While you might think that volunteering is a huge commitment and that you have to do it every week without fail, which for some, just isn't realistic. The reality is that you don't. Whatever free time you can spare to help out your local food bank or charity is always appreciated - regardless of whether you spare one hour a month, or three hours a week.
We already know from research that dogs can detect prostate cancer - what we don't know is whether prostate and breast cancer smell different. This was something that I knew Walk the Walk would want to help with so when Medical Detection Dogs were planning a major study into breast cancer detection and needed help with funding the study, we jumped at it.
Of course, you can resist all you want. Ultimately though resistance is futile. Like it or not, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!, Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth, Wombling Merry Christmas and many others besides will eventually get lodged into your brain and you won't be able to get them out again until New Year at the very earliest.
If we want to stamp out homelessness, and poverty, and starvation, and all of the other problems we are currently facing, the answer doesn't lie in a donation once a year. If we really want to challenge these social ills, we have to bond together and stand in solidarity with the less fortunate - all year round.
I think we often underestimate the benefits that pets can bring to children. I often reflect about how my two boys benefitted immensely from our lovely cat Charlie - sadly no longer with us. He was an elderly stray cat we adopted and he showed them how you had to be tolerant and respect a pet's needs. In return Charlie offered devotion and a listening ear when life was 'unfair'.
At NPC we argue that every charity and every funder should try to improve their impact. But because in the sector we are all mission focused, we should always be sharing our knowledge too, even as we have to compete with them in different ways. And that sharing is not only about impact lessons, but issues around failure and mergers.