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Lewis Garland 's Entries

46 blogs
  • 19 Dec 2016
    On 16th December, to coincide with Local Charities Day, we released our second annual Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report. Using data from a survey of 598 local charity representatives carried out of the summer, this report provides a fascinating insight into the state of the local voluntary sector as we approach 2017. The last year has seen a continued escalation in demand for the services of local charities. Coupled with ongoing volatility in the funding landscape, this has left many groups fearful for their long term survival. The report finds that: Just 46% of local charities are confident they will be able to sustain themselves over the next five years. 67% of groups were still predicting stagnation or a downturn in their financial position over the coming year. 78% of groups predict an increase in demand over the coming year, of these groups just 18% feel that they are sufficiently resourced to meet this demand. Reductions in staff numbers pose a  serious problem, impacting on the continuity of services and affecting overall skill levels. 76% of respondents had seen a reduction of staff over the last year. 60% of respondents know of one or more local groups that have been forced to close in the last year. 77% of charities do not believe that they have the skills to run a successful fundraising campaign. Download the Full Report Here We conclude our report by laying out a number of recommendations for the coming year and beyond. We are particularly concerned about the urgent need to bring sustainable funding sources in the sector and to address the continued overreliance on under or unskilled staff. We hope that the results of this report will not only inform our own work over the coming year but also inspire other stakeholders in government, business and civil society to tackle the challenges facing the local voluntary sector.    
    5332 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • On 16th December, to coincide with Local Charities Day, we released our second annual Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report. Using data from a survey of 598 local charity representatives carried out of the summer, this report provides a fascinating insight into the state of the local voluntary sector as we approach 2017. The last year has seen a continued escalation in demand for the services of local charities. Coupled with ongoing volatility in the funding landscape, this has left many groups fearful for their long term survival. The report finds that: Just 46% of local charities are confident they will be able to sustain themselves over the next five years. 67% of groups were still predicting stagnation or a downturn in their financial position over the coming year. 78% of groups predict an increase in demand over the coming year, of these groups just 18% feel that they are sufficiently resourced to meet this demand. Reductions in staff numbers pose a  serious problem, impacting on the continuity of services and affecting overall skill levels. 76% of respondents had seen a reduction of staff over the last year. 60% of respondents know of one or more local groups that have been forced to close in the last year. 77% of charities do not believe that they have the skills to run a successful fundraising campaign. Download the Full Report Here We conclude our report by laying out a number of recommendations for the coming year and beyond. We are particularly concerned about the urgent need to bring sustainable funding sources in the sector and to address the continued overreliance on under or unskilled staff. We hope that the results of this report will not only inform our own work over the coming year but also inspire other stakeholders in government, business and civil society to tackle the challenges facing the local voluntary sector.    
    Dec 19, 2016 5332
  • 07 Dec 2016
    The local voluntary sector consists of thousands of groups with widely varying causes, missions and activities. Local Charities day, taking place on December 16th, will celebrate these amazing groups and draw attention to some of the challenges they are facing.  In this blog we look at what makes the UK’s local voluntary sector so unique and valuable - exploring the characteristics they share and the vital, yet too often overlooked, services that they provide to their communities. In 2015 we produced our first Local charity and community group sustainability Report. In this report we identified a number of characteristics that make the sector so special.   1) Knowledge of local needs Many Local charities are formed as a direct result of a specific local need or cause; be it saving a community centre, conserving a local place of interest etc.  These causes rarely fall into the remit of larger national or international charities as therefore, without these charities such issues would often go unaddressed entirely. A good example of this charity type is Downham Market & District Heritage Society - a group that exists to conserve and display objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Other local charities address wider societal issues (homelessness, disability advice, refugee support, LGBTQ  issues). These groups have a strong crossover with the work of well know national charities and groups. However, in most cases this crossover is complementary.  While more heavily resourced national or international groups excel at wide scale campaigning, infrastructural support etc, the value of grassroots groups lies in their acute knowledge of how these wider issues play out at a local level and how they are best addressed. HERe NI work to combat social exclusion and discrimination among the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.  Their acute knowledge of the specific issues facing LGBT+ women in Northern Ireland enable them to provide personalised support and bespoke awarenss raising. 2) Strong Trusting Relationships As well as understanding the needs of their community, the fact that local groups are often deeply embeddedness in their local community enables them to foster strong trusting relationships with their beneficiaries.  