These are some of the most common questions we receive. If you can't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.
1. How do you choose who to help?
We hear about a lot of people in need of help. Our founder and CEO, Jaime, reads through the nominations each week and decides which life to help, with the approval of the charity's trustees. We receive so many nominations and the decision-making process is an incredibly difficult one. We would love to be able to help everyone who is nominated, but we hope the one life we can help to change each week makes a difference. And we hope our one act of kindness sparks a ripple effect that results in many more people being helped. (A copy of our grant-making policy is available upon request).
3. How do you know the people you help are genuine?
Most of our nominations come from frontline professionals, such as social workers, health workers, teachers or other charities. But we also accept nominations from the general public - anyone is free to nominate. Our supporters put a lot of faith in us and we don't take that lightly. We verify the information we receive in nominations as much as possible by running various checks, requesting documentation and seeking references, to make sure our supporters can have confidence in offering help.
4. Do you take a percentage of people's donations?
No. 100% of what you give goes to the people we help.
5. A lot of your requests seem to come from the UK. Do you take nominations from other countries?
Yes - but most of our supporters and nominations come from the UK.
6. Why 52 lives - why not more?
Sharing the story of one person each week is at the heart of what we do, but 52 Lives is about much more than that and our reach is far greater. Every act of kindness creates a ripple, and our stories of kindness reach hundreds of thousands of people. In terms of numbers, as well as the 52 core lives we help, we also help additional people behind the scenes. We run an annual Christmas project where we aim to help 1000 people in need over the festive period and we also hold special one-off projects during the year, where we help a larger number of people - for example, during the Covid pandemic we helped thousands of additional people. 52 Lives also works in schools, running Kindness Workshops for thousands of children every year.
7. When did 52 Lives begin?
In November 2013. The idea came after our founder, Jaime, was trying to find a rug for a family that couldn't afford to buy one to cover the damaged floor in their house.
8. How can my company get involved?
Some kind companies like to offer help to our weekly requests when they can, but we also we offer sponsorship opportunities if you would like to do more. You can find out more on Our Partners page. If you have something else in mind, we are always open to ideas so feel free to get in touch.
9. I have items to donate - can I send them to you?
As much as we would love to, we aren't able to accept any donated items that aren't needed for that week. But you are welcome to offer them by posting on our Facebook page.