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Guest Blog: The Importance of Small Charities

 Small Charity Week 2015 

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” - Margaret Mead

From inception to delivery small charities should never cease to amaze us all. 

At the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) we are privileged to meet with, talk to, be inspired by and support thousands of small charities each year. 

I hear phenomenal stories of passionate, determined, creative and yes sometimes crazy founders.  That particular breed of person who instead of wondering who will do this or that to help others, instead wonder what can I do, how can I help and how can I get others to help. This is often how small charities come into being, someone somewhere sees something that needs doing or a wrong that needs righting and they set about changing the world - and you know they usually do!

In the UK we are extremely privileged to have a vibrant, tenacious and effective Small Charity Sector, all 140,000 of them scattered across the country all working hard to support those in our society who are least able to support themselves.  Supporting those who for whatever reason have found themselves in a position that they cannot get out of, cannot control or cope with, not without help and support.

Imagine:

  • A young child being bullied at school with no one to turn to for support.
  • An older person, isolated in their own home never speaking to another soul for weeks on end.
  • A young person sofa surfing or homeless, afraid and in need of safe place to stay.
  • An animal forgotten and left starving and neglected in a hut at the end of someone’s garden.
  • A wooded glade cut down, whose special ecosystem is gone forever and its beauty lost to future generations.
  • Or a villager in Tanzania walking 10 miles each day to bring fresh drinking water to their children.

For the young and the old, for animals for our environment for those in our own country and for those across the globe, small charities provide hope and a lifeline to the future.

Small charities have been coping in, and to a great extent are still coping in exceptional times, as the demand for their services increases, as the workload of both staff and volunteers rises and as funding to deliver their services is increasingly difficult to find.  In the face of all of these challenges, often despite the challenges they face, small charities continue to be optimistic, continue to stretch their resources to meet the needs of their beneficiaries.  They simply put their communities needs before all else.

Many small charities exist to provide services the state chooses not to, or that the private sector sees as unprofitable. If there is a need not being met in a local community then you can take bets that it will be a small charity that ‘fills the gap’.

Small charities in the UK achieve amazing results but now more than ever before small charities need to remain determined, committed, and passionate about what they do because more people than ever need their help.

Want to support a local small charity?

You’re spoilt for choice on how to show your love for your favourite small charities:

For more information about Small Charity Week and how you can get behind your local small charities go to www.smallcharityweek.com

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Pauline Broomhead is CEO of the FSI, a charity providing free support services to small charities across the country.