TruffleShuffle Insider: Meet…Pat

It’s back folks! Yep the TruffleShuffler insider is back again and ready to dive head-first into our next unsuspecting victim’s willing participant’s life!  Giving you an added insight into the inner workings of TruffleShuffle, who we are and what we do is the aim of the game.
This time round we’re taking a cheeky peep into the world of the father of TruffleShuffle, head honcho and MD Pat! Take it away….
What do you do here at Truffle Towers?
Everything and anything… I’m joint Managing Director along with wife Claire.

January to March I’m normally debriefing from our busy Christmas period, working out how to improve our operations for next Christmas, finding out what sold well and how we can provide more great products for our customers over the next 12 months. (Did you know, we ship about half of our annual orders in the six weeks leading up to Christmas? Each day in December is busier than a week in January – who’d have thought it for a predominately t-shirt company – I certainly didn’t!). This winter I’ve been working hard distributing lots of interesting goods for a project called EKOCYCLE, a new brand created by Will.i.am and Coca-Cola featuring product from suits to 3D printers all made from recycled Coke bottles and cans. We have distributed this to Harrods who are running a European exclusive launch for 2015.

Summer months are spent supporting our buying, marketing Amazon and eBay teams ensuring we’re buying the right product in the right quantities for our upcoming busy season. We check that our advertising and social media channels are providing the right information to the right people. This is the time of year that I’ll work hard on getting any new projects ready to go live. Last year we were working hard on launching www.ShopCoke.com – a joint venture with Coca-Cola, providing a one-stop branded shop for Coca-Cola merchandise. This year we’re going through a website redesign which should be hitting your screens towards the end of the summer.

Then in October we stress test our new systems in preparation for the Christmas rush and make any changes we feel are necessary to ensure that our customers receive their parcels in our trademark super-speedy time.

And in November and December I work on the shop floor, picking and packing orders, supporting my colleagues in the warehouse and helping train our small team of temporary staff enlisted to support us at peak times.

How long have you been at TruffleShuffle?
I can categorically say I’ve been here the longest as I founded TruffleShuffle back in April 2004!
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What do you like most about working here / best thing about your job?
I love the relaxed and jovial atmosphere we have here at Truffle Towers but I think my absolute favourite part of the job is Simon’s annual Christmas bonus meeting, please insert photos here!!!

...all others are to 'explicit' shall we say.
What is your favourite tee currently on the site?
I’d have to say it’s the old favourite Top Gun Maverick t-shirt. It’s an awesome design that epitomises the style of product we love to sell. That and as our best seller for a decade, that one design has probably helped out with the mortgage more than any!
When you’re not at TruffleTowers, what do you like to do?
I love anything to do with the sea and seaside, home or abroad. Beaches, fishing, boats, snorkelling and sandcastles! This love of the seaside has been amplified by a relatively recent addition to the Truffle family, our little son Freddie who thanks to pressure from me, also loves beaches, fishing, boats and sandcastles!!.
Name three things you like….
Driving (anything), ambition, pizza
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Name three things you don’t like….
Laziness, cold (I’m allergic), fish.
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What were your favourite three films as a kid?
Crocodile Dundee II, The Goonies, Forrest Gump.
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Who is your idol?
Fictional idol, Forrest Gump – he achieved so much and was extremely gracious about it!

