Charity Buzz Issue 05 – February 2024

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Charity Buzz, your go-to newsletter for all things related to charitable initiatives. As we embark on the journey into 2024 with our fifth edition, we are excited to present ongoing updates and pertinent insights for passionate individuals who are actively investing their time and efforts in making a meaningful impact on the well-being of others.

News Bytes

Check out this edition’s News Bytes blog post by clicking on the below link:

Online Fundraising Platforms for Charities

Grants for Charities

A charity can approach a foundation and request a grant to help them carry out their work or achieve a project goal and help them give back to their local community. This gives vital help and support to those who are in need of it. Most importantly, a grant is deemed as a gift that does not need to be repaid. As with most things where you are requesting money, you will need to find out if your charity is eligible and fulfils certain criteria before applying for a grant.

Every Issue we will highlight a different entity that offers charity grants. 

This month’s Grab a Grant website is the The Clothworkers’ Foundation

The Clothworkers’ Foundation improves the lives of people and communities – particularly those facing disadvantage and marginalisation – through grant making. They award more than £7 million annually in capital grants to charities registered in the UK or not-for-profit organisations working across the ten areas of priority: 

  • Communities Experiencing Racial Inequalities
  • Disabilities (including mental health and visual impairment)
  • Domestic & Sexual Abuse
  • Economic Disadvantage
  • Homelessness
  • LGBT+ Communities
  • Older People Facing Disadvantage
  • Prison & Rehabilitation
  • Substance Misuse & Addiction
  • Young People Facing Disadvantage


The Clothworkers Foundation runs an Open Grants Programme where they award grants to UK registered charities, CICs, and other registered UK not-for-profit organisations (including special schools). Grants are awarded towards capital projects with both large and small projects funded. The size of grant awarded will depend on a number of factors including the size of your organisation and the cost and scale of your capital project. 

Click here to go to the Clothworkers Foundation website and find out more information on all of the grants available and what criteria is required to be eligible.

If you want to find out more information about grants in general, who is eligible and how to apply for a grant, read our June 2023 Issue article, by clicking here.

Every issue we select a Charity to feature in our newsletter.

Today our chosen charity is H.E.L.P (Helping Empower Lives in Peterborough), a local charity providing vital support to those facing economic challenges, language barriers and social isolation.

Their mission is to enable people living in Peterborough and surrounding areas to be empowered and live happily, whatever their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disabilities, political views or religion. They believe in equality, fairness and that every individual has the right to feel safe, supported and without struggles.

Through food donations from supermarkets and Greggs, HELP assists individuals with low income, asylum seekers and others, often extending support with toiletries and clothing.

The charity addresses the need for language proficiency through free English classes, conducted by friendly tutors over a 6-week course. HELP also simplifies bureaucratic hurdles, aiding individuals with housing register forms, universal credit applications and various paperwork.

Recognizing the significance of social connections, HELP organises ‘Free Food Fridays’ and weekly drop-in sessions, fostering community engagement. Additionally, the charity supports employment seekers with CV writing assistance, job applications and provides interview clothing.

In critical situations, HELP plays a vital role in ensuring safety, offering support for reporting hate crimes, addressing domestic violence and aiding refugees and asylum seekers. By addressing immediate needs and fostering long-term growth, HELP stands as a crucial support system in the local community, embodying the spirit of empowerment and compassion.

 To learn more about HELP, visit their website:

As well as highlighting a different charity in every issue, we are also including the report of an inspirational charity member or charity supporter, in our “Reach to Achieve” segment.

This edition features Phil Heckles, aka Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, the artistic maestro turning ‘rubbish’ pet portraits into a £300,000 masterpiece for charity.


Where Doodles Meet Philanthropy in the
Quirkiest Strokes of Genius!

Meet Phil Heckels, the virtuoso of “rubbish” pet portraits who has miraculously turned doodles into donations, raising more than £300,000 for charity. This creative genius from Worthing, West Sussex, bravely discarded his mundane job in commercial property to embrace his destiny as the renowned artist and fundraiser, Hercule Van Wolfwinkle.

Phil’s journey began in 2020 when he, in a moment of artistic jest, threw his dog’s portrait on Facebook, offering paid commissions. Little did he know that his trademark wonky legs and crooked eyes would become the Picasso of pet owners’ hearts.

His fans, now self-appointed art critics, scold him for calling his masterpieces rubbish. In his defence, Phil confesses, “I do it because I know how much support I get. None of this was planned. And I know how much more I have to do.” Two books, an award from the prime minister, and 270,000 Facebook followers later, it’s safe to say his doodles are more Michelangelo than messy.

Phil’s pet portraits are generously free, sprinkled across his social media, fuelled by the benevolence of donations to his two chosen charities: Turning Tides, a homelessness charity, and StreetVet. Not only is he an artist, but he’s also a philanthropic maestro.

His wonky wonders not only caught the attention of pet owners but also the late, great Paul O’Grady, animal lover and TV presenter. Paul, an ambassador for StreetVet, cherished Phil’s portrait of his dogs, framing it and displaying it proudly in his hallway.

Now a full-time doodler, Phil supports his passion by selling non-pet portrait artworks, merchandise, and even engaging in public speaking. It’s a leap from “rubbish” to riches, or at least sustenance.

In May 2023, Phil raised £10,000 by embarking on a marathon from Brighton to Worthing, stopping every mile to immortalise another furry friend on paper. Talk about running for a paws-itive cause!

As for the future, Phil aims to keep the doodle train chugging along the tracks of philanthropy. “I want to try everything I can to keep the project going as long as people support it. I love doing it. I love the community of people who follow what I do and support it. And I love inspiring others and supporting the charities I help.”

To donate to his chosen charities and check out the original portrait that started it all, follow the below link to his website:

If you would like to nominate someone for our
Reach to Achieve segment, who you feel has shown incredible bravery or surpassed expectations in the face of adversity, etc. please contact us at [email protected] with details and photos where possible.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with us today!