What is this?

On the first working Monday of every month (Monday is one of my busiest days) I will donate the daily income of Chocolate Tortoise to a selected charity, and post to this blog detailing the charity chosen. This blog is not intended to tell the world how generous I am. I am less generous than many people. The blog is intended to firstly log who I have donated to, and secondly to hopefully inspire others to do the same, or similar. For more information, see my first post.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

December 2014 – Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

The chosen charity for December is Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

One of my very first jobs when I started up Chocolate Tortoise was, coincidentally, to help out with a tortoise called Tom. Who happened to be female. She was at least 50 years old, and had become quite heavy and her owner, Lilian, needed some help in putting her outside each day to have a wander and a graze, and bringing her back in again in the evening. I’ve been helping to look after Tom for almost 4 years.

Unfortunately Lilian passed away last month and this month’s Donate a Day charity has been chosen in her memory – she was a very generous person and gave to many different charities and Hearing Dogs was one of her favourites.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is a national charity and centre of excellence in training dogs to alert deaf people to important sounds and danger signals in the home, work place and public buildings.

Find out more from their website here: http://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

November 2014–The Woodhouse Centre

The chosen charity for November 2014 is The Woodhouse Centre in Oxted


The local charity that supports local people

The Woodhouse Centre is a cheerful and busy 'workshop' for retired and disabled people living in Oxted and surrounding areas.

Most people come for companionship and to share the spirit of a cheerful, busy environment. There are about equal numbers of men and women and the age range is literally 20 to 90. Most of the workers are collected from their homes by a dedicated team of volunteer drivers.

A list of our most common activities:

  • Upholstery
  • Caning
  • Seagrassing of chairs and stools
  • Needle work
  • Assembling poppies


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

October 2014 – Cinnamon Trust

The chosen charity for October 2014 is The Cinnamon Trust

The Cinnamon Trust

The Cinnamon Trust are a national charity which helps the elderly and people with a terminal illness with their pets, enabling them to stay together if possible, helping to rehome the pets if not, and generally providing comfort, advice and help.

Emma’s parents made use of the Cinnamon Trust when they could no longer walk their dog. The trust found a couple of volunteers who were happy to walk Nugget every week, giving everyone peace of mind, and ensuring Nugget got some good exercise!

From their website: http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/home.php

The Cinnamon Trust

The only specialist national charity for people in their last years and their much loved, much needed companion animals.

A network of 15,000 volunteers “hold hands” with owners to provide vital loving care for their pets. We keep them together - for example, we’ll walk a dog every day for a housebound owner, we’ll foster pets when owners need hospital care, we’ll fetch the cat food, or even clean out the bird cage, etc.

When staying at home is no longer an option, our Pet Friendly Care Home Register lists care homes and retirement housing happy to accept residents with pets, and providing previous arrangements have been made with us we will take on life time care of a bereaved pet.

The Cinnamon Trust - Peace of mind for owners, love, care and safety for beloved pets. But helping 32,142 people a year with 41,342 animals and running two home from home sanctuaries costs - We need your help to make sure we’re always there.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

September 2014 – Wildlife Aid

The chosen charity for September 2014 is Wildlife Aid
WAF Logo 2-Colour
I volunteered at this centre for nearly 3 years. It does great work in rescuing local wildlife which has been harmed through accident or malicious intent. Whilst some people may think that saving foxes, pigeons and squirrels may not be a worthwhile pursuit to support, they also help out more rare animals, and the principle of saving animals from suffering is a noble one, regardless of the animal concerned.
They also do great work in promoting respect for all animals, and educating people of all ages. For this alone, they deserve support.
From their website (http://www.wildlifeaid.org.uk/):

All wild animals that come into our care are treated and rehabilitated completely free of charge. Our aim is to return every animal that is capable of surviving back to its natural environment.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

August 2014–Amnesty International UK

The chosen charity for August is Amnesty International

amnestyWhilst I usually choose small, local charities, I think Amnesty International is a deserved exception. I don’t agree with everything they do, but I think we need organisations like this to support those in need, and to raise awareness of things going on in the world. Without their work, many atrocities would go unnoticed.

The donation this month includes an amount from a friend of ours, Fiona, who did some work recently for Chocolate Tortoise and refused payment, suggesting I include it in my Donate a Day donation. I know she is a big supporter of Amnesty International, which also helped decide the charity this month.

From their website: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/

We are Amnesty International UK. We work to protect men, women and children wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

With over three million members worldwide, Amnesty International is the world’s largest grassroots human rights organisation. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilise the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world. We received the Nobel Peace Prize for our life-saving work.

Friday, 11 July 2014

July 2014–Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary

The chosen charity for July is the Donkey Sanctuary on the Isle of Wight.

We recently went to one day of the Isle of Wight music festival. After a long, but enjoyable day listening to the bands on the Saturday, we spent the Sunday visiting a couple of places on the island. One of these was the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary. As you may guess from the name, this is a sanctuary for donkeys. It was a big, clean and well run place. I especially liked the fact that entry is free, and while they would obviously like you to donate, there is no pressure. Dogs are welcome too, and the volunteers there guiding you to places to park and helping out around the place were very friendly and helpful.

It’s ‘just’ a place with fields full of donkeys, but does a great job and it’s great that they open their doors to visitors. Well worth stopping by, even for just half an hour, to give your support. If nothing else, seeing a load of donkeys running around in big fields, well cared for, should put a smile on your face.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

June 2014–Bletchingley Skills Centre

June’s chosen charity is the Bletchingley Skills Centre.

This is a local centre that provides adult education classes for disabled people.