The value of these relationships, though difficult to quantify, cannot be underestimated. One clear benefit to these close relationships is that it enables these groups to access harder to reach parts of their community. Another advantage is that people often feel a strong attachment, even sense of ownership over local groups. Many local charities are not simply service providers but a key element of the fabric and character of their communities. These informal community bonds would be impossible to replicate.  However, the difference they make to the quality of service provided by groups and the resulting benefit to their service users can be huge. 3) Flexibility and reaction time Local charities and small charities should not be treated as synonymous – for example many hospices have a local or regional remit but have medium to large turnover.  However, given that 95% of local charities have an annual income of under £1 Million there is a strong crossover. One of the benefits of being small is that these groups are often far less bureaucratic and, as a consequence, more flexible and able to react  quickly. When coupled with local charities’ acute knowledge or their local demographics and resources, this often means that local groups are able to provide support quicker, more targeted support than larger, national counterparts. One example is the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Boxing Day 2015 Flood appeal. On Boxing Day 2016 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks devastating businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded – launching a fundraising appeal that received national attention. Of course,  there are numerous other reasons why the local voluntary  sector is so valuable. This is a sector that continues to amaze us with its resourcefulness, passion and innovation. On Local Charities Day (16th December) make it your mission to find a charity near you and see what you can do to support their cause.   Also keep your eyes open for our 2016 Local Charity and Community Report released on the day.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   
    4189 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The local voluntary sector consists of thousands of groups with widely varying causes, missions and activities. Local Charities day, taking place on December 16th, will celebrate these amazing groups and draw attention to some of the challenges they are facing.  In this blog we look at what makes the UK’s local voluntary sector so unique and valuable - exploring the characteristics they share and the vital, yet too often overlooked, services that they provide to their communities. In 2015 we produced our first Local charity and community group sustainability Report. In this report we identified a number of characteristics that make the sector so special.   1) Knowledge of local needs Many Local charities are formed as a direct result of a specific local need or cause; be it saving a community centre, conserving a local place of interest etc.  These causes rarely fall into the remit of larger national or international charities as therefore, without these charities such issues would often go unaddressed entirely. A good example of this charity type is Downham Market & District Heritage Society - a group that exists to conserve and display objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Other local charities address wider societal issues (homelessness, disability advice, refugee support, LGBTQ  issues). These groups have a strong crossover with the work of well know national charities and groups. However, in most cases this crossover is complementary.  While more heavily resourced national or international groups excel at wide scale campaigning, infrastructural support etc, the value of grassroots groups lies in their acute knowledge of how these wider issues play out at a local level and how they are best addressed. HERe NI work to combat social exclusion and discrimination among the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.  Their acute knowledge of the specific issues facing LGBT+ women in Northern Ireland enable them to provide personalised support and bespoke awarenss raising. 2) Strong Trusting Relationships As well as understanding the needs of their community, the fact that local groups are often deeply embeddedness in their local community enables them to foster strong trusting relationships with their beneficiaries.  The value of these relationships, though difficult to quantify, cannot be underestimated. One clear benefit to these close relationships is that it enables these groups to access harder to reach parts of their community. Another advantage is that people often feel a strong attachment, even sense of ownership over local groups. Many local charities are not simply service providers but a key element of the fabric and character of their communities. These informal community bonds would be impossible to replicate.  However, the difference they make to the quality of service provided by groups and the resulting benefit to their service users can be huge. 3) Flexibility and reaction time Local charities and small charities should not be treated as synonymous – for example many hospices have a local or regional remit but have medium to large turnover.  However, given that 95% of local charities have an annual income of under £1 Million there is a strong crossover. One of the benefits of being small is that these groups are often far less bureaucratic and, as a consequence, more flexible and able to react  quickly. When coupled with local charities’ acute knowledge or their local demographics and resources, this often means that local groups are able to provide support quicker, more targeted support than larger, national counterparts. One example is the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Boxing Day 2015 Flood appeal. On Boxing Day 2016 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks devastating businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded – launching a fundraising appeal that received national attention. Of course,  there are numerous other reasons why the local voluntary  sector is so valuable. This is a sector that continues to amaze us with its resourcefulness, passion and innovation. On Local Charities Day (16th December) make it your mission to find a charity near you and see what you can do to support their cause.   Also keep your eyes open for our 2016 Local Charity and Community Report released on the day.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   
