JD Official | May 14, 2020

JD Foundation: Coming Together with Specialist Charities

We’re shining a light on all of the amazing stuff the charities the JD Foundation works with are doing right now. Right here, we’re taking a look at Specialist Charities and the massive amounts of work they’re doing to help those who need it most.

The JD Foundation was founded in 2015 and for the previous five years it’s been partnering with all sort of smaller charities whose focus is to offer support for the most vulnerable young people out there. And now more than ever, these charities are needed to help change lives for the better.

Here’s Specialist Charities the JD Foundation is working with in 2020 and how they are adapting in the current situation…


(image: @cardiacriskintheyoung)

CRY – or Cardiac Risk in the Young was founded back in 1995 and has been working for 25 years to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD). The charity’s main goal is to support young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers the much-needed support to the families affected by it.

One of CRY’s recent projects was a partnership with the Moments Candles Company. Their candle – called Aaron’s Love was scented with Myrrh and Tonka. All proceeds of this candle will go to CRY during this difficult period.

Like many charities, CRY is still working day and night, but staff are doing so from home. Staff will still be answering phone calls from those who call the CRY number (01737 363222) and responding to emails like they usually would, so they are still there for those who need them.

They are still running their online mentoring service as before and also offer private Facebook groups which are specifically for bereaved mums, bereaved dads, bereaved siblings, and bereaved partners to help talk about their experiences. Alongside this is a ‘Family and Friends’ group which can be joined by anyone who has lost a young person to a sudden cardiac death.

Smiling Families

(image: Smiling Families)

Smiling Families launched 11 years ago in 2009 and has been providing support and organising fun events for families directly affected by serious illness through child birth.

The charity was launched by Paul and Kerry Martin after Kerry suffered a life threatening illness following the traumatic birth of their child. While dealing with this, they found out that other than the support from immediate family members, there were few ways to talk with other families who were experiencing the same difficulties.

Since then, Smiling Families has been doing everything it can to help similar families to the Martins.

Their vision has not changed, although the current global situation has meant that they’ve had to make changes to continue to do their great work. To help families cope, Smiling Families has been offering small family grants and emergency food parcels to those most vulnerable. They are also offering toys and activity equipment to children to try and help keep them busy and keep their minds occupied and happy.

Alongside checking in with all of their families regularly and working with new ones, the amazing team has created over 100 pieces of essential PPE equipment for key workers using a 3D printer! Real heroes.

Oh, and Colt the therapy dog (fluffy one pictured above) is doing just fine.

Once Upon A Smile

(image: @sidley_ouas)

Once Upon A Smile is totally dedicated to Central Manchester, and their aim is to provide bereavement to those who have lost a loved one. It was founded back in 2011 by Danny Miller and Daniel Jillings, after it became clear that there was not enough support for families who were dealing with tragedy and the death of a loved one.

Nine years later, OUAS is still the only UK bereavement charity to offer different types of support to families through such difficult times. Some of their highest profile events include people who have ran marathons to raise money for the charity. One runner, Nichola, had been training to run the Manchester Marathon this year, before it was cancelled. Refusing to be defeated, she ran her very own marathon!

They also have celebrity football teams – some of their star players include Ralf Little, Thomas Turgoose, Adam Thomas and more.

Even during the current global situation, Once Upon A Smile is doing everything it can to be there for those who need them. The charity is providing self care packages to those who need them and still there to give support to people over the phone and through email.

Co-founder Danny Miller (you might recognise him from Emmerdale?) also got on board the trend of shaving his hair and raised £1,637 doing it, which The JD Foundation matched, taking the total to over £3,000.

Things are extremely difficult for everyone right now, no matter who you are, but thanks to charities like OUAS, Smiling Families and CRY, the most vulnerable people can get the care and support they need to keep them on the right track. Thank you!

Find out more about the JD Foundation, including how you can help to do your bit and donate right here. As always any help at all, is massively appreciated!

More Articles Like This

Next Article