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  • 12 Oct 2015
    Over the summer, we sent out a survey to representatives from local charities and community groups asking for their viewpoints on the current issues affecting their organisations. Our aim was to gather perspectives from as many different cause areas, locations and types of group as possible, so as to gain an extensive overview of the local voluntary sector in the UK. Report findings Today, to coincide with the launch of Grow Your Tenner, we have released the findings of this study in our first Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report. Its results will help to better inform the work Localgiving does to support its members and advocate for local charities and community groups. Our hope is that it will also serve as a catalyst to inspire other key stakeholders across society to engage with the sector and work together to tackle the problems it faces. The report showcases some of the fantastic attributes that local voluntary organisations share, which make them such valuable assets to the communities they serve. However, it also serves to highlight some of the pressing issues facing many groups around the country. Whilst an increase in demand for services shows no sign of slowing, many organisations are left struggling to cover core costs and unable to plan for the future. At the same time, many feel much of the general public are unaware of their work, making it all the more difficult to build connections with new supporters. Grow Your Tenner This is where initiatives like Grow Your Tenner come in. Our hope is that this year’s campaign will help to further raise awareness and support for the sector, whilst also enabling groups to develop practical fundraising skills and build lasting connections with new supporters. Over the past three years we have seen some amazing results and heard some incredible stories from groups taking part. Now in it’s fourth year, we hope that Grow Your Tenner 2015 will engage more new people with the work of the local voluntary sector and serve as a beacon for our future plans to support these vital organisations and their work. How you can get involved: Double your donation Click here to find a local charity and donate now. We’ll match your donation pound-for-pound by up to £10. Or, choose to set up a monthly donation and we’ll match it by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months. Register your organisation If you’re a local charity or community group that is not currently a member of Localgiving, there’s still plenty of time to take part in this year’s Grow Your Tenner and benefit from up to £10,000 of match funding. Simply click here to join us now. We’ll aim to get you online and accepting donations within 1 working day of receiving your completed documents, with many groups up and running the same day! For more information about Grow Your Tenner, including FAQs, please click here.  
    5447 Posted by Lou Coady
  • 12 Aug 2015
    And the winners are....   Grow Your Tenner 2015 is now just two short months away, set to launch on Tuesday October 13th at 10am. To get everyone ready, we're excited to announce the winners of our first ever Grow Your Tenner Awards! The awards highlight the fantastic fundraising effort made by our members during last year's campaign, which saw more than 1,200 local groups raise a total of £1.6m. Following the campaign, we asked groups to let us know how they’d be using the funds raised, how they went about fundraising and what their top tips were for gaining press coverage for their cause. This blog post features some of the most effective and innovative strategies employed, which we hope will provide some great inspiration if you're not sure yet how to engage with the campaign this time round. We had so many great responses that we had a really tough time in picking just one entry to win each award. However, after much deliberation, we whittled the responses down and can now reveal the winners...  Future Impact Award For the Future Impact Award, we were looking for a group who could explain how the funding they had raised through the campaign would be used in a way that was demonstrable, quantifiable and emotionally engaging. We asked how many people would be helped through the money raised, how it would be used and whether it was for new projects or core running costs. One of the great things about Localgiving match funds (and fundraising in general) is that they give groups the opportunity to access unrestricted funding – i.e. the charity can choose how to deploy the funds without a grant-maker stipulating any specific conditions. This is particularly important for groups that require funding to cover their core operation costs, things like rent, salaries and utility bills – without which they would be unable to continue providing their services. We know that it can be a real challenge to demonstrate the impact of funding that’s used to pay your electricity bill, but some groups did a great job of doing just that. By highlighting case-studies and giving examples of inspiring individual stories, their entries helped to paint a picture of how the money will be used to help more people in the same way into the future. Equally, match funding may also be used to go towards new or existing projects. If a group already has its core costs covered, fundraising can provide a new income stream, allowing them to expand their services and reach more people in their community.  