Dragonfly wrap up Christmas by donating £12k to charities

By Isla Munro

5 minute Read


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Dragonfly wrap up Christmas by donating £12k to charities

After a topsy turvy rollercoaster of a year that 2020 has been, the team at Dragonfly wanted to do something special in the run up to Christmas to support as many charities as we could. Under normal circumstances, we would have used our £12k charity budget to attend public fundraising events, annual galas and anything else where we could support the sector, but this year COVID would not allow it. So we decided to give away £1,000 a day for the first 12 days of December to UK charities randomly selected by an online generator in our 12 days of Christmas campaign. With over 120 charities registering for one of our donations, the odds were sizeable. Here are the lucky twelve:

Day one – Bransby Horses

Our first congratulations went to Bransby Horses on day one of 12 Days of Christmas. Bransby Horses rescue equines, rehabilitate them, give them sanctuary care and offer equine advice and support to owners. It’s difficult for many to believe that cruelty, neglect and abandonment still exists to such an extent in these modern times, however, the need for equine welfare charities such as Bransby Horses is ever-growing. Their site in Lincolnshire has experienced staff who can investigate welfare concerns and they work with local authority inspectors and the RSPCA to address serious cases that may lead to legal action.

We were thrilled to let Kirsty Meecham, Fundraising Team Leader know the good news:

“That certainly has made my week a whole lot better! Thank you so much, these are such needed funds as we go into winter -  where the horses eat more, and the costs spiral.”

Day two - Scottish SPCA

Our second lucky charity were the Scottish SPCA. As Scotland’s animal welfare charity, they’ve been on-hand to protect animals and prevent cruelty for 180 years. Over almost two centuries, they’ve grown to become a national charity which celebrates the strength of the human-animal bond and enriches the lives of animals and people. Here are just some of the great things they do:

  • Scottish SPCA champion animal welfare and encourage respect and kindness for animals across all our communities
  • Scottish SPCA educate people of all ages about the welfare of animals in their mission to eradicat animal cruelty and create a better future for all of us
  • Scottish SPCA promote the importance of the human/animal bond, and the myriad medical, social and psychological advantages gained from animal companionship
  • Scottish SPCA bring those who abuse animals to justice
  • Scottish SPCA care for, rescue, rehabilitate, release and rehome
  • Scottish SPCA are Scotland’s animal champions.

Paul McKeown, Fundraising Manager said:

“Thank you once again for the generous donation. The funds will be used to care for the animals in our Edinburgh centre. The team there are delighted with the news and they’ll be happy to give an update on how the funds were used to care for animals.”

Day three - CLAN Cancer Support

Day three saw CLAN Cancer Support to be chosen as the worthy charity to receive £1,000. CLAN has been providing the people of north-east Scotland and the Northern Isles with free emotional and practical cancer support services since 1983. They are the largest independent cancer charity in this region, and their seven wellbeing centres throughout Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney and Shetland (along with their network of outreach centres in libraries, medical practices and church halls) ensure easy access to cancer support services for individuals in rural, isolated and island communities.

They also offer accommodation at CLAN Haven – a purpose-built 27-room bed and breakfast facility for those travelling from all across the UK to receive outpatient cancer treatments at Aberdeen hospitals.

Jackie Craig, Trust Fundraiser said:

“The donation from the Dragonfly Agency will help to fund the costs of providing breakfast, accommodation and a little Christmas gift to these guests over the festive period, and I honestly can’t begin to tell you how amazing that is. On behalf of everyone at CLAN and CLAN Haven, we really are grateful that you have decided to support us with your 12 days of Christmas campaign. Please send my thanks to everyone involved. You will help to make a very difficult time more bearable for our guests”.

Day four - ActionAid

On the fourth day of our 12 days of Christmas, we gave £1,000 to ActionAid. Action Aid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty. Their dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. They are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want. Action Aid’s vision is for an equitable and sustainable world in which every person enjoys the right to a life of dignity, freedom from poverty and all forms of oppression. Their mission is to achieve social justice, gender equality, and poverty eradication by working with people living in poverty and exclusion, their communities, people’s organisations, activists, social movements and supporters.

