How does it feel to help? How does it feel to give a child something to eat? How does it feel to help a whole village with medical resources? Red Nose Day and all the donors probably know how it feels. What better thing to do than to help others?
In this day and age, there are still a lot of people on this planet who are hungry or don’t have enough life-saving vaccines, can’t go to school or have mental health problems. These issues are widespread and cover various corners of the world.
Comic Relief is a British charity, which has been operating since 1985 and was founded by two comedians to address the issue of hunger in Ethiopia. As its main fundraising event, the charity set up Red Nose Day and the charity held its first Red Nose Day just a few years after in 1988. The Red Nose Day happens in different countries and is raising a lot of money for over 1000 projects in the world. For instance, the US hosted its second Red Nose Day last year and raised a staggering $34million and Belgium had their first Red Nose Day in December just gone and raised 3.8 million Euros. Later this year China will also be hosting its very first Red Nose Day on June 1st.
This event happens for one day every two years and last time in 2015 the event’s show on the BBC alone raised a MONUMENTAL £78million. However there are other ways that Comic Relief promotes Red Nose Day and the most well-known is through the sales of the Red Nose which you can order on their website or buy from Sainsbury’s or Oxfam for just £1. There are other bits and bobs you can buy to help raise funds such as pens, fluffy toys and even food with red nose day packaging. If you’re a fan of PG Tips Tea or like your share of Maltesers then you’ve probably noticed that their packaging has Red Nose Day stamped on it – both brands will be donating a substantial amount to the cause.
So what are the causes that Red Nose Day helps towards? Red Nose Day raises money to help those in need not just in the UK but in Africa too by funding projects aimed at *tackling these problems. One project is raising awareness of mental health issues and breaking up the stigma that surrounds it. Did you know that young people in the UK have the poorest mental wellbeing in the world, with the exception of Japan? Shocking isn’t it? Yet not many of us would believe it – why? Because we’re not aware of it and consequently not many sufferers will feel comfortable speaking out about it. Some of the money raised will go towards awareness and providing the right kind of support for sufferers not to mention it will see to it that sufferers receive the correct treatment as there is a shortage of treatment in this area.
Another cause that Red Nose Day is dedicated to is Domestic Violence. According to Comic Relief, the police receive around 100 distress calls every hour about domestic violence this is why in 2003, Comic Relief helped to establish the National Domestic Violence Helpline for victims to call and seek out help.
Red Nose Day is also the first major grant maker to focus on supporting disabled people to speak up for themselves. They speak up for elder people who are abused, and they try to help homeless people in the UK to leave streets and find suitable accommodation. It’s scary that the number of people sleeping rough is on the rise every year. In Africa, Red Nose Day helps raise money to provide many African children with life-saving vaccinations. So far Red Nose Day has helped vaccinate and save 860,000 children. That is where your money could go and it feels good, doesn’t it? Comic Relief is also helping fight Malaria, they calculate that since 2000 the malaria death rates have fallen by 71% – amazing!
So Comic Relief isn’t just about changing lives but about saving them too! So come and join in on the fun with us on Friday at 3:30pm and help raise funds for this cause. In 2015, WCE and its students at the time raised £17 towards the cause – every little helps after all! See you all tomorrow for some competitive laughs! ☺
Every year on the 17th March, Ireland and the rest of world celebrate one of its patron saints, St. Patrick. St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Ireland and the Irish people take that chance to celebrate this public-holiday like no other feast day. Did you know that, ironically, it is believed that St Patrick was actually of Scottish origin? He first visited Ireland when he was taken there as a slave by Irish raiders. Later he escaped from them. After returning home he turned into a Christian and he became a priest and later returned to Ireland to turn the pagan Irish into Christians. His work was to eventually turn all the Irish into Christians or at least that’s what the story says.
RANDOM FACT: Traditionally St. Patrick’s Day weekend was the potato planting weekend in Ireland.
Stepping a little bit back in time
Ireland was first populated around 10 000BC but very little is known about its habitants. In the fourth century BC Celtic people arrived on Irish shores. Also Vikings raided the island for about 350 years in the Irish history until they were pushed out by the Irish King, Muirecan. Not to mention the fact that the Normans also tried to take a grab for Ireland. Basically, everyone wanted a piece of Ireland and fought over it even when the island was under the British Crown.
St. Patrick’s Day in the US
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, St Patrick’s has now become somewhat of a global celebration, with every Irish Pub in every corner of the world ensuring that people can really savour this national holiday the way the Irish would be proud of. Did you know that the Irish build the biggest nationality group in America? At the moment there are about 19 Million Irish people living in the US. They make 8% of the whole population of the United States of America. Many if not most of them came to America during the Great Famine in Ireland in 1845-51. They earned money because of the new industry and the new world. Because of their togetherness they became a huge influence and force among the locals. Despite being far from home, the Irish still made sure that they remembered their roots and ensured they stuck to their traditional St. Patrick’s Day every year. The Irish spirit is infectious and soon enough the American people began to join in on the celebration. Funnily enough, many American’s have no idea who St Patrick is and around 73% of them are unable locate Ireland on a map but they still enjoy joining in on the celebrations anyway!
The “always thirsty” Irish people drink the “Green Beer” excessively on their national day. For those of you who find the idea of green beer bizarre then don’t because it’s just like normal beer but with added green food colouring. After much consumption of such beer you can imagine how the Irish feel the day after… Did you know that the traditional Irish cure for a hangover was to be buried up to the neck in moist river sand? – Perhaps we should skip the greasy fry up and try this too instead!
On St Patrick’s the world is greener. Take Chicago for example, Mr. Stephen Bailey was the first to colour the River running through the city green (this lasts for a whole week!). This tradition is now more than fifty-year-old and is repeated every year – only for a couple of hours though! Many Americans think that this Irish tradition is a little over the top and think that they should keep Mother Nature out of it. Even Irish living in Ireland are jealous of how over the top the celebrations have become in the US.
Celebrations in UK are much tamer – you’ll see a couple dozen of ginger wigs, green jackets, and shamrock hats floating around cities not to mention the odd leprechauns gallivanting about in the UK but nothing as major or ridiculous as colouring the River Thames green. Don’t be too shocked if you see a couple of blokes toasting with a pint of Guinness as early as 9am either and if a few moments later they hobble out putting on their best Irish accent – this is totally normal!! It’s definitely tamer but still joyful so make sure you don’t miss out on the fun on 17th March!
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S!!!!
If you fancy a drink and an Irish dance meet us at O’Neill’s at 6pm in Bournemouth!