Cater's Choice

Nick Cater casts his eye over this week's charity-related gems from the media and beyond.

Nick Cater
Nick Cater


The Boy Who Can Never Grow Old 

I wonder whether this documentary, on Monday 8 October, is exploitative or a portrait of courage? It charts the progress of Stuart Wickison and other students at special needs college Treloar's in Hampshire. At 19, Wickison is determined to go to university, despite Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy leaving him almost unable to move, and possibly with just a year or so to live. There are echoes here of Channel 4's 2004 film The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, about Jonny Kennedy and the condition Epidermolysis Bullosa. Let's hope the Treloar Trust - - gets a better deal than EB charity DebRA, which had to buy advertising time to let viewers know how they could help.

Mad For Music

Five and the Community Channel are marking Mental Health Week every night from 8 October with shorts featuring people with mental health issues for whom a piece of music is significant. They include Christopher, who became blind and severely depressed but rediscovered Ben E King's Stand By Me and the power of love when he joined a choir for people with mental health issues.


Community anchors

Even its proponents call community anchors a "relatively new term", referring to charities creating services, facilities and jobs at the heart of a neighbourhood. For more information, download An Ever-Evolving Story: how community anchor organisations are making a difference from Community Alliance at Surely an anchor is Hull's Goodwin Development Trust, which has hit £9.2m in annual turnover and 300 staff in 13 years, and won the community-led organisation of the year award from Third Sector sister title Regeneration and Renewal.


Raising Funds From The Rich 2007

It is time to book for the 2008 event, because this year's staging of the popular London conference, on Tuesday 9 October, may well be sold out - see www.action for further details. At this year's occasion, billionaire retailer Sir Tom Hunter, autism research investor Dame Stephanie Shirley, Big Give founder Alec Reed of Reed Recruitment and others will speak about how to secure major gifts.

- Contact Nick Cater at


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