2020 – what a year. When we wrote our Christmas post last year, we didn’t imagine that within six months the whole country would be in lockdown, with so many people suffering from loss of family contact, health, financial security or (in many sad cases) life. At the same time, the climate crisis has continued and substantial action is still required.
There has been cause for hope and happiness even in these dark times. While distance has made things difficult, communities have come together and nature has come to the fore as more people have explored the areas on their doorsteps. Here at DataSalon HQ, many miles have been tramped in the local woods, a lot of cakes have been baked, and we’ve participated in all things online from meetings to book clubs to quizzes.
This year we’re hoping to spread a little love by continuing our Christmas tradition of company donations on behalf of our staff and clients.
The first charity we’ll be supporting is FareShare, which redistributes surplus food to charities who turn it into meals. It’s a national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 17 independent organisations who take good-quality surplus food from right across the food industry and get it to nearly 11,000 frontline charities and community groups. In a year when many more people have gone hungry, FareShare has made a real difference.
Our second donation is to Friends of the Earth, a movement seeking to protect our beautiful but vulnerable planet from dangers such as climate change, mass extinction, plastic and chemical pollution, and fracking. They campaign for real change and have had many successes this year, including increasing tree cover and influencing clean-air policy.
Last, but not least, we’re donating to a charity that we’ve supported for many years: Headway Oxfordshire. They provide information and practical and emotional support to those affected by acquired brain injury (caused not only by accidents, but also by stroke and other neurological conditions). Charities such as Headway have been hard hit by the pandemic – they’ve had to find the money for Covid-related changes in a year when the majority of their fundraising events have had to be cancelled. But the need for their services hasn’t lessened, and they’ve managed to continue their excellent work, so our donation feels more important than ever this year.
This Christmas season will be different, but we wish you happiness, rest and peace, and all the best for a hopeful 2021.