Author Archives: Stephen Knight

£10,930 Raised For Red Nose Day!

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As my recent and relentless Twitter campaigning may have indicated to those kind enough to check my timeline, Friday the 15th of March marked the 25th anniversary of the Red Nose Day event.

Rest assured, this now concludes my shameless harassment and bribery of the Twitterverse for charitable donations.  Well, at least for this year.  Or unless I find myself out of paid work.

Since creating my silly little Twitter account (let there be tweet! And It took me less than 6 days), I’ve always been incredibly impressed, surprised and flattered by the frequency with which people engage with what I have to say, and how passionately they do so.

From how they contribute to the general discussion, to how they show support for various initiatives (from the Golden Twits, to the Shorty Awards, petitions etc).  The good will, wit and informed comments make it incredibly rewarding.  I’ve laughed and learned. A lot.

It occurred to me that this potent comradeship, good will and initiative could be put to great use if its attention was focussed on a charitable cause.

The excitement I experienced by this thought inspired me to set up the team page ‘Good For Good’s Sake” on our behalf.  The ethos being that all we needed to agree on was:

  1. The Red Nose Day Cause is a good one.
  2. Contributing to this cause would be a good thing to do.
  3. Being good is worthy for its own sake.

It seems we did agree, as by the end of the evening (March 15th ), we had reached a staggering £10,930.  This placed us at number 7 on the overall ‘Leaderboard Legends’ when the event had concluded.  This leader board includes every single team in the UK who were raising funds for the event.

Leader_Board_Final6th (2)A few days after the event we were bumped up to 6th place. This resulted due to the merger of two corporate teams.  I don’t care. I’ll take it nonetheless. 6th place everyone!

I fully expect us, of course to drop down, or even off this board in the coming days/weeks as other teams collect their remaining, or pledged funds, but that’s not important.

To be there at all, right up to and on the day of the event is an incredible achievement, one which I’m still a little overwhelmed by.  One that anyone who contributed should be proud of.

This is even more astonishing when you consider we had zero corporate backing or media attention of any kind, unlike many of the top fundraisers.  The funds we raised are a result of one thing, and one thing only: our willingness to do something good for its own sake.  We were simply a group of like-minded individuals with Twitter accounts who decided to do something good.

We had people from all over the planet give up their cash for the cause, and the rapidly increasing total gave no indication of slowing down, from the moment I naively set the starting target at £250, to when the unthinkable happened: smashing through the 10k mark.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed.  This amount, I’ve no doubt will help improve lives for the better.  And what could be better than that?  Please take the time to have a look here at some of the great work that will be done as a result of your kindness.

You’ve done a wonderful thing and I’m proud to be able to share a little corner of the internet with you.

My non-eternal thanks,

GS

UPDATE (Certificate Download)

In the months following our epic March 2013 Red Nose Day fundraiser, I have been in communication with the wonderful RND team with the hope of getting us a certificate so that I may make it available as a thank you to everyone who has contributed.  This is a huge achievement, one which I doubt I’ll ever be part of again.  I think it will be nice to own a reminder of what a small group of people can achieve when they agree something is a worthy cause.  Click download below.  Please also click here to support our latest charitable fundraiser and be part of the next Team #GFGS achievement.

Download Certificate (PDF)

Good For Good’s Sake – Red Nose Day – *UPDATED 04/03/2013

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*Please skip to the bottom for progress updates

 

Red Nose Day (also known as Comic Relief) is a biennial UK charity event which aims to raise funds for a range of worthy causes in the Uk and Africa. See here for details on the incredible work they do.  Their efforts usually culminate in a live TV event on March 15th which informs the viewers of the total amount raised and how that money will be spent.

The main idea of the organisation is to utilise fun and entertainment as motivation for raising money.  On the evening many sketches are showcased and familiar faces make an appearance.

See below this wonderful sketch to give you a flavour of the general idea.

I’ve created the group “Good for Good’s Sake” here.  Its intention is hopefully self-explanatory.  You are able to donate via debit/credit card or PayPal by clicking “Sponsor Us”.

Non-UK Residents

Those of you without a UK address and postcode may struggle to donate.  Incidentally, Buckingham Palace is a UK address, and the postcode is  SW1A 1AA🙂

Join The Team

Alternatively, would you like to join the “Good For Good’s Sake Team” and organise your own fund-raising activity?