    Dec 07, 2016 4189
  • 29 Sep 2016
    Huge congratulations go to Community Foundation for Calderdale for winning both best fundraising campaign at the Third Sector Awards 2016 and Fundraising Team of the Year: with an income under £5 million at the Charity Times Awards 2016.  On Boxing Day 2015 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks – the subsequent flooding had a devestating impact on businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded by launching its Calderdale Flood Fund to help rebuild the community.  Working closely with both local and national media, corporates and voluntary goups, CFFC raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery - £250,000 of which came through its Localgiving appeal page. It was truly inspiring to witness the creativity and hard-work put into this campaign, and to have had the opportunity to play a role in its success.  In March we spoke to Emma Bolger of CFFC about the lessons that other local charities and community groups could take from their extraordinary campaign. Why not read more here!    
    1898 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Huge congratulations go to Community Foundation for Calderdale for winning both best fundraising campaign at the Third Sector Awards 2016 and Fundraising Team of the Year: with an income under £5 million at the Charity Times Awards 2016.  On Boxing Day 2015 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks – the subsequent flooding had a devestating impact on businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded by launching its Calderdale Flood Fund to help rebuild the community.  Working closely with both local and national media, corporates and voluntary goups, CFFC raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery - £250,000 of which came through its Localgiving appeal page. It was truly inspiring to witness the creativity and hard-work put into this campaign, and to have had the opportunity to play a role in its success.  In March we spoke to Emma Bolger of CFFC about the lessons that other local charities and community groups could take from their extraordinary campaign. Why not read more here!    
    Sep 29, 2016 1898
  • 20 Sep 2016
    Welsh electro-pop musician Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas, recently became an ambassador for Localgiving. It has been an exciting and hectic few months for Rod including an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, a support slot for Take That and the release of his third album, Choreography. While in London, Rod swung by for a chat. During our conversation Rod explained why he feels so passionately about grassroots charities, how his friendship with Elton John has influenced his desire to ‘give back’ and his experience of growing up in South Wales as a young artist. Can you sum your incredible year up in 3 words? “Amazing, Brilliant and Exhausting” What makes you so passionate about grassroots charities and community groups? “It’s really cool to be involved in something that isn’t just music based – as well as music based. Getting involved with Localgiving is really nice because you get to think about the real world outside of music which is a really refreshing change. Nobody knows what a community needs more than the people within that community, so grassroots charities are very important. It is people addressing specific needs within a specific location and trying to improve things from the bottom up When I was growing up I didn’t feel connected to places like London or New York or even really Britain generally because it felt like such a small part of the world. It was south Wales and a lot of the talk of what was happening in culture or education or finance was very localised. So I think that having charities that really focus on localised operations and localised problems is important”. You  are friends with Elton John, one of Music’s leading philanthropists. How has he influenced you? “It is really inspiring seeing someone who is one of the busiest musicians in the world and one of the most successful musicians in the world also finding as much time as he possibly can to raise awareness and raise money for charities. I think this is so incredible and I think that’s something that very very few people make the time to do when potentially they’ve got a platform to do that.” If you could set up a charity in your home town of Neath what would it do? “It would probably be something quite arts based, particularly focussing on business skills. When I was growing up people weren’t really taught about ways they could make the arts into a sustainable career or even an option. I always thought that music would be alongside a job and be a labour of love. I think being taught younger about how to make long-term plans would really help a lot of people to have a feeling that there is support and possibility for their ambitions because a lot of talent goes to waste because people just don’t know how to translate that talent into success.” Why should people support local charities? “Whether you like it or not you are always thinking about your locale and your neighbourhood, you town, your city, your friends… or at least you should be. So whatever you can do to support people within that immediate network is really important Localgiving is an excellent opportunity to do something small that makes a big difference!” Find out more about Bright Light Bright Light, including his music and his work with Localgiving by following him on twitter @Brightlightx2 and facebook.  And why not take this opportunity to find a charity near you?    
