Society Diary: Dogwarts, birds and a cup of hope

14 Jun 2024 Voices

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

Guide Dogs

Dearest reader, happy Friday! Congratulations on living through an influx of political party manifestos and umpteen photographs of Keir Starmer. 

Aside from all the politicking, Society Diary also learnt this week that one in five of you charity sector folk is named Sarah or David.

So gather round Sarahs, Davids and everyone else to take a look at some of the quirky charity news that occurred this week…


As the Civil Society news team gets stuck into the election lead-up, Diary has been known to partake in the odd scroll on social media and show reels of animals to (frankly ungrateful) colleagues. 

This led Diary to stumble upon RSPB’s TikTok account, where their social media manager seems to be having a fabulous time, rivalled only by the birds starring in the charity’s videos. 

Two cartoon birds are speaking to each other in one, where a robin says it will be spending the weekend “prolly streaming the new Charli XCX album and committing arson” to which a mallard replies “omg stun!”

As well as the Gen Z birds, the account has given examples of voter IDs that will not be accepted at the next election. 

One is the store loyalty card of a “mr pidgon” who is shopping at Cooco Wholesale, while another bird’s ID belongs to a Cheryl Cooo-l who lives in “Birds Nest, Tree”. 

It also advised against birds using their gamer tags as voter ID, giving the example of “widdlepigeon24” whose password is “iluvpoopingonstrmgers”. Obviously. 

@rspb gonna b a crazy weekend xx #birdsoftiktok #birdtok #charlixcx #brat #birdmemes #plushie #mallardduck #duck @Charli XCX ♬ Spring breakers - Charli XCX


While Dogwarts might sound like a gross skin condition, it is in fact the much more pleasant, canine version of Hogwarts. 

The Harry Potter studio tour in London has partnered with Guide Dogs to improve the accessibility of the popular attraction. 

As part of the initiative, three guide dog puppies in training have been named after the leading characters of the Harry Potter franchise – Harry, Ron and Hermione.  

The Warner Bros Studio has sponsored the three pups through the charity’s Name a Puppy scheme and will receive progress updates throughout their wizard training. 

Because of the partnership, all team members will receive tailored training on how to support visitors with sight loss. 

It is also planning to introduce signage iPads, which team members can offer to people with visual impairment to hold over signs and descriptions in order to magnify them. 

Diary wonders whether anyone will name a puppy Voldemort anytime soon. 

Cuppa Hope

And finally, in thirst-quenching news, UK for UNHCR, the refugee agency’s national charity partner, has begun its Cuppa Hope campaign. 

Inspired by how having a cup of tea with someone can create a great conversation, the campaign is launching with a series of free pop-up cafe events across the UK where members of the public are being invited for tea and talks with refugees from around the world. 

It aims to bring together the UK's love of a cup of tea and a chat with the tea rituals refugees have brought with them to the UK.

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