Non-fictional idol, Richard Branson – the real life Forrest Gump in his varied career, now making the world a better place in his retirement.
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Who is the last band you saw live?
I’m crap at music, so I do what my wife tells me and bought us tickets to Ed Sheeran last month.
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If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My bucket list has changed since my mate got me a scratch-map for Christmas. To look more travelled I now want to visit Russia, Greenland, Canada and Brazil.
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Which iconic TV/Film car would you most like to own?
Well, I was once lucky enough to own an A-Team Van replica, so I can cross that one off the list. Probably a General Lee – it’s an iconic TV car but underneath that zany orange paint job is one of the best 60s muscle cars out there – plus I have an addiction to V8s and an old American muscle car might finally quell that inefficient hankering I’ve had since a kid!
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Per the last band seen live question, I do what my wife tells me and listen to Ed Sheeran. But secretly I listen to Radio 1 in the car, as my immensely complex musical tastes are catered for.
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If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
‘T-Shirt Idiot.’
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If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Since I was about 11 and the lottery first started, I vowed I’d donate a lifeboat to the RNLI if I won the lottery. As my love of driving, boats, and driving boats has matured over the last 20 years, I’d now like to donate a lifeboat to the RNLI and buy one for myself to muck around it and act like an orange suited vigilante sea rescue idiot. And now my 2 year old son has demanded he wants a lifeboat too, so I’d need a hefty Euromillions win to buy all three!
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So there you have it folks! Stay tuned for plenty more staff insights and discover even more names and faces from inside Truffle Towers. See you next time!

xoxo

TruffleShuffle Insider: Meet…Claire

We’re back again with another hop, skip and jump into the people behind the TruffleShuffle machine!

As some of you may have spotted, each month we’re taking a little time to harass introduce you to one of the resident TruffleShufflers to find out a little more about who they are, what they do and what makes them tick.

This time it’s the turn of our magnificent MD and baking queen Claire….

What do you do here at Truffle Towers?
My official title is MD although I share that title with my fellow co-founder Pat – I tend to look after the creative side of the business so my main role is managing the buying team and our in house design team to ensure we’re always adding lots of awesome new goodies to the site which is a lot of fun. I also look after our offline marketing, working alongside our fabulous PR Agency, Becky White PR to ensure we spread the word of TruffleShuffle far and wide.
I also keep an eye on operations and I do the HR for the business too although I’m quite lucky with that as we have a fantastic team so they don’t give me too many issues
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How long have you been at TruffleShuffle?
From day dot so over 10 years now which is pretty crazy! This was actually my first real job as I was in the middle of a law degree when the business started so I don’t really know how to do anything else.
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What do you like most about working here / best thing about your job?
Our team are just amazing and make coming into work a real pleasure. Also the products – I absolutely love what we sell and would be shopping here myself if I wasn’t working here. And then lastly the customers – we’ve always worked really hard to ensure we provide the best customer service we possibly can and it means that our customers are an amazingly lovely, loyal bunch.
The first thing I do every day is check our reviews both on the website and on TrustPilot and Review Centre and the feedback always makes me smile.
And then last but not least, I love the fact I get to work with my husband every day – people always wonder how we manage living and working together but it’s all we’ve ever known as the business started when we were 19 and 21 so I’d feel totally lost without him (even though there are of course the odd days when I want to kill him!)
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What is your favourite item currently on the site?
Hmmm that’s a toughie as there are loads! I love our Roald Dahl range, especially our Good Thoughts Quote tee – the sentiment is beautiful and I love the fact that my ultimate girl crush JLaw wore it recently. I also love our Clueless and Mean Girls designs – they’re two of my favourite movies (I must have watched them both hundreds of times) so I love working on and wearing anything related to them. Plus anything Disney, My Little Pony, Care Bears always manages to find its way into my wardrobe (well I have to test the product right?) Typical 80’s child!

