The UK Charity Week story began very tragically in 2007 when would-be founder Lee B. Rayment found his father passed away suddenly aged just 54. Sadly, his father’s death was soon followed by some other close family bereavements. It was these deaths that would later prompt Lee to establish the Charity Today news publication which at that time was primarily a print magazine.
Bridging the growing divide
It was in September 2008, that Mr Rayment and Charity Today began to set the wheels in motion for a new national charity campaign aimed at bridging the growing divide between charities and the general public. Plans were drawn together and concluded by solicitors.
In early 2009, Charity Today editor Lee Rayment formally founded the UK Charity Week campaign. December 2009 saw the first-ever UK Charity Week event take place in Cambridgeshire which went on to raise a few thousand pounds for various local charities.
Slow and steady growth
Various charity fundraising and awareness events took place in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Essex.
In March 2011, a branding company was hired to undertake a complete overhaul of the campaign.
More fundraising and awareness events began to establish around the country, raising valuable funds for the respective causes.
In 2012, the campaign began to spread rapidly across the country with more and more charities and community groups wanting to take part.
The Big 40!
This was a big year for the campaign, it was the first time that events were reported in 40 separate counties across the UK!
In 2014, charities from all corners of the country continued to raise money and awareness for their respective causes as a result of the campaign.
#UKCharityWeek Christmas Jumper Day was born!
In 2015, the UK Charity Week Christmas Jumper Day was launched. As a result, this activity now always takes place on the Friday of each campaign. Members of the public began wearing their favourite woollies to work and school to raise funds for their favourite #UKCharityWeek causes. A proud milestone.
The power of a hashtag (and a very influential publication)!
With the support of the influential Charity Today publication, in 2016, the project went social and began to grow rapidly with all the extra awareness a social media presence was now generating. With the recent Brexit vote dominating all headlines this did not stop the new #UKCharityWeek tag from sitting top of the worldwide trends!
The first Official Partner Charities were welcomed on board.
Social Media Re-Brand
The branding and naming were amended to include the hugely successful new hashtag ‘#UKCharityWeek’.
A Record-Breaking Year
In 2017, the campaign welcomed its first Corporate Friends, but it was the statistics that were to draw the biggest surprise of the campaign! Just under 93,000,000 timeline deliveries were made of the official hashtag which once again managed to sit proudly at the top of the worldwide trends!
The first-ever ambassadors began to back the campaign.
For the first time, the campaign had a structured activity established for every day of the week for the public’s participation.
Thank you For Good Causes
The major news from 2018, was the campaign welcoming its first-ever Main Sponsor for the year, a company called For Good Causes.
In separate news, the decision was taken shortly after the 2018 campaign to remove the term ‘Corporate Friends’, as organisers believed this was not representative of the businesses wanting to support the campaign. The term was amended to Official Partner Businesses.
A big welcome to TheGivingMachine!
In 2019, #UKCharityWeek joined forces with the proactive Bishops Stortford organisation, TheGivingMachine as they became the new Main Sponsor of the campaign.
Proud to Support
As 2019 has gone on, we have now seen many new ambassadors and supporters getting behind the campaign.
Charity of the Year
In early September, the first-ever Charity of the Year was named from the list of Official Partner Charities at the Charity Today Awards celebratory event. London-based Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice was the lucky first recipients of this newly formatted national award.
In late October, the campaign established its very own website www.ukcharityweek.co.uk
A new addition to the daily themes began to come together for 2019. #Give5Day is to be launched as part of the campaign’s partnership with TheGivingMachine. This will always take place on the Tuesday of each campaign. More details are set to be published in the coming weeks.