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Lewis Garland 's Entries

19 blogs
  • 05 Aug 2016
    From Murray’s tears of triumph to Ronaldo tears of pain – this is turning into a very special summer of sport. And with the Rio Olympics kicking off tonight –the longest leaps and greatest feats are yet to come! For two weeks the nation’s hopes will be tied the heels of Mo Farah and the gloves of Nicola Adams. For two weeks, our hearts will be forged to the fortunes of the Olympic Refugee Athletes. For two weeks we will all become armchair judges and referees for sports we’ve barely heard of.            However, what really matters is what happens once the medals are totted up and the flags taken down. At Localgiving, we have seen the life changing power of sport. We know that the podiums in Rio are no more important than the playing fields of Rotherham. We are proud to work with grassroots sports groups across the length and breadth of UK – from hockey in Armagh to athletics in Daventry to cricket in Kettering. We see the incredible impact that they have, every day - nurturing future athletes;  delivering  exercise classes for older people;  providing affordable activities for  disadvantaged people and a safe space for vulnerable groups. Below are just a few of the groups that Localgiving supports.   Search HERE to find a team near you. - Whether cheering for them on a wet Wednesday night or donating to them once a month - you can do your bit to keep grassroots sports alive.  Sport 4 Life UK - Birmingham – works with young people who have struggled at school or developed behavioural issues; experienced long-term unemployment or been involved in the criminal justice system.  Uses a sports-themed educational programmes to develop their life skills, improve their health, transform their behaviour, gain a qualification, or find a job. Belfast Community Sports Development Network – Belfast - provides sport and physical activity to clubs, community groups and school across Belfast. These programmes engage young people, older people, people with disabilities and people living in areas of deprivation. Sports Driving Unlimited - South West Scotland, Cumbria and Lancashire - provides opportunities for people of all ages with impairment, terminal illness or who are disadvantaged to take part in the exciting and challenging sport of pony driving. Steelers Wheelers Sports Club –  Scunthorpe - offers people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in sport.    Special Olympics clubs across the UK provide sport & leisure opportunities for local people with a learning disabilities. We have members in  Plymouth, Bournemouth, Sandwell and the Isle of Wight Hurstpierpoint Gymnastics Club  - Sussex - provides gymnastics training and sport related activities for boys & girls aged 3 to 16 years. The club  offers affordable fees and a free subsidised places.   Winchester Sport, Art and Leisure Trust – works to secure a sustainable legacy from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics for Winchester, in the form of new sports facilities. Sport in Mind - Reading – provides supported sport and physical activity sessions to help aid the recovery of people experiencing mental health problems and empowers them to build a positive future for themselves.   Isle of Mull Rugby Club - After growing tired of relying on favours from the local community (which meant having to stop games due to landing aircraft or cleaning up cowpats before games), Isle of Mull Rugby Club now provides sporting facilities for the island.       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroEuro 2016: A Time to Support your Grassroots Teams  Top image courtesy of Daventry Amateur Athletic Club
    3626 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • From Murray’s tears of triumph to Ronaldo tears of pain – this is turning into a very special summer of sport. And with the Rio Olympics kicking off tonight –the longest leaps and greatest feats are yet to come! For two weeks the nation’s hopes will be tied the heels of Mo Farah and the gloves of Nicola Adams. For two weeks, our hearts will be forged to the fortunes of the Olympic Refugee Athletes. For two weeks we will all become armchair judges and referees for sports we’ve barely heard of.            However, what really matters is what happens once the medals are totted up and the flags taken down. At Localgiving, we have seen the life changing power of sport. We know that the podiums in Rio are no more important than the playing fields of Rotherham. We are proud to work with grassroots sports groups across the length and breadth of UK – from hockey in Armagh to athletics in Daventry to cricket in Kettering. We see the incredible impact that they have, every day - nurturing future athletes;  delivering  exercise classes for older people;  providing affordable activities for  disadvantaged people and a safe space for vulnerable groups. Below are just a few of the groups that Localgiving supports.   Search HERE to find a team near you. - Whether cheering for them on a wet Wednesday night or donating to them once a month - you can do your bit to keep grassroots sports alive.  Sport 4 Life UK - Birmingham – works with young people who have struggled at school or developed behavioural issues; experienced long-term unemployment or been involved in the criminal justice system.  Uses a sports-themed educational programmes to develop their life skills, improve their health, transform their behaviour, gain a qualification, or find a job. Belfast Community Sports Development Network – Belfast - provides sport and physical activity to clubs, community groups and school across Belfast. These programmes engage young people, older people, people with disabilities and people living in areas of deprivation. Sports Driving Unlimited - South West Scotland, Cumbria and Lancashire - provides opportunities for people of all ages with impairment, terminal illness or who are disadvantaged to take part in the exciting and challenging sport of pony driving. Steelers Wheelers Sports Club –  Scunthorpe - offers people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in sport.    Special Olympics clubs across the UK provide sport & leisure opportunities for local people with a learning disabilities. We have members in  Plymouth, Bournemouth, Sandwell and the Isle of Wight Hurstpierpoint Gymnastics Club  - Sussex - provides gymnastics training and sport related activities for boys & girls aged 3 to 16 years. The club  offers affordable fees and a free subsidised places.   Winchester Sport, Art and Leisure Trust – works to secure a sustainable legacy from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics for Winchester, in the form of new sports facilities. Sport in Mind - Reading – provides supported sport and physical activity sessions to help aid the recovery of people experiencing mental health problems and empowers them to build a positive future for themselves.   Isle of Mull Rugby Club - After growing tired of relying on favours from the local community (which meant having to stop games due to landing aircraft or cleaning up cowpats before games), Isle of Mull Rugby Club now provides sporting facilities for the island.       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroEuro 2016: A Time to Support your Grassroots Teams  Top image courtesy of Daventry Amateur Athletic Club
    Aug 05, 2016 3626
  • 16 Jun 2016