We were thrilled to share the news with Edward Tait, Director of Fundraising who said:

“Wow, that’s amazing!  Thanks so much2020 is definitely ending better than it started! Every day, millions of women and girls around the world are fighting for their lives, trapped with their abusers during coronavirus lockdowns. But in communities large and small, away from the spotlight, women and girls are leading the change. With Dragonfly's and ActionAid's support they are building a new world—one that’s safe and equal. A world in which no woman lives in fear of violence.”

Day five - St Peter & St James Hospice

Our fifth congratulations went to St Peter & St James Hospice. They support, empower and care for people towards and at the end of life. They provide expert and compassionate hospice care to adults living in Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Uckfield, Lewes and the surrounding villages. They also support their families and friends through the challenges of bereavement and grief.

St Peter & St James Hospice want to make a positive difference to the experience of everybody in their community who faces death or bereavement, by offering choice and support through their expert and compassionate care, knowledge and understanding.

Wendy Agate, Community Fundraising Manager said:

“What a lovely surprise to win this £1,000 as part of the 12 days of Christmas campaign. At such a challenging time for all of us we really appreciate this donation.  This year has seen all our events cancelled and our shops shut for weeks.”

Day six - Dementia Support

On the sixth day we were thrilled to share the happy news with Dementia Support. Dementia Support is an exciting local charity working in partnership with voluntary and charitable organisations, the NHS, West Sussex County Council and other statutory organisations, to create a unique community hub for dementia. Designed to truly enhance the wellbeing and quality of life for local people living with dementia, their family and carers.

Sage House is a bespoke, modern and functional community centre, where people can access the most up to date support, information and advice.

Dianne Gill, Corporate Partnerships Manager said

“Your very generous donation will help support our Wayfinding service which allows everyone entering Sage House to talk to a responsive, trained person for essential one-to-one support and advice. A familiar face will always be available to support people living with dementia, their families, carers and friends.

The Wayfinder stays with our customers and their families from pre-diagnosis contact throughout their journey to help them ‘find their way’ through the health and social care system, provide accurate and accessible information, support and signpost to the right services at the right time, help individuals to live well with dementia, provide emotional support for people living with dementia and their families and to also help plan for the future including information when choosing and planning long term care”.

Day seven - Plan International

Our congratulations went to Plan International on day seven. Founded in 1937, Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. They strive for a just world, working together with children, young people, their supporters and partners.

Their plan and ambition is to fulfil the promise of the 2030 Global Goals, and their 5-year Global Strategy is designed to deliver significant change for girls and boys, putting a special emphasis on gender equality. 

We shared the news with Erin O’Neill, Philanthropic Partnerships who said:

“Thanks so much for this - what exciting news! We’re so grateful to everyone at Dragonfly for including us in this initiative; your donation will go towards our vital work to ensure children, especially girls, all over the world can grow up safe and with the opportunity to thrive”.

Day eight - The Laura Hyde Foundation

On the eighth day we were excited to contact The Laura Hyde Foundation to let them know they were receiving one of our £1,000 donations. The Laura Hyde Foundation was founded by Liam Barnes in 2017 after his cousin Laura passed away from suicide on 4th August 2016. It was Liam’s wish to ensure that any medical or emergency service personnel always has access to the required mental health support. Given Laura’s desire to be selfless and help others, it is LHF’s objective to ensure that those who care for us are cared for. With mental health awareness growing all of the time with taglines such as #ITSOKNOTTOBEOK, the Laura Hyde Foundation focuses specifically on our medical and emergency personnel given their exposure to trauma, conflict and external pressures.

When we contacted Liam to let him know the good news, he said:

“This is indeed fantastic news and just the tonic after a tricky couple of weeks! This incredible gesture will help us save lives and for that, the Dragonfly Agency should be extremely proud”.

