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270 blogs
  • 19 Sep 2017
    When Healthy London Partnership began working with communities to tackle childhood obesity two years ago, I knew we were in for a challenge. Not only is childhood obesity an epidemic in London – with one in three children leaving primary school overweight or obese – and putting an increasing strain on the NHS; but we’re also seeing cuts to public health and prevention budgets. So our challenge was – how do we tackle childhood obesity in a way that is financially sustainable? The approach that evolved was one that included the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and which can be applied to almost any community-based challenge, anywhere. With an increasingly challenged health and care system, the need to stem the flow of demand is essential. We need place based services which understand the challenges, needs and assets of the communities around them; who know how to connect with those groups who are sometimes called ‘hard to reach’ and who are able to tailor and personalise their approach. I believe that organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are some of the best to help fill this role. There are many examples of where they are already doing so, and providing invaluable support to their local communities. Not only do they often share many of the same health and wellbeing goals as public sector organisations, but they often add additional social value through the employment of local people, volunteering and training opportunities. On top of this, they are able to harness additional capital toward health goals – whether that be through trading revenue, grants, fundraising or social investment. Could the sector therefore play a critical role in tackling complex problems, in a sustainable way?  I am one of a growing tide of people who believe this to be the case. That’s why it’s so important that funders, including public sector commissioners, recognise this and do more to support the sector. Data shows that public sector funding to smaller charities has fallen by a third, and although they are trying to adapt to these changes by becoming more enterprising, they don’t always have the skills or support around them to do this successfully. A resulting 23,000 charities stopped operating across England and Wales between 2008 and 2013. We know that sustainable, diverse business models are possible for many voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, and organisations like Localgiving are supporting this transition. Between 2008/09 and 2012/13, small and medium-sized charities increased their income through fundraising and charitable trading by up to 60%; and 31% of social enterprises reported making a profit last year. Funders should understand the unique role of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector but also their support needs. Where an organisation is creating positive impact in the local community, funders have a joint responsibility to support the shift toward a sustainable business model where possible. This is firstly important for their local communities to ensure they continue to have access to high quality and effective local services. Secondly it’s also important to reduce reliance of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations on public sector funding - therefore reducing the risk posed by any future funding cuts and ensuring public sector funding is spent both effectively and efficiently. In my role as project manager in Healthy London Partnership’s prevention team, I’ve written this guide which discusses some of the ways commissioners can begin to take a more proactive role in supporting their local sector to deliver sustainable impact. This can be done within existing resources and can include adapting commissioning processes to recognise wider social value and ensuring money can reach smaller organisations; it can include supportive – or incubation - techniques such as sharing knowledge and skills with local organisations, brokering partnerships and networks or access to assets like office space; it could also include using blended finance to drive the development of sustainable income streams. While commissioners have a role to play, they aren’t solely responsible for the sustainability of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The sector itself will need to look within to ensure it is demonstrating impact and developing sustainable business models, including forming partnerships and alliances where appropriate. And other funders, infrastructure bodies, and the private sector will need to come together to ensure the value provided by local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations is sustainable. Read and share the Commissioning Guide here. For more information about the guide or the work of Healthy London Partnership please email nwlccc.healthyinlondon@nhs.net Jessica Attard, Healthy London Partnership Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How the Cardiff Half Marathon is helping our groups in Wales Sunshine Fundraising on our London Development Programme!    
    1489 Posted by Jessica Attard
  • When Healthy London Partnership began working with communities to tackle childhood obesity two years ago, I knew we were in for a challenge. Not only is childhood obesity an epidemic in London – with one in three children leaving primary school overweight or obese – and putting an increasing strain on the NHS; but we’re also seeing cuts to public health and prevention budgets. So our challenge was – how do we tackle childhood obesity in a way that is financially sustainable? The approach that evolved was one that included the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and which can be applied to almost any community-based challenge, anywhere. With an increasingly challenged health and care system, the need to stem the flow of demand is essential. We need place based services which understand the challenges, needs and assets of the communities around them; who know how to connect with those groups who are sometimes called ‘hard to reach’ and who are able to tailor and personalise their approach. I believe that organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are some of the best to help fill this role. There are many examples of where they are already doing so, and providing invaluable support to their local communities. Not only do they often share many of the same health and wellbeing goals as public sector organisations, but they often add additional social value through the employment of local people, volunteering and training opportunities. On top of this, they are able to harness additional capital toward health goals – whether that be through trading revenue, grants, fundraising or social investment. Could the sector therefore play a critical role in tackling complex problems, in a sustainable way?  I am one of a growing tide of people who believe this to be the case. That’s why it’s so important that funders, including public sector commissioners, recognise this and do more to support the sector. Data shows that public sector funding to smaller charities has fallen by a third, and although they are trying to adapt to these changes by becoming more enterprising, they don’t always have the skills or support around them to do this successfully. A resulting 23,000 charities stopped operating across England and Wales between 2008 and 2013. We know that sustainable, diverse business models are possible for many voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, and organisations like Localgiving are supporting this transition. Between 2008/09 and 2012/13, small and medium-sized charities increased their income through fundraising and charitable trading by up to 60%; and 31% of social enterprises reported making a profit last year. Funders should understand the unique role of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector but also their support needs. Where an organisation is creating positive impact in the local community, funders have a joint responsibility to support the shift toward a sustainable business model where possible. This is firstly important for their local communities to ensure they continue to have access to high quality and effective local services. Secondly it’s also important to reduce reliance of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations on public sector funding - therefore reducing the risk posed by any future funding cuts and ensuring public sector funding is spent both effectively and efficiently. In my role as project manager in Healthy London Partnership’s prevention team, I’ve written this guide which discusses some of the ways commissioners can begin to take a more proactive role in supporting their local sector to deliver sustainable impact. This can be done within existing resources and can include adapting commissioning processes to recognise wider social value and ensuring money can reach smaller organisations; it can include supportive – or incubation - techniques such as sharing knowledge and skills with local organisations, brokering partnerships and networks or access to assets like office space; it could also include using blended finance to drive the development of sustainable income streams. While commissioners have a role to play, they aren’t solely responsible for the sustainability of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The sector itself will need to look within to ensure it is demonstrating impact and developing sustainable business models, including forming partnerships and alliances where appropriate. And other funders, infrastructure bodies, and the private sector will need to come together to ensure the value provided by local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations is sustainable. Read and share the Commissioning Guide here. For more information about the guide or the work of Healthy London Partnership please email nwlccc.healthyinlondon@nhs.net Jessica Attard, Healthy London Partnership Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How the Cardiff Half Marathon is helping our groups in Wales Sunshine Fundraising on our London Development Programme!    