    What could be more quintessentially British than Fish and Chips, Hampton Court and the Mini? Did you know that all of these were built, designed or brought to the UK by refugees? 20-26th June is Refugee Week - an annual celebration of the incredible contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make to our countries and communities.  This year's theme is 'welcome'. With Europe in the midst of its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, coupled with the dangerously divisive rhetoric circulating in the UK, this has a special significance. Refugee Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, tackle stigma, energise ourselves and take action. There are hundreds of events taking place across the UK on Refugee Week, many of which are run by grassroots charities and community groups, including Localgiving members. Below are just a few. So, go get inspired! Northern Ireland Community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (NICRAS) is hosting  a series of events throughout Refugee Week 2016 – from music to theatre to food, there’s sure to be something for you to get your teeth stuck into!  Check out their full events calendar.  Tuesday 21st June – Ourmala (London) is running an event called Yoga for Refugees . This fundraising evening includes a very special contribution from Amir Amor Soundscape (Rudimental) and Emma Henry (Yoga).  All proceeds will go towards supporting an additional 250 women and children in crisis. Tuesday 21st June - Reading Refugee Support Group is screening Nicky’s Family and hosting a panel Discussion. Nicky’s Family tells the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Wednesday 22nd June - Fences and Frontiers (London). A night of short films and discussion exploring different aspects of the refugee experience. The night is being run by Lewis (me) and Lou of Localgiving. Free to attend, this event is encouraging donations to a number of refugee groups including Ourmala and The Bike Project. Friday 24th June 2016 - The Harbour Project (Swindon) is collaborating with a host of local theatre groups, dance companies and schools to present  a one-off show: Different Pasts, Shared Future. There will also be the opportunity to view works of art by local artist David Bent. Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support - Maurice Rimes is walking England’s South West Coast Path in support of Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. He aims to reach Plymouth at the start of Refugee week to celebrate with DCRS. You can read his blog here or donate here.    Interested in finding out more about how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep David Lets the Spokes do the talking in 3000 Mile charity Ride    
    3825 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • What could be more quintessentially British than Fish and Chips, Hampton Court and the Mini? Did you know that all of these were built, designed or brought to the UK by refugees? 20-26th June is Refugee Week - an annual celebration of the incredible contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make to our countries and communities.  This year's theme is 'welcome'. With Europe in the midst of its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, coupled with the dangerously divisive rhetoric circulating in the UK, this has a special significance. Refugee Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, tackle stigma, energise ourselves and take action. There are hundreds of events taking place across the UK on Refugee Week, many of which are run by grassroots charities and community groups, including Localgiving members. Below are just a few. So, go get inspired! Northern Ireland Community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (NICRAS) is hosting  a series of events throughout Refugee Week 2016 – from music to theatre to food, there’s sure to be something for you to get your teeth stuck into!  Check out their full events calendar.  Tuesday 21st June – Ourmala (London) is running an event called Yoga for Refugees . This fundraising evening includes a very special contribution from Amir Amor Soundscape (Rudimental) and Emma Henry (Yoga).  All proceeds will go towards supporting an additional 250 women and children in crisis. Tuesday 21st June - Reading Refugee Support Group is screening Nicky’s Family and hosting a panel Discussion. Nicky’s Family tells the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Wednesday 22nd June - Fences and Frontiers (London). A night of short films and discussion exploring different aspects of the refugee experience. The night is being run by Lewis (me) and Lou of Localgiving. Free to attend, this event is encouraging donations to a number of refugee groups including Ourmala and The Bike Project. Friday 24th June 2016 - The Harbour Project (Swindon) is collaborating with a host of local theatre groups, dance companies and schools to present  a one-off show: Different Pasts, Shared Future. There will also be the opportunity to view works of art by local artist David Bent. Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support - Maurice Rimes is walking England’s South West Coast Path in support of Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. He aims to reach Plymouth at the start of Refugee week to celebrate with DCRS. You can read his blog here or donate here.    Interested in finding out more about how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep David Lets the Spokes do the talking in 3000 Mile charity Ride    
    Jun 16, 2016 3825
  • 08 Jun 2016
    The streets and pubs are abuzz with talk of tactics and hat-tricks. Wives are busy explaining the offside rule to their bored husbands and kids in the park are emulating the goal celebrations of their gods...Alli passes to Bale, chipped over to Conor McLaughlin, who rifles it in to the top left hand corner! What makes this year’s European Championships special is that, for the first time since 1982, three of the home nations have qualified for a major tournament – Northern Ireland, England and Wales. When painting our faces ready to support our national teams, red, white or blue or green, we should all also add a dash of colour in honour of our local clubs. No, I don’t mean the big brand, big money teams. I mean the 1000s of grassroots clubs across the country - the colts, wanderers and hawks training on your local common. These clubs not only give us something to cheer on a Saturday afternoon but play a vital part in our local communities. Many of these teams have charitable goals, working with disadvantaged or disabled people or on issues such as social inclusion and promoting healthy lifestyles. Below are just a few of the teams that we support on Localgiving. Why not find a club near you?  Search HERE to find a club near you! Street Football Wales - A social inclusion charity that  improve the lives  for socially excluded people in Wales. SFW aims to: (1) contribute to an end in homelessness and poverty (2) Help to facilitate the integration of socially excluded people back into their community and (3) facilitate healthier, more physically active and mentally well members of society. Northend United Youth FC -  Northern Irish club that is actively involved in promoting cross community integration via the medium of sport. Based in an area of high social deprivation, they target disadvantaged young people from different communities and ethnicities and foster teamwork in all our activities. The Club endorses the fact that sport changes the life of these young people from an early age. Hounslow Hawks -  provides support for people who experience mental illness, live in the London Borough of Hounslow and are in receipt of specialist mental health services. They use football to assist with the individual's recovery journey by aiming to increase self-esteem and confidence, social interaction, reduce social isolation, improve players structure and routines and aid personal development.  