Little at large

An avalanche, a torrent and a novel way to save water

* Avalanches are the new black. For some reason, probably known only to design agency execs in Soho, the deafening descent of 20,000 tonnes of snow and ice, obliterating everything in its path, has become the metaphor of choice for presenting voluntary sector activities to the public. Breakthrough Breast Cancer's new look, for example, features the titular 'breakthrough' at a 38 degree angle, which is apparently the one at which avalanches start. The charity is so taken with the concept that it claims it has "taken ownership" of the angle.

Which may come as news to the campaigning group called 38 Degrees, inspired by the late Anita Roddick and launched in May, which aims to create "an avalanche of change", and has started by pestering MPs about how they are spending their summer holidays. For those who prefer less dramatic symbols for their charitable missions, 38 degrees Fahrenheit is also the ideal temperature to preserve food in the fridge.

* But if you can't start an avalanche, you may have to make do with a torrent. Brazilian environmental group SOS Mata Atlantica has launched a campaign to radically change the ablution habits of its fellow countrymen. The group has launched a video urging Brazilians to start peeing in the shower as an alternative to using the toilet so they don't waste water by flushing. The video ends with the catchy soundbite "Pee in the shower: save the Atlantic Rainforest".

* The best slogans lend themselves to a variety of interpretations. And the latest publicity drive from youth volunteering charity v certainly invites the mind to wander. The charity has produced a T-shirt with the intriguing remark "A big hand goes a long way" emblazoned on the back. Surely that should be 'helping hand' if they are talking about volunteering - or are they referring to a freely given activity of a different nature?

* Stephen Bubb, head of chief executives body Acevo, has asked for a meeting with Navca's chief executive Kevin Curley to protest about his criticism of two Acevo members over their charities' involvement in prison contracts. Curley is an outspoken critic of the idea of charities becoming too deeply involved in prisons, while Bubb sees it as a great opportunity. Perhaps they should hold a public face-off?

Mathew Little is a freelance writer mathew.little@haymarket.com

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