From their website:

Bletchingley Skills Centre is a charity founded in 1989 with the goal of providing adult education classes for disabled people. The main aim of the Skills Centre today is to provide training courses, support and information for physically impaired people and to help them develop their potential, whether by improving their skills or helping develop their self confidence.


Courses offered include numeracy, literacy, cookery, crafts and exercise. We also offer computer classes for students at all levels including courses specifically for the visually impaired. The courses help students to become more independent and learn skills to enable them to seek employment, both paid or voluntary. There are currently 70 student placements attending the courses on a weekly basis.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

May 2014 – Contact The Elderly

May’s chosen charity is Contact the Elderly.

This is a national, but small scale, charity that uses volunteers to organise, host, and transport local elderly people to regular tea parties for fun and friendship.

A friend of my wife is a volunteer driver for her local branch. A very worthwhile cause, and it also demonstrates that I don’t just choose animal charities!


From their website:

Welcome to contact the elderly

a lifeline of friendship

We organise regular Sunday afternoon tea parties for people over 75, who live with little or no social support.

The afternoons are full of fun and laughter and make a
real difference to the lives of our guests.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

April 2014 – Valgray’s Border Collie & Animal Rescue

The charity chosen to receive the donation in April 2014 is Valgray’s Border Collie & Animal Rescue.

Valgrays was established in 1978, is based in Warlingham, Surrey and focuses on rescuing and rehoming Border Collies.

As the owner of a bc myself, I know how much effort they can take, but how rewarding they can be when you have a happy, healthy dog.


Some information from their website:

Valgrays Border Collie Rescue Site 

Border Collie's are such special dogs, they deserve special owners

  • Please take a look at all of our deserving dogs and see if a small space can be found in your house for one of them, as they will surely take up a huge space in your heart when they arrive.  

  • Collie's need education and usually like a 'job' to keep them 'sane'. 

  • Some of the collies Valgrays have would be suitable for all fields of dog sports and hobbies;   Agility, Obedience, Flyball, Working Trials, Extreme Walking etc,  but the most important thing is that they are a loved and well cared for pet.

  • When you get a collie and find a new hobby then you will be amazed at the new friends you will make along the way.

  • All the Border Collies offered here have been assessed and all will be wormed and microchipped before going to their new homes. 

  • Neutering will be done according to the age of the dog involved.

  • Valgrays is a 'tiny' rescue based around Val's own property, we pride ourselves on being small and personal.

  • Valgrays relies totally on donations to keep rescuring these dogs - please help us to keep helping them .. please donate if you are able (see 'To donate/help')

  • We have many donate buttons throughout this site so please be kind with pennies and pounds - it will help us to help mans best friend. Thank you.,
  • Romanian appeal....please donate and help this terrible situation...we will do everything we can to support and bring back some of these poor dogs to give them a better life.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

March 2014 – LAPA UK

The charity chosen to receive the donation in March 2014 is LAPA UK


In Russia thousands of cats and dogs suffer and die needlessly every day through starvation, cold, neglect, cruelty, killings by local authorities, individuals and animal hatred groups.

How a society treats animals is a measure of how civilised that society is.

The situation in Russia is terrible. It is real. It MUST change.

LAPA (Helping animals in Russia) is an animal welfare charity. We are based in the UK and in Russia. Our aim is to end animal suffering, reduce stray population and improve animal welfare standards in Russia.

We rescue, rehabilitate, sterilise and rehome abandoned dogs and cats in Russia. We aim to run education programmes about pet care and animal welfare generally and campaign for animal protection legislation and its enforcement in Russia.


Introduction – What’s all this about?

In late 2013 I resolved to give more to charity on a regular basis. The trouble is – which charity? There are many charities and I’m sure I support the cause of the majority of them, but funds and time are limited, so the easy option is to pick one or two, and set up regular payments to them. But this, whilst easing the conscience, still leaves a lot of charities unsupported, especially the smaller ones that don’t have the marketing budget to advertise, and also it tends to disconnect me from the charity: my regular payment goes out each month, and I forget all about it.

So I resolved to do something a little different in 2014. Initially I decided that on two days a year I would donate the day’s takings from my company, Chocolate Tortoise Dog Walking and Pet Sitting, for that day to a selected charity. Whilst my daily takings are not large, as the company is just me, it is a relatively significant donation for me, and the fact that I would need to select the charity to donate to each time would keep me involved in the process, and a few more charities would benefit, over and above the ones I give regular donations to.

The concept of “donating a day’s salary” is not new, and many people and organisations on the internet exist doing just that. It would be great if a campaign could be started to get more people doing this, but we all have to start somewhere. A simple search on the internet led me to this site:


whose author donates a day’s salary EVERY MONTH. Which got me thinking – I could afford a day’s salary every month, couldn’t I? And then more charities would benefit, and needing to select a charity each month would get me even more involved. If my business hit a quiet period and times got harder for me, I could continue to do the same thing, but the donations would be smaller. Conversely as the business did well, the donations would go up.

So there it is. On the first working Monday of every month (Monday is one of my busiest days) I will donate the daily income of Chocolate Tortoise to a selected charity, and post to this blog detailing the charity chosen.

This blog is not intended to tell the world how generous I am. I am less generous than many people. The blog is intended to firstly log who I have donated to, and secondly to hopefully inspire others to do the same, or similar.

Please feel free to comment on the blog, and to suggest charities – especially smaller ones that don’t get much of a mention elsewhere. My only caveat is that the charity be non-religious, non-political and does not endorse mistreatment of animals. I will moderate comments to prevent the blog being taken over by spam messages though. And if this inspires anyone to do the same, add a comment or send me a message – the more people doing this, the more charities will benefit, and hopefully the inspiration will spread.

Happy giving.