Society Diary: A soggy announcement, 342 dachshunds and a bracing run

24 May 2024 Voices

Civil Society’s comedic columnist summarises the big stories in charity land this week...

Stephen Molloy

My Name'5 Doddie Foundation

Dearest readers, this columnist cannot help but be disappointed not to have topped the sexiest man of 2024 list, being shunned by the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Prince William. Yes, you heard that correctly. 

In a dramatic turn of events, prime minister Rishi Sunak called a snap general election this week while being pelted with rain. Many enjoyed watching the soggy prime minister waddle back into No10, with no doubt some very squelchy shoes. 

We pay tribute to Stuart Andrew, whose time as the civil society minister is coming to a close as his constituency will not exist at the next general election. 

The charity sector has welcomed the engagement of the man with two first names, who you might not have known has worked in the hospice sector before. He never mentions it. 

Massive sausage dog walk breaks world record

Some 342 dachshunds gathered for a charity dog walk this week in south west London and won the record for the Largest Dachshund Dog Walk, smashing the previous record of 250. 

Little sausages filled the grounds of Marble Hill House, with different coats and colours galore. 

Agria Pet Insurance organised the walk in partnership with the Guinness World Records, which raised £20,000 for dogs in need across the UK, as every four-legged creature generated a £5 donation. 

A mighty Highland run

Stephen Molloy is also looking to break a Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon in full Highland dress at the Edinburgh Marathon this Sunday. 

Raising money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, he was due to run the race with his fellow fundraiser Ewan Jack, whose knee injury has meant Molloy will be running solo instead. 

So far, they have raised £2,700 for the motor neurone disease charity.

This columnist dares to ask what every reader is thinking: will he be wearing underwear under the kilt? One can only hope so. 

Daily ice baths for charity

In other chilling news, a man from East Sussex decided to have daily ice baths for an entire year to raise money for a charity. Rather them than Diary, that’s for sure. 

Josh Smith, 32, completed the challenge for the children’s charity Variety, and raised over £1,600 for disabled and disadvantaged children. 

He decided to take on the stunt after his daughter Esmie was hospitalised with life-threatening sepsis before recovering after a month in hospital.

Inspired by her bravery, Smith decided to take on the challenge to raise funds for other children who might be experiencing hard times while spreading a positive message. 

He had better restart refilling his ice cube trays, ready for the bank holiday weekend. 

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the free Civil Society daily news bulletin here.

More on