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Last updated: 2022-12

You’re here because I am a swine to buy gifts for and you’ve been directed here gently by myself or a loved one. Sorry.

The short answer is: it’s easier not to buy me gifts and you should donate what you would have spent to The Patchwork Project because that is the greatest gift you can get me. I don’t value physical possessions very much, I am lucky enough to have an income that allows me to buy according to my needs, and I often like very particular things and I don’t usually communicate the details of these to others. This puts us both in an awkward position when you’ve put a lot of thought into a gift but it’s still, for whatever reason, not quite right.

If you do feel the need to get me a gift, this page should hopefully clarify a few “safe” options.

What to buy

This is a list of things I will accept as a gift.

A Charity Donation to The Patchwork Project

I am reiterating this here because I have a strong preference for this as a gift. Seriously. The Patchwork Project will put any money to better use than I will. They are the most important, most hard-working, people that I’ve ever met.

Please consider donating all of the money you would spend on me on them. Visit their website on the link above if you want, or you can just jump directly to the donation page here.

If you are a UK taxpayer please add on GiftAid during the process. This means Patchwork receive an extra 25% of your donation on top of what you give, without any cost to you.

The best present you can get me is a recurring donation to Patchwork, adjusted for your income and obligations (e.g. kids). We are undergoing a cost of living crisis manufactured by a hostile and cronyist Tory government, and this in turn is a symptom of capitalism. While I understand that this affects you, it also directly affects the ability of Patchwork to do their work and the young people of Benwell and Scotswood already experience incredibly deprived conditions. I know that I now circulate around middle-class folk, and while we are all struggling; it is much less important that you and I have to cut back on a few luxuries than it is that people are freezing and starving in a neglected area of Newcastle.

Therefore, if you are giving Patchwork a donation as a gift from me please give what you can rather than simply a token donation. Please adjust it based on your means, either upwards or downwards; don’t starve yourself, but also if you can hold off on an arbitrary phone upgrade maybe donate a little more? If you have a good household income above the National Median income (£30,500 per household as of FY20) then please consider donating a little more. A good rule of thumb would be what you would roughly spend on a takeaway or a meal out for your family.

If you still want to buy me something, these things are generally OK

As noted, I would prefer you to give more money to Patchwork. However I understand that gift giving is an important part of our culture and you may still want to give me a token item. Thank you for your kindness. Here’s a list of “Matt-safe” gifts in a rough order of preference:

Please do not buy me these things

This is a list of things that I kindly ask you not to consider buying me: