Giving up television


From Matt Betts: “I’ve decided to do the unthinkable (for me anyway) and not watch any television for six and half weeks – which will mean missing my favourite ever programme, which starts on 30 March and so much more.

This is a great deal for me – I watch television most evenings when I finish work, so it’s going to be very tough to find other things to do. However it’ll probably do me some good too and I am looking forward to the challenge!

To help me through this torturous period, I would like to try and raise much needed money for the Living by Giving Trust. If you can help, I would be grateful for any sponsorship – whatever you can afford.

All money will go towards the many projects of the Living by Giving Trust. Take a look at all of these, here.

If you would like to sponsor me, please visit:

Lourdes Floods


From Sadie Vile, Trustee: “On 20 October 2012, following an extended period of heavy rain in the surrounding area, the River Gave in Lourdes, France overflowed, affecting some hotels and particularly the Domain, the area where the main activities of Lourdes take place.  In the Grotto, the water was about one metre deep, almost level with the top of the altar.  The good news was that no one was injured, thanks largely to good local organisation, and it being the end of the main pilgrimage season, so visitor numbers were fairly low.

After a rapid clean up throughout the Sanctuaries, using earth-movers and high pressure hoses to clear the debris and mud deposited by the water, it could be seen that the tarmac surfaces around the Grotto, and beyond towards the Baths were very badly damaged. The same was true on the Prairie opposite the Grotto, and the bridges within the Domain were also seriously affected.

The estimated cost of all repairs is currently 2.5 million Euros, and the Sanctuary is responsible for about 1.2 million Euros of this.

It was imperative that repairs were started as soon as possible – the surface damage was so bad that it has been very difficult to move people around in wheelchairs, especially towards the Baths, which normally stay open throughout the year.

An appeal was immediately launched, and by the end of November over 500,000 euros had been received by the Sanctuaries.  Initial work focussed on replacing the tarmac from the Esplanade to the Baths, and repairing the central bridge that leads to the Accueil Notre Dame.  The challenge will be to raise the remaining money needed, now that the floods are ‘old news’.

Having met through their volunteer work in Lourdes, the Trustees of the Living by Giving Trust decided to make a small contribution towards the ‘Flood Solidarity’ Appeal, and have donated £100 from our funds, as well as making personal donations.  We are lucky to be able to transfer the funds through a UK-based Lourdes charity who have been amalgamating UK donations in order to minimise the costs of converting the donation to euros.

If anyone reading this wants to contribute, we can advise how to contact the British Hospitalité Trust, who can transfer a UK-based donation and even arrange for the Gift Aid to be claimed if appropriate.”

Welcome to Chris!


We would like to welcome Chris Talbot to our team, who has recently been appointed as secretary to the Trust.

Chris will work closely with the Board of Trustees and attend all meetings.

Chris has already supported the Living by Giving Trust in numerous ways: he was a member of our fundraising committee and attended various events.

We are looking forward to working with Chris in the upcoming months.

Contact Chris via

Matt Betts
Chair, Living by Giving Trust

Bongo Ball 2013


The Living by Giving Trust are pleased to announce that the Xavier Project are organising a “Bongo Ball” in London on 8 March 2013 – all to raise money for the project.

From Xavier Project:
“Be sure to save the date for this ‘bongo brilliant’ event, and we will post more information about when tickets will be available on here shortly. Any questions, or if you are keen to be involved, please contact Look forward to seeing you there! The Bongo London Committee”. More information can be seen, here.

Please do come along if you can!

The Living by Giving Trust supports the Xavier Project amongst its projects, please see our special page for more information, here.

Bea receives a new buggy

To make travelling with Bea a lot easier, it was essential for her to have a buggy that could also carry her equipment with her. Following a very generous donation from Sky Insurance, through the Living By Giving Trust, this was purchased for her and has been a massive help to Bea and her family.

Many thanks to all involved in that project.

Revisiting the St. Ignatius Soup Run

In 2010, the Living by Giving Trust provided vital equipment and apparatus to the St. Ignatius Soup Run so that the group could continue the good work it had carried out for over 20 years, which was to support the homeless. Recently, some Living by Giving Trust volunteers returned to see the fruits of its investments.

Every Saturday, sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, tea, coffee, orange and a range of other products are prepared throughout the day in Stamford Hill. On a recent Saturday at about 7.30pm, we and some other local volunteers met and made the journey together to a regular spot in Lincoln’s Inn Field in Central London to distribute all of our supplies.

Within seconds, the volunteers were flocked with crowds of people gratefully drinking cups of tea and eating sandwiches. The appreciation and goodwill was quite humbling, though it was sad to think that many people still sleep rough, partcularly with the colder months of the year not far away. Some Saturdays there are several ‘Soup Run’ groups that can turn up at this well known spot, but on this particular day we were the only ones. Within ten minutes of madness, we ran are out of everything, but were satisfied we had been able to serve everyone who wanted something. We stayed and chatted to various people for a little while longer before again making our way back to North London. A truly rewarding evening and we were still back early enough to be in the pub by 9.30!

The St. Ignatius Soup Run works to a rota, so volunteers are not expected to turn up on a weekly basis, plus there is always a lot of flexibility. If you would be interested in volunteering for this or any other cause similar, please get in touch with us.

We see ourselves as an ‘enabling charity.’ We really want to enable as many people as possible to Live by Giving and if we can give anyone the platform to do that, we would be very interested in hearing from you.

By Stephen Daly