Imagine how lovely it would be to have £1 million to give away to do some good – that really is life-changing money. Ideally, I would like to spread it around two or three different charities, possibly including a smaller, less well-known one, but if I had to nominate just one, it would have to be Cancer Research UK, which is my ‘favourite’ charity, and one to which I have a direct debit every month.
I think we all know at least one person whose life has been touched by cancer, and I’ve written before about my best friend Linda, who died of cancer when we were 16, which is probably the main reason that this is a charity close to my heart. My father-in-law also died of cancer three years ago, and watching him slowly lose his battle with this terrible disease was very distressing.
So yes, my £1 million would be put towards trying to find a cure for cancer.
I was reading a news story last week about Mandy Smith (former ‘child bride’ of Rolling Stone Bill Wyman), and her ex-WAG sister being investigated as to the whereabouts of £250,000 they raised for a children’s hospital in Birmingham, after it transpired that only £8k was ever handed over to the charity, and it appears that they paid large amounts to themselves in ‘consultancy fees’. If this is true, it’s absolutely disgraceful – how could anybody possibly do this – it’s just the lowest of the low as far as I’m concerned, and should be punishable with a custodial sentence.
Another charity I support regularly is Kiva, which I love because it’s all about helping people to help themselves, and you get to see exactly where your money’s going and who it’s helping.
The idea is that you lend money to people in third world countries to set up or expand their small business, and you can choose from a large number of requests on the site at any one time. Loans are made in increments of $25 US dollars, and are repaid over a period of months. I have made several loans over the last three years, all to businesses/co-operatives run by women. My current loan is to a lady in Kenya, who runs a cosmetic store – this is her profile on the Kiva site:
“Caroline is a 35 year old lady from Homabay town, in western Kenya. She is married to Geofrey, and they have children aged six, nine and twelve years.
Caroline operates a cosmetics shop, a business she has been running for the last 10 years and which earns her a monthly income of KES 10,000. She will use the loan to buy stock of hair products and other beauty products. Her profits will be used to educate her children. Her dream is to enlarge her business.”
I think it’s a brilliant way of giving to charity and I highly recommend it to anybody who may be interested.
Which charity would you give £1m to?