We had a range of great entries from lots of different groups, all of which planned to use the funding in different ways. 48% of groups said the money they raised would go towards core funding, 44% towards existing projects and 37% towards new projects. (Some groups chose to split the money they raised between multiple areas, for any of you mathematicians out there!) So, onto our runners up and, of course, the winner! Runner up: Dukeries Community Workshop Dukeries Community Workshop is based in Nottinghamshire and provides affordable creative activities for people who are older, disabled, suffer from a long-term illness or are unemployed. The workshop is a safe, supportive and social environment in which marginalised people can access affordable craftwork and skill-development opportunities. From woodworking, metalworking and welding to machine engineering and creative glasswork, the workshop not only enables participants to build new interests and skills, but also to form new friendships and develop important social support networks. Dukeries Community Workshop told us that the money raised through Grow Your Tenner would go towards their core operation costs, and demonstrated how important the service they provide is by recounting the following story: "The wife of 40 year old man who, after a failed operation 6 years previously, became confined to a wheelchair, felt useless, rarely left the house, felt he was letting his family down and that his life was effectively over, got into conversation at a local slimming club with the wife of another man who, following redundancy & depression, had been advised by his doctor to ‘try the Community Workshop’." "It took her a while to persuade him but, at the end of October, Chris* finally agreed to send an email asking what the possibilities were for someone in a wheelchair. Arrangements were made to meet for a chat; a week later he made his first visit. Initially he was extremely quiet & reserved, keeping very much to himself. However, it was soon discovered that, unbeknown to himself, he had artistic flair. He was taught pyrography and commenced burning his pictures into timber, which led to him learning how to prepare timber & make picture frames. This happened just six weeks ago and the change in Chris has been heartwarming to witness." "He is a different man –cheerful, friendly & confident he now helps other users and  volunteers to help with stands at local events to demonstrate wood-burning techniques to encourage other people to ‘have a go’. He is relating to his children again, has found friends and feels that life is worth living after all." *We have changed this name to protect anonymity Demonstrating how money used to go towards core costs will be spent is always a challenge, and we felt that Dukeries did a great job of providing an emotionally compelling story that showed important their service is for individual people in the community. Runner up: Sowerby Bridge Fire and Water Sowerby Bridge Fire and Water is a community project to develop a purpose built venue that functions as a creative hub, embracing cultural, educational and economic activities to revitalise the historic centre of Sowerby Bridge. The venue will house community training, arts, music and cultural events, as well as commercial areas to provide a revenue stream to ensure the sustainability of the community centre. They told us, “The project is to convert the former swimming baths, council offices and fire station into a community hub providing  a town venue and support structures to groups and organisations throughout the town, a creative arts, education and service centre whilst rescuing  a group of much-loved and important buildings.  While we are negotiating over the terms of the lease we have a very urgent problem to deal with to do with the poor state of the buildings - there is a severe outbreak of dry rot caused in part by long-standing roof problems.  We have had over 70 separate volunteers working in the buildings stripping them out to expose the extent of the dry rot and over 1000 hours of voluntary time has ensued.  We are now fundraising for the costs of the roof repairs which will involve volunteers yet again, and once the roof leaks are stopped up, the dry rot treatment can take place.  Money raised through Localgiving is giving us a very good start in achieving our goals and safeguarding the project as a whole.” “Our target is the whole community of approx 11000 people.  Our membership at present is about 250 plus a number of businesses and organisations as partners and we are growing steadily, so the Grow Your Tenner is a steppingstone to helping many thousands of local people.” “...our voluntary activities to date, upholstered by our fundraising has raised our profile and has encouraged a number of individuals and companies to offer and provide help in the provision of free time and materials and a greater public commitment to the project.” The detailed information provided by the group and the urgent requirement for funding for the project demonstrated the impact that the money raised through Grow Your Tenner would have in a clear and quantifiable way. In addition to this, the group also demonstrated how the campaign had helped them to spread the word and garner increased support amongst the community. By providing an estimate of the number of people who would benefit from the funds raised, they also enabled us to get a real idea of the overall impact of the Grow Your Tenner campaign. Winner: Acacia Family Support Acacia Family Support provides help and support for mothers and families affected by pre and post natal depression in Birmingham. The services they provide include individual befriending sessions, group work therapy, telephone support, practical support and massage therapy for parents and babies. The money Acacia raised through Grow Your Tenner will be used to provide care packages for new service users at their first visit. They explained why these packages are so vital: Thanks to the kindness of a small handful of supporters we will be able to fund an extra 5 care packages to our most poorly mothers.  