    1697 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Welsh electro-pop musician Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas, recently became an ambassador for Localgiving. It has been an exciting and hectic few months for Rod including an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, a support slot for Take That and the release of his third album, Choreography. While in London, Rod swung by for a chat. During our conversation Rod explained why he feels so passionately about grassroots charities, how his friendship with Elton John has influenced his desire to ‘give back’ and his experience of growing up in South Wales as a young artist. Can you sum your incredible year up in 3 words? “Amazing, Brilliant and Exhausting” What makes you so passionate about grassroots charities and community groups? “It’s really cool to be involved in something that isn’t just music based – as well as music based. Getting involved with Localgiving is really nice because you get to think about the real world outside of music which is a really refreshing change. Nobody knows what a community needs more than the people within that community, so grassroots charities are very important. It is people addressing specific needs within a specific location and trying to improve things from the bottom up When I was growing up I didn’t feel connected to places like London or New York or even really Britain generally because it felt like such a small part of the world. It was south Wales and a lot of the talk of what was happening in culture or education or finance was very localised. So I think that having charities that really focus on localised operations and localised problems is important”. You  are friends with Elton John, one of Music’s leading philanthropists. How has he influenced you? “It is really inspiring seeing someone who is one of the busiest musicians in the world and one of the most successful musicians in the world also finding as much time as he possibly can to raise awareness and raise money for charities. I think this is so incredible and I think that’s something that very very few people make the time to do when potentially they’ve got a platform to do that.” If you could set up a charity in your home town of Neath what would it do? “It would probably be something quite arts based, particularly focussing on business skills. When I was growing up people weren’t really taught about ways they could make the arts into a sustainable career or even an option. I always thought that music would be alongside a job and be a labour of love. I think being taught younger about how to make long-term plans would really help a lot of people to have a feeling that there is support and possibility for their ambitions because a lot of talent goes to waste because people just don’t know how to translate that talent into success.” Why should people support local charities? “Whether you like it or not you are always thinking about your locale and your neighbourhood, you town, your city, your friends… or at least you should be. So whatever you can do to support people within that immediate network is really important Localgiving is an excellent opportunity to do something small that makes a big difference!” Find out more about Bright Light Bright Light, including his music and his work with Localgiving by following him on twitter @Brightlightx2 and facebook.  And why not take this opportunity to find a charity near you?    