    Sep 19, 2017 1489
  • 18 Sep 2017
    Fundraisers are a wonderful way of inspiring supporters to get behind your cause, primarily by dedicating their own time and effort. Individuals can take something they enjoy doing - or perhaps something they don’t enjoy - and turn it into a fundraising challenge! An even easier way to generate fundraising ideas is to be aware of existing events taking place in the local area. At Localgiving we encourage all of the community groups we work with to ask their networks to consider fundraisers. And through Localgiving it is super easy for fundraisers to set up pages that send all donations directly into the cause’s bank account. People will then always support their mates doing fundraising challenges – extending a group’s network! On Localgiving every fundraiser page will attract an average of 16 donors that may not have directly supported the cause, but are more than happy to support their friend. On top of that, the average amount raised by each fundraiser is £520 - groups can’t go wrong!  In Wales, there are a significant amount of causes who are making the most of the Cardiff Half Marathon, which is coming up on October 1st. There are 6 groups who have supporters taking part and collectively they have 23 fundraisers that are focusing on 2017’s event. I wanted to share a few current fundraising stories with you:     Paul Popham Fund, Real Support Wales This group has 4 fundraisers taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon, to support their work of giving children with kidney disease a better life. They have focused on asking parents and friends of the organisation to undertake a variety of physical challenges throughout the year. Indeed they hold the title for the highest amount raised so far, out of all members of our free Wales programme. Their current donation total stands at over £7,500 and this is predominantly from fundraisers. “Localgiving has helped support our fundraising initiatives in so many ways. It is easy to use and there is a representative on hand to help with any queries - that is invaluable. We have various projects that the funds will be used for. Our Cardiff Half Marathon Team will be supporting our Christmas Appeal to send children with kidney disease and their families on a day out to see a Christmas pantomime.Localgiving is a proactive platform that encourages its members to actively raise more funds with the different campaigns. The support given by Localgiving is amazing. No other platform gives the support Localgiving does.” Joanne Popham – Volunteer, Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales   Student Volunteering Cardiff: This group has 9 fundraisers taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon. The majority of the supporters are students who have taken part in their programme to encourage young people to volunteer for local causes whilst they study. “We are very proud of our team of 10 runners who will be taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon this 1st October to raise money for our student-led, independent charity Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC). All the money will go towards supporting one of our 28 volunteering projects working with children and young people, those with disabilities, the elderly, the homeless and the local community.”  Malou Hascoet - Project Coordinator, Student Volunteering Wales   Music in Hospitals Cymru: This group has 8 fundraisers taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon. The majority of the supporters are students, musicians or hospital employees who are part of the work to bring live classical music performances into hospital wards. “We are delighted to have 11 runners in total this year. Each person has done a fantastic job with their fundraising so far, together they have helped raise a total of nearly £2000 for the charity, and we still have a few weeks to go! Many of our runners haven’t taken part in a half marathon before, so the Cardiff Half will certainly be memorable as well as challenging! Our supporters know that raising money for Music in Hospitals will make a huge difference in enabling us to carry out our work. The aim of the charity is to create joy through live music, and we do this in healthcare settings across the country. In Wales we organise around 500 concerts a year for unwell, elderly and vulnerable audiences, bringing the therapeutic benefits of live music to over 15,000 people a year. Music in Hospitals is currently working on an exciting new project with the Archbishop of Wales Fund for Children. The foundation have kindly given us a grant to spend on live music concerts for unwell or disadvantaged children in care settings across Wales. Money that our Cardiff Half runners are helping us to raise will contribute to this fund, allowing us to provide an additional 10 free concerts for the children! A big thankyou to everyone who has donated to the team, it means such a lot to us.” Hannah Beadsworth – Development Officer Wales, Music in Hospitals Cymru   Further Wales groups fundraising through the Cardiff Half Marathon: North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity Pembrokeshire Citizens Advice Bureau FYD Technology Club   Example fundraiser page:    If you would like to support the work of any of the mentioned groups, please click on their links.  
    1446 Posted by Lauren Swain
  • Fundraisers are a wonderful way of inspiring supporters to get behind your cause, primarily by dedicating their own time and effort. Individuals can take something they enjoy doing - or perhaps something they don’t enjoy - and turn it into a fundraising challenge! An even easier way to generate fundraising ideas is to be aware of existing events taking place in the local area. At Localgiving we encourage all of the community groups we work with to ask their networks to consider fundraisers. And through Localgiving it is super easy for fundraisers to set up pages that send all donations directly into the cause’s bank account. People will then always support their mates doing fundraising challenges – extending a group’s network! On Localgiving every fundraiser page will attract an average of 16 donors that may not have directly supported the cause, but are more than happy to support their friend. On top of that, the average amount raised by each fundraiser is £520 - groups can’t go wrong!  In Wales, there are a significant amount of causes who are making the most of the Cardiff Half Marathon, which is coming up on October 1st. There are 6 groups who have supporters taking part and collectively they have 23 fundraisers that are focusing on 2017’s event. I wanted to share a few current fundraising stories with you:     Paul Popham Fund, Real Support Wales This group has 4 fundraisers taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon, to support their work of giving children with kidney disease a better life. They have focused on asking parents and friends of the organisation to undertake a variety of physical challenges throughout the year. Indeed they hold the title for the highest amount raised so far, out of all members of our free Wales programme. Their current donation total stands at over £7,500 and this is predominantly from fundraisers. “Localgiving has helped support our fundraising initiatives in so many ways. It is easy to use and there is a representative on hand to help with any queries - that is invaluable. We have various projects that the funds will be used for. Our Cardiff Half Marathon Team will be supporting our Christmas Appeal to send children with kidney disease and their families on a day out to see a Christmas pantomime.Localgiving is a proactive platform that encourages its members to actively raise more funds with the different campaigns. The support given by Localgiving is amazing. No other platform gives the support Localgiving does.” Joanne Popham – Volunteer, Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales   Student Volunteering Cardiff: This group has 9 fundraisers taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon. The majority of the supporters are students who have taken part in their programme to encourage young people to volunteer for local causes whilst they study. “We are very proud of our team of 10 runners who will be taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon this 1st October to raise money for our student-led, independent charity Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC). All the money will go towards supporting one of our 28 volunteering projects working with children and young people, those with disabilities, the elderly, the homeless and the local community.”  Malou Hascoet - Project Coordinator, Student Volunteering Wales   Music in Hospitals Cymru: This group has 8 fundraisers taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon. The majority of the supporters are students, musicians or hospital employees who are part of the work to bring live classical music performances into hospital wards. “We are delighted to have 11 runners in total this year. Each person has done a fantastic job with their fundraising so far, together they have helped raise a total of nearly £2000 for the charity, and we still have a few weeks to go! Many of our runners haven’t taken part in a half marathon before, so the Cardiff Half will certainly be memorable as well as challenging! Our supporters know that raising money for Music in Hospitals will make a huge difference in enabling us to carry out our work. The aim of the charity is to create joy through live music, and we do this in healthcare settings across the country. In Wales we organise around 500 concerts a year for unwell, elderly and vulnerable audiences, bringing the therapeutic benefits of live music to over 15,000 people a year. Music in Hospitals is currently working on an exciting new project with the Archbishop of Wales Fund for Children. The foundation have kindly given us a grant to spend on live music concerts for unwell or disadvantaged children in care settings across Wales. Money that our Cardiff Half runners are helping us to raise will contribute to this fund, allowing us to provide an additional 10 free concerts for the children! A big thankyou to everyone who has donated to the team, it means such a lot to us.” Hannah Beadsworth – Development Officer Wales, Music in Hospitals Cymru   Further Wales groups fundraising through the Cardiff Half Marathon: North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity Pembrokeshire Citizens Advice Bureau FYD Technology Club   Example fundraiser page:    If you would like to support the work of any of the mentioned groups, please click on their links.  