Why are they so important? Catherine Lister, Acacia's Helping Hands @ Home Co-ordinator explains ........... "So to many people this looks like a simple bag of food and goodies. To a Mum suffering from severe pre or post natal depression this is what this gesture can mean. - It means that Acacia are different, they care for me and my baby and want to see me recover. - Acacia are not just here to tick boxes and because I’m a ‘referral’. They understand that the simple task of shopping and putting a meal together is overwhelming at the moment for me in my muddled mind, even though cooking used to be something I enjoyed. - They know that I’m breastfeeding so I want to eat fruit and veg as I want to be a good Mum and give my baby the best, but at the moment as going out is so hard I’m snacking on quick foods and comfort eating. This in turn feeds my negativity and makes me feel rubbish. - They know that because I’m so preoccupied with my thoughts right now, I'll most likely run out of bread and milk before I realise I need some and they know I’ll need a sweet treat when I’m even more exhausted than the average new mum as at they understand that  PND is literally draining all the energy I once had. The parcel is a relatively cheap form of intervention but the impact of the gift itself is far reaching.  Don't forget this is given right at the start of our work with this new mother but it provides a helpful platform to work from." We felt that the way in which Acacia provided a real, tangible example of how the funds raised through Grow Your Tenner would be used was highly compelling. By relating the difference even a modest gift can make to the people they support, they provided evidence of impact in a way that is genuine and likely to encourage more people to donate in the future. Congratulations Acacia family support on winning our first ever Grow Your Tenner Big Impact Award! A certificate and £50 M&S voucher is on its way to you! Fundraising Innovation Award For this award we were looking for the charities that ran the most effective, unique and inspired fundraising campaigns to make the most out of Grow Your Tenner. Creative strategies to encourage donations can make a real difference to the total raised and we were looking for inspiring stories of how groups approached this challenge. Runner up: Shettleston Community Growing Project Based in the east end of Glasgow, Shettleston Community Growing Project has transformed a plot of derelict land into a thriving community garden with individual and communal growing spaces for fruit and vegetables that are available for local residents, community groups and schools in Shettleston and surrounding area. The group provides a range of opportunities for volunteering and arranges events to bring people in the community closer together. The group set a specific fundraising target for the Grow Your Tenner campaign to raise a total of £400. Not only did they exceed this objective, but they also engaged with new donors and secured a number of Direct Debit donations to help support their work on a monthly basis. We asked how they had gone about fundraising through the campaign. “Promoted it on our website, email footers and flyers and tweeted to encourage people to donate. Our Project Co-ordinator also contacted staff at Shettleston Housing Association and our local Marks & Spencer retail outlet to encourage them to donate during Grow Your Tenner.” Setting targets is a great way to measure the success of a fundraising campaign and decide upon the amount of resources that it will require and was a tactic that paid off for SCGP. By combining online fundraising methods via social media with a strategy to approach local businesses for support, they maximised their touchpoints with the local community, helping to to encourage support from local people in the area and achieve their goals. Fantastic work! Runner up: Stripey Stork Stripey Stork work to collect and recycle pre-loved baby items and distribute them to families in need in the Reigate and Banstead area. The group receives requests from health visitors, children's centres, social workers, GPs and other agencies on behalf of families in need in the Borough and works to match donated stock with what each family needs. Stripey Stork used Grow Your Tenner as an opportunity to raise funds to pay for their Santa Stork 2014 campaign, which aimed to give a personal gift to as many local children in need as possible for Christmas. The group promoted the campaign via their fantastic blog, with clear calls to action and details of how supporters could donate. They said, “We will pair your donation with a present request and ensure that the child in question gets something they wish for.” – a great sentiment and a lovely message for potential donors. On the 2nd of December – coinciding with Giving Tuesday – the group delivered gifts for 146 children and 56 of their parents! The campaign was a resounding success and not only raised a great amount of money to support local families in need over the festive period, but also enabled the group to engage with 58 new donors through Localgiving! We’re thrilled to hear about such a great result and hope that Stripey Stork will be able to raise even more funding this year :) Winner: Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) has been supporting and developing communities across Bedfordshire for over 60 years. The group offers a wide range of services to the local area. It provides support to vulnerable and isolated individuals; helps communities to look after their local natural heritage and community buildings; supports the local rural economy; helps unemployed people back into work; and operates a range of community transport services. In 2014, the group dedicated donations raised through Localgiving to support the restoration of the historic Warden Abbey Community Vineyard. The group used Grow Your Tenner as an opportunity to run their “Donate a Vine” campaign, where supporters were encouraged to make a £10 donation towards the restoration of the vineyard. They gave us details of how they promoted the campaign within the community: “We emailed supporters the week before the launch to give notice that GYT/Donate a Vine would be coming soon. This