Society Diary: Embracing Januhairy and a charity super hero unmasked

11 Jan 2019 Voices

Breaking new: Diary's legs are lot hairier than this

Very much like Doctor Who, Diary has regenerated. Same name, same general purpose (witty observations loosely connected to charities) but with a slightly refreshed demeanour. We very much encourage you to think of this week’s column as the Jodie Wittaker to last week’s Peter Capaldi. 

Anyway, in the week that Theresa May’s unhappy band of Brexiteers and Remoaners returned to shouting fruitlessly at each other, we bring you evidence of just how dedicated charity leaders are, provide a high-brow arts update, and reveal which January fundraiser Diary will be taking part in. 

Death at a charity auction

Diary was shocked to hear this week that an eccentric billionaire had died “very publicly” at a charity auction and left his fortune to the winners of a city-wide treasure hunt. Leading the investigation to get to the bottom of what happened is Tuesday Mooney, a researcher and problem-solver by nature. She will be joined by an “unlikely group of misfits and oddballs”.

As Diary was working its rage up to a simmer over the BBC failing to cover this ground-breaking news item and instead clogging up its bulletins with yet another day of Brexit non-developments, it dawned that this was not the real world.

No, the plot described above belongs an upcoming detective novel by American writer Kate Racculia. Named after its eponymous hero Tuesday Mooney, the greatest name in fiction since Regina Phalange, Racculia’s debut novel is slated for publication this autumn.

Perhaps charity foundations should take inspiration from the novel for their next funding round. With hundreds of thousands of charities in the country, choosing which ones to back can be a onerous task. Perhaps, as Racculia has imagined, they could outsource that selection process by organising a treasure hunt for bidding charities. Or if that’s too much to organise, perhaps a battle royale, a pick-up sticks tournament or a gurning contest.

Charity  superhero in need of rescue

As mentioned, Diary is feeling reborn – fully invigorated to embrace a new year of challenge and achievement. The most depressing time of the year holds no fear for Diary, which will get stuck in and work hard even while society crumbles around its ears.

That’s the spirit of the charity sector. However, such dedication can have its pitfalls, as demonstrated in no small measure this week by Ruth Marvel, acting chief executive of Girlguiding. 

It seems that Marvel has been burning the midnight oil already this year. Perhaps no surprise for the CEO of a major national charity. But such commitment can come at a cost:

The tweet generated a number of sympathetic responses, and it turns out that Marvel is not alone in going through this sort of escapade. One Girlguiding volunteer made an even more embarrassing admission:

Perhaps there is something in the water at the Guide camps. 

Anyway, fair play to Marvel for owning up to her undignified moment so publicly on Twitter – it just shows that even a charity superhero needs to be rescued now and then.

Januhairy gets Diary’s backing 

January is awash with fundraising activity that piggy backs on people’s optimistic New Year resolutions, This year Diary has decided it is time to take part, and has been considering the plethora of things to give up. 

What about Dry January? A popular pledge for those waking up with a hangover on 1 January, people can raise money for a number of charities including Alcohol Change UK. It’s also good for the liver and bank balance. Unfortunately, Diary was possessed by an ghost last Friday while frequenting the local public house, and the phrase “just a gin and tonic please” slipped unexpectedly from Diary’s mouth. 

Then Diary considered Veganuary – giving up meat products is apparently good for the planet, your health and also the fluffy animals. It’s also never been easier with the launch of Gregg’s vegan sausage roll.

But is it now too mainstream? Diary wants to be a trendsetter not a follower. In any case, Diary still has a lot of half-finished cheeses in the fridge from Christmas. 

We therefore turn to Januhairy, a new campaign whereby women are eschewing societal norms and leaving all their body as nature intended for the month of January. 

It’s been started by Exeter University student Laura Jackson to raise money for the charity Body Gossip and to encourage women to feel confident about their bodies. 

“This project is about women working together and supporting one another in this prickly subject. As well as this being about women and our views of ourselves/each other, we are also raising money for Body Gossip's education programme,” the campaign’s Facebook page explains. 

A fundraising page is aiming to raise £1,000 and has so far reached £800

For Diary this is a quadruple win: save time by not shaving, demonstrate ones feminist credentials, raise money for charity and grow an extra layer to keep warm during the winter months.

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