Ladies Roald Dahl Good Thoughts Speckled Rolled Sleeve T-Shirt
When you’re not at TruffleTowers, what do you like to do?
I love hanging out with my little monster, Freddie – he’s 2 and a half so we can usually be found jumping in muddy puddles, racing cars and generally causing chaos. I got a Kitchenaid for my birthday last month so I’m really enjoying playing around with that and doing lots of baking. I’m also in the middle of redecorating our house which I half love, half hate – depending on when you ask. I love reading when I get a quiet half hour which isn’t that often and I’m also a total telly addict so like nothing better than curling up on the sofa with some properly trashy telly (MIC, TOWIE, Real Housewives… you name it, I’m addicted to them all.) Oh the shame…
Name three things you like…
My family, food and sunshine!! Oh and lie ins (can I have 4?)
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Name three things you don’t like….
People who drive in the wrong lane on the motorway, radio 6 (we have a constant battle in the office over which radio station to listen to!) and the discovery channel (thanks to Pat.)
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What were your favourite three films as a kid?
Labyrinth, The Goonies (obvs.) and Home Alone
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Who is your idol?
Richard Branson
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Who is the last band you saw live?
Well it would have been Glastonbury so I was lucky enough to see a few – Ed Sheeran was my highlight though. He absolutely killed it.
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If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
New Zealand – I’ve never been and it’s been a dream for years!
Which iconic TV/Film car would you most like to own?
Iron Man’s Audi R8 pretty please….
pretty please….
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and randomly a bit of old school Destiny’s Child which I found in my car!
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If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
“First you gotta do the truffle shuffle.”
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If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Travel the world with all my friends and family, buy a camper van, build a tree house for Freddie and set up a foundation to invest in young people who want to start a business.
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So there you have it folks! Stay tuned for plenty more staff insights and discover even more names and faces from inside TruffleShuffle. See you next time with our next victim instalment!

xoxo

Ed Sheeran Competition Winner

We were mega excited to get our hands on a pair of tickets to an intimate Ed Sheeran gig in Bristol next week. We thought there would be a few Ed fans amongst our followers, and we were definitely right – what a great response to our competition!

Thanks a million to everyone who got involved.

How our Winner is Chosen

To keep things as completely fair as possible, each entrant is recorded and given a unique number.

We then pick a number at random using Random.org which will give us our lucky winner’s name! Simple!

The Prize

The prize on offer was a pair of tickets to an exclusive Ed Sheeran gig in our hometown of Bristol, in support of a hugely worth charity, one25.

To make this as accessible to as many people as possible, we’ve also thrown in return train tickets for the lucky pair, plus £50 to spend while you’re at the gig!

Our Lucky Winner!!

Drumroll please……

All entries have been recorded and our randomiser has been put into action meaning that our big Ed Sheeran tickets winner is….. Helen Randall (and her lucky guest!)

Congratulations Helen!

We’re currently contacting you directly to arrange delivery of your prize so please get back to us ASAP. A big thanks again to everyone who entered and don’t forget to stay tuned for next months big competition!

xoxo

T3ACH

Win Exclusive Tickets to an Intimate Ed Sheeran Gig

Here at Truffle Towers we love working with a variety of worthy causes – be it sending piles of clothes to orphanages in Africa or sponsoring our local football team. There’s one charity we’ve been really keen to support this year, and that’s a local Bristol based charity called one25. The organisation aims to reach out to women trapped in street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction.

One25’s outreach van goes out 5 nights a week providing food, drink and support to Bristol’s most vulnerable ladies. The charity opens its doors as a drop-in centre five days a week, providing access to much needed healthcare, support, education, laundry, clothing and shower facilities. On top of all this amazing work, one25 provides one-to-one casework support in order to individually help each and every woman wanting to make a positive change to her life.

What’s this about Ed Sheeran?

Sometime last year, one25’s fundraiser extraordinaire, Lu Willot contacted a little known musician going by the name of Ed Sheeran and asked if he’d be interested in supporting the charity by playing a gig in a small venue in Bristol as a thank you to the charity’s fundraisers. Not only did Ed agree to play the gig, he also got his mate Luke Concannon (best known as the front-man of Nizlopi and writer of their famous JCB Song)  to play alongside him. Little did Lu know that after agreeing to this intimate Bristol performance, Ed would have four Top 10 singles, one gold, two platinum and one triple platinum!

The BRIT-nominated artist explained his reason for supporting the cause….

“It’s good to show insight that these people are real people with real emotions and they deserve the same charity work as anyone else.”

Ed, who shot to fame when his debut single ‘The A Team’ went straight to number 3 in the UK chart last summer will be playing at the imtimate Bristol venue The Fleece on May 22 and as organiser Lu says…..

“The Fleece is quite a small venue – it only holds about four hundred, which makes it extra exciting as it’s really intimate and Ed’s not playing those size venues anymore.”

