We wish you a Delightful Christmas, and a Healthy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year. Thank you for working with us during the continuing challenge that was 2021.
Each year at Christmas, we support charities which have some resonance to us. It was a year dominated by the continuing pandemic. At the end of 2021, we count ourselves very lucky to have a thriving, growing business, driven by an enthusiastic, talented… and above all, healthy team of people. Not everyone has been so fortunate. The fervent hope is that 2022 will allow us to put the pandemic behind us. That is not to say that all crises have been averted; the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow only a few months ago reminds us that caring for the environment remains one of our highest responsibilities.
Help Musicians is an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement. It is clear that the entertainment industry has suffered badly during the year, not least the freelance self-employed musician, who has had little support. It was founded 100 years ago as the Musicians Benevolent Fund, by people like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar. Last year it supported over 19,000 musicians with a wide spectrum of support, including health & welfare services, creative development funding, ground-breaking research, and a mental health helpline for the entire music industry.
Deforestation is a global phenomenon caused by a variety of factors, from large-scale slash and burn practices, to unsustainable agriculture, to daily community forest destruction. The regions most impacted by deforestation are highly poverty-stricken and underdeveloped areas. With few options to support their families, often members of impoverished communities are forced to destroy their local environment to survive, such as cutting down trees for construction, fuel, heat, and agricultural purposes. While this solves a short-term problem, long-term consequences arise when forests are cut down and not restored. The impact of deforestation is dramatic because it causes severe flooding, erosion, and desertification. The long-term effects of deforestation lead to even worse environmental devastation.
The Eden Projects charity starts by hiring local people to plant trees. This gives them a fair and consistent income so they can provide for their families. As the reforestation effort goes on, healthy forests begin to emerge, and all the harmful effects of deforestation begin to disappear.