This can be anything from selling cakes at work, to getting people to sponsor you to do something “wacky” for the day.  Simply click on “Join Team”.  From here you will be able to set up your own profile and donations page. Your own fundraising profile will be displayed as a member of the #GFGS Team, and your total donations will also contribute towards the #GFGS team page total.

Anything you can do to raise funds will be fantastic.  I’ll share pictures, stories etc relating to any fundraising you have done here on my blog and via Twitter.

This isn’t an opportunity to divide or make an anti-religious message, but to combine our efforts to do something good simply because we can.

I often find “charity” is a card played when debating the advantages of religious belief.  It is often assumed those without religion are lacking in generosity and empathy.  This is simply not true.

Since creating my Twitter account I’ve been overwhelmed by the general active attitudes of those kind enough to engage with my tweets and feel this would be a fantastic opportunity to put this to good use.

Hopefully we can achieve something we can all be proud of.

I made the #GFGS team page active this morning (Thurs 28th Feb) with a target amount of £250.  Less than 24 hours later we’ve already passed £1000.  This is simply incredible. What will the total be when March 15th arrives?

GS

UPDATES:

04/03/2013:
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Shorty Awards Campaign Video and Logo Design Thanks

A big thank you to those who have voted for me in The Shorty Awards so far.

I tried my hand at short “Campaign Video”:

Before making the video I called for fellow Twitter comrades to submit designs for a “Godless Spellchecker” type logo.  I got a handful of submissions, which is amazing.  Thank you.

I eventually chose the below design for my video:

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Design by @mgoodingartist

Please see below the further excellent designs I received.  I hope to use these in future projects:

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Calling all Creative Types for Homework Assignment

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Dear Comrades,

As I’m currently “campaigning” for a Shorty Award (everyone likes a pat on the back), the organisation encourages nominees to create a campaign video to promote their “cause”.

I have a few ideas rattling around and hope to have something edited together for the Weekend of Jan 19th .  I may also fail miserably and not bother.

This is where you come in.

I would love to have a logo/wallpaper/and or banner that I can use as a graphic in my campaign video.  Something that reflects the activity of the @GSpellchecker account, and contains either  “@GSpellchecker” or “Godless Spellchecker” if possible.  Perhaps incorporating stop signs, perhaps not if you have a better idea. Be creative!

I will then incorporate it into my video, then upload the video to this blog when/if it is completed.  I will also display all the designs, including those that were unused (if any are actually received!) and their creator’s details, along with a link to a social network/website of their choice on my blog, along with a thank you of course.

I’m excited to hear from you and thank you.

Please email graphics to godlessspellchecker@gmail.com*. Please ensure you include your name, and a link of your choice for credit.

GS

*By emailing your designs to me, you grant me permission to use it across various media formats, however desired. I will never claim artistic responsibility for your work.

 

“Fear and Faith” and misplaced criticism

Popular UK illusionist Derren Brown recently ran a two-part TV programme entitled “Fear and Faith”.  The second part of the programme, “Faith” looked at explaining belief in God from the perspective of hard-wired emotional need. It can be viewed here (for UK residents at least).

During the broadcast of this TV show, many of my Twitter comrades tweeted me to ask if I had tuned in.

Whilst watching the show I made a quick search of the related #FearAndFaith hash tag to take in a brief sample of the reaction and commentary.  This is where I found the following statement (my comments are preceded by a “+”):

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Mona Eltahawy Confuses Free Speech With Vandalism

Free speech has been a huge topic of contention in recent weeks, the same weeks which saw the deaths of 75 people and violent rage across several countries in reaction to a horrendously made YouTube video entitled “Innocence of Muslims”. 

Debate has been rampant ever since regarding what constitutes the limits of free speech, and what rights we have, if any to offend “sacred” ideas and beliefs.  New calls have been made to the UN for a Blasphemy Law and the ever-present cries of “Islamophobia!” are as tediously frequent as baby photos on a Facebook news feed.

Amid all this apologist rhetoric, one point seems frustratingly absent, or marginalised:

It is wrong to murder/react violently simply for being offended.

A failure to stand up for this point, and this point alone, is a failure to respond as a responsible human adult.

It is true that bigoted far right groups capitalise on Islamic unrest in order to advance their racist agenda and we should afford them no more than our dissent.  This, however should not distract us from the genuine concerns we have with the unique and reactionary nature of Islam.

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