to hear from you!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

The Frontline Homeless Soup Run Group

The Living by Giving Trust has recently purchased vital equipment to ensure that a Soup Run for London homeless was able to continue it’s good work.

The Frontline Homeless Soup Run Group has been running for over twenty years simply by the volunteering and goodwill of local people in Stamford Hill, North London who make sandwiches, tea, coffee, soup, etc for homeless people in central London every Saturday evening.

Recently the majority of the Group’s equipment was lost or stolen and they had no way of continuing with no budget to buy replacements until the Living by Giving Trust stepped in. It meant that the group could successfully serve the homeless during the Christmas period (some of our photos can be seen below).