Society Diary: Would you give to a ‘profoundly silly and pointless’ charity to please an aunt? 

09 Aug 2019 Voices

Some cats. Because yesterday was International Cat Day. Not because cat charities are "profoundly silly".

As we head into a stormy weekend we investigate how a charity is missing out because of Paul Hollywood’s love life, ask whether you have aunts who want to give to “profoundly silly and pointless” charities, and share some pictures of cats, just because really. 

Soggy bottoms

Readers of gossip columns will know that this year the Great British Bake Off's silver fox Paul Hollywood has something of a turbulent love life.

Diary hasn’t much cared about whose buns Paul is going home to as long as he continues to deliver the (baked) goods. But now Paul’s love life is having a detrimental impact on charities and the saga very much has our attention.

In case you haven’t kept up, he recently split up with girlfriend Summer after she decided she wanted to hang on to the ability to sell her story to the highest bidder, and refused to sign a gagging clause. This has prompted Paul to take out his frustration on an animal charity. 

Anyway over to The Sun, which reveals that following the break up Paul tried to get a refund for the £560 he had forked out for Summer and her sister Crystal to take part in a charity skydive. 

“It was a charity skydive so it would be the animals they were raising money for who would be punished, not Summer and Crystal.

“It feels a bit low to drag a charity skydive into his row with her,” a source told The Sun. 

Summer was trying to raise money for the Lord Whisky Sanctuary (which definitely wins Society Diary’s inaugural best charity name award), an animal charity in Kent. 

Because Summer and Crystal heard about Paul’s request for a refund they didn’t bother showing up. (Seriously, was no one thinking of the animals here… even The Sun seems to have forgotten to find out how much the charity actually lost out on.)

But maybe Hollywood had a point. As Diary reported some years ago, skydives are not exactly the most effective way to fundraise. According to - admittedly slightly dated - research, parachuting costs £14 for every £1 it raises for charity because the NHS spends more in treating people who hurt themselves than is actually raised. 

‘Should I give to a profoundly silly and pointless charity?’ 

We now turn to The Telegraph, and this week’s Moral Money column, which tackles the thorny issue of whether to please your family or stick to your principles. 

This week’s conundrum comes from someone who is worried about their aunt asking for charity donations instead of presents for her 70th birthday (if like Diary you have ageing relatives that it is increasingly difficult to buy for, you may think this seems like the solution to all your problems, but not for Telegraph readers, who have very exacting charity standards). 

The reader’s problem: “The charity she has chosen is one that supports stray dogs in Thailand. I find this charity profoundly silly and pointless. I don’t really want to waste my money on this.” 

It’s unclear if their problem is charities supporting animals or charities operating abroad. Probably both, Diary fears. 

Generously the reader is happy to donate to another charity instead. 

Advice from The Telegraph does concede that the aunt has made an “unusual choice” but does gently remind the reader that this could well be important to their aunt. Anyway Diary cannot wait for reader suggestions next week. 


Yesterday was International Cat Day, which is just an excuse to make social media a nicer, fluffier place – and boy do we need that. 

Here are some of our favourites: 

WWF's social media team can always be relied on to pounce on a trend.


Larry is of course a Battersea alum:

Cats Protection went all out. Obviously. 



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