Fresh from her appearance as a keynote speaker at the GCA AGM and Conference, Sarah Hamilton, the founder of the the Just a Card campaign was even more bubbly than usual as it was confirmed that her initiative is to benefit from a £1,000 Aviva Community Fund award.
As well as the ongoing activity of the campaign, this year saw the launch of the Just A Card Day (on September 28), which was an incredible success with hundreds of independent creative businesses, artists and makers posting their stories, images and videos online to spread the message of supporting small businesses.
The Just a Card project was awarded one of the conveted Aviva Community Fund awards. Over 6,000 community projects race to be the first 200 to win 1000 votes and therefore £1000. The Just a Card campaign reached the 1000 votes necessary in just two days! Quite astonishing and a testament to the Just a Card community.
It’s been a busy year on the Just a Card front (which is run totally on an unpaid basis by Sarah and a few volunteers) and it’s bound to get even busier as Christmas draws closer. As Sarah explains: “We are so excited that Benedict Cumberbatch has designed a Christmas card to raise money for Anno’s Africa, a charity that I am involved in, which also features the Just a Card details on the rear. Sales have been fantastic! He’s even ordered some himself, to send to friends and family. We offered to send him some packs as a thank you but he insisted on paying to support our charity.”
The Just a Card team member Michael Fram, from The Leaping Hare Gallery & Framers in Easingwold, Yorkshire has packed off nearly £10,000 worth of orders since the launch on Just a Card Day on 28 September. Anno’s Africa, is a UK based children’s charity running arts educational programmes for children living in extreme poverty in Kenya and Malawi. These programmes teach life skills which help kids find employment and live a life away from poverty.”
Not only has Sarah been busy with the Just a Card campaign, but the book she authored – House of Cards, published in May – has been selling incredibly well. “The book now has over 50 five-star reviews, which is great for a craft book as apparently they normally get around four stars,” says Sarah. “It’s being translated into German too. This amuses me as one of the chapters, the one about charity cards, was written by my good friend actor David Oakes. David plays Prince Ernest of Coburg (brother of Prince Albert) in the hit ITV series ‘Victoria’. ‘Victoria’ has taken over the Downtown Abbey slot, and there’ll be a Christmas special broadcast on Christmas Day. David is also an artist and he’s designed a lovely charity Christmas card for British Lung Foundation, which is also on sale now.”