    Sep 18, 2017 1446
  • 17 Aug 2017
    Thanks to funding from The Indigo Trust and the London Leg Up Fund, Localgiving launched a programme in London in October 2016, supporting 75 groups with online fundraising. The programme aims to help the groups participating to develop digital marketing skills to raise awareness and support for their causes online. All 75 groups who are taking part also benefit from £300 of ring fenced match funding each to help kick start their online fundraising. This acts as an incentive to both the groups participating and their potential supporters as the first £300 raised per group is doubled by Localgiving. The first year of the programme is coming to an end in September and we have now recruited all 75 groups, however watch this space for future projects that we might be running in London. Several of the groups on the programme are launching campaigns this summer to use their match funding. This blog highlights some of the campaigns currently being run by groups in London, and draws on examples from other successful campaigns over the last few months. The money can be used to match any fundraising page they have on Localgiving (this could be their main fundraising page, a project page, an appeal page or a fundraising page) and allows them to tailor the match incentive to their needs. A real highlight of the programme so far has been the imaginative ways in which groups have come up with their own bespoke methods of unlocking this £300 match funding. Here’s a snapshot of what some of the groups are doing this summer in London: Taking on a Summer challenge for a local London charity Individuals taking on challenges has proved to be one of the most popular ways for groups to raise money. This light touch approach to community fundraising is ideal as it can create a new ambassador who can tell everyone about the great work the charity does and what they are fundraising for! In May, Geoff at Westbourne Park Family Centre set up a fundraising page while he was running the London Marathon and the first £300 raised was doubled by Localgiving. This challenge based style of fundraising has proven to be a popular way to unlock the match funding, and now North London Cares also have a fundraiser, Amy, who is running the Royal Parks Half Marathon on the 8th October 2017. Check out her fundraising page and help them have the first £300 they raise doubled by clicking here! Further north in Enfield, Joe Wilkinson also took part in the Prudential Ride London 46 mile Cycle on the 29th July 2017 to fundraise for the Enfield Deaf Social Club. Not all challenge fundraisers need to be physical. Over in West London Anoushka Yeoh is a self-confessed Twitter addict. Along with a group of amazing supporters at Focus West London, she pledged to go on a 24 hour ‘Digital Detox’ in aid of the charity - No TV, phone, Facebook, Spotify, nothing! Six people chose to set up fundraising pages and take part in the detox, which allowed the group to get creative with their £300 match funding, by matching the first £50 raised on each of the six fundraiser pages. This incredible campaign generated thousands for Focus West London and is a brilliant example of a D.I.Y approach to community fundraising. The thousands of pounds that were raised will help cover vital core costs of the organisation over the coming year. New Projects and Appeals in Sunny London Matching the first £300 through an appeal page has proven to be the most popular way of using the London match funding. Groups like Journey to Justice through their ‘Hyde Park Speakers Corner Marathon’ and Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours through their 70th-anniversary appeal have leveraged their first few supporters generosity to launch their appeals with a promise that the first £300 raised would be doubled by Localgiving. Now, Making Room, a charity who help people with hoarding behaviours, have launched an online fundraising appeal. Everything they raise will go towards the running of their help line and with a target of £10,000, they are seeking donations that will cover staff costs (£7,600), equipment and office space costs (£1,200) and promotion & advertising of this vital service (£1,200). Check out their appeal page here and help them double the first £300 they raise.  Meanwhile, over in East London Casa Lusa want to reach out to those families struggling to make sense and learning how to make sense and adapt to with autistic children in their family and in the society. Their appeal is live on Localgiving, the first £300 they raised will also be doubled, and if you would like to donate all you have to do is click here! Another imaginative way that a group is using their £300 match fund pot is through a direct debit ‘friends of’ campaign. The Mill, an independent community space run for and by the people of Walthamstow, have taken this approach. Hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds each week visit the centre and volunteer. The Mill has now launched a ‘Friends Scheme’ in where their supporters and volunteers can set up a direct debit through Localgiving and have it matched every month until they have used their £300! If anyone is interested in hearing more about how you can get involved with our London Programme please let Conor, our London Development Manager know. Thanks again from all of us at Localgiving for the support for the programme from the funders, partners and participating groups! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    LSE Volunteer Centre: Do you have opportunities for volunteers? Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth?  
    1564 Posted by Conor Kelly
  • Thanks to funding from The Indigo Trust and the London Leg Up Fund, Localgiving launched a programme in London in October 2016, supporting 75 groups with online fundraising. The programme aims to help the groups participating to develop digital marketing skills to raise awareness and support for their causes online. All 75 groups who are taking part also benefit from £300 of ring fenced match funding each to help kick start their online fundraising. This acts as an incentive to both the groups participating and their potential supporters as the first £300 raised per group is doubled by Localgiving. The first year of the programme is coming to an end in September and we have now recruited all 75 groups, however watch this space for future projects that we might be running in London. Several of the groups on the programme are launching campaigns this summer to use their match funding. This blog highlights some of the campaigns currently being run by groups in London, and draws on examples from other successful campaigns over the last few months. The money can be used to match any fundraising page they have on Localgiving (this could be their main fundraising page, a project page, an appeal page or a fundraising page) and allows them to tailor the match incentive to their needs. A real highlight of the programme so far has been the imaginative ways in which groups have come up with their own bespoke methods of unlocking this £300 match funding. Here’s a snapshot of what some of the groups are doing this summer in London: Taking on a Summer challenge for a local London charity Individuals taking on challenges has proved to be one of the most popular ways for groups to raise money. This light touch approach to community fundraising is ideal as it can create a new ambassador who can tell everyone about the great work the charity does and what they are fundraising for! In May, Geoff at Westbourne Park Family Centre set up a fundraising page while he was running the London Marathon and the first £300 raised was doubled by Localgiving. This challenge based style of fundraising has proven to be a popular way to unlock the match funding, and now North London Cares also have a fundraiser, Amy, who is running the Royal Parks Half Marathon on the 8th October 2017. Check out her fundraising page and help them have the first £300 they raise doubled by clicking here! Further north in Enfield, Joe Wilkinson also took part in the Prudential Ride London 46 mile Cycle on the 29th July 2017 to fundraise for the Enfield Deaf Social Club. Not all challenge fundraisers need to be physical. Over in West London Anoushka Yeoh is a self-confessed Twitter addict. Along with a group of amazing supporters at Focus West London, she pledged to go on a 24 hour ‘Digital Detox’ in aid of the charity - No TV, phone, Facebook, Spotify, nothing! Six people chose to set up fundraising pages and take part in the detox, which allowed the group to get creative with their £300 match funding, by matching the first £50 raised on each of the six fundraiser pages. This incredible campaign generated thousands for Focus West London and is a brilliant example of a D.I.Y approach to community fundraising. The thousands of pounds that were raised will help cover vital core costs of the organisation over the coming year. New Projects and Appeals in Sunny London Matching the first £300 through an appeal page has proven to be the most popular way of using the London match funding. Groups like Journey to Justice through their ‘Hyde Park Speakers Corner Marathon’ and Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours through their 70th-anniversary appeal have leveraged their first few supporters generosity to launch their appeals with a promise that the first £300 raised would be doubled by Localgiving. Now, Making Room, a charity who help people with hoarding behaviours, have launched an online fundraising appeal. Everything they raise will go towards the running of their help line and with a target of £10,000, they are seeking donations that will cover staff costs (£7,600), equipment and office space costs (£1,200) and promotion & advertising of this vital service (£1,200). Check out their appeal page here and help them double the first £300 they raise.  Meanwhile, over in East London Casa Lusa want to reach out to those families struggling to make sense and learning how to make sense and adapt to with autistic children in their family and in the society. Their appeal is live on Localgiving, the first £300 they raised will also be doubled, and if you would like to donate all you have to do is click here! Another imaginative way that a group is using their £300 match fund pot is through a direct debit ‘friends of’ campaign. The Mill, an independent community space run for and by the people of Walthamstow, have taken this approach. Hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds each week visit the centre and volunteer. The Mill has now launched a ‘Friends Scheme’ in where their supporters and volunteers can set up a direct debit through Localgiving and have it matched every month until they have used their £300! If anyone is interested in hearing more about how you can get involved with our London Programme please let Conor, our London Development Manager know. Thanks again from all of us at Localgiving for the support for the programme from the funders, partners and participating groups! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    LSE Volunteer Centre: Do you have opportunities for volunteers? Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth?  
    Aug 17, 2017 1564
  • 07 Aug 2017
    I was lucky enough to volunteer for two weeks at Localgiving, more specifically on the West of England Development Programme. I am interested in NGOs and the voluntary sector; particularly how to tackle the challenges of increasing demand for services and a more competitive fundraising environment. One of the main insights that I gained was how much Localgiving does to help local charities and community groups with their online fundraising.Localgiving provides the support and mentoring needed by groups to find their feet in this area - this was a very positive thing to witness. It really is a charity that invests directly in the sector. I spent the first week in Frome and the second in Bath and Bristol. My main responsibility was researching potential community groups and charities, in the Somerset and Bristol areas, who I thought might benefit from Localgiving support.I collated groups through visiting the library, a leisure centre and of course, the Internet. I was also able to sit-in on training sessions and meetings with charities and groups who were already members of Localgiving. I found these meetings particularly interesting, as I was able to gain an insight into how passionate they were about their causes. I also learnt about practical online fundraising and how much it can raise for a charity or community group. This was a subject I knew very little about, besides occasionally donating online myself. My volunteering showed me how useful online campaigning and fundraising for small charities can be. The statistic: ‘an online donation is worth double the amount of an offline donation’, emphasises this. Through Localgiving I came to understand the sheer number of charities and groups working within each local area. This opened my eyes to how great local communities can be - everyone should get involved in some way. There are huge numbers of people dedicating their skill and time to volunteering - to help others. This was a wonderful insight into the charity sector and reassuring in such challenging times. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    LSE Volunteer Centre: Do you have opportunities for volunteers?  Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    1595 Posted by Rosie Coles
  • I was lucky enough to volunteer for two weeks at Localgiving, more specifically on the West of England Development Programme. I am interested in NGOs and the voluntary sector; particularly how to tackle the challenges of increasing demand for services and a more competitive fundraising environment. One of the main insights that I gained was how much Localgiving does to help local charities and community groups with their online fundraising.Localgiving provides the support and mentoring needed by groups to find their feet in this area - this was a very positive thing to witness. It really is a charity that invests directly in the sector. I spent the first week in Frome and the second in Bath and Bristol. My main responsibility was researching potential community groups and charities, in the Somerset and Bristol areas, who I thought might benefit from Localgiving support.I collated groups through visiting the library, a leisure centre and of course, the Internet. I was also able to sit-in on training sessions and meetings with charities and groups who were already members of Localgiving. I found these meetings particularly interesting, as I was able to gain an insight into how passionate they were about their causes. I also learnt about practical online fundraising and how much it can raise for a charity or community group. This was a subject I knew very little about, besides occasionally donating online myself. My volunteering showed me how useful online campaigning and fundraising for small charities can be. The statistic: ‘an online donation is worth double the amount of an offline donation’, emphasises this. Through Localgiving I came to understand the sheer number of charities and groups working within each local area. This opened my eyes to how great local communities can be - everyone should get involved in some way. There are huge numbers of people dedicating their skill and time to volunteering - to help others. This was a wonderful insight into the charity sector and reassuring in such challenging times. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    LSE Volunteer Centre: Do you have opportunities for volunteers?  Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    Aug 07, 2017 1595