Plus one25 have revealed that on top of this ultra-fab-amazing line-up, we’re also going to be treated to performances by Katie Sky and First Thought.

The gig will be filled with “Give-it-up’pers”, a devoted army of fundraisers for one25 who have each raised at least £125 for the charity over the winter by giving up something important to them! Some fundraisers gave up their Blackberries, others talking and some, god forbid, gave up chocolate!! There was the option to give something up for 125 hours or 125 days and organiser Lu was perhaps the most dedicated giver upper – she gave up wearing anything but her one25 t-shirt (kindly donated by yours truly, of course!) for a whopping 125 days! Awesome work Lu!

What have TruffleShuffle done to help?

Our amazing designer James put together a t-shirt design for the charity’s “Give It Up” campaign, and we donated a couple of boxes of t-shirts to help kick off the campaign. The idea of donating the t-shirts is that means 100% of the money raised by one25 by selling the t-shirts goes straight to good causes – as they’ve got no pesky suppliers to settle bills with! In addition to this, to help boost sales and support of the charity, both Ed Sheeran and Luke Concannon Tweeted pictures of themselves in the t-shirts… must be the fab design!!! In return, One25 very kindly offered us a pair of tickets to this amazing, once in a lifetime gig and as we couldn’t decide who they should go to – we figured the fairest thing to do would be to offer them out to you – our lovely customers – in the form of one of our ultra popular competitions!

Ed Sheeran and Luke Concannon showing off one25's awesome Give It Up t-shirts
Ed Sheeran and Luke Concannon showing off one25's awesome Give It Up t-shirts

The prize!

So folks, we have a pair of tickets to give away to an exclusive and intimate Ed Sheeran gig in our hometown of Bristol on the 22nd May!

We’ll also be throwing in return train tickets and £50 to spend at the gig for the lucky winner.

How do I enter?

It really couldn’t be simpler! To be in with a chance of winning this amazing, money can’t buy prize – simply head over to our competitions page enter your email address and that’s it.

Please note, this particular competition is only open to entrants who are over 18 years of age at the date of entry and resident in the UK.

The lucky winner and their guest will need to bring either a valid UK passport or driving license as proof of age to the concert and without this, entry to the venue will be refused.

How will you contact the winner?

The winner will be contacted via email with full instructions on how to claim their prize before 11am on 17th May 2012 so make sure you keep a close eye on your inbox that morning.

If the winner does not respond by 9am on Monday 21st May or if for any reason we are unable to work out the details of fulfilment with a winner, we will select a new winner and begin the process again.

How our winner is chosen

To keep things as completely fair as possible, each entrant is recorded and given a unique number.

We then pick a number at random using Random.org which will give us our lucky winner’s name! Simple!

So that’s it folks – it reall couldn’t be simpler! Wishing you all lots of luck!

And if you’d like to find out more about the amazing One25 charity and how you can support this brilliant cause – please do check out their website here, give them a follow on Facebook here or Twitter here!

