Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Thursday 30 July

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News from across the third sector as the pandemic response continues 

30th July 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Project gives hope to impoverished workers

A UK-initiative launched in May to support garment workers impacted by Covid-19 in Bangladesh, has announced several new national charity and clothes swap partnerships to encourage its customers to make sustainable choices and reduce waste.  Over $3bn (US) worth of stock orders were cancelled by retailers in the wake of Covid-19, leaving manufacturers in Bangladesh unable to pay workers and mountains of unwanted stock destined for landfill. Lost Stock, launched by the team at fashion app Mallzee, helps by selling boxes of clothing direct from the manufacturers with funds going back to workers through a local NGO, SAJIDA Foundation.  As the first orders make their way to UK post boxes, Lost Stock has outlined three suggestions for any clothes received and not loved; Donate It, Swap It or Upcycle It, all part of a dedication to driving a circular economy, breaking common returns habits and being more considerate of the natural environment. Through a partnership with the British Heart Foundation, customers will be able to make use of a free postal service where they can donate unwanted Lost Stock items and support national fundraising efforts.  

Ben takes on three Bens

Ben Gray from Edinburgh will be taking on Scotland’s three biggest Bens on August 8th in the name of raising funds for men’s mental health charity, Brothers In Arms. The MMA fighter who now lives in Coatbridge hopes to complete Scotland’s three highest Bens in 24 hours, covering a total distance of 287km to raise awareness and cash for Brothers In Arms who support men struggling with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. At 5am on the morning of 8 August, Ben will begin his ascent of Ben Lawers and aims to have completed the first peak and be ready for his climb of Ben Macudi in the Cairngorms by 11am. Following a two-hour car journey Ben hopes to arrive at the base of the biggest and most famous of Scotland’s peaks, Ben Nevis by 8pm. Ben, who will be doing the majority of the climb alone, with only his dad and brother for emotional support at the bottom of each mountain, is determined to use his physical and mental fitness, honed through MMA training to give this challenge 100 per cent of himself. He said: “Being a professional fighter, I know how important your mindset is. I’m trained to self-motivate and push through the hardest moments in a match which at the time may seem completely unachievable. There has been times in my life that I’ve had to use this fighter mindset to get past my own anxieties and mental health issues, so I know what it’s like to fight that uphill battle with yourself, which is why I’m so committed to this cause. I know first-hand what it feels like to be struggling, to feel like the walls are closing in on you and that if you speak about it, you’re weak. But having come through that I now have the courage to discuss it and stand up for those who don’t feel like they have a voice.” Ben is looking forward to doing something that will push him to his limits and is even taking on one of his biggest inspirations, Scottish adventurer and ex-Royal Marine, Aldo Kane who completed the UK’s three highest peaks in 24-hours earlier this year. Brothers In Arms support men and their families who have gone through or are experiencing mental health issues or suicidal thoughts. The Scottish charity was started in 2017 and now supports 16,000 men and families through the provision of free, online mental health tools, as well as access to mental health professionals.

Less haste to waste as retail giant signs up

Zero Waste Scotland's Love Food Hate Waste Scotland has teamed up with Lidl in a bid to tackle food waste. The partnership will launch a series of food waste-free shopping lists to allow Scottish shoppers to plan better, save money and fight the climate crisis. The initiative also includes guidance on food storage and creative ways to use up leftovers, and comes after a YouGov poll found that more than half of Scots were now feeling more stressed about their food shop since the beginning of the pandemic. Speaking following the launch of 'Great Taste, No Waste', Lidl’s Regional Director for Scotland, Ross Millar, commented: “With almost two thirds of Scots shopping less often than before, the nation has certainly embraced the weekly ‘big shop’. “By partnering with Love Food Hate Waste Scotland, we are continuing to support the changing needs of Scottish families as they navigate this new world. “The ‘Great Taste, No Waste’ initiative aims to show Scots how shopping with a list can reduce household food waste, help feed your family delicious meals, and still provide the Lidl promise of fantastic value for money.” Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, which delivers Love Food Hate Waste Scotland, said: “Food waste is a major contributor to climate change. When we waste food, we waste all the resources and care that went into growing, transporting, packaging and cooking it. And, if wasted food ends up in landfill, it emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is many times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

Loyal supporter cycles to save Trust

A 73-year-old man is planning to cycle coast-to-coast across the US to raise funds for conservation in Scotland. George Russell aims to raise £100,000 for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) by pedalling more than 3,000 miles from San Diego in California to St Augustine in Florida. The conservation charity has been hit by the impact of coronavirus this year and is running a major fundraising campaign – Save Our Scotland – to help it recover from this crisis. Russell, originally from Edinburgh but now based in Colorado, has familial links to the charity – including his grandfather Arthur Russell, who was the charity’s first secretary and treasurer. He said: “The trust cares for quite staggering collections of Scotland’s treasures but it urgently needs colossal sums to guarantee its survival. “It is as serious as that. It is vital that somehow as much as possible of its lost income is replaced as matter of urgency. That can only be done by the support of donors worldwide and that is why I am getting on my bike to pedal to protect Scotland’s heritage.” ussell will be riding solo while his wife Mary will be driving their car as a support vehicle for the first half of the trip. It is expected to take around 50 days, depending on weather conditions, starting at the Pacific Ocean on 27 August. He will travel from San Diego through California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to St Augustine, on the Atlantic coast. Ali Macleod, NTS head of fundraising,  said: “We are overwhelmed at this incredible support from George.”