  • 04 Aug 2017
    Gabriella graduated from LSE in 2016 and is now the Volunteer Centre Coordinator. One of her main focuses is sourcing and promoting fulfilling and interesting one-off volunteering opportunities for LSE students LSE Volunteer Centre The LSE Volunteer Centre connects students with charities to help them find rewarding volunteering opportunities. About 40 percent of our students currently volunteer during their time at LSE and we aim to increase this number even further. We are therefore always on the lookout for interesting volunteering opportunities. Please read on to find out how you can get involved. How can you get involved? Upload your opportunities on our vacancy board. The easiest and quickest way to get involved is by uploading your volunteering roles on LSE CareerHub, our free online vacancy board. Once you’ve created an organisation account you can post your opportunities so our students and alumni (up to five years) can find them.  We’re looking for anything from one-offs to long-term opportunities and from event stewards to trustees, but we’re especially looking for skilled roles because LSE students have lots to offer. Our 2017 Partner Survey showed that all organisations were satisfied with the impact LSE students made in their organisation. ”All of the LSE students we have worked with this year have been incredibly dedicated, capable and efficient.” (2017 LSE Partner Survey)  One-off volunteering During term time we organise a one-off volunteering programme.  We’re looking for opportunities on a weekday, ranging from a couple of hours to a day. Previously students have sorted food, packed spit-kits and transcribed World War One diaries. We could also bring a group of students in as voluntary consultants to help you with a specific issue. Why not give us a call or send us an email to discuss the options. Apply for our 2017 Volunteering Fair Every year at the start of the academic year we organise a Volunteering Fair. This year’s fair takes place on Monday 2 October from 5-8pm. You can apply for a place at the fair by filling in our form until 3 September. Note that the fair is always oversubscribed so will inform you early September if your application has been successful. Write a blog for us We’re always on the lookout for engaging content so if you have LSE students volunteering with you, we’d love to hear about their experiences. Organisation can also write an informational blog post. Guidelines can be found on our website and you can contact us to discuss the options. Consultancy The LSE Volunteer Centre can also provide advice on (student) volunteer management. We can offer insight and guidance into the best practice for engaging student volunteers and can help you with your recruitment strategy. We can also help you with any other questions on student volunteering. “The LSE Volunteer Centre has been fantastic. They’ve helped us recruit volunteers, been quick to respond to any queries and have helped us build our future recruitment strategy. Thank you!” (2017 LSE Partner Survey) Want to know more? We would love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved with the LSE Volunteer Centre. Please see our website and blog for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Or send an email to volunteer@lse.ac.uk and/or give David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager, a call on 020 7955 6519. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    2004 Posted by Gabriella Monasso
  • Gabriella graduated from LSE in 2016 and is now the Volunteer Centre Coordinator. One of her main focuses is sourcing and promoting fulfilling and interesting one-off volunteering opportunities for LSE students LSE Volunteer Centre The LSE Volunteer Centre connects students with charities to help them find rewarding volunteering opportunities. About 40 percent of our students currently volunteer during their time at LSE and we aim to increase this number even further. We are therefore always on the lookout for interesting volunteering opportunities. Please read on to find out how you can get involved. How can you get involved? Upload your opportunities on our vacancy board. The easiest and quickest way to get involved is by uploading your volunteering roles on LSE CareerHub, our free online vacancy board. Once you’ve created an organisation account you can post your opportunities so our students and alumni (up to five years) can find them.  We’re looking for anything from one-offs to long-term opportunities and from event stewards to trustees, but we’re especially looking for skilled roles because LSE students have lots to offer. Our 2017 Partner Survey showed that all organisations were satisfied with the impact LSE students made in their organisation. ”All of the LSE students we have worked with this year have been incredibly dedicated, capable and efficient.” (2017 LSE Partner Survey)  One-off volunteering During term time we organise a one-off volunteering programme.  We’re looking for opportunities on a weekday, ranging from a couple of hours to a day. Previously students have sorted food, packed spit-kits and transcribed World War One diaries. We could also bring a group of students in as voluntary consultants to help you with a specific issue. Why not give us a call or send us an email to discuss the options. Apply for our 2017 Volunteering Fair Every year at the start of the academic year we organise a Volunteering Fair. This year’s fair takes place on Monday 2 October from 5-8pm. You can apply for a place at the fair by filling in our form until 3 September. Note that the fair is always oversubscribed so will inform you early September if your application has been successful. Write a blog for us We’re always on the lookout for engaging content so if you have LSE students volunteering with you, we’d love to hear about their experiences. Organisation can also write an informational blog post. Guidelines can be found on our website and you can contact us to discuss the options. Consultancy The LSE Volunteer Centre can also provide advice on (student) volunteer management. We can offer insight and guidance into the best practice for engaging student volunteers and can help you with your recruitment strategy. We can also help you with any other questions on student volunteering. “The LSE Volunteer Centre has been fantastic. They’ve helped us recruit volunteers, been quick to respond to any queries and have helped us build our future recruitment strategy. Thank you!” (2017 LSE Partner Survey) Want to know more? We would love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved with the LSE Volunteer Centre. Please see our website and blog for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Or send an email to volunteer@lse.ac.uk and/or give David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager, a call on 020 7955 6519. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    Aug 04, 2017 2004
  • 03 Aug 2017
    Neymar Jr, the precocious poster boy of Brazilian football, is winging his way to Paris from Catalonia for a world record breaking £198 million. It is reported that he will be paid an annual salary of £40 million to sport the famous blue and red of Paris Saint-Germain. Neymar’s footballing ability is indisputable and, of course, the crazy world of football transfer fees did not start here.   But when figures of this size are bandied about, the question inevitably arises, what else could be achieved with such a gargantuan sum? The immediate comparison many people make is with the cost of healthcare. So to clear this up early, Neymar is worth two specialist Emergency Care Hospitals. However, at Localgiving, our natural point of comparison tends to be a little different. The impact that local charities and community groups can make with a few pounds and some passionate volunteers is incredible. This being the case, we thought it’d be interesting to see just how far £198 million could go if put in the hands of our members. So, here we go... for the price of 1 Neymar.... Norwich Foodbank could feed the entire population of Norwich (213,166 people) for 1 month  (£32 million). Hackney City Farm could feed 100 sheep, 100 chickens and 100 pigs for 100 years  (£12 million). The Harbour Project could run their drop-in centre for refugees and asylum seekers for 55 straight years (£10 million). Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball Club could buy 3000 specialist sports wheelchairs (£12 million). Every child in the UK could receive both a USB stick from WeeeCharity and a free book from CraigMillar Literacy Trust (£77 million) Calderdale Smartmove could provide 1 emergency food pack, 1 camp bed and 2 pillows to every rough sleeper in England (£200K) Oakhaven Hospice could offer 400 patients 160 hours of nursing care in their own homes each (£4 million) Dahlia Project could offer a 12 week group session to every women or girl affected by FGM in the whole of England and Wales (£25 million). Fitzrovia Youth in Action could provide 5,000 young people with football coaching for 5 years; St.Matthews Project could then equip them all with new football boots each year (£5.5 million). First Days Children's Charity could buy 100,000 mattresses for toddlers (£5 million).            Citizens Advice Bath and North East Somerset could offer personalised casework support to every resident of Bath (£8.3 million). Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation could offer 200 women fleeing violence 20 hours of councelling each (£80K). Annapurna Indian Dance Company could put on 2 dance workshops in every school in the whole of the UK (£5 million) And finally, bringing us up to a grand total of £198 million, Talking Money would be able to provide 20,000 one-to-one debt advice sessions for £2 million. I am sure that Neymar will go on to have an illustrious career in Paris, garnished by winner’s medals and Ballon d'Ors. However, if for some reason things do go awry, we strongly suggest Paris Saint-Germain keep a note of Talking Money's advice line and maybe book up a few of those one-to-one sessions early. You know, Just in case...   