was followed on the day of launch with a specific email with details of the scheme and how it would help secure the work of the community vineyard, with examples of what we have been doing so far. A further email was sent when the national pot only had around £12,000 to go (we were only half way to our target at this point) and this prompted a further round of donations. Finally, we emailed people a couple of days before Giving Tuesday, as we were still a little short of our target, to encourage those who had been thinking of donating but not yet got round to it to consider doing so on Triple Your Tenner Tuesday. Alongside this, we encouraged our supporters to spread the word via Twitter and Facebook and a handful of them indeed did this. We do not yet have a Twitter or Facebook account and couldn't set one up in time for the campaign. For the duration, info about the campaign was included in the signatures of staff emails, and the Localgiving banner was given prominence on the BRCC website and on the vineyard website. We issued a press notice, but it wasn't picked up locally but we did get to be top article in a national email newsletter that goes to the wine trade. We also displayed a poster in the vineyard shed!” Email campaigns are a highly effective way to mobilise supporters and get fundraising campaigns off to a great start. The hard work BRCC put into promoting the campaign clearly paid off, seeing them all of their fundraising targets and securing donations from an amazing 89 new donors! We loved the idea of “Donate a vine” and it’s this innovative concept that means BRCC are the winners of our Grow Your Tenner 2014 Fundraising Innovation award! Congratulations to them! PR Superstar Award Part of any successful fundraising campaign is connecting with and gaining support from new donors, particularly those in the local area. Engaging with journalists through press releases is a great way for groups to get the word out and encourage donations from brand new supporters. We’re always keen to see how groups are getting into the press and what kinds of stories achieve the best pick up in the media. Our winner and runners up for the PR Superstar Award have employed some great strategies to garner more support from their local communities and beyond. Runner up: D.R.E.A.M. D.R.E.A.M. (Disability Recreation Education Advisory Meetings) is a group of disabled people based in the North West Leeds area who meet on a weekly basis. The group aims to support disabled people's recreational needs, share information amongst the local community, be involved in the planning and development of local services that affect disabled people, combat social isolation, encourage physical activity and improve the health and wellbeing of its members. As part of their fundraising campaign through Grow Your Tenner, D.R.E.A.M. received local press coverage in the Wharfedale and Airedale Observer. To secure this coverage, the group contacted their local MP, Stuart Andrew and invited him to attend a party to celebrate their 10th anniversary. The group liaised with the MP’s press office to get a photograph of Mr Andrew with some members of the group published in the paper. Connecting with a local MP is a fantastic way for groups to gather press coverage and increase public support amongst the community. MPs have great networks of local contacts, so they can facilitate a range of opportunities – as in the case of D.R.E.A.M! Runner up: ABC to Read ABC to Read assists children in Berkshire to read confidently at a level which will maximise their life chances. It aims to advance their education and self confidence, particularly by helping them to overcome reading difficulties, thereby promoting their general well-being. The group recruits and trains community volunteers to provide 1:1 support for children in local primary schools and encourages children to develop a love of reading. Through Grow Your Tenner, ABC to Read gained coverage for their cause on BBC Berkshire. They told us that they had built up relationships with the media over the past year, as well as recruiting a PR volunteer to assist with their media outreach. Asking for volunteers with different skillsets to help with marketing, web design, PR or other areas of your fundraising is a great way to increase the amount you can do. In this case, it enabled ABC to Read to build a fruitful relationship with the local press and successfully gain coverage for their fundraising campaign. Winner: The Red Ladder Theatre Company Red Ladder Theatre Company makes theatre that represents the dispossessed, tells stories of the injustices of our world and changes the lives of the people they work with. The group works with and supports emerging writers and directors, touring new writing nationally as well as creating big community shows in Leeds. It also runs a free actor training scheme called Red Grit, and a writers group, Red Writers. Following having its Arts Council funding cut in 2014, Red Ladder started a fundraising campaign to ensure the group’s survival. To coincide with Grow Your Tenner, the group launched a campaign to raise money for a production of David Peace’s The Damned United. Red Ladder encouraged Direct Debit donors with their “Piece of Peace” campaign, where every monthly donor signed up during Grow Your Tenner would be awarded a piece of the play. The group gained a huge amount of coverage for the initiative, in local, trade and national press – including feature pieces in the Guardian and Independent. Their PR efforts paid dividends, with the group securing 33 new Direct Debit donors through the campaign – and of course winning our first ever PR Superstar award! Well done Red Ladder! Round up Congratulations to each of the three winners - a £50 Marks & Spencers voucher will be on its way to you very soon! Also a huge well done to the runners up and and a massive thank you to everyone who took part in the awards by submitting an entry, we wish we could have highlighted you all! Your answers to our survey have helped us to put together a comprehensive report of the campaign, which can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/GYT14_report For any groups who didn’t take part in last year’s Grow Your Tenner - now's your chance to get involved this time around! Grow Your Tenner 2015 will be launching on the 13th of October. For more information on this year's campaign, as well as details of our other upcoming match fund initiatives, please check out our events calendar here.   