    Sep 20, 2016 1697
  • 23 Aug 2016
    Localgiving has recently released Striking a Match: Incentivised Giving Report 2016. In recent years we have been exploring incentivisation as a way to engage people with their local charities and community groups. In 2015 we gathered these ideas into a coherent calendar programme for the first time. Over the year we ran six match fund campaigns featuring a range of different incentives to encourage donations. These included 1:1 match funding, ‘randomised’ match funding and fundraiser competitions. Striking a Match compares and contrasts these Incentivised Giving Campaigns. Using donation data and donor feedback, this report looks at the impact of each campaign on the overall amount raised; charity and donor participation rates; donation size and frequency; donor sentiment and retention.  This report provides an insight into how financial incentives affect people’s donation decisions. The findings show that different incentives – ranging from match funding to competition prizes – can be used to engage supporters in charitable causes, as well as stimulating higher, more frequent donations. The report finds that: The vast majority of donor survey respondents see campaign incentives as a crucial factor in their decision to donate. In the February 2015 #GiveMe5 survey 83.4% of respondents said that match funding had influenced their decision “a lot” or was the “only reason” that they had donated. Donor surveys show a clear, positive correlation between the likelihood of a donation being matched and the amount donors are willing to donate. Deterministic match funds (in which donations are guaranteed to be matched) see the highest participation levels, but require substantial initial investment in terms of match funding.  Competitions increase the average donation size and provide the best leverage for campaign funders, but show lower participation rates amongst charities. Download the full PDF report Our next national match fund campaign, Grow Your Tenner 2016, will be launching on 18th October and will run for a month or until the match fund runs out. During this campaign Localgiving will be matching monthly donations of up to £10 given to our members for up to three months. Why not take a look at our campaign page to find out how you and your charity can benefit.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investmentHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity
    1526 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Localgiving has recently released Striking a Match: Incentivised Giving Report 2016. In recent years we have been exploring incentivisation as a way to engage people with their local charities and community groups. In 2015 we gathered these ideas into a coherent calendar programme for the first time. Over the year we ran six match fund campaigns featuring a range of different incentives to encourage donations. These included 1:1 match funding, ‘randomised’ match funding and fundraiser competitions. Striking a Match compares and contrasts these Incentivised Giving Campaigns. Using donation data and donor feedback, this report looks at the impact of each campaign on the overall amount raised; charity and donor participation rates; donation size and frequency; donor sentiment and retention.  This report provides an insight into how financial incentives affect people’s donation decisions. The findings show that different incentives – ranging from match funding to competition prizes – can be used to engage supporters in charitable causes, as well as stimulating higher, more frequent donations. The report finds that: The vast majority of donor survey respondents see campaign incentives as a crucial factor in their decision to donate. In the February 2015 #GiveMe5 survey 83.4% of respondents said that match funding had influenced their decision “a lot” or was the “only reason” that they had donated. Donor surveys show a clear, positive correlation between the likelihood of a donation being matched and the amount donors are willing to donate. Deterministic match funds (in which donations are guaranteed to be matched) see the highest participation levels, but require substantial initial investment in terms of match funding.  Competitions increase the average donation size and provide the best leverage for campaign funders, but show lower participation rates amongst charities. Download the full PDF report Our next national match fund campaign, Grow Your Tenner 2016, will be launching on 18th October and will run for a month or until the match fund runs out. During this campaign Localgiving will be matching monthly donations of up to £10 given to our members for up to three months. Why not take a look at our campaign page to find out how you and your charity can benefit.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investmentHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity
    Aug 23, 2016 1526
  • 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
    1958 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 1958
  • 16 Jun 2016