Glasgow Girls Football Club - Offer football and coaching to girls aged 7 years of age to our two Woman's team in a fun & safe environment while offering the pathway to a career in playing or coaching. We also offer the chance for girls to lead a healthy lifestyle through sport which benefits them and the community. Mytchatt ‘Football for All’ - Mytchett Athletics FC's "Football for All" project provides physical activities for boys and girls excluded from participation in sport by virtue of their special needs and disabilities. Bangladesh Football Assocation - (London) Using football BFA engages with over 3,000 disavantaged and marginalised children, young people, adults and gives them positive activities to do which keeps them off the street, away from anti-social behaviour, crime, gang violence, vandalism and drugs & alcohol. It then uses its other projects to support the development of young people, inspire and motivate them and supports them into further education, employment and training. St. Matthews Project  - (London) Offers free football and coaching sessions to young people aged 6-21 in the south Brixton (London) area. The majority of participants live on deprived local estates -  67% of members are  receipt of free school meals. The project delivers a wide range of activities, offering support and development opportunities beyond the football pitch. FC United of Manchester - Semi-famous these days, FC United are a community football club owned and democratically run by its members, FC United seeks to change the way that football is owned and run, putting supporters at the heart of everything.  Tadcaster Albion Amature Football Club - Over the winter Tadcaster were hit by the worst flood in the clubs history seeing the Pitch, Clubhouse, Clubshop, Kitchen and the Groundsmans Building all under water, along with thousands of pounds worth of damage which has left the club unable operate on or off the field. The club is at the heart of the community - visiting schools and getting involved in charity projects.  Scarborough Athletic FC - Emerging from the ashes of the 128 year old Scarborough FC, this fans owned football club run teams from age 11 to Seniors, ensuring that all age groups, genders and ethnicities have the chance to play football.    Liked this blog post? You may also be interested in: The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroThe Refugee Crisis: Make a difference on your doorstep  
    4859 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The streets and pubs are abuzz with talk of tactics and hat-tricks. Wives are busy explaining the offside rule to their bored husbands and kids in the park are emulating the goal celebrations of their gods...Alli passes to Bale, chipped over to Conor McLaughlin, who rifles it in to the top left hand corner! What makes this year’s European Championships special is that, for the first time since 1982, three of the home nations have qualified for a major tournament – Northern Ireland, England and Wales. When painting our faces ready to support our national teams, red, white or blue or green, we should all also add a dash of colour in honour of our local clubs. No, I don’t mean the big brand, big money teams. I mean the 1000s of grassroots clubs across the country - the colts, wanderers and hawks training on your local common. These clubs not only give us something to cheer on a Saturday afternoon but play a vital part in our local communities. Many of these teams have charitable goals, working with disadvantaged or disabled people or on issues such as social inclusion and promoting healthy lifestyles. Below are just a few of the teams that we support on Localgiving. Why not find a club near you?  Search HERE to find a club near you! Street Football Wales - A social inclusion charity that  improve the lives  for socially excluded people in Wales. SFW aims to: (1) contribute to an end in homelessness and poverty (2) Help to facilitate the integration of socially excluded people back into their community and (3) facilitate healthier, more physically active and mentally well members of society. Northend United Youth FC -  Northern Irish club that is actively involved in promoting cross community integration via the medium of sport. Based in an area of high social deprivation, they target disadvantaged young people from different communities and ethnicities and foster teamwork in all our activities. The Club endorses the fact that sport changes the life of these young people from an early age. Hounslow Hawks -  provides support for people who experience mental illness, live in the London Borough of Hounslow and are in receipt of specialist mental health services. They use football to assist with the individual's recovery journey by aiming to increase self-esteem and confidence, social interaction, reduce social isolation, improve players structure and routines and aid personal development.  Glasgow Girls Football Club - Offer football and coaching to girls aged 7 years of age to our two Woman's team in a fun & safe environment while offering the pathway to a career in playing or coaching. We also offer the chance for girls to lead a healthy lifestyle through sport which benefits them and the community. Mytchatt ‘Football for All’ - Mytchett Athletics FC's "Football for All" project provides physical activities for boys and girls excluded from participation in sport by virtue of their special needs and disabilities. Bangladesh Football Assocation - (London) Using football BFA engages with over 3,000 disavantaged and marginalised children, young people, adults and gives them positive activities to do which keeps them off the street, away from anti-social behaviour, crime, gang violence, vandalism and drugs & alcohol. It then uses its other projects to support the development of young people, inspire and motivate them and supports them into further education, employment and training. St. Matthews Project  - (London) Offers free football and coaching sessions to young people aged 6-21 in the south Brixton (London) area. The majority of participants live on deprived local estates -  67% of members are  receipt of free school meals. The project delivers a wide range of activities, offering support and development opportunities beyond the football pitch. FC United of Manchester - Semi-famous these days, FC United are a community football club owned and democratically run by its members, FC United seeks to change the way that football is owned and run, putting supporters at the heart of everything.  Tadcaster Albion Amature Football Club - Over the winter Tadcaster were hit by the worst flood in the clubs history seeing the Pitch, Clubhouse, Clubshop, Kitchen and the Groundsmans Building all under water, along with thousands of pounds worth of damage which has left the club unable operate on or off the field. The club is at the heart of the community - visiting schools and getting involved in charity projects.  Scarborough Athletic FC - Emerging from the ashes of the 128 year old Scarborough FC, this fans owned football club run teams from age 11 to Seniors, ensuring that all age groups, genders and ethnicities have the chance to play football.    Liked this blog post? You may also be interested in: The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroThe Refugee Crisis: Make a difference on your doorstep  
    Jun 08, 2016 4859
  • 04 May 2016
    On the outskirts of the small Norfolk village I grew up in, Kenninghall, there is a large earth mound. Some locals claimed that this was the burial site of Boudicca (every village in East Anglia stakes their claim to the Iceni queen, however tenuous), others claim it was an 18th century cool storage facility. At the other end of the village stands a large farm house that was once part of a Tudor palace. Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary, lived here in their younger years. These walls bore witness to many a plot under the Machiavellianism 4th Duke of Norfolk. After his execution for high treason in 1572 the house fell into the hands of the crown before being demolished in 1603 – all apart from the 'servant' wing that still stands today. The village is also scattered with the remains of non-conformist chapels, an eerie work-house and a crumbling World War II air raid shelter. As a child, each of these places fired my imagination– I was filled with who, what, where, when, whys. Today, these places have taken on an extra meaning; they are not only the history of my village but of my own life – each place now comes with its own memory. It is this link between ourselves and our surroundings that makes local and community history so important.   