    4124 Posted by Lou Coady
  • 03 Jun 2015
    We all know that individual fundraisers raise lots of money for charities, but it's important to remember that they are also fantastic at spreading goodwill and encouraging support for worthy causes. Fundraisers can be of particular benefit to local charities by raising awareness amongst the community and inspiring more local people to get involved with the group's work. Each fundraising page set up through Localgiving typically attracts 10 new donors and raises an average of over £400, so following these 6 easy steps to inspire someone in your community to fundraise on your behalf is certainly worth the effort! 1. Build your story The first step towards successfully inspiring any new type of supporter is to build a strong, clear and cohesive story around your organisation. One easy trick to help you structure your story is to use the 5 W's and 1 H technique: Who, What, Why, When, Where and How.   Who: Who does your organisation help?  What: What are your objectives? What initiatives do you currently have in place? Why: Why was your organisation founded? What are the key issues that it addresses? When: When was your organisation founded? When do you deliver specific activities? Where: Where do you operate? Be specific within the local area. How: How do you meet your goals and objectives? How do you run your initiatives? Try to use the above questions to paint a compelling picture about how your group makes a difference within your community. Make it clear how things would be different if your group did not exist and try to include your passion for the work you do to inspire support from others. 2. Evidence your impact Evidencing impact is vital to show would-be fundraisers how the money they raise on your behalf will be put to good use. If someone is to put themselves through a gruelling marathon to support your work, it is critical that they understand the impact that their actions can have! One way to do this is to use real-life examples of how previous funding has been used to demonstrate the "return on investment". The key to evidencing impact effectively is to follow the story through to it's conclusion. Try to answer the following questions: How much funding did you raise? Include the total amount and how your raised it – if it was through public donations, say so, this shows that you already have people supporting you, which in turn is likely to inspire trust and support from others. What did you do with the funding? This could be a clear-cut, like buying a new tool or resource, or it could be more abstract, like going towards energy bills or rent. Either way, make sure to be clear about how the money was spent. What was the result of this for the people you help? If you were able to buy a new resource, evidence how this affected your service users – were you able to help more people? Provide better help for those that you already support? Deliver a specific event or service? If your funding went towards your core costs, evidence how the money enabled you to continue to help the people you already support. The most effective examples will use numbers and statistics to clearly show your impact.  For example, a community transport group might say the following:  In 2014 we were able to raise a total of £2,500 through individual donations and fundraisers. The money enabled us to upgrade our minibus with features to enable wheelchair users to easily access the bus. This has resulted in a 20% increase in the number of people we are able to help, meaning that an additional 30 people have been assisted to get from A to B over the past 6 months. 3. Use case studies Now that you've given clear examples of how the money you've raised in the past has been spent, using numbers and statistics to show your return on investment, it's time to connect with your supporters on a more emotional level. Case studies are an ideal way to do this. Think of a case study as a story – you can try using the 5 W's and 1 H technique described above to help you build a compelling picture of how your organisation has helped an individual or group of people in your community. Quotes and testimonials from service users can help to bring your story to life and will engage potential supporters on a human level, helping them to become invested in your work.  4. Create a connection Once you've fully explained your organisation and given real-life examples of the impact it has, it's time to tell your own story. Nothing will speak to someone as much as your own passion for the work you do. Explain your personal motivation for being involved and what your "a-ha moment" was that provided the catalyst for where you are today. This will help you to explain the real meaning of the work you do and inspire the same passion in someone else.  5. Make the ask Hopefully, by following the above steps you will have won over a whole host of new supporters! Now it's time to convert them into fundraisers to spread your message even further. People will often be invested in something but not know how to best get involved. The key is to simply make the ask! Get in touch with supporters through as many channels as possible. You can download and edit this fundraising poster to include your Localgiving URL, then print it out and stick it around your community.  