Bollocks to poverty

How to send someone a message they can’t ignore

Over the past few months we’ve been asking Barclays to clean up it's act on tax havens.

With your help we’ve bombarded their inbox, hammered their Facebook page and even got MPs campaigning to #CleanUpBarclays.

Thanks to you Barclays has started to listen and arranged meetings with us to talk about the problem. But we don’t just want to chat, we them to take action.

So what do you do if you keep telling someone that they’re being out of order, and they listen and nod and say all the right things, but carry on doing it? You put your message on a giant billboard van and drive it in front of their face of course!

Barclays billboard

Next week Barclays will be hosting their annual general meeting in London. The CEO, Antony Jenkins, will be there, as will their Board members and all their shareholders.

So to really ramp up the pressure we want to drive a giant billboard to the Royal Festival Hall where Barclays is holding the AGM, with a picture of Antony chillin’ on a tax haven island where loads of companies have stashed their cash.

But billboards don't come cheap, so we're asking people to donate towards the cost. Please spread the word and help us embarrass Barclays into action!

Forget Easter eggs; it’s all about chickens

Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, but Easter eggs lost their magic when I grew up and realised there was no Easter Bunny and it was actually my dad hiding the eggs in the garden.

Plus they’re always a bit of a let-down, let’s be honest. A lot of fancy packaging over a thin bit of chocolate, which – if you’re lucky – has a small plastic bag with a few sweets inside.

That’s why this year I’ve asked the Easter Bunny (*cough cough* dad) to get me a chicken instead.

And I don’t mean the roasted variety. For the price of a fancy egg, you can help fund a chicken-breeding programme for a family struggling to feed themselves, so they have nutritious eggs to eat, or to sell at market to earn much needed money.

MercyMercy, 8, from Malawi, with one of her chickens.

It’s win win. You get a chicken – without needing a garden – plus you get a warm fuzzy feeling from helping a family who don’t know where the next meal is coming from, never mind chocolate eggs. And let’s face it; you’ll probably still get a chocolate Easter egg from one of your other mates anyway…
 

 

 

Photo: James Oatway/Panos/ActionAid

Reading festival: bands and artists you CANNOT miss

Corinne Cumming's picture Posted by Corinne CummingYouth Social Media volunteer
 

Only 130 days to go until the first bands take to the stage at Reading festival! And as always, Bollocks to Poverty will be there for all your temporary tattoo needs. We've also picked out some of our favourites from the line-up to help you choose who to see...

1. Jake Bugg

After incredible success with his album ‘Shangri La’ and the imminent release of his EP ‘Messed Up Kids’ in May, Jake will be playing mainstage this year! He also took the time out to visit one of our projects in Brazil.

2. Enter Shikari

These lads are pretty popular over here at Bollocks to Poverty HQ, what with Rou making an ep called ‘Nourishment’ for ActionAid in 2012, the band making £10,000 for us at a fundraising gig, DJing in the ActionAid tent at Reading Festival, and loads of other stuff! These guys always totally tear it up on stage, they are not to be missed.

Enter Shikari - Rou ReynoldsRou from Enter Shikari

3. You Me At Six

These guys are veterans of Reading, when they aren’t playing the festival, they come to watch! Their new album ‘Cavalier Youth’ debuted at number one on the UK album charts. They have just completed a massive European tour and are killing it.

Max HelyerMax from You Me At Six

4. Hacktivist

In 2013 Hacktivist played the Lock-Up stage, and in 2014 will be tearing it up on the one and only mainstage! Their Facebook says that they are "hardwiring huge, devastating grooves with intelligent and insightful rhyme" - a great combination to lose your s**t to!

Don Broco

The cheekiest band of boys around have just come off the You Me At Six tour and are gaining a very loyal fan base worldwide with their albums ‘Big Fat Smile’ and ‘Priorities’. It’s difficult to find albums where there isn’t one or two crap songs but seriously, there are no crap songs to be found on either album. For reals.

6. Deaf Havana

The boys are currently on tour, and two of those dates are at the Clapham Grand featuring the London Youth Choir and string quartet  - sure to be the two most unforgettable nights on that tour! Catch them at Reading Festival, you won’t regret it.