    This summer David Charles and his girlfriend, Caz, are cycling an astonishing 3000 Miles across Europe, raising funds for London based refugee charity, The Bike Project. Starting in London and finishing at the town of Gaziantep on the Syria-Turkey border, this journey retraces the route taken by the thousands of refugees who have fled the war-torn country in recent years. Along the way they will be exploring how life has changed, both for refugees and also for communities living along the migration route. Localgiving recently took the chance to chat to David about his inspiration – and perspiration! What inspired you to take on this challenge? “The inspiration for this trip came directly from the volunteer work we've been doing with The Bike Project in London. The Bike Project takes second hand bikes, fixes them up and donates them to refugees so that they can travel around the city”. “Last year, we were part of a mass cycle ride to the migrant camp in Calais, donating more than 80 bikes to refugees there. That gave me the idea to cycle onwards, through France and Germany, across the Balkans to Greece and beyond, from where hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make a new life for themselves in Europe”. “I have been lucky enough in my life to be able to travel freely throughout the world, and have always received wonderful hospitality from everyone I have met, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle East and Asia. My support for charities like The Bike Project comes from a desire to return the generous hospitality that I have received to newcomers in my country, particularly to those who have been forced from their homes without the freedom of a passport and a ticket home”. What difficulties do you think you may face along the way? “The main challenges of the trip so far have been incredibly mundane: where to refill our water bottles, how to eat enough good food without spending too much money, when to stop for the night. Then yesterday I got bitten by a tick and now I'm panicking that I've got Lyme Disease! But in truth the only real challenge was committing to the ride, giving up our flats and leaving. Everything else is just logistics. What training have you done for the trip? “We both cycle a lot in London because public transport is so expensive. While I have done some bike touring before, Caz had never cycled more than 20 miles for two days in a row before this trip!” “Neither of us are what you'd call ‘serious cyclists’ - for us, it's just the easiest way of getting around. I believe that if you can cycle a mile to the shops, then you can probably cycle two and three miles. Keep turning your pedals, put those miles together and you've got a 2,500 mile tour across the continent!” What would you say to persuade or inspire other people to fundraise? “I've only ever fundraised like this a couple of times in my life - it simply must be a cause that you passionately believe in. “The Bike Project makes a really positive, visible difference to people's lives - not just for the refugees who come to the workshop and go home with what the suffragettes called 'freedom machines', but also for people like me, who come to help fix up the bikes and learn so much from both mechanics and refugees.” How can people follow your journey and donate? You can follow our journey on www.davidcharles.info or @dcisbusy on Instagram. People can donate to David here: CyclingSyria   Interested in finding out how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep A Week of Welcome: Refugee Week 2016    
    2202 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • This summer David Charles and his girlfriend, Caz, are cycling an astonishing 3000 Miles across Europe, raising funds for London based refugee charity, The Bike Project. Starting in London and finishing at the town of Gaziantep on the Syria-Turkey border, this journey retraces the route taken by the thousands of refugees who have fled the war-torn country in recent years. Along the way they will be exploring how life has changed, both for refugees and also for communities living along the migration route. Localgiving recently took the chance to chat to David about his inspiration – and perspiration! What inspired you to take on this challenge? “The inspiration for this trip came directly from the volunteer work we've been doing with The Bike Project in London. The Bike Project takes second hand bikes, fixes them up and donates them to refugees so that they can travel around the city”. “Last year, we were part of a mass cycle ride to the migrant camp in Calais, donating more than 80 bikes to refugees there. That gave me the idea to cycle onwards, through France and Germany, across the Balkans to Greece and beyond, from where hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make a new life for themselves in Europe”. “I have been lucky enough in my life to be able to travel freely throughout the world, and have always received wonderful hospitality from everyone I have met, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle East and Asia. My support for charities like The Bike Project comes from a desire to return the generous hospitality that I have received to newcomers in my country, particularly to those who have been forced from their homes without the freedom of a passport and a ticket home”. What difficulties do you think you may face along the way? “The main challenges of the trip so far have been incredibly mundane: where to refill our water bottles, how to eat enough good food without spending too much money, when to stop for the night. Then yesterday I got bitten by a tick and now I'm panicking that I've got Lyme Disease! But in truth the only real challenge was committing to the ride, giving up our flats and leaving. Everything else is just logistics. What training have you done for the trip? “We both cycle a lot in London because public transport is so expensive. While I have done some bike touring before, Caz had never cycled more than 20 miles for two days in a row before this trip!” “Neither of us are what you'd call ‘serious cyclists’ - for us, it's just the easiest way of getting around. I believe that if you can cycle a mile to the shops, then you