Arts Emergency

Today’s guest post is from a small charity which I support called Arts Emergency. It was set up by the comedian Josie Long, and fundraiser Neil Griffiths, and I’m thrilled to give them the opportunity to explain a bit more about what they do and why. As well as all the info that’s on the website, you can keep up to date with their work on Twitter

Arts Emergency logo

The Arts Emergency: a generation of young people are being incentivised to disengage from humanistic study. Don’t stand for it.

It seems education as a whole is increasingly building for short term profit, and the skills we now champion are those that aid this through business and industry.

As we now know, in reality this has meant that academic disciplines caricatured as having no clear economic utility have had their public funding withdrawn entirely.

Yet those very subjects – the arts, the humanities and the social sciences in particular, are unquestionably vital to a diverse economy (the creative industries alone constitute nearly 10% of all enterprises in the UK, not to mention the fact more jobs than ever before require degree level qualifications to enter). Even seen through the relatively narrow ideological prism of those depreciating these skills and curiosities (of vital human importance) – it seems at best a counterintuitive act, at worst an act of deliberately gross cultural and social vandalism. Remember too we are suffering cuts in schools for music, and the closure of public libraries. Continue reading

Biking for Babies

So, can I introduce myself? I’m the Reverend Dougie Burnett, a minister with the United Reformed Church in Bristol. Next April with my two daughters, Isabella and Lucy, I shall be taking on the London to Paris bike ride for the charity PiggyBankKids.  This is in the way of seeking monies for our fundraising (we have pledged to raise £4500 between the three of us), but also to espouse the work of a very worthwhile charity.


If you’re a regular reader of DorkyMum you might have come across PiggyBankKids already. Remember the loose coins collection of a couple of months ago? OK, so we are talking the same charity. PiggyBankKids is all about changing children’s lives. Founded in 2002 by Sarah Brown it seeks to inspire professionals to continue their world-changing work in saving and transforming lives. This takes different shapes and forms in this country and around the world. First up is the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, based at the prestigious Queen’s Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh and is uniquely focused on both pregnancy and neonatal research. Next there are the partnership projects. From mentoring programmes to sports provision, children’s cancer care to school-based projects it is all there, with a particular focus on mentoring. Finally there is education for all. PiggyBankKids is expanding, taking their commitment to the most vulnerable children outside of the UK and into a global context. We have chosen to focus on the second of the Millenium Development Goals, set in 2000, in which the global community committed to universary primary education by 2015. Continue reading

A Message from Mozambique

Save the Children Liberia

Dear Dorky Mum,

First, thank you for your patience. Me traveling two out of three weeks is not easy on us. The Dorkys like proximity.

I have been to Africa to do my job. Liberia, first, then Mozambique. In both places we drove away from the cities and well into the bush, looking for the outreach and effectiveness of the work Save the Children does.
Continue reading

Counting pennies for PiggyBankKids

DorkyDad is a professional fundraiser. You’d think given that I’ve now been married to him for nearly five years, some of those money making skills might have rubbed off on me. But they haven’t. I am completely unimaginative when it comes to fundraising. I hate doing silly things. I hate organising events. And I hate running. That rules out three pretty major income generators right there.

But occasionally a charity will come along that makes me want to do something – however small – to stick a bit of cash in their pocket.

British Coins
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Doing the Timewarp for Babies

Last week, after attending the Save the Children bloggers conference, I was inspired to do a post about Build it for Babies – their recently launched campaign to raise money for seven life-saving clinics in Bangladesh.

I wasn’t the only one who was inspired –  all the attendees were. Just take a quick peek at the Blog it for Babies website to see the range of activities that bloggers are taking part in all over the country, all with the aim of raising money for the campaign. Everything from cupcakes to naked beach dips to rock choirs.

But here’s some more good news. It’s not just bloggers that are feeling inspired… even the staff at Save the Children are getting in on the action!

I’m thrilled to share this video with you. It’s DorkyDad and some of his colleagues from the Save the Children philanthropy department doing the Timewarp. I will confess to being a bit shocked at how brilliant it is. I’m also really pleased to see that the staff at Save the Children seem to have as much energy, enthusiasm and passion for dressing up as many of their supporters do. Big hurrahs for them!

If this inspires you to give to the Build it for Babies campaign, you can visit

Or Text SAVE60 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070.

Thanks so much for all your support.