Terms and Conditions

1. Each competition (“Competition”) is organised by Truffle Shuffle 80s Clothing Limited, company number 05461029 (the “Promoter”) whose address is 7 Third Way Corner, Bristol, BS11 9HL who publishes the website (“the Website”) at www.truffleshuffle.co.uk
2. Entries to each Competition will be accepted (subject to these terms and conditions and any specific rules set out for that Competition on the competition page (“Terms and Conditions”)) from the start date stated in the Terms and Conditions to the end stated on the Terms and Conditions inclusive (the “Competition Period”). Where terms in the Terms and Conditions conflict with these general terms and conditions the terms of the Terms and Conditions will prevail. Any entries received outside of the Competition Period will be deemed invalid.
3. All entrants must be over 18 years of age at the date of entry and resident in the UK. The eligibility of any entrant is at the sole discretion of the Promoter.
4. Employees, families or agents of the Promoter are not eligible to enter the Competition. Only one entry per person and per household is permitted.
5. No purchase of any sort is necessary to enter Competitions and entry to the Websites is free of charge (subject to the general terms and conditions of the Website use). Entries to the Competition should be submitted in accordance with these terms and conditions.
6. There will be prize(s) awarded to the stated number of prize winner(s). The Prize winner will be the correct entry/ies to be selected at random by the Promoter from all entries received at the end of the Competition Period (the “Prize Winner(s)”).
7. The Prize Winner will be notified as soon as is practicable after the end of the Competition Period. The decision of the Promoter is final and no correspondence will be entered into. If the Prize Winner fails to respond to correspondence from the Promoter and/or fails (for whatever reason) to claim his/her prize within 14 days of receipt of the Promoter’s notification that he/she has won a Prize, the Promoter shall be entitled to select an alternative prize winner and the Prize Winner who has not responded will not be entitled to a Prize or any alternative. Details of the Prize Winner’s name and county of residence can be requested by writing to the Promoter at the Promoter’s address shown above.
8. The Prize is subject to availability and the Promoter may, at its sole discretion, substitute the Prize for a prize of a similar nature and/or comparable value. The Prize Winner may not request and shall not be entitled to a cash alternative to the Prize and the Prize is non-refundable and non-transferable. The Promoter will not be liable for any travel costs, spending money, insurance or any other costs associated with a Prize unless otherwise stated.
9. The Promoter accepts no responsibility or liability for any lost, damaged or incomplete entries and all such entries will be deemed invalid. Proof of entry shall not be proof of delivery or receipt. Only entries received in accordance with these terms and conditions will be acceptable.
10. The Promoter will not be liable if the Prize does not reach the Prize Winner for reasons beyond the control of the Promoter or if the Prize is damaged during delivery.
11. For certain prizes proof of age may be required before the Prize can be claimed by the Prize Winner. Before a Prize is awarded, the Prize Winner may be required to sign a statement of eligibility and liability/publicity release.
12. The Prize Winner agrees to take part in any promotional activity at the Promoter’s request and consent to his/her name, location and photograph being published for the purposes of the Competition and promoting the Promoter and its business.
13. By entering the Competition, all entrants are deemed to accept these terms and conditions. The Promoter may, at its sole discretion, change any of these terms and conditions at its discretion and post the details of any such change on its websites.
14. The decision of the Promoter is final in respect of all matters connected with the Competition.
15. The terms and conditions of any third party supplier may apply and must be accepted and complied with by the Prize Winner.
16. Each entrant will be given the opportunity to indicate their consent to email marketing in the entry mechanism of the Competition and the Promoter shall treat any personal data relating to entrants in accordance with current UK data protection legislation.
17. On submitting an entry, each entrant irrevocably and exclusively grants and assigns to the Promoter with full title guarantee the entire copyright and all other rights of whatever nature in his/her entry for the full duration of such rights throughout the world.
18. Other than for death or personal injury arising from negligence of the Promoter, so far as is permitted by law, the Promoter hereby excludes all liability for any loss, damage, cost and expense, whether direct or indirect, howsoever caused in connection with the Competition or any aspect of the Prize.
19. The use of automated competition entry services is not permitted and any entries which the  Promoter reasonably suspects to be generated by an automated entry service shall be deemed void.
20. These terms and conditions are governed by and construed and performed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales, whose courts shall be the courts of exclusive jurisdiction.

Ed, who shot to fame when his debut single ‘The A Team’ went straight to number 3 in the UK chart last summer, is offering tickets to anyone who raises £125 or more for Charity One25 – a Bristol-based organisation which reaches out to street sex workers.

Ed Sheeran will play The Fleece in Bristol on May 22.
The BRIT-nominated artist explained his reason for supporting the cause: “It’s good to show insight that these people are real people with real emotions and they deserve the same charity work as anyone else.”

The intimate concert at The Fleece on May 22, which also includes support from Nizlopi, is currently the only way to see Ed Sheeran in Bristol and his UK tour is sold out around many major venues.

Louise Willott, who is organising the event, said: “The Fleece is quite a small venue – it only holds about four hundred, which makes it extra exciting as it’s really intimate and Ed’s not playing those size venues anymore.”

