Blog : charity

Rowing For Home: Help Stripe back Sleep in the Park to fight homelessness

Rowing For Home: Help Stripe back Sleep in the Park to fight homelessness

Stripe is joining the fight against homelessness in Scotland by taking part in Sleep in the Park, the world’s biggest ever sleepout, and we need your help.

In just over a week a group of Stripes will be among 9,000 people bedding down for the night in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens with event organisers Social Bite, who have set themselves the ambitious target of eradicating homelessness in Scotland in five years. In addition to charity events like this, they are creating a nationwide jobs programme for homeless people and introducing new housing solutions for the homeless population.

We have pledged to raise £3,000 for the cause and are doing this through a range of events including a bake sale, wine tasting and our Senior Account Director, Sam Crawford, has even agreed to shear off her beautiful, ginger tresses for the cause.

Spending a night in the open in a sleeping bag safe in the knowledge we have our own homes to return to hardly represents a hardship, certainly not when set against the daily trials of homeless people fighting for survival, but hopefully, the donations will help to deliver the long-term goal.

So what’s next in our bag of tricks for donations? We’ll be taking on the nautical spirit of our original home, Leith, and rowing on top of The Barge at The Shore…while dressed as pirates. In stripes, naturally.Our special Rowing For Home day will take place next Tuesday 5th December, so if you happen to be passing and see us huffing and puffing out on the top deck, you’ll know why.

And if you aren’t, please spare a few quid here.

#BoysDoCry – HuffPost breaks down emotional barriers

#BoysDoCry – HuffPost breaks down emotional barriers

This week, HuffPost UK launched a new campaign to raise awareness of male suicide in the UK. #BoysDoCry encourages men to confront and acknowledge their own emotions and speak out about bottled up thoughts and feelings.

Using a host of famous faces, from political heavyweights to Rizzle Kicks and body coach Joe Wicks, the campaign addresses the tough topic with humour and honesty. HuffPost also welcomed Andy Murray as a guest editor for its accompanying editorial series. What better ambassador could it have than the man who cried in front of a global audience after losing his first final to Roger Federer at Wimbledon?

HuffPost has beefed up the campaign with research from 2014 that shows male suicide accounted for 76% of all suicides. It’s the biggest killer of men under the age of 45. Men are almost four times more likely than women to take their own life, but the medical community can’t conclusively say why that is.

The subject of male emotions is notoriously difficult to discuss. Last year, Stripe worked on a joint campaign with Cello’s Talking Taboos Foundation and YoungMinds called ‘Mates Matter’. It aimed to encourage young people – particularly teenage boys – to paying attention to what their friends say on social media channels to spot signs of mental health problems.

When I read the transcripts of focus groups and saw the research findings on self-harm and suicide, it painted a bleak picture of a nation that’s uncomfortable speaking about their problems. For example, when we researched attitudes to self-harm 71% of young people, 70% of parents and 60% of teachers said they wouldn’t feel able to talk about it.

Male emotions are practically a taboo. #BoysDoCry and #matesmatter are the male equivalents of the iconic Always #LikeAGirl campaign – they stand up to gender stereotypes and reject the social pressures they create. #LikeAGirl spawned 177,000 tweets from around the world in the first three months, including a huge number of tweets from celebrities. Only time will tell how #BoysDoCry will fare.

Regardless, if you haven’t seen the HuffPost video, it’s worth checking it out. And, in case you’re wondering, the last time I cried was when my partner moved to Asia for four months. That’s fair enough, right?

ScottishPower raising £5 million for Cancer Research UK

ScottishPower raising £5 million for Cancer Research UK

Last week some of the Stripes ventured down to London Town to help unveil a giant sculpture to celebrate ScottishPower raising £5 million for Cancer Research UK.

The sculpture – weighing almost 40 stone– was unveiled at 7am in central London to encourage people to recognise the fundraising efforts by ScottishPower to help Cancer Research UK develop newer, kinder treatments.

As word spread, plenty of people popped by to have their picture taken with the sculpture, and of course the lovely Dawn O’Porter, who helped to celebrate the £5 million milestone.

There might have also been an incident with a bird…