May (1st-31st) is local and community History Month Across the country hundreds of events will take place to bring our local histories to life, be it talks, walks to re-enactments. Localgiving believe it is important that, in this time, we recognise the thousands of local groups who give their time to preserve our community history and help bring it to life. We are proud to have many local heritage and history groups as members, some of whom are highlighted below. So, why not search HERE to find a group near you? Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust - protects and raises awareness of the heritage of the Causeway Coast & Glens area Cambo Heritage Trust - creates opportunities for learning in Heritage, Environment, Arts, Culture and Horticulture at Cambo Estate, Fife. Celtic Harmony - Uses Celtic culture as an unusual and memorable hook on which to hang a bigger understanding of Ancient Britain and the natural environment Downham Market & District Heritage Society - Conserves and displays objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Durham Cathedral - For over 900 years Durham Cathedral has sat at the heart of the local community welcoming locals and visitors alike to share in its worship and music and to discover its magnificent heritage Historic Ryde Society - To create a permanent space for memories of Ryde, Isle of Wight.  Living Archive –Milton Keynes - Collects preserves, shares and celebrates the history and heritage of Milton Keynes. Culture Coventry (Lunt Roman Fort)  - Tells the story of the Roman struggle to re-assert its dominance after the Iceni rebellion led by Boudicca Northamptonshire Black History Association - Advance the education of the public in the subject of Black history in Northamptonshire The Norris Museum -The Norris Museum, 80 years old last year, tells the story of Huntingdonshire and its people with a fascinating collection of 30,000 artefact Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre - Preserves and displays artefacts, photographs, books on Scarborough dating back 2 centuries. The Town Mill - This ancient watermill in Lyme Regis was rescued and brought to working order by local volunteers. Through volunteers and donations, the mill, its galleries and artisan workshops are open to the public all year with the aim of promoting the town's milling heritage, supporting arts, education and the environment.   Images- Top- Celtic Harmony, Centre -Cambo Stables Project, Bottom - Living Archives   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    3785 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • On the outskirts of the small Norfolk village I grew up in, Kenninghall, there is a large earth mound. Some locals claimed that this was the burial site of Boudicca (every village in East Anglia stakes their claim to the Iceni queen, however tenuous), others claim it was an 18th century cool storage facility. At the other end of the village stands a large farm house that was once part of a Tudor palace. Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary, lived here in their younger years. These walls bore witness to many a plot under the Machiavellianism 4th Duke of Norfolk. After his execution for high treason in 1572 the house fell into the hands of the crown before being demolished in 1603 – all apart from the 'servant' wing that still stands today. The village is also scattered with the remains of non-conformist chapels, an eerie work-house and a crumbling World War II air raid shelter. As a child, each of these places fired my imagination– I was filled with who, what, where, when, whys. Today, these places have taken on an extra meaning; they are not only the history of my village but of my own life – each place now comes with its own memory. It is this link between ourselves and our surroundings that makes local and community history so important.   May (1st-31st) is local and community History Month Across the country hundreds of events will take place to bring our local histories to life, be it talks, walks to re-enactments. Localgiving believe it is important that, in this time, we recognise the thousands of local groups who give their time to preserve our community history and help bring it to life. We are proud to have many local heritage and history groups as members, some of whom are highlighted below. So, why not search HERE to find a group near you? Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust - protects and raises awareness of the heritage of the Causeway Coast & Glens area Cambo Heritage Trust - creates opportunities for learning in Heritage, Environment, Arts, Culture and Horticulture at Cambo Estate, Fife. Celtic Harmony - Uses Celtic culture as an unusual and memorable hook on which to hang a bigger understanding of Ancient Britain and the natural environment Downham Market & District Heritage Society - Conserves and displays objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Durham Cathedral - For over 900 years Durham Cathedral has sat at the heart of the local community welcoming locals and visitors alike to share in its worship and music and to discover its magnificent heritage Historic Ryde Society - To create a permanent space for memories of Ryde, Isle of Wight.  Living Archive –Milton Keynes - Collects preserves, shares and celebrates the history and heritage of Milton Keynes. Culture Coventry (Lunt Roman Fort)  - Tells the story of the Roman struggle to re-assert its dominance after the Iceni rebellion led by Boudicca Northamptonshire Black History Association - Advance the education of the public in the subject of Black history in Northamptonshire The Norris Museum -The Norris Museum, 80 years old last year, tells the story of Huntingdonshire and its people with a fascinating collection of 30,000 artefact Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre - Preserves and displays artefacts, photographs, books on Scarborough dating back 2 centuries. The Town Mill - This ancient watermill in Lyme Regis was rescued and brought to working order by local volunteers. Through volunteers and donations, the mill, its galleries and artisan workshops are open to the public all year with the aim of promoting the town's milling heritage, supporting arts, education and the environment.   Images- Top- Celtic Harmony, Centre -Cambo Stables Project, Bottom - Living Archives   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    May 04, 2016 3785
  • 21 Mar 2016
    For most of us, Boxing Day 2015 was the usual mix of family films and limp leftovers. Sadly, the residents of Calderdale, West Yorkshire witnessed very different scenes. Lashing overnight storms saw the River Calder burst it's banks - the results were devastating.   That night, the news brought the whole country images of upturned trucks, streets turned into canals and blanketed, huddled people. On seeing these images, many people were moved to offer their support. As these events unfolded, Localgiving member, Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC), found itself at the centre of this (meteorological and media) storm. Through their quick and decisive response, CFFC turned this extra attention into essential funds. As I write, CFFC has raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery. £250,000 of which has come through its Localgiving appeals page. This has made Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal the most successful Localgiving appeal to date. We recently spoke to Emma Bolger, Marketing and Events Manager at CFFC, to discuss how they worked with the national media, the impact of the appeal, and any lessons that other local charities could take from their experience. Tell us about Community Foundation for Calderdale, your history and what you do? CFFC is one of 42 Community Foundations in the UK, we are dedicated to strengthening local communities, creating opportunities and tackling issues of disadvantage and exclusion. We manage funds donated by individuals and organisations, building endowment and acting as the vital link between donors and local needs, connecting people with causes, and enabling clients to achieve far