Bargains, bargains, bargains! It can be hard to know where to start on Black Friday.
But you’ve already made the right choice: the biggest bargain of 2019 is, of course, this newsletter, heavily discounted to £0.00 and coming to you carbon-free, other than the small amount of energy I used up thinking of what to write. And believe me, it was a very small amount of energy.
These days of course, you no longer have to buy stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have on the last Friday in November. As it happens, there is a better use of your time: Buy Nothing Day.
Some (possibly accurate) research shows that almost half of Britons – many of them in Yorkshire – will ignore Black Friday this year and cut their spending by more than £800m. However, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is reminding shoppers of the great alternative, socially useful things you can do with your money.
On their list: socially conscious beer, goats for the goatless, a toilet for a village that needs it, or a battery of polio vaccines for a classroom of kids. Check out what else you could do for so-called “Giving Tuesday” (3 December) here.
Alternatively, you could show your appreciation for the happiest newsletter in your inbox by making a small contribution to Guardian coffers. The Upside could really use this. Happiness doesn’t grow on trees. And even if it did, people keep cutting trees down.
In return, this week, we give you an admirable phalanx of people and organisations making things every so slightly better:
• The businesses putting purpose before profit. Two-minute read
• The black doulas trying to do something about this scandal:
• The web guru with a plan to clean up the internet. 90-second read
• The public servants honoured in the Guardian’s annual awards. Browse here
Yes, overall carbon/climate numbers remain scary, but there are slivers of silver linings everywhere at the moment, including:
• A sharp fall in coal-fired electricity
• A sharp rise in sales of electric vehicles
• Ikea investing €200m in green energy and carbon neutrality
What we liked
This piece about the world’s first HIV-positive sperm bank.
Annie Lowrey at the Atlantic on a new kindness institute on the US west coast.
Also, a book published on Thursday by the entrepreneur Suki Thompson with top tips from business leaders on how to shore up mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
What we heard
We had a full mailbag about last week’s piece on the admirable children’s home in Copenhagen.
Hannah Cheshire wrote:
I have read your article and would like to bring your attention closer to home. I have recently had occasion to visit this amazing and truly therapeutic community children’s home. The home is of a quality I have never seen before and the therapeutic interventions run throughout the home and are the core ethos of the service. The founders have a ethos of care that puts each child in their care at the centre of their world.
Naomi Andrews added
I work as a project manager for Market Field School and Community. It consists of our school, where we educate some 263 children with special educational needs from the ages of 5-16. Two years ago we set up a sixth form and come September, we will have 54 students studying for City & Guilds Level 1 qualifications and learning essential life skills.
The next step on the journey is to ensure that our young people have a positive route into work and ultimately independence. Currently, the future can be, and generally is, rather bleak if you have a learning disability or autism and it is incredibly difficult to secure and sustain meaningful employment and gain a sense of purpose and independence, to have an income, friends and a social life.
Our social enterprise is called Market Field Farm. The plans for our first site include a community café, event space, recycling centre, library, growing vegetables, an orchard, gardens and workshops. We are also looking at providing conservation services for the surrounding parkland and providing jobs and training within this area.
Naomi can be reached at naomi[email protected]
Finally, Ellie Meure got in touch about something completely different – a project linking two vulnerable groups in our 21st-century world: bees and refugees.
I have been helping out a great guy – Ali Alzein – on the very lovely project he is getting off the ground at the moment. This crowdfunding page is the best source of background information on him and the project at the moment.
If you would like to get in touch with him for further information, his email is [email protected]
Where was the Upside
At the Guardian public service awards. The Guardian’s society editor, Clare Horton, writes:
Eye-watering election spending promises are all very well, but while UK public service staff wait for that new cash, they have been working wonders for a decade to sustain services in the face of unprecedented budget cuts.
Every year, the Guardian public service awards recognise the outstanding teams, projects and individuals who don’t just keep services going but also come up with better ways to get things done. On Tuesday, TV presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper hosted this year’s awards, telling the finalists and guests: “I’m thrilled to be here among so many ‘doers’ – motivated, caring and conscious people.” The overall winner was Nottingham city council, for its ambitious plan to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral city, while Charles Cracknell, a manager at Hull city council, was named public servant of the year for his work supporting young entrepreneurs, after being voted for by Guardian readers. Ten other awards were presented to individuals, project and teams representing the best work in public services
Thank you for reading. Let us know what you want for Christmas, at [email protected] Have a good weekend
- For kidney patients in Vietnam, it is either hemodialysis or organ black market
- Why Warren Buffett Keeps Buying Apple and Bank Stocks
- SBV Buys in Dollars to Stabilize Domestic Forex Market
- Vietnam’s coffee prices hit highest since late 2011 on lack of good beans
- Fake discount trick may happen again in Single Day sales promotions
- Lazada pioneers cross-border sales in Viet Nam
- Vietnam seeks to develop cross-border e-commerce
- EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR JULY 1 - 15 (daily updated)
- SOCIETY IN BRIEF 3/2
- EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 1-10 (daily updated)