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Civil Service

#GivingTuesday – how could you show your support?

Sue Owen
Sue Owen, Permanent Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, and Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Champion

A couple of months ago a single tweet sparked off the #FirstFiver campaign, to encourage everyone in the UK to donate the first new five-pound-note they receive to a charity of their choice.

The campaign is estimated to have raised up to £12.5 million in the first two months, a fantastic example of the incredible and spontaneous generosity of our country.

For those of you who may already have spent your first new fiver, I’m happy to tell you that today there’s another great opportunity to give.

#givingtuesday logoIt’s #GivingTuesday - the global day of giving that follows the spending frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a fantastic moment for us all to look at opportunities in our own lives for giving and volunteering.

Last year, £6,000 a minute was raised for UK charities on #GivingTuesday, and it broke the world record for the largest amount of money donated online in 24 hours. I’m proud that this year the Department of Culture, Media & Sport has become a partner of the #GivingTuesday movement, joining the Cabinet Office and Department of Health.

I know many of you already do a huge amount to support our civil society, and I’d ask everyone to think about how you can get involved in supporting #GivingTuesday this year.

The Civil Service leads the way in supporting its employees to volunteer, with a minimum of three days a year paid special leave for volunteering available. Sharing your skills could make a real difference to a charity you care about, but it’s also a great way to develop new experiences and skills. Please check your departmental policy for more information or speak to your manager if you wish to volunteer.

It’s easy to find some amazing opportunities. You can search over a million volunteering placements at, or you can volunteer for one of our Civil Service charities, with roles available at The Charity for Civil Servants and the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship.

Earlier this year, Matt Hancock, now Minister of State for Digital and Culture, encouraged civil servants to take part in at least one hour per year volunteering in schools, for example through the Inspiring the Future initiative. As the Civil Service Diversity Champion I can’t support this enough. You can help more young people to aim high and reach their potential, enable them to better understand the jobs that civil servants do, and in turn inspire a more diverse workforce to apply.

#GivingTuesday is also a brilliant time to consider donating or fundraising for a cause that is important to you.

You can show your support through social media. Post what you’re doing on Twitter using the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #OurCivilService, and sign up for the #GivingTuesday Thunderclap.

#GivingTuesday is a brilliant opportunity for us to show support for our civil society, and I would encourage everyone to take part.

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  1. Comment by Gavin Thomas posted on

    Thank you Sue for an interesting Blog. In terms of giving, for me rather than make a financial donation, I look to give up time during the day to either help support one of the FCO Staff Associations or outside of work, support the local Streetwatch Group by undertaking a one hour streetwatch patrol with our dog as and when I can and by spending two hours on a sunday morning helping to maintain the upkeep of our Local Heath.

  2. Comment by G posted on

    As an AO for 16 years..........Sadly I am unable to donate any money as after real world wage cuts I hardly get by from month to month...........

    Its as simple as that and no doubt I will not be the only person in this lowly position.