Use email and social media to quickly spread the word - don't be shy! Let people know that you are looking for fundraisers and ask them to share your message with their friends and families as well. You could even approach local businesses and ask for their support – they will often be looking for team-building exercises and fundraising can be a great option! 6. Have a clear call to action Make it as easy as possible for people to get involved. Make sure you include the link to your Localgiving page in all of your communications and make it clear that you are asking people to fundraise for you. You could even go one step further and book some spaces at a local sporting event or host your own challenge and ask people to take part.  If you're unable to organise something yourself, try to provide ideas and examples of challenges that people can get involved in to raise money on your behalf. Some ideas could include setting up a birthday giving page, having a fancy dress day at the local school or even a potato eating competition at the local pub! The only limit is your imagination! Need more help or advice? We hope these 6 steps will help you to inspire more fundraisers to get involved with your organisation and raise money on your behalf. To help you remember the key steps, you can download and print out this poster. Remember, if you need any help with your fundraising through Localgiving, you can contact us for free from 9.30am to 5.30pm, Monday - Friday on 0300 111 2340 or via help@localgiving.com and one of our team of qualified fundraisers will be happy to provide advice and support! 
    2868 Posted by Lou Coady
  • 29 Jun 2015
    It's been 30 days of preparing, training and campaigning for this month's fundraisers on Localgiving, all in the name of being crowned a #LocalHero and securing an extra cash prize for their chosen cause! The campaign saw 268 people fundraise on behalf of a local charity, raising a total of £80,499.05 in donations, prizes and Gift Aid from over 2,576 donors throughout the month. A huge thank you! With 161 groups on the platform seeing a fundraiser set up a page to raise money on their behalf, we want to give a massive thank you to everyone who took part and helped to make such a big difference to the people in their communities. Over the course of the month, we've heard some truly inspirational stories from some really incredible people, all of whom have gone that extra mile to help support a local cause. Everyone who fundraises for a local charity is a hero in our books, but it's now time to reveal who has made it into the final Top 20 and secured a share of the £5,000 prize fund for their chosen cause... And the winner is... Mick Pembleton with 157 points! Leading the race right from the start, Mick's pledge to jump out of a plane to raise money for Ability Dogs 4 Young People captured the imagination of his local community, seeing 157 people sponsor his page. Mick's prize of £1,000 brings his total raised to £3,313.25, including GiftAid, for the charity – an amazing achievement! About the charity Based in the Isle of Wight, Ability Dogs 4 Young People train assistance dogs to increase the independence and wellbeing of disabled young people and children in the local area. The ability dogs are provided free of charge and the charity fully funds the training of new puppies, as well as covering the costs of all the dog's food, equipment and vets bills throughout their working life. As well as helping with practical tasks, like picking up items, opening doors, helping dress and undress – the ability dogs also help to increase disabled young people's confidence and self-esteem. We caught up with Mick earlier this month to discuss his fundraising journey and how much he aimed to raise for the charity with his big jump. He told us: "Originally I just wanted to try and raise some money to help them out generally but now its gathered momentum I'm hoping to raise enough to buy a puppy and fund its training for the first year. It costs £5000 to buy a puppy and fund its training for two years right up to it being placed as a working Ability Dog - If I can raise a bit more money and somehow hold on to the top spot on the leader board I might reach £2500 which is exactly half of what's needed so that would fund it's first year with the charity." Huge congratulations to Mick for smashing his target and being crowned our #LocalHero 2015! The runners up Rounding out the Top 5 and each securing an additional £500 for their chosen cause, are: 2. The 2015 Footprint Walk for Bath Abbey – a team of intrepid fundraisers, taking on a 140 mile sponsored walk from Bath to London to raise money for renovation works for the Abbey.  3. Jim Strathdee for Glasgow Girls Football Club – who is raising money for a team of 22 players to go on tour and gain coaching experience in Gambia. 4. John Blackie for Bike Safe - for the Eynsham to Botley B4044 Community Path – who is raising money to go towards building a multi-purpose path for bicycles and pedestrians along a road that currently has no provision for cyclists.   5. Katie Skilton for First Days Childrens Charity – who is taking part in the Henley Mile open water swim to raise money to help the charity to support local families in need with items that cannot be donated, such as cot mattresses.  The full leaderboard See the full results of the Top 20 below. A big well done to all our winning fundraisers and charities – your prizes have now been awarded and can be seen on your fundraising page totals!  Scroll down to see more More match fund campaigns coming up! Big thanks again to everyone who took part in the campaign! #LocalHero might now be over, but we've got a whole host of match fund campaigns coming up. We'll be releasing details of the rest of our planned fundraising initiatives for 2015 – including Grow Your Tenner – in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more information!  
    1989 Posted by Lou Coady
Featured charities 1,396 views Mar 31, 2016
Support a Local Charity & Make a Difference in Your Community