    2141 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Neymar Jr, the precocious poster boy of Brazilian football, is winging his way to Paris from Catalonia for a world record breaking £198 million. It is reported that he will be paid an annual salary of £40 million to sport the famous blue and red of Paris Saint-Germain. Neymar’s footballing ability is indisputable and, of course, the crazy world of football transfer fees did not start here.   But when figures of this size are bandied about, the question inevitably arises, what else could be achieved with such a gargantuan sum? The immediate comparison many people make is with the cost of healthcare. So to clear this up early, Neymar is worth two specialist Emergency Care Hospitals. However, at Localgiving, our natural point of comparison tends to be a little different. The impact that local charities and community groups can make with a few pounds and some passionate volunteers is incredible. This being the case, we thought it’d be interesting to see just how far £198 million could go if put in the hands of our members. So, here we go... for the price of 1 Neymar.... Norwich Foodbank could feed the entire population of Norwich (213,166 people) for 1 month  (£32 million). Hackney City Farm could feed 100 sheep, 100 chickens and 100 pigs for 100 years  (£12 million). The Harbour Project could run their drop-in centre for refugees and asylum seekers for 55 straight years (£10 million). Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball Club could buy 3000 specialist sports wheelchairs (£12 million). Every child in the UK could receive both a USB stick from WeeeCharity and a free book from CraigMillar Literacy Trust (£77 million) Calderdale Smartmove could provide 1 emergency food pack, 1 camp bed and 2 pillows to every rough sleeper in England (£200K) Oakhaven Hospice could offer 400 patients 160 hours of nursing care in their own homes each (£4 million) Dahlia Project could offer a 12 week group session to every women or girl affected by FGM in the whole of England and Wales (£25 million). Fitzrovia Youth in Action could provide 5,000 young people with football coaching for 5 years; St.Matthews Project could then equip them all with new football boots each year (£5.5 million). First Days Children's Charity could buy 100,000 mattresses for toddlers (£5 million).            Citizens Advice Bath and North East Somerset could offer personalised casework support to every resident of Bath (£8.3 million). Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation could offer 200 women fleeing violence 20 hours of councelling each (£80K). Annapurna Indian Dance Company could put on 2 dance workshops in every school in the whole of the UK (£5 million) And finally, bringing us up to a grand total of £198 million, Talking Money would be able to provide 20,000 one-to-one debt advice sessions for £2 million. I am sure that Neymar will go on to have an illustrious career in Paris, garnished by winner’s medals and Ballon d'Ors. However, if for some reason things do go awry, we strongly suggest Paris Saint-Germain keep a note of Talking Money's advice line and maybe book up a few of those one-to-one sessions early. You know, Just in case...   
    Aug 03, 2017 2141
  • 24 Jul 2017
    On Thursday 20th July, Marcelle Speller, the founder and chair of the Localgiving Foundation, stepped down after 9 years’ service. We are grateful to Marcelle for her incredible vision in setting up Localgiving, the only fundraising platform dedicated to supporting local charities and community groups in the UK, and for her unceasing passion for the local charity sector. The Foundation has appointed Tom Latchford as the new chair. Tom has helped raise tens of millions of pounds for charities online as founder of Raising IT, which is the UK market leader for websites and fundraising tools for the third sector. He will be bringing his experience, passion and philanthropic pedigree to help more local charities grow. We are excited about this new chapter. We will continue to provide our services and programmes including match fund campaigns, regional development programmes and advocacy work. Looking forward, Localgiving and Raising IT will work closely together to create new, high quality products and services for our members. Should you have any questions please get in touch with the Localgiving help desk who will be glad to help.    
  • On Thursday 20th July, Marcelle Speller, the founder and chair of the Localgiving Foundation, stepped down after 9 years’ service. We are grateful to Marcelle for her incredible vision in setting up Localgiving, the only fundraising platform dedicated to supporting local charities and community groups in the UK, and for her unceasing passion for the local charity sector. The Foundation has appointed Tom Latchford as the new chair. Tom has helped raise tens of millions of pounds for charities online as founder of Raising IT, which is the UK market leader for websites and fundraising tools for the third sector. He will be bringing his experience, passion and philanthropic pedigree to help more local charities grow. We are excited about this new chapter. We will continue to provide our services and programmes including match fund campaigns, regional development programmes and advocacy work. Looking forward, Localgiving and Raising IT will work closely together to create new, high quality products and services for our members. Should you have any questions please get in touch with the Localgiving help desk who will be glad to help.    
    Jul 24, 2017 2011
  • 20 Jul 2017
    I’m Beth House and I’m the Creative Producer at Taking Flight Theatre Company. We are a small charity aiming to challenge perceptions of disability through making quality touring theatre that showcases talented, professional disabled, D/deaf, sensory impaired and non-disabled performers working together. Taking Flight Theatre does not get core funding. There is some business development support from The Arts Council of Wales, plus project funding from them too. In addition to this, we get lots of small grants from a wide variety of sources… and then we fundraise like crazy. It's really hard to fundraise to cover our planning time. We have loads of brilliant projects coming up next year. These include an England tour of You’ve Got Dragons, our show for young children based on the picture book by Kathryn Cave which gently raises the issue of mental health in very young people, and of course our annual accessible Shakespeare tour of Wales. But we need time to plan and manage all these projects starting now. Lots of people give to Taking Flight- money, time, support, smiles- I wanted to give something too. So I decided to do something drastic. I love my hair so I thought- why not shave it off? But not all of it (let’s face it- that’s been done) so just half of it. And dye the rest. Whatever colour the sponsors want me to dye it. I made a fundraising page to this end on my own personal Locagiving account: SHAVEBETH’SHAIR . However, when I started to publicise the campaign, I got lots of cross messages from friends and family who point blank refused to fund me shaving off the locks THEY had grown so attached to (Huh!). So, I set up a second page: SAVEBETH’SHAIR. I have set my two fundraising pages in competition with each other. The page that has the greatest total at 10am on July 30th wins and I will save or shave my hair accordingly. If it’s SHAVE, I will also dye my remaining hair the colour voted for by the most SHAVE supporters. The combined total must be at least £1k for me to shave. To shave or not to shave! I’m really hoping to raise at least £1000 towards the work of Taking Flight. All the money raised will go into the making Taking Flight function over the busy months of planning next year’s shows.  If you want to see the work of Taking Flight before you decide if you want to support them, they are currently on tour with their take on The Tempest until July 30th. Remaining dates are in West Wales, South Wales and The Forest of Dean  www.takingflighttheatre.co.uk for details. Taking Flight are currently also recruiting volunteers and board members.   Show images: Jorge Lizalde Cano headshot: Claire Cousin Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Pride and Prejudice: Local LGBTQI groups need your support! Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story?  
