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December around the corner, Christmas in a few months. This is the time of year when charitable activities take centre stage.

But many agents do great charity work year-round and as you know, we like to champion those efforts, publicising the side of agency that gets little attention elsewhere.

We have had a tremendous response to Agents Do Charity over the past six months but now we'd like to extend the idea by asking you to submit emails outlining what your agency is doing, or by making your own video which we would run here on the Agents Do Charity section on Friday.

As ever, if you want to be mentioned, please let us know on press@estateagenttoday.co.uk.

In the meantime, here are this week's updates.

Scope: Sandfords is this year supporting Marylebone Christmas Lights in aid of Scope, the disability charity. Earlier this month Marylebone Village hosted its annual festive Christmas Lights event to celebrate the switch on, and Sandfords was there to help with staff running the tombola stall outside their office on Paddington Street, which alone raised a fantastic £2,050.

Organised by Howard de Walden Estate, this year's event welcomed thousands of guests who joined in with various activities, danced along to music performances, ate mince pies, drank mulled wine, and browsed the many stalls. The lights were switched on by Jessica Hynes, the actress best known for roles in Spaced, Twenty Twelve and Up the Women.

Julia Garber, Director at Sandfords in Marylebone, comments: We were delighted to be asked again to run the tombola stall. It's always so lovely to be involved in what is such a great community event. All staff members enjoyed the festive atmosphere and we definitely got into the spirit of things this year by dressing up as Christmas trees!


Your Own Place: We've received this message from Lucy Carne, MD of Reality Estate Agents in Norwich. After reading your article in this mornings newsletter, as Director of Reality Estate Agents, I feel I have a social responsibility to support several of our local charities all year round and not just at Christmas.

As home owners and Estate Agents we take for granted the roof over our heads and the bricks and mortar we are asked to sell. Sadly so many people don't have that luxury of having their own bed let alone a roof over their head to keep them safe and dry.

That's why I have chosen to support Your Own Place - www.yourownplace.co.uk. They exist to support youth homelessness and help equip 16-25 year olds with the life skills we take for granted. Whilst I appreciate we are coming up to the time of year when our thoughts turn to those less fortunate than ourselves but here at Reality we are constantly campaigning throughout the year to help these young adults build a home of their own.

Back in March, I took part in the YMCA Big Sleep Easy which meant sleeping out in the open with only a plastic sheet and cardboard box to protect me from the elements. With the help of my wonderful clients past and present we raised £1,500.

We are currently campaigning for supermarket vouchers to help these young adults buy the very basis of items such as tea towels, kitchen utensils, bed linen etc. Our office is also a donation point for our local food bank here in our fine City!

I am always overwhelmed at the public's generosity and will continue to support both excellent causes in any way my business can.


The Great British Property Paddle: Agents Giving wants all agents to muster their paddle power for the charity's wettest event to date - The Great British Property Paddle.

Andrew Trantum of Embrace Mortgage Services, part of the LSL group, is set to kayak and canoe his way along all the waterways of Britain - in excess of 300 miles - to raise money for Agents Giving.

He's calling on agents, housebuilders and suppliers to the property industry across the UK to pick up a paddle and join him for a stretch of the route - he'll make available equipment to anyone intrepid enough to get out on the water. No experience is necessary; all that is needed is the ability to swim. The idea is that everyone should aim to raise as much money in sponsorship as possible for good causes.

Companies across the UK can also sponsor one of nineteen legs' of the event or sponsor one of the three main kayaks. Rightmove is also supporting the event through the award of a significant grant to help cover set-up costs and has also branded one of the kayaks.

Peter Knight, Chairman at Agents Giving, says this is exactly the sort of innovative fundraising we want to encourage. Andrew has thought of something a little bit different that others can also contribute to in a variety of ways and to varying degrees of intensity.

The aim is to paddle around 20 miles every day along a route which covers as much of the UK's navigable waterways as possible to allow as much agent involvement as possible.

You have plenty of time to prepare. Agents Giving is encouraging people to sign up now, with the event planned to take place in June 2015.


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