more than they could ever by themselves. This year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary in Calderdale, in that time we have  awarded over 8500 grants totalling over  £17m to charities, community groups and individuals in crisis locally. How have the funds from your appeal been spent and how will you use the remaining funds? We have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by individuals and businesses from across the UK, within hours of launching our LocalGiving appeal page we had thousands of pounds donated. It is because of those amazing people were able to instantly assist those affected. The first thing we did was to purchase and deliver cleaning materials to the worst hit areas, 100’s of sweeping brushes, shovels, bottles of cleaning fluid, mops, buckets, and protective gloves and facemasks to keep those cleaning up safe. We then opened a grants program, our first support was £200 emergency grants, and these grants supported people in the immediate aftermath helping them with basic needs such as food and shelter. We have also supported people who were displaced by the flooding, many of whom will not be able to live in their own homes for 6-9 months; supporting them with further grants to help them resettle in temporary accommodation. After a couple of weeks it became apparent that people in the valley had also lost income with over 1500 local businesses affected. To address this we supported people with hardship grants. We have also supported 103 businesses in their recovery. Most recently we have support people with, white goods, carpets and flooring, furniture, and further grants to support them in their recovery. We have supported over 1500 applications from individuals and 130 applications from businesses. You were quick off the mark with your reaction the floods.  Did you already have contingency plans for such circumstances? What tips could you give other groups about setting up and coordinating a disaster appeal? We led on the 2012 flood appeal in Calderdale, and our Chief Exec has been part of four flood appeals, so we had some experience with raising funds for flooding. However, we have never seen flooding on the scale we did on Boxing Day. The experience gained from the other appeals definitely helped us, but there is no amount of planning that can replace the quick thinking and dedication shown by the Community Foundation team. They left their families on Boxing Day, gave up their Christmas break and started to do what they do best, support the community.  From setting up the appeal to processing grants they were here, everyday living and breathing the disaster, coming up with new and imitative ways to support people. We learnt a lot from 2012, we knew that time was of the essence, that whatever we did whether it is getting cleaning materials out to people or grants, it had to happen immediately. Emma's top tips Act immediately – Gather the team who will work on the project and agree a way forward, give people specific tasks and update each other regularly. Seek and listen to local intelligence – Don’t assume you know what is needed. Communities will tell you what they need, just ask them. Be visible and consistent – Find clear channels for communication, social media email, TV, radio. Be consistent in your messaging; don’t add to the medley of confusion that will inevitably be happening on the ground.   How did you go about obtaining press coverage during the floods? We used every media outlet we could; we contacted them via social media, telephone, and email, every way possible until they listened. We were quick to contact them and to establish our role, quickly we became the go to people to find out what was happening and soon they were calling us. What measures did you put in place to deal with the extra coverage you were receiving in this time? I was appointed to lead on media coverage. Having one person handling press, interviews, social media proved to be key in keeping the messaging clear. This enabled CFFC  to  build a mutually beneficial relationship with the press . What lessons have you learned about working with the national press? Find out what angle they want to cover from the start; don’t be afraid to lose an interview because you ask what angle they are pushing. You need to know this so that you can be prepared for the questions. Its ok to not answer a question, we were asked to comment on lots of issues that are not relevant to our role in the disaster recovery, for example we were asked to comment on cuts to flood defences. For us this is not the issue at hand. The issue is supporting people in immediate need. Do you plan to follow up on the coverage and support you received? We have some exciting initiatives launching that have come about because of the flooding. We intend to contact the press again to cover them. We are launching a legacy fund – WaterMark Calderdale. Local businesses can sign up to sell a product or service and a percentage of the sale will go in to a fund that will support people in the event of another flood. We are also launching an alternative to insurance (a problem for many in Calderdale who can’t get flood insurance) called FloodSave.  Businesses and individuals not covered by FloodRE can apply to become a member.  They save £10/£25/£50 a month with us and, in the event of a flood, we will match fund their savings by 25%. To find out more or donate to Community Foundation for Calderdale, you can visit the Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal Here   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield    
    5083 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • For most of us, Boxing Day 2015 was the usual mix of family films and limp leftovers. Sadly, the residents of Calderdale, West Yorkshire witnessed very different scenes. Lashing overnight storms saw the River Calder burst it's banks - the results were devastating.   That night, the news brought the whole country images of upturned trucks, streets turned into canals and blanketed, huddled people. On seeing these images, many people were moved to offer their support. As these events unfolded, Localgiving member, Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC), found itself at the centre of this (meteorological and media) storm. Through their quick and decisive response, CFFC turned this extra attention into essential funds. As I write, CFFC has raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery. £250,000 of which has come through its Localgiving appeals page. This has made Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal the most successful Localgiving appeal to date. We recently spoke to Emma Bolger, Marketing and Events Manager at CFFC, to discuss how they worked with the national media, the impact of the appeal, and any lessons that other local charities could take from their experience. Tell us about Community Foundation for Calderdale, your history and what you do? CFFC is one of 42 Community Foundations in the UK, we are dedicated to strengthening local communities, creating opportunities and tackling issues of disadvantage and exclusion. We manage funds donated by individuals and organisations, building endowment and acting as the vital link between donors and local needs, connecting people with causes, and enabling clients to achieve far more than they could ever by themselves. This year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary in Calderdale, in that time we have  awarded over 8500 grants totalling over  £17m to charities, community groups and individuals in crisis locally. How have the funds from your appeal been spent and how will you use the remaining funds? We have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by individuals and businesses from across the UK, within hours of launching our LocalGiving appeal page we had thousands of pounds donated. It is because of those amazing people were able to instantly assist those affected. The first thing we did was to purchase and deliver cleaning materials to the worst hit areas, 100’s of sweeping brushes, shovels, bottles of cleaning fluid, mops, buckets, and protective gloves and facemasks to keep those cleaning up safe. We then opened a grants program, our first support was £200 emergency grants, and these grants supported people in the immediate aftermath helping them with basic needs such as food and shelter. We have also supported people who were displaced by the flooding, many of whom will not be able to live in their own homes for 6-9 months; supporting them with further grants to help them resettle in temporary accommodation. After a couple of weeks it became apparent that people in the valley had also lost income with over 1500 local businesses affected. To address this we supported people with hardship grants. We have also supported 103 businesses in their recovery. Most recently we have support people with, white goods, carpets and flooring, furniture, and further grants to support them in their recovery. We have supported over 1500 applications from individuals and 130 applications from businesses. You were quick off the mark with your reaction the floods.  