Local charities do amazing things, but often remain invisible, despite their good work. 83.1% of the UK voluntary sector is made up of small and micro charities – the vast majority of which operate at a local level – but only 5.3% of funding goes to support these organisations.

To shine a spotlight on local groups and their good work, here are a few recent inspiring stories from our members. If you're interested in getting involved with a group in your area, you can use our search to find local charities near you.

SERV Sussex

SERV Sussex is an amazing charity that is comprised of volunteer bikers who provide night time transportation of emergency blood products and other urgent medical items for NHS Hospitals across Sussex. SERV volunteers, who generally use their own machines and pay for their own petrol, are on call from 7pm till 6am, 365 nights a year.

This Easter Sunday, the group of bikers swapped night for day and medical supplies for chocolate, delivering hundreds of Easter eggs to sick children in hospices and hospitals across the county. Leading the project, SERV also encouraged a number of other local biking groups to get involved and help with the delivery. The ride culminated at the conquest hospital in Bexhill-on-Sea, with around 300 eggs being delivered to the Kipling Children’s Ward. Watch a short video of the ride here.

Heart of Bucks

Heart of Bucks - Buckinghamshire Community Foundation supports local groups in Buckinghamshire by providing small grants to help with projects and the delivery of essential services. It supports various disadvantaged groups, including those dealing with homelessness, fuel poverty and youth training.

On Saturday 5 March, in the early hours of the morning, the police and fire brigade were called to the Hughenden Valley Community Shop. A volunteer arrived to open up for the day and discovered that the community store had been broken into, burgled and then set fire to. Heart of Bucks has now set up a fundraising appeal to raise money to rebuild the shop.

Heart of Bucks said, “Many people have said the village seems to have 'lost its' heart' since the fire, and there has been a noticeable difference in people being out and about in the village. The area was thriving and vibrant before these devastating events. We would really like to put the heart back into the village and rebuild the village shop and coffee shop, both of which are a hub and psychological centre of the area which many say has really brought the village together.”

You can contribute to the Hughenden Valley Village Shop SOS appeal here.

Taking Flight

Taking Flight Theatre Company is a fantastic Welsh charity that creates accessible, inclusive theatre performances and projects. It aims to challenge perceptions of disability and what is possible, whilst creating theatre that is ever more accessible to wider audiences.

This April, Alastair Sill - an audio describer for theatre who provides live verbal commentary of a play for blind and partially sighted audience members - is fundraising for the group.  Al will be cycling from Cardiff to Merthyr to Kidwelly to Stackpole to Haverfordwest West, stopping off at local schools and groups each day to find out what “love” means to the people of Wales.   

Dubbed “Cupid on Wheels”, Al is aiming to raise £15,000 to support the great work of the Theatre Company. He is also currently taking part in our Local Hero campaign! You can find out more about Al’s fundraiser here.

How you can make a difference

Hopefully these stories have proven that supporting a local charity, be it through fundraising, donating or volunteering, can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Get involved with a local charity and see the difference you can make. Use our local charity search tool to find a group in your area today.