can probably cycle two and three miles. Keep turning your pedals, put those miles together and you've got a 2,500 mile tour across the continent!” What would you say to persuade or inspire other people to fundraise? “I've only ever fundraised like this a couple of times in my life - it simply must be a cause that you passionately believe in. “The Bike Project makes a really positive, visible difference to people's lives - not just for the refugees who come to the workshop and go home with what the suffragettes called 'freedom machines', but also for people like me, who come to help fix up the bikes and learn so much from both mechanics and refugees.” How can people follow your journey and donate? You can follow our journey on www.davidcharles.info or @dcisbusy on Instagram. People can donate to David here: CyclingSyria   Interested in finding out how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep A Week of Welcome: Refugee Week 2016    
    Jun 16, 2016 2202
  • 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    
    1959 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 1959
  • 13 Jun 2016
    Small Charity Week is here!  Over 95% of Localgiving’s members are small or micro charities.  We know better than anyone the inherent value of grassroots groups.   We are in the privileged position of hearing and seeing the positive impact that these groups make on their communities – every day in countless ways.   This morning alone I have been talking to a Darlington based group set up to save their local bowling green, a Swindon charity using theatre to change attitudes to refugees and a fans-owned football club in Scarborough. These are hugely different initiatives, with hugely different missions. What they all have in common however is an acute understanding of the needs of their communities and a genuine passion for improving the lives of those around them. Small Charity Week is about getting these small, local groups the exposure and acclaim they deserve.   So, how can you get involved? 1)      Find a small charity near you and spread the word about their cause and services.  Its easy to find a group in your area on Localgiving.org. Once you’ve found a group that inspires you, why not inspire your friends or colleagues too. Search for a Charity  2)      Donate! We’re running a #GiveMe5 match fund on Fundraising Day - Thursday the 16th June. We will be doubling 1,000 x £5 donations made through localgiving.org on the day. Our last #GiveMe5 campaign, held on Giving Tuesday 2015, raised over £36k for 548 charities in 24 hours.  Can you spare a fiver to support that inspirational group you just found? Small charities need your support. 3)      Look ahead -  Small charity week is about far more than 7 fun filled days. Think about what you can do to help grassroots charities in future. Can you offer your skills through volunteering? Could you provide ongoing financial support by setting up a direct debit? Do you know other people who would be interested in the work of the charity?   Our advice for small charity week is simple: discover, donate, and inspire!    Image (top SNAP- Special Needs and Parents, bottom  North Wilts Holiday Club for Children & Young People with Special Needs)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    1418 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Small Charity Week is here!  Over 95% of Localgiving’s members are small or micro charities.  We know better than anyone the inherent value of grassroots groups.   We are in the privileged position of hearing and seeing the positive impact that these groups make on their communities – every day in countless ways.   This morning alone I have been talking to a Darlington based group set up to save their local bowling green, a Swindon charity using theatre to change attitudes to refugees and a fans-owned football club in Scarborough. These are hugely different initiatives, with hugely different missions. What they all have in common however is an acute understanding of the needs of their communities and a genuine passion for improving the lives of those around them. Small Charity Week is about getting these small, local groups the exposure and acclaim they deserve.   So, how can you get involved? 1)      Find a small charity near you and spread the word about their cause and services.  Its easy to find a group in your area on Localgiving.org. Once you’ve found a group that inspires you, why not inspire your friends or colleagues too. Search for a Charity  2)      Donate! We’re running a #GiveMe5 match fund on Fundraising Day - Thursday the 16th June. We will be doubling 1,000 x £5 donations made through localgiving.org on the day. Our last #GiveMe5 campaign, held on Giving Tuesday 2015, raised over £36k for 548 charities in 24 hours.  Can you spare a fiver to support that inspirational group you just found? Small charities need your support. 3)      Look ahead -  Small charity week is about far more than 7 fun filled days. Think about what you can do to help grassroots charities in future. Can you offer your skills through volunteering? Could you provide ongoing financial support by setting up a direct debit? Do you know other people who would be interested in the work of the charity?   Our advice for small charity week is simple: discover, donate, and inspire!    Image (top SNAP- Special Needs and Parents, bottom  North Wilts Holiday Club for Children & Young People with Special Needs)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    Jun 13, 2016 1418
  • 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  
    3113 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 3113