Did you already have contingency plans for such circumstances? What tips could you give other groups about setting up and coordinating a disaster appeal? We led on the 2012 flood appeal in Calderdale, and our Chief Exec has been part of four flood appeals, so we had some experience with raising funds for flooding. However, we have never seen flooding on the scale we did on Boxing Day. The experience gained from the other appeals definitely helped us, but there is no amount of planning that can replace the quick thinking and dedication shown by the Community Foundation team. They left their families on Boxing Day, gave up their Christmas break and started to do what they do best, support the community.  From setting up the appeal to processing grants they were here, everyday living and breathing the disaster, coming up with new and imitative ways to support people. We learnt a lot from 2012, we knew that time was of the essence, that whatever we did whether it is getting cleaning materials out to people or grants, it had to happen immediately. Emma's top tips Act immediately – Gather the team who will work on the project and agree a way forward, give people specific tasks and update each other regularly. Seek and listen to local intelligence – Don’t assume you know what is needed. Communities will tell you what they need, just ask them. Be visible and consistent – Find clear channels for communication, social media email, TV, radio. Be consistent in your messaging; don’t add to the medley of confusion that will inevitably be happening on the ground.   How did you go about obtaining press coverage during the floods? We used every media outlet we could; we contacted them via social media, telephone, and email, every way possible until they listened. We were quick to contact them and to establish our role, quickly we became the go to people to find out what was happening and soon they were calling us. What measures did you put in place to deal with the extra coverage you were receiving in this time? I was appointed to lead on media coverage. Having one person handling press, interviews, social media proved to be key in keeping the messaging clear. This enabled CFFC  to  build a mutually beneficial relationship with the press . What lessons have you learned about working with the national press? Find out what angle they want to cover from the start; don’t be afraid to lose an interview because you ask what angle they are pushing. You need to know this so that you can be prepared for the questions. Its ok to not answer a question, we were asked to comment on lots of issues that are not relevant to our role in the disaster recovery, for example we were asked to comment on cuts to flood defences. For us this is not the issue at hand. The issue is supporting people in immediate need. Do you plan to follow up on the coverage and support you received? We have some exciting initiatives launching that have come about because of the flooding. We intend to contact the press again to cover them. We are launching a legacy fund – WaterMark Calderdale. Local businesses can sign up to sell a product or service and a percentage of the sale will go in to a fund that will support people in the event of another flood. We are also launching an alternative to insurance (a problem for many in Calderdale who can’t get flood insurance) called FloodSave.  Businesses and individuals not covered by FloodRE can apply to become a member.  They save £10/£25/£50 a month with us and, in the event of a flood, we will match fund their savings by 25%. To find out more or donate to Community Foundation for Calderdale, you can visit the Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal Here   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield    
    Mar 21, 2016 5083
  • 15 Mar 2016
    ...or Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh! St Patrick’s day is now celebrated across the world. From Dublin to Berlin, Medellin to Kings Lynn there will be somebody raising a cheer to a snakeless Ireland, warbling Whisky in the Jar or claiming emerald roots (however tenuous). Throughout the UK there are Irish cultural groups and clubs, working tirelessly to conserve their language and culture and supporting their communities. We are proud to be able to call some of these groups our members. So, what better time to celebrate and support these groups than today?  Whether you’re  gripped by gaelic games or moved to tears by Yeats’s refrains , there is bound to be a group for you. Below are just a few: Andersonstown Traditional & Contemporary Music School - Belfast - offers music classes, performances, qualifications & workshops in traditional & contemporary music An Droichead - Belfast - provides Irish language, arts and cultural classes and offers quality affordable childcare and afterschool activities.  CAIRDE Teo - Armagh - focuses on micro-business incubation; employment, training and learning opportunities. CAIRDE Teo also promotes the use of the Irish language and works closely with other linguistic and cultural minorities in Armagh to promote multi-culturalism and diversity. Milton Keynes Irish Welfare Support Group – Milton Keynes - holds a weekly lunch club for older Irish people and their friends. The Welfare support group also has an Outreach Worker who offers advice on benefits in both English and Irish. St Joseph's GAC Glenavy -Glenavy- provides Gaelic games for all ages and abilities from as young as 4 years old.  The Emerald Centre  - Leicester - works with members of the Irish community in Leicestershire who are most in need. The centre also offers  sport and social facilities and services for  senior citizens, Pragati Asian group, disability groups and creative play.   Image: Mathews at The Old Dubliner Irish Pub, Hamburg-Harburg by Hinnerk R (Hinnerk Rümenapf)      
    2324 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • ...or Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh! St Patrick’s day is now celebrated across the world. From Dublin to Berlin, Medellin to Kings Lynn there will be somebody raising a cheer to a snakeless Ireland, warbling Whisky in the Jar or claiming emerald roots (however tenuous). Throughout the UK there are Irish cultural groups and clubs, working tirelessly to conserve their language and culture and supporting their communities. We are proud to be able to call some of these groups our members. So, what better time to celebrate and support these groups than today?  Whether you’re  gripped by gaelic games or moved to tears by Yeats’s refrains , there is bound to be a group for you. Below are just a few: Andersonstown Traditional & Contemporary Music School - Belfast - offers music classes, performances, qualifications & workshops in traditional & contemporary music An Droichead - Belfast - provides Irish language, arts and cultural classes and offers quality affordable childcare and afterschool activities.  CAIRDE Teo - Armagh - focuses on micro-business incubation; employment, training and learning opportunities. CAIRDE Teo also promotes the use of the Irish language and works closely with other linguistic and cultural minorities in Armagh to promote multi-culturalism and diversity. Milton Keynes Irish Welfare Support Group – Milton Keynes - holds a weekly lunch club for older Irish people and their friends. The Welfare support group also has an Outreach Worker who offers advice on benefits in both English and Irish. St Joseph's GAC Glenavy -Glenavy- provides Gaelic games for all ages and abilities from as young as 4 years old.  The Emerald Centre  - Leicester - works with members of the Irish community in Leicestershire who are most in need. The centre also offers  sport and social facilities and services for  senior citizens, Pragati Asian group, disability groups and creative play.   Image: Mathews at The Old Dubliner Irish Pub, Hamburg-Harburg by Hinnerk R (Hinnerk Rümenapf)      