    987 Posted by Beth House
  • I’m Beth House and I’m the Creative Producer at Taking Flight Theatre Company. We are a small charity aiming to challenge perceptions of disability through making quality touring theatre that showcases talented, professional disabled, D/deaf, sensory impaired and non-disabled performers working together. Taking Flight Theatre does not get core funding. There is some business development support from The Arts Council of Wales, plus project funding from them too. In addition to this, we get lots of small grants from a wide variety of sources… and then we fundraise like crazy. It's really hard to fundraise to cover our planning time. We have loads of brilliant projects coming up next year. These include an England tour of You’ve Got Dragons, our show for young children based on the picture book by Kathryn Cave which gently raises the issue of mental health in very young people, and of course our annual accessible Shakespeare tour of Wales. But we need time to plan and manage all these projects starting now. Lots of people give to Taking Flight- money, time, support, smiles- I wanted to give something too. So I decided to do something drastic. I love my hair so I thought- why not shave it off? But not all of it (let’s face it- that’s been done) so just half of it. And dye the rest. Whatever colour the sponsors want me to dye it. I made a fundraising page to this end on my own personal Locagiving account: SHAVEBETH’SHAIR . However, when I started to publicise the campaign, I got lots of cross messages from friends and family who point blank refused to fund me shaving off the locks THEY had grown so attached to (Huh!). So, I set up a second page: SAVEBETH’SHAIR. I have set my two fundraising pages in competition with each other. The page that has the greatest total at 10am on July 30th wins and I will save or shave my hair accordingly. If it’s SHAVE, I will also dye my remaining hair the colour voted for by the most SHAVE supporters. The combined total must be at least £1k for me to shave. To shave or not to shave! I’m really hoping to raise at least £1000 towards the work of Taking Flight. All the money raised will go into the making Taking Flight function over the busy months of planning next year’s shows.  If you want to see the work of Taking Flight before you decide if you want to support them, they are currently on tour with their take on The Tempest until July 30th. Remaining dates are in West Wales, South Wales and The Forest of Dean  www.takingflighttheatre.co.uk for details. Taking Flight are currently also recruiting volunteers and board members.   Show images: Jorge Lizalde Cano headshot: Claire Cousin Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Pride and Prejudice: Local LGBTQI groups need your support! Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story?  
    Jul 20, 2017 987
  • 13 Jul 2017
    Less than three years ago the Wild Cat Wilderness in Catford was an overgrown, unloved, rubbish strewn site. Today it is a thriving community green space run by the Rushey Green Time Bank. The Wild Cat Wilderness is a unique space in the local area, a safe (but wild) oasis which allows the local community to enjoy and work with nature, harvest and grow fresh local food, a piece of the countryside in the heart of Catford which backs onto the Pool River. It's a space the community have shaped, a place for children to safely run around, get dirty and learn, a meeting point for families, for neighbours, to make friends and feel part of a community. It is used by many local schools for outdoor learning and a place where the wider community can volunteer, relax in its peacefulness, share and enjoy with other local people of all ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. Unfortunately the tranquility has been recently disrupted and the Wilderness has been the victim of some terrible vandalism over the period of a week. It has been broken into four times and on two occasions the vandals maliciously attacked the hives and tried to drown the honeybees. This mindless destruction of our wonderful pollinators has been deeply upsetting. One colony has been destroyed and hives broken, and the bees that survived have now been removed off site until security is improved. The vandals have also destroyed the pond several times, broken into the shed, slashed the outdoor classroom and water butts, destroyed a hand built fence and the bug hotels - in fact everything that the community created. Whilst volunteers are gradually rebuilding, the bee appeal has been set up on Localgiving to replace a hive, build an apiary cage and increase the security. So that this negative can be turned into a positive the appeal will also help set up Project Buzz, a pilot project to engage local young people in beekeeping and making bee related products.  The bees will return once the security has been improved and an apiary cage built so that the community can continue to learn about our ever so important buzzing friends. If you want to help out then apart from making a donation come and volunteer – no experience necessary and we always need someone to make tea! Check the What’s On page on the website www.wildcatwilderness.org for dates, sign up for the newsletter, plus book a place on one of wonderful free activities and events planned over the summer. Enjoyed this blog? You may also like:     Pride and Prejudice: Local LGBTQI groups need your support! When Being Angry Is Not Enough by Leyla Hussein   
    1237 Posted by Maria Devereaux
  • Less than three years ago the Wild Cat Wilderness in Catford was an overgrown, unloved, rubbish strewn site. Today it is a thriving community green space run by the Rushey Green Time Bank. The Wild Cat Wilderness is a unique space in the local area, a safe (but wild) oasis which allows the local community to enjoy and work with nature, harvest and grow fresh local food, a piece of the countryside in the heart of Catford which backs onto the Pool River. It's a space the community have shaped, a place for children to safely run around, get dirty and learn, a meeting point for families, for neighbours, to make friends and feel part of a community. It is used by many local schools for outdoor learning and a place where the wider community can volunteer, relax in its peacefulness, share and enjoy with other local people of all ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. Unfortunately the tranquility has been recently disrupted and the Wilderness has been the victim of some terrible vandalism over the period of a week. It has been broken into four times and on two occasions the vandals maliciously attacked the hives and tried to drown the honeybees. This mindless destruction of our wonderful pollinators has been deeply upsetting. One colony has been destroyed and hives broken, and the bees that survived have now been removed off site until security is improved. The vandals have also destroyed the pond several times, broken into the shed, slashed the outdoor classroom and water butts, destroyed a hand built fence and the bug hotels - in fact everything that the community created. Whilst volunteers are gradually rebuilding, the bee appeal has been set up on Localgiving to replace a hive, build an apiary cage and increase the security. So that this negative can be turned into a positive the appeal will also help set up Project Buzz, a pilot project to engage local young people in beekeeping and making bee related products.  The bees will return once the security has been improved and an apiary cage built so that the community can continue to learn about our ever so important buzzing friends. If you want to help out then apart from making a donation come and volunteer – no experience necessary and we always need someone to make tea! Check the What’s On page on the website www.wildcatwilderness.org for dates, sign up for the newsletter, plus book a place on one of wonderful free activities and events planned over the summer. Enjoyed this blog? You may also like:     Pride and Prejudice: Local LGBTQI groups need your support! When Being Angry Is Not Enough by Leyla Hussein   
    Jul 13, 2017 1237
  • 10 Jul 2017
