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Let's Celebrate Britain's Generosity This #GivingTuesday

01/12/2015 12:24 GMT | Updated 30/11/2016 10:12 GMT

When we brought #GivingTuesday to the UK for the first time last year, there was some uncertainty about whether it would really catch on. Were these shores ready to take on another American tradition? Did we really need one day specifically for giving in the calendar?

Thankfully, the millions who got behind #GivingTuesday last year answered with an emphatic yes. Donations to charities rose, social media was awash with people spreading the word about their favourite good causes, charities and businesses got involved in their hundreds and everyone from the Prime Minister to Dame Helen Mirren was talking about it.

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Today (1 December) marks the UK's second #GivingTuesday. And, as is befitting of a nation renowned for our generosity and competitive spirit, this time we're aiming to go bigger and better.

Last month we carried out research which found that three in every four people agree that Christmas in the UK has become too materialistic. At the same time, a sizable number of people (two in five) said they wanted to give back over the festive season, as well as go shopping.

So how better to redress the balance after the consumer frenzy of the past few days, than by doing something for a good cause on #GivingTuesday?

At its core is a very simple idea. One day of the year to give time, money or your voice to a good cause. Any cause. Supported in any way you want to give.

This is a busy time of year for many of us, and it can sometimes seem that there are just too many other things going on to find time to do something charitable. The great thing about today is that whatever you decide to do, it is entirely up to you. It might be to strike up a conversation about your favourite charity, finally commit to doing that bit of volunteering or it could be an opportunity to talk about something you are doing already.

Unlike Christmas shopping, it only takes a minute to post a Tweet or make a quick donation.

Be in no doubt, through these thousands of small acts of kindness lives will be transformed.

This global movement now spans five continents and has the backing of some of the world's biggest businesses and leading politicians.

Today, in the UK, around 1,500 charities and business ranging from household names like Microsoft, Morrisons and Barnado's to local firms and grass roots causes will be marking this day of giving, while celebrities including David Tenant, Dan Snow and Hannah Cockroft will be helping to spread the word.

As the recent CAF World Giving Index showed, people in the UK are among the most generous in the world. #GivingTuesday is a perfect opportunity to celebrate that.

So, if you haven't already, why not think about making a small commitment to give your time, your voice, or even your money to back a good cause too?