    Mar 15, 2016 2324
  • 25 Nov 2015
    Between 22nd November and 22nd December we are celebrating UK Disability History Month. This month highlights the contribution and achievements of disabled people in the UK and raises awareness of the continued unequal position of disabled people in society. Local disability charities and community groups are at the very heart of the movement to create a more equal society and world for disabled people. Local disability groups are often user-led (DPULOs) and have highly specialist knowledge of their cause, their beneficiaries and of the facilities and issues in their communities. Localgiving’s recent Local charity and Community Group Sustainability Report found that 13% of local charities in the UK specialise in 'disability' with another 14% focussing on 'health and wellbeing'. Together, that represents over a quarter of the UK’s local charities. The UK disability sector is hugely diverse - services range from advice and advocacy to campaigning to running specialist projects such as buddy schemes. Why not find out what groups there are in your area? It's easier than you think to get involved, volunteer, fundraise or donate. You may have the very skills a local group is looking for. To give you some help, here are just some of the amazing charities that we work with every day: Spider- Y (Yorkshire) Ability Dogs 4 Young People IOW (Isle of Wight) Twinkle House (Manchester) Wisp dance club (Wrexham) WinVisible (London) Muffins Dream Team (Hampshire) Staffordshire Therapeutic Independent Neurological Group STING (Staffordshire) Sports Driving Unlimited (Dumfries & Galloway) Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres (Reading) CoDa Dance Company (Surrey) Diverse Abilities Plus (Dorset) Rock Foundation (Lincolnshire) Autism Angels (North Yorkshire) Glenshane Care Association (Londonderry/Derry)   There are many, many more groups working tirelessly all across the country – to find a group near you click HERE. December 3rd is International Day of Disabled Persons- That’s just two days after #GivingTuesday. What better time to make your donation go that bit further? Images: Top left- Sports Driving Ltd, Right- STING   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro    
    3123 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Between 22nd November and 22nd December we are celebrating UK Disability History Month. This month highlights the contribution and achievements of disabled people in the UK and raises awareness of the continued unequal position of disabled people in society. Local disability charities and community groups are at the very heart of the movement to create a more equal society and world for disabled people. Local disability groups are often user-led (DPULOs) and have highly specialist knowledge of their cause, their beneficiaries and of the facilities and issues in their communities. Localgiving’s recent Local charity and Community Group Sustainability Report found that 13% of local charities in the UK specialise in 'disability' with another 14% focussing on 'health and wellbeing'. Together, that represents over a quarter of the UK’s local charities. The UK disability sector is hugely diverse - services range from advice and advocacy to campaigning to running specialist projects such as buddy schemes. Why not find out what groups there are in your area? It's easier than you think to get involved, volunteer, fundraise or donate. You may have the very skills a local group is looking for. To give you some help, here are just some of the amazing charities that we work with every day: Spider- Y (Yorkshire) Ability Dogs 4 Young People IOW (Isle of Wight) Twinkle House (Manchester) Wisp dance club (Wrexham) WinVisible (London) Muffins Dream Team (Hampshire) Staffordshire Therapeutic Independent Neurological Group STING (Staffordshire) Sports Driving Unlimited (Dumfries & Galloway) Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres (Reading) CoDa Dance Company (Surrey) Diverse Abilities Plus (Dorset) Rock Foundation (Lincolnshire) Autism Angels (North Yorkshire) Glenshane Care Association (Londonderry/Derry)   There are many, many more groups working tirelessly all across the country – to find a group near you click HERE. December 3rd is International Day of Disabled Persons- That’s just two days after #GivingTuesday. What better time to make your donation go that bit further? Images: Top left- Sports Driving Ltd, Right- STING   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro    
    Nov 25, 2015 3123
  • 18 Sep 2015
    In our recent blog, The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep, we highlighted some of the practical ways that people can support refugees through local initiatives. While the headlines focus on the need for emergency assistance, it is important to remember that, once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face many additional challenges and barriers - from alienation, to housing to health. Much of the support available is provided by small, local charities and solidarity organisations. These groups not only have an acute understanding of the particular needs in their area and community but many also provide unique, innovative solutions. A perfect example of this is The Bike Project. Jem Stein set up The Bike Project in 2013 after witnessing first-hand the problems for refugees and asylum seekers caused by London’s soaring transport costs. Jem’s solution was simple - to get refugees cycling! By repairing abandoned bikes and giving them to refugees, The Bike Project estimate they save each refugee over £1000 per year. Since 2013 the project has gone from strength to strength. To date, they have distributed over 980 bikes to refugees as well as venturing into new areas such as cycle training for refugee women. This week we met Jem amid the wheel-lined walls of The Bike Project’s HQ in South London. Here we took the opportunity to discuss how the project started, its successes so far and new initiatives. We also looked at how the project is benefitting from its business partnerships. What was your inspiration behind the Bike Project? “When I was at university I started mentoring a refugee. He was 16 and had fled the Darfuri genocide. He was placed in the outskirts of London. Beside all the terrible things he had experienced, one of the biggest challenges he faced was that he couldn’t get anywhere. London transport is so expensive. As an asylum seeker you get £36 per week to live off and a bus pass is £21 per week. As you can’t work this leaves you very little”. “I grew up in Oxford - a cycling city - one of the first things I did to help him therefore was try to get him a bike. This enabled him to access education, healthcare, base community and psychological support”. “I founded The Bike project in my spare time while at my last charity. I left that charity to run it full time in March 2013. So we’ve been going two and a half years”. Talk us through how The Bike Project works? “Our core work involves collecting bikes donated through individuals, police, local councils and various different organisations. These