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Cheque presentation, a letter to Ben Bradshaw, and a short phone call to Nestlé – a most interesting week indeed!

  • Monday 8 April – I attended a cheque presentation on behalf of Marie Curie at the monthly Lions meeting. Their two collection days raised over £700.
  • Tuesday 9 April – With my Cancer Research UK Ambassador hat on, I sent a letter to my local MP, outlining reasons why it’s important to support the ‘Setting the Standard’ campaign.
  • Wednesday 10 April – I signed up to help out Hospiscare at the Great West Run. This is one of my favourite things that I have signed up for so far, to prove there are literally the most random things you can do to help. In this instance, I don’t have to run a half marathon. I don’t have to help set anything up for the event. I don’t have to marshal any points along the way. All I have to do is be a part of a team that will be cheering people on who are running on behalf of Hospiscare, and I’m very much looking forward to it!
  • Thursday 11 April – I rang Nestlé during my lunch hour as part of this Save the Children campaign. See feature for more details.
  • Friday 12 April – I saw an advert on Facebook that prompted me to sign up to collect during Red Cross Week.
  • Saturday 13 April – I put my spare change in a collection tin at the train station. Synonymous with my location, the charity tin was collecting money for the Railway Children.
  • Sunday 14 April – On the day of the Brighton marathon, I sponsored a University friend for taking part. They were raising money for charity Fight for Sight.

Feature: Thursday 11 April

At 9am, I got an email from Save the Children Campaigner Brie O’Keefe, entitled ‘Nestlé: The Final Showdown’. This, I thought, should be interesting.

I had already signed a petition, so now Save the Children asked me and thousands of others to take another, very tangible, step.

Figuring Nestlé is the sort of company that monitors their calls, I couldn’t refuse being given the opportunity to speak to them directly and voice my opinions on unethically marketed breast milk substitute products being sold in developing countries.

It took less than five minutes of my time, and I spoke to a lady in customer services who was apologetic, and offered to send more information.

This information arrived a couple of days later, and included a link to a Nestlé web page, trying to prove that they do not partake in this unethical behaviour. Sadly I am a bit of a cynic, so I’m not sure how much of this I really believe. But it did fill me with some hope that they had listened enough to actually send a comprehensive email in response to my complaint. And I can only hope that if a significant number of other campaigners did this, then eventually something will be done.

*Update on the 3 May 2013: Campaigner, Brie O’Keefe, sent an email entitled ‘Nestle and Danone: You did it!’ It was great to receive positive feedback, and to know that in our thousands, we made some difference. You can read all about it in Brie’s blog.

Save the Children have also put together a compelling video on why campaigning works. So if donating money or time isn’t your thing, please consider that taking one minute to sign a petiton, or five to make a phone call, can really make a difference.

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