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Issue:- 16/17June 2010


HALF of mums living in the North West of England are dreading the start of the summer of football, a study of 3,000 mothers by has revealed, highlighting a combination of TV viewing changes, financial commitments and the pressure to entertain as topics most likely to drive frustration.

The study shows that the television is set to be the biggest bone of contention this summer, with over 42% of mums citing their family dominating the remote control as the major frustration, whilst more than half are irritated that their favourite programmes will be replaced by football for the duration of the competition. Over one third feel that they will see less of their partner and children during the summer.

Tempers also look set to rise through the summer months, as 20% of mums admit they will end up rowing with their other half over his football viewing. 25% admit they will attempt to bribe their husband or partner in return for watching the football, with crafty mums negotiating family days out, household chores swaps and even new shoes in exchange for 90 minutes with the remote. 10% of mothers admit they will even take the draconian step of banning their other half from watching the games altogether.

Financial concerns are also front of mind for mums in the North West, with 20% worried about the additional costs of keeping the family occupied and entertained during the summer. 33% of households are anticipating that they will spend during the period on increased housekeeping and entertaining, yet only 10% have set aside a budget to do so. Barbecues and football parties were the most anticipated additional cost for 29% of mums, whilst 17% will be splashing out on partisan flags and bunting to show their support around the home.

However whilst some are not looking forward to kick off, others are waiting in anticipation of the action. Over 33% of mums are actively looking forward to a summer of football with 40% particularly excited about the extra opportunity to spend time together as a family, whilst 33% are likely to host special football parties. 25% of mums polled also wish they could get more involved in football, so as to bond further with their children.

Gareth Jones, Retail Director, said:- ‘’With 57% of partners planning to tune in to the action from the comfort of their own home, the football will be a huge part of our family life this summer. The pressure will inevitably fall to mums to ensure that the summer event is a success, that’s why is on hand to help with a selection of great brands and flexible payment plans.”

The survey also revealed that 40% of mums are actively looking forward to the extra family time the summer will bring. To celebrate the roles that mums play this summer is launching a search for the first ever ‘Football Mum of the Year’. Celebrating all those who go the extra mile to ensure their family enjoys the ultimate football experience, mums can nominate themselves, or be nominated by their kids, husbands, partner or friends at:- explaining in no more than 50 words why they deserve to be awarded the title of Football Mum of the Year.

The lucky winner will receive £1000 cash, £1000 to spend at the store online, and the much coveted Football Mum of the Year trophy.

Use it or lose it: Britain’s vital small charities are in decline

52% of charities reported that they were suffering from the effects of the recession when they were surveyed by the Charities Commission’s latest year and Government is now predicting that charities will lose 25% of their funding during 2010.  Against this dire economic backdrop Small Charities Week, promoted by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), from 14 June to 18 June 2010 acquires a new significance.

The FSI, which is itself a charity, was launched by Emma Harrison (founder of A4e) to support small charities with the strategic and financial support they need to carry out their work.  Small Charities Week opens with Campaigning Day which will take the small charity message to the streets of London on Monday, June 14th. It continues through Policy Day, Fundraising Day and Car Draw Day, culminating in a Day of Celebration on Friday, June 18th.

The Charities Aid Foundation is reporting that 40% of charities are already operating on less income than they budgeted for. The FSI has been striving to keep ‘3rd sector’ funding in the public eye.

“Small Charity Week has been developed to showcase the work of the small charities working tirelessly to build better communities. Their work, which so often goes unnoticed, offers essential support to those most at need. The FSI was set up to support small charities in building sustainable best practice in all their fundraising and operations; much of this comes from learning and development opportunities, but Small Charity Week supports this work by providing the vital platform to showcase the impact and reach of the small charity sector.  This is the first Small Charity Week and I look forward to seeing it grow in the coming years. We live in a country with well over 125,000 charities with an income of £1.5 million or less, and these are the organisations that the FSI was set up to support. By developing Small Charity Week, the FSI is aiming to put small charities on the political, media and public agendas and at the heart of the new Big Society.” said Ms Harrison. 

The Small Charity Week programme was developed in response to feedback from charities accessing FSI services around particular areas where additional support is needed. Events such as the Policy Day Reception at the House of Commons, which brings together charity representatives, MPs and policymakers, were developed on the back of requests from charities.

Pauline Broomhead, Chief Executive of the FSI, said:- “Every day we see passionate individuals come through our doors who strive in everything them do to make a difference. Small Charity Week is about supporting and celebrating these causes.“

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