It’s April Fools’ Day and several charities including Macmillan, RNLI and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have turned their creative talents to ridiculous fundraising events, bizarre job adverts and innovative fundraising methods.
Here are some of our favourites.
Macmillan Cancer Support launches a new challenge event: ‘Push A Sprout Up A Mountain With Your Snout’
Macmillan launches a new challenge event about once a month so this morning’s press release wasn’t such a surprise, and had a few members of the Civil Society News team almost fooled, until we read the detail.
Inspired by the true story of Stuart Kettell who spent four days pushing sprouts to the top of Mount Snowden with his nose, Macmillan has gone to a lot of effort with the prank. The press release includes quotes that are just about believable:
"Craig Fordham, head of challenge events at Macmillan, says: 'In the first year the event will be based around Mount Snowdon in Wales but we hope that it will eventually expand to include mountains the world over. We’re hoping a date in the spring is far enough away not to cause a Christmas shortage of everyone’s favourite festive veg. We picked brussel sprouts because they are our favourite colour: Macmillan green!'”
The charity also has web page, urging people to sign up, and flooded its social networks with news of the event.
RNLI announces some cutting-edge software with the support of Google
In a Facebook post the RNLI described the new technology as Navigator’s Intrinsic Technology Wave Interface Terminal, or Nitwit.
The innovation is “a virtual reality app based on Google Cardboard, will mean volunteers can steer the lifeboat without so much as stepping aboard – no hands or previous lifeboating experience required.”
Blue Cross proposes that 'Homeless pets raise funds by spinning a yarn'
Animal charity the Blue Cross mooted a novel way of raising money by announcing that it was collecting the fur from animals at its centres to spin into balls of yarn.
Andrew Gillon, centre manager at Blue Cross in Suffolk, explained: “Blue Cross cares for almost 8,000 pets every year across its rehoming centres.
“We groom the animals in our care on a regular basis and it’s amazing how much fur comes out, especially at this time of year when animals begin to moult. There’s also a lot of fur collected left on blankets and beds which are washed daily.
“Rather than throw it away we thought we’d put it to good use and spin it into yarn for people to buy.”
Quite literally a charity sticking to the knitting.
National Trust Underwater property offers unique experience
The National Trust’s recently-discovered underwater mansion will open in 2018, with volunteer scuba guides on hand to show people around.
“We think underwater expeditions to Seaward House will be an amazing opportunity to learn about conservation challenges and coastal erosion,” explained regional visitor experience consultant Avril Fuller. “It’s really pushing the boundaries of what people think about what we do.
“With the help of our restoration experts, local historians and evidence from further diving expeditions, the story of Seaward House – which locals have nicknamed ‘Seaweed House’ – is being pieced together. We’re hoping to open it to the public as an underwater place to visit in 2018."
Coppafeel and BarryM team up for NipDip
Breast Cancer Charity Coppafeel came under fire from some quarters last year for its partnership with The Sun, but what will people make of its latest partnership with a cosmetics company to offer nipple glitter?
Of course it was an April Fool, but what a clever way of raising awareness of the charity’s cause at the same time as having a bit of fun.
Dogs Trust recruits for a fake feline
Looking for a new job? Preferably one that involves wearing a onesie to work? Then you might have jumped at this chance from the Dogs Trust this morning to become a ‘fake feline’.
The job description read: “If you can pull off a cat-inspired costume, and have the balance of a tightrope walker – we might have just the job for you! When matching dogs with new owners their suitability for the requirements of the new home must be thoroughly assessed, including their behaviour around other pets… which is why we are on the hunt for ‘Fake Felines’ to join the busy teams at some of our centres.”
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s latest resident
The latest rescue cat at Battersea is a fully grown lion, who the charity has named 'April'.
Ridiculous – everyone knows that April is a girl's name and that lion is clearly a boy…
DSC - Prime Minister announces full repayment of Big Lottery Fund
An email from the Directory of Social Change this morning claimed that David Cameron had at last laid out a timeline for the repayment of money taken from BIG to fund the Olympic Games.
Admitting that it was an April Fool the email continued: "At the moment there are vague plans to repay the money after 2020 - yes you read correctly, not even in the life of the next government! We believe that money needs to go back into charities now and we won't stop bothering politicians until it is. We've already managed to get some back."
RNIB launches CatNav scheme
Other sight-loss charities exist to provide guide dogs, so not wanting to tread on anyone's paws RNIB announced plans to train cats to help blind and partially-sighted people. Civil Society News wonders at the risk that the poor owners of such cats would spend long summer days stretched out in sunny spots, but maybe that's not such a bad thing.
And finally, before anyone accuses the Charity Commission of disproportionately focusing on knitting charities today, reports of statutory inquiries here and elsewhere were April Fools too.