Day nine - Diabetes UK

Day nine saw Diabetes UK be congratulated with one of our donations. Diabetes UK’s vision is for a world where diabetes can do no harm. They are leading the fight against the UK's biggest and growing health crisis. And it's a fight that involves us all – sharing knowledge and taking on diabetes together. Diabetes UK are here to prevent Type 2 diabetes, campaign for and support everyone affected by diabetes, and fund research that will one day lead us to a cure.

Kath Abrahams, Director of Engagement and Fundraising was delighted to receive the news, and said:

“What AMAZING news for a Friday.  Thanks so much to you and the team at Dragonfly – we really appreciate this very much.  None of the work we do to support people with diabetes is possible without our wonderful donors and we’re so delighted that you’ve just become one of those”.

Day ten - Barnardo’s

Our tenth lucky charity was Barnardo’s, a great cause who protect, support and nurture the UK's most vulnerable children. They help hundreds of thousands of children, young people, parents and carers via their 800+ services across the UK.  They help children through the trauma of sexual abuse and exploitation. They provide support for young people in care – and they don’t forget about them when they leave the care system. They give children caring for a loved one the help and support they deserve. And that’s not all. Their specialist workers support families through domestic abuse, mental health problems, prison sentences, asylum seeking and much more. Barnardo’s also amplify the voices of young people to influence Government on the issues that affect their lives, fighting their corner and making sure their voices are heard. The scale of what they  do may be big and complex, but their aim is simple – to provide the best outcome for every child, no matter who they are or what they have been through.

Rachel Ritchie, Senior Individual Giving Manager said:

“Wow thanks, that’s great news! Thank you so much” and Emma Wright, Senior Individual Giving Executive also said “Thank you so much Chris and all at Dragonfly! That’s so wonderful to hear”.

Day eleven - BBC Children in Need

Our penultimate charity to receive a donation was BBC Children in Need. They are the BBC’s UK charity and have a mission  to help ensure every child in the UK is safe, happy, secure and has the opportunities they need to reach their potential.  BBC Children in Need raise money both throughout the year and in the annual November appeal show which has raised over £1 billion since 1980. The money raised funds over 3,900 local charities and projects who help remove the barriers that are facing children and young people, so that they can thrive.

They support children and young affected by a whole range of disadvantages such as poverty, disability, illness, distress or trauma.  They also work with a range of partners to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the UK’s children and young people today, including: mental health and wellbeing, violence impacting young people, child sexual exploitation, holiday hunger; access to employment, and social injustice.

Susan Holt, Marketing Services Manager said;

“This is fantastic news! Thank you so much. What a way to brighten a Tuesday! We are very grateful, thanks for thinking of us”.

Day twelve - Prostate Cancer UK

And finally, our last £1,000 donation has gone to Prostate Cancer UK whose top priority is funding research to stop prostate cancer killing men. They are investing millions to find better treatments and better tests that can spot fast-growing cancers early, and could be used in a screening programme to save thousands of lives. Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Some prostate cancer grows too slowly to cause any problems or affect how long you live. Because of this, many men with prostate cancer will never need any treatment. But some prostate cancer grows quickly and is more likely to spread. This is more likely to cause problems and needs treatment to stop it spreading. You can find out more by watching Prostate Cancer UK’s "What is prostate cancer" video on YouTube.

We were thrilled to let them know they were receiving our last £1,000. Holly Matthews, Direct Marketing Manager said “

“Oh wow! That’s such a fabulously festive news!! Thanks so much Chris and all at The Dragonfly Agency, it’s a very kind gesture at this time of year! And every bit of support is truly appreciated by us at Prostate Cancer UK, thank you”.

So that’s a wrap on our 12 days of Christmas! We have loved spreading the festive cheer and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Here’s to a brighter and happy 2021.

Isla Munro image

About the author

Isla is an experienced Managing Director, marketeer and leader. Driven by creative data led solutions, she takes pride in providing the best direct marketing campaigns and strategies. As Dragonfly’s Managing Director, her goals include delivering growth not just for her clients, but her team too. Isla sits on the Royal Mail Strategic Mailing Partnership board and the DMA Scotland committee and has spoken at many industry events on topics including GDPR and direct marketing.

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