bikes are refurbished by the mechanics in our workshop”. “Refugees can come and get a bike from us - most are referred from refugee organisations but people can turn up on the door.” “We have just started providing basic cycle safety training to refugees too. Every refugee receives a set of lights, a lock and a helmet. Many choose to become regular volunteers with us – this way they are also involved in the process of fixing the bikes” “We also have a project that teaches refugee women to cycle. It quickly came to our attention that we were becoming very male dominated. When we did some research we realised that this was because most refugee women come from patriarchal societies where it is not socially acceptable for women to cycle. We got a little bit of funding from TFL and a private trust. We run that project every Tuesday with the Jesuit refugee service”. Have you had any specific success stories? “One of our success stories is Resom (pictured above) who is working next door. He initially came to us as a refugee and soon started volunteering for us. As he had leave to remain, he was allowed to work. He had a knack for bike mechanics so we supported him to train as a mechanic. We now employ him 3 and a bit days per week.” You have recently been sponsored by the Law firm Winckworth – Sherwood to become a member of Localgiving. Have you explored working with businesses before and would you say there are any particular benefits from working with businesses? “We are really grateful to Winckworth - Sherwood for supporting us. We encourage them to visit and see what we do. We look forward to working with them in the future”. “We are a charity and social enterprise. Part of our income comes from providing bike servicing to firms in the city with commuter cyclists - so we work with a lot of big and medium sized businesses” “The great thing about working with businesses is that people who work in the private sector really like to feel that their skills can be useful (to charities). You can get a lot out of a relationship if you can find a way to use these skills. For example, our treasurer is the financial director of a private equity firm in the city. It is important for him to be able to use his skills in a way that helps a charity.” “When working with a business if there is a way for you to utilise their skills, this can be the core of a really productive relationship in terms of volunteering and potentially financially.”    To find out more about the bike project or donate please visit: The Bike Project To find out about groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities HERE.     
    3104 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • In our recent blog, The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep, we highlighted some of the practical ways that people can support refugees through local initiatives. While the headlines focus on the need for emergency assistance, it is important to remember that, once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face many additional challenges and barriers - from alienation, to housing to health. Much of the support available is provided by small, local charities and solidarity organisations. These groups not only have an acute understanding of the particular needs in their area and community but many also provide unique, innovative solutions. A perfect example of this is The Bike Project. Jem Stein set up The Bike Project in 2013 after witnessing first-hand the problems for refugees and asylum seekers caused by London’s soaring transport costs. Jem’s solution was simple - to get refugees cycling! By repairing abandoned bikes and giving them to refugees, The Bike Project estimate they save each refugee over £1000 per year. Since 2013 the project has gone from strength to strength. To date, they have distributed over 980 bikes to refugees as well as venturing into new areas such as cycle training for refugee women. This week we met Jem amid the wheel-lined walls of The Bike Project’s HQ in South London. Here we took the opportunity to discuss how the project started, its successes so far and new initiatives. We also looked at how the project is benefitting from its business partnerships. What was your inspiration behind the Bike Project? “When I was at university I started mentoring a refugee. He was 16 and had fled the Darfuri genocide. He was placed in the outskirts of London. Beside all the terrible things he had experienced, one of the biggest challenges he faced was that he couldn’t get anywhere. London transport is so expensive. As an asylum seeker you get £36 per week to live off and a bus pass is £21 per week. As you can’t work this leaves you very little”. “I grew up in Oxford - a cycling city - one of the first things I did to help him therefore was try to get him a bike. This enabled him to access education, healthcare, base community and psychological support”. “I founded The Bike project in my spare time while at my last charity. I left that charity to run it full time in March 2013. So we’ve been going two and a half years”. Talk us through how The Bike Project works? “Our core work involves collecting bikes donated through individuals, police, local councils and various different organisations. These bikes are refurbished by the mechanics in our workshop”. “Refugees can come and get a bike from us - most are referred from refugee organisations but people can turn up on the door.” “We have just started providing basic cycle safety training to refugees too. Every refugee receives a set of lights, a lock and a helmet. Many choose to become regular volunteers with us – this way they are also involved in the process of fixing the bikes” “We also have a project that teaches refugee women to cycle. It quickly came to our attention that we were becoming very male dominated. When we did some research we realised that this was because most refugee women come from patriarchal societies where it is not socially acceptable for women to cycle. We got a little bit of funding from TFL and a private trust. We run that project every Tuesday with the Jesuit refugee service”. Have you had any specific success stories? “One of our success stories is Resom (pictured above) who is working next door. He initially came to us as a refugee and soon started volunteering for us. As he had leave to remain, he was allowed to work. He had a knack for bike mechanics so we supported him to train as a mechanic. We now employ him 3 and a bit days per week.” You have recently been sponsored by the Law firm Winckworth – Sherwood to become a member of Localgiving. Have you explored working with businesses before and would you say there are any particular benefits from working with businesses? “We are really grateful to Winckworth - Sherwood for supporting us. We encourage them to visit and see what we do. We look forward to working with them in the future”. “We are a charity and social enterprise. Part of our income comes from providing bike servicing to firms in the city with commuter cyclists - so we work with a lot of big and medium sized businesses” “The great thing about working with businesses is that people who work in the private sector really like to feel that their skills can be useful (to charities). You can get a lot out of a relationship if you can find a way to use these skills. For example, our treasurer is the financial director of a private equity firm in the city. It is important for him to be able to use his skills in a way that helps a charity.” “When working with a business if there is a way for you to utilise their skills, this can be the core of a really productive relationship in terms of volunteering and potentially financially.”    To find out more about the bike project or donate please visit: The Bike Project To find out about groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities HERE.     
    Sep 18, 2015 3104
  • 04 Sep 2015
    It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    6411 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    Sep 04, 2015 6411