James Veck-Gilodi, Deaf HavanaJames from Deaf Havana

7. Clean Bandit

Their music has been labelled as fusion, mixing electronic music with classical and deep-house elements, hich is a pretty accurate description of what it is these guys (and gal) do. Check out our Vine remake of ‘Mozart’s House’ from last year here:

8. Chvrches

This Scottish syth-pop trio are getting bigger and bigger. They’ve just announced a US headline tour as well as loads of festivals including Reading. I recently included Chvrches in our top 5 female fronted bands.

Rou photo: Patryk Wojnarowski/ActionAid

Jake Bugg photo: Getty Images

All other photos and vines: Corinne Cumming/ActionAid

Cool date nights for less than a pound!

Corinne Cumming's picture Posted by Corinne CummingYouth Social Media volunteer
 

So if you’re taking on the Live Below The Line challenge with your other half and thinking no date nights that week then, think again! Here is the definitive guide to ‘Dating Below The Line’.

WARNING: your recipes might not look as nice as the ones below... partly because we are all professional cooks, and second, you are going to be Living Below the Line, what do you expect?!

1. Turn your room into a fort

Take yourself back to your kiddie years and follow this simple step by step guide to building your own little love fort. Move your laptop or TV in with you, chuck on a film and have a good cuddle. You could also cook a romantic 74p meal for two like this one.

Not sure how to make a pizza dough? Easy! Add water to the flour and knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic. Roll into a flat circle with a rolling pin (or with your hands).

Live below the line Pizza recipe ActionAid

2. Go on a picnic in your local park

It’s spring and the weather is getting warmer, grass is greener, flowers are blooming. Why not grab a blanket, make yourselves a salad (the one below serves two and costs 67p), take some portable speakers and a frisbee and have an afternoon in the park or woods.

Live below the line salad recipe ActionAid

3. On the pull

You may not have an ‘other half’ and are thinking "how am I gonna pull on £1?!"

Well, being sober at the pub can be rather endearing to the opposite sex when you’re able to strike up witty conversations without puking all over your potential pull. If your undeniable charm gets you a lovely guy or gal, and you’re worried about feeding them the next morning… well, we introduce to you the BROKEfast! These delicious and cheap pancakes feed two for just 42p. Here's how you make them.

Live below the line breakfast recipe ActionAid

 

Ready for the challenge?

 

[WATCH] This amazing girl tells us what living below the line is really like and how she escaped

The World Bank defines the extreme poverty line as people surviving on £1 or less per day. So if you’re one of the amazing people who has taken on the Live Below The Line challenge (£1 a day for food and drink for 5 days) you’re about to get an insight into what living below the line is like.

But for people living in extreme poverty, that £1 a day has got to stretch to everything, not just food, and the reality of this kind of life is unimaginable for most of us.

In this video, Salma, from Bangladesh, paints a picture of what that life can be like. But she also shows us how, with a bit of help, children like her don’t have to be stuck below the line. Watch her amazing story.

You can help more girls like Salma by taking on the Live Below The Line challenge. And from the 25th March to the 26th June, the UK Government will match every pound your raise – so your money will be doubled!

 

She Can

WIN Guest list tickets to South West Four Festival with Live Below The Line

Corinne Cumming's picture Posted by Corinne CummingYouth Social Media volunteer
 
Live Below The Line Black

So you might be taking on the Live Below The Line challenge, which kicks off in 3 weeks’ time, but have you started fundraising yet? Don’t worry, we know that the first donation is always the hardest, but here’s a little competition to help get you going…

Live Below the Line is offering a top notch festival prize to those you who start fundraising this week!

All you have to do is raise £50 by 10am Thursday and you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three pairs of guest list tickets for South West Four Festival to see Deadmau5, Eric Prydz, Above and Beyond, Alesso and many more in London this summer.

You don’t just have to raise the money from friends to be eligible, you can donate yourself too – maybe you can donate what you would normally spend on food and drinks during the five day challenge, or try one of these super creative fundraising ideas.

And remember, every pound you raise between the 26 March and 25 June 2014 will be doubled by the UK government, as part of the She Can appeal!

She Can