Tickets are only available to those who take part in the charity’s ‘Give it up for One25’ campaign by giving something up for 125 hours and hitting the £125 fundraising mark.

Anyone interested in taking part can do so before the campaign ends on March 8.

Full details and a sign-up form can be found at the Charity One25 blog.

Do your bit for One25 + get a free ticket to see Ed Sheeran in an exclusive charity concert!

A few weeks ago, TruffleShuffle was contacted by the Bristol based charity, One25.

A small charity with big ambitions, their mission is to reach out to women trapped in street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction. One25 gives them the intensive support needed to step away from the streets: whether for crisis support with the help of their night van, an afternoon at their drop-in centre, or permanently with the help of one-to-one caseworkers and their new mother and baby home, Naomi House.

In order to continue their amazing work and help more vulnerable women and their families, One25 are running a brilliant fundraising campaign called Give it up for One25… – a challenge for people to give something up for 125 hours OR 125 days from 4th November 2011 or 3rd March 2012 in return for sponsorship or donations to this amazing charity.

To help promote the campaign, they asked us whether we would help them to design and make their campaign tee which we were honoured to do! Our designer James worked with the One25 team to create a range of designs based round the charities logo and the ‘Give It Up’ theme. The charities facebook fans then chose their favourite and plumped for this design (good choice guys!)

As well as designing the tee, the TruffleShuffle team will all be doing their best to give something up (hair straighteners, coffee, moaning and chocolate are some of the things we’ll be sacrificing!) in order to help raise much needed funds for the charity! Our favourite though is One25 fundraiser Lu Willott who is giving up NOT wearing our campaign t-shirt! Yes, she’ll be wearing it wherever she goes for four months, even on Christmas day and at a black-tie dinner! Good on you girl.

Anyone can take part in this fundraising event so if you guys fancy doing your bit and helping One25 reach out to even more women in need……

Step 1: Sign up by clicking here and telling One25 what you will be giving up and for how long.

Step 2: Give something up for 125 days starting 4th November 2011, or for 125 hours starting 4pm on 3rd March 2012.

How do I raise money?

Set up an online fundraising page here at JustGiving
Sponsorship:
Send a link to your online page to everyone you know, with a plea for their support.
Savings:
Donate onto your page what you would have spent on the thing you’ve given up. It’ll soon build up!

And if you need a bit of extra persuasion, those who take part and raises a minimum of £125 will be invited to share in an intimate gig in Bristol with number one artist, Ed Sheeran!!!!!

YES! Number 1 selling album artist, Ed Sheeran, and one of his greatest musical inspirations, Luke Concannon (from Nizlopi), will be wrapping the whole campaign up in an exclusive concert. Tickets will be free for anyone who raises over £125 for the charity (subject to availability.) Yet another great reason to take part!

The charity approached Ed because many of the women they worked with strongly identified with his recent chart topping song, the A Team. They’d also heard Ed explaining in an interview that he’d written the song about a woman he’d met whilst volunteering in a London night shelter and they were delighted when he agreed to lend a hand.

Check out the One25 video of Ed telling you exactly why you too should take part in ‘Give it up’ and what he’d find the hardest give up for 125 days (apart from his guitar!)

He’s even been spotted with the campaign tee….

Ed Sheeran showing his appreciation for the Give It Up for One25 campaign
Ed Sheeran showing his appreciation for the Give It Up for One25 campaign

Considering he’s just released his debut album and has a sold-out tour ahead, we figure if Ed can find the time to support a great charity in this way, anyone can!

To get involved in ‘Give it up for One25′, register your pledge at: www.one25blog.com Money can be raised through collecting sponsorship, donating any savings made and imposing fines for breaking your pledge if you’re feeling particularly charitable.

Or, you can get your Give it up for One25 tee for just £14 (including p+p) here!

Oh and while you’re there, show your support for the One25 team by joining their Facebook page and following them on twitter!

Would be great to hear from anyone else planning to give something up for 125 – hopefully see you at the concert xoxoxo