Society Diary: How do you improve a bookshop? Add some rescue kittens obviously.

14 Feb 2020 Voices

These kittens look as though they would much rather be hanging out in a bookshop

Roses are red, violets are blue 
If you’re a new minister, there’s a lot charities want you to do 

Happy Valentines Day, and whether you’re that irritating person pretending to be embarrassed by the huge bunch of flowers on your desk or you’re trying to ignore the day, Society Diary wishes you a day full of love and happiness (and if you can't have that at least get a box of chocolates).

The charities minister (at last check still Baroness Barran) has a new boss, Oliver Dowden, but perhaps more significantly there’s a new chancellor. Maybe in the rush to write his budget statement he will copy and paste the four simple asks charity bodies made earlier this week? Charities can but hope. 

Anyway on with some non-political and non-Valentines news. 

The best charity partnership ever 

After years of searching, folders of research, complicated analysis (okay, scrolling through Twitter, and we owe a massive hat tip to Jo Gibney from the Association of Volunteer Managers) we have found best partnership arrangement in the world. 

A book shop in Canada has teamed up with a rescue centre, South Paw Conservation Nova Scotia, to help homeless kittens find homes by letting them hang out in the shop.  


We’re not at all shocked to read that so far it has had a 100 per cent success rate. 

Obviously Diary immediately demanded that it be sent to investigate in more detail, but sadly the transatlantic flight isn’t in keeping with Civil Society Media’s attempts to be more environmentally friendly. 

If anyone knows of a similar happening in the UK please let us know. 

Charity shops finds

Charity shops are basically a microcosm of all that is brilliant about the UK, and a list of the weird and wonderful donations to Mind’s shops is excellent:
-    A completely see-through pair of men’s trousers, and matching shirt donated to our shop in Stoke-on-Trent, and picked up the next day
-    One used toilet seat, given to the shop in Guisborough. It was thrown away for obvious reasons
-    A set of false teeth, in our Bramley shop, also thrown away
-    A box of human ashes found in a jacket pocket by volunteers in Woking, and quickly returned to its owner
-    A book called ‘Hairy Hunks: A Celebration of Shaggy Stallions’, which flew off the shelves according to employees at the Bury St Edmunds shop
-    A unicycle given to our Alnwick shop and brought by a happy customer
-    Also in Alnwick, a pregnant doll, complete with a removable “bump” to reveal a hidden baby which can be taken out, and a stomach that flips to a flat for when the baby’s been born – as if that happens! 
-    A pair of nunchucks donated as part of a bag of toys, given to the Stoke-on-Trent shop. These were disposed of as they were deemed too dangerous to sell.
-    A catheter bag and tube, donated to our Alvaston shop, and swiftly binned
-    A plastic container of gravy (a British essential!) was given to the Hobs Moat Shop

Famous Everton fan 'Speedo Mick' is walking 1,000 miles for charity.

Michael Cullen, 55, has reached the height of celebrity, and is known for wearing just swimming trunks at matches. He will be walking from John O' Groats to Land's End and hopes to make it to Liverpool on Sunday for the FA Cup Merseyside derby.

Longstanding fans will know that he earned his nickname after swimming the English Channel for charity, in his trunks, five years ago and then turning up to Everton's ground in the same outfit to raise money.

He started his walk in December and wants to raise £100,000 for community projects for disadvantaged young people.

Speedo Mick says he has received a few concerned enquiries from police and passers-by, thinking he might have just walked out of his house ill prepared for the weather. But if you’re in the Liverpool area don’t be concerned, because the ever prepared Speedo Mick is in fact carrying seven pairs of Everton-themed trunks for the trip.

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