    Leyla Hussein is an anti-FGM activist, psychotherapist, and founder of the Dahlia Project.  I underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) when I was seven years old. I was held down by women I trusted and it left deep scars physically and emotionally. However, it was not until many years later, when I gave birth to my daughter, that anyone talked to me about FGM and offered me help. This practice is shrouded in secrecy and shame with too many women suffering in silence through many years of pain. I was one of these women until a brave health professional asked that all important question, “Have you been cut?”.  That was the start of a long and often difficult journey which will last for the rest of my life. I had to face up to what had been done to me and how it had affected me. FGM cast a shadow over all my life choices and it was only after I began therapy that I could understand this. FGM cannot be undone but survivors can heal. We had to be strong to survive what was done to us and I see that strength every day in the women I now work with. I founded the Dahlia Project to help other women like me. As I came to terms with my experience of FGM I was horrified at how little recognition there was of how this devastating practice affects women psychologically. There were no specialists we could turn to and most of our GPs or other sources of help had little knowledge of FGM. At Dahlia Project we break the silence and provide a safe space and therapeutic support for women living with FGM. These are often women who have no access to other help. They are vulnerable, come from minority communities, are under-represented at all levels of government and policy making and yet they suffer such pain and are in urgent need of our help. They are also the most important asset we have in ending FGM but still they are ignored and not seen as a priority. This is not about austerity or any other easy political soundbite. Political parties in the UK all signed up to stand against FGM decades ago and progress has been made clarifying the law and raising awareness. However, none of them have properly invested in the community based work which is where we will change opinion and end the practice. There are many examples of good practice but these fall by the wayside due to lack of funding and time after time we must start over building relationships and trust. I write this blog as Dahlia Project is under threat. This project is close to my heart and I am so proud of what it has achieved. Working with the incredible women I meet at the project, who have gone through so much, and seeing them heal and support each other, is inspiring. Their determination that FGM ends with them and that their daughters will not be cut fills me with hope for a better future. Working with women who have been cut and supporting them so they can protect their daughters is how we stop FGM. My daughter lives free from FGM because I was helped and I can now protect and empower her. Over the last 3 years the Dahila Project has helped many women but it is the tip of an iceberg as an estimated 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales have undergone FGM and 60,000 girls are at risk. Awareness of FGM amongst the public has risen in recent years but the situation remains bleak for FGM survivors. Earlier this year, the Acton FGM Clinic which was one of the few community based clinics in London for FGM survivors was forced to close due to a lack of funding. Now Dahlia Project is also under threat. Unless we find new sources of income Dahlia Project will no longer be able to provide its unique and life changing services. Politicians from all political parties talk about how they are committed to tackling FGM but to many of us working directly with the women and girls it effects their words offer little hope while the specialist clinics are closing. Only last week at Prime Minister’s Questions Theresa May once again made a strong statement against FGM. While she was speaking we were working to launch the new appeal for emergency funding for the Dahlia Project. Rather than warm words and a pat on the back for being brave what FGM survivors really need is long term investment in the services which help them. Please share this blog and our appeal to help save this valuable service. We must also pressure for a long-term commitment to provide support for FGM survivors. Write to your MP and local councils asking what they are doing to ensure funded, specialist, community based services for FGM survivors. Sometimes being angry or upset about injustice is not enough and we need to focus that anger into positive action which will bring about change.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Pride and Prejudice: Local LGBTQI groups need your support!  
    3265 Posted by Leyla Hussein
  • Leyla Hussein is an anti-FGM activist, psychotherapist, and founder of the Dahlia Project.  I underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) when I was seven years old. I was held down by women I trusted and it left deep scars physically and emotionally. However, it was not until many years later, when I gave birth to my daughter, that anyone talked to me about FGM and offered me help. This practice is shrouded in secrecy and shame with too many women suffering in silence through many years of pain. I was one of these women until a brave health professional asked that all important question, “Have you been cut?”.  That was the start of a long and often difficult journey which will last for the rest of my life. I had to face up to what had been done to me and how it had affected me. FGM cast a shadow over all my life choices and it was only after I began therapy that I could understand this. FGM cannot be undone but survivors can heal. We had to be strong to survive what was done to us and I see that strength every day in the women I now work with. I founded the Dahlia Project to help other women like me. As I came to terms with my experience of FGM I was horrified at how little recognition there was of how this devastating practice affects women psychologically. There were no specialists we could turn to and most of our GPs or other sources of help had little knowledge of FGM. At Dahlia Project we break the silence and provide a safe space and therapeutic support for women living with FGM. These are often women who have no access to other help. They are vulnerable, come from minority communities, are under-represented at all levels of government and policy making and yet they suffer such pain and are in urgent need of our help. They are also the most important asset we have in ending FGM but still they are ignored and not seen as a priority. This is not about austerity or any other easy political soundbite. Political parties in the UK all signed up to stand against FGM decades ago and progress has been made clarifying the law and raising awareness. However, none of them have properly invested in the community based work which is where we will change opinion and end the practice. There are many examples of good practice but these fall by the wayside due to lack of funding and time after time we must start over building relationships and trust. I write this blog as Dahlia Project is under threat. This project is close to my heart and I am so proud of what it has achieved. Working with the incredible women I meet at the project, who have gone through so much, and seeing them heal and support each other, is inspiring. Their determination that FGM ends with them and that their daughters will not be cut fills me with hope for a better future. Working with women who have been cut and supporting them so they can protect their daughters is how we stop FGM. My daughter lives free from FGM because I was helped and I can now protect and empower her. Over the last 3 years the Dahila Project has helped many women but it is the tip of an iceberg as an estimated 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales have undergone FGM and 60,000 girls are at risk. Awareness of FGM amongst the public has risen in recent years but the situation remains bleak for FGM survivors. Earlier this year, the Acton FGM Clinic which was one of the few community based clinics in London for FGM survivors was forced to close due to a lack of funding. Now Dahlia Project is also under threat. Unless we find new sources of income Dahlia Project will no longer be able to provide its unique and life changing services. Politicians from all political parties talk about how they are committed to tackling FGM but to many of us working directly with the women and girls it effects their words offer little hope while the specialist clinics are closing. Only last week at Prime Minister’s Questions Theresa May once again made a strong statement against FGM. While she was speaking we were working to launch the new appeal for emergency funding for the Dahlia Project. Rather than warm words and a pat on the back for being brave what FGM survivors really need is long term investment in the services which help them. Please share this blog and our appeal to help save this valuable service. We must also pressure for a long-term commitment to provide support for FGM survivors. Write to your MP and local councils asking what they are doing to ensure funded, specialist, community based services for FGM survivors. Sometimes being angry or upset about injustice is not enough and we need to focus that anger into positive action which will bring about change.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Pride and Prejudice: Local LGBTQI groups need your support!  
    Jul 10, 2017 3265