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  • 14 Jul 2015
    June, 88, runs a community group called Singing with Dementia, Salford. This group supports around 65 people per week; People with Dementia and carers can come for respite, support, relaxation and fun. In this interview June reflects on how she learnt to use a computer, aged 79, and how technology helps her run her group. How did Singing with Dementia get started? “We had opened a Resource Centre in Eccles for people with dementia  and their Carers and, whilst it did well, we felt we could do more. After watching a programme on TV in which a musician worked with people with Dementia, I knew I had found the answer. It proved more difficult than anticipated to set up but we eventually managed it. Never in my wildest dreams did I  imagine it would ‘take off’ as it has. We had 16 people come the first day and now have 55 to 65 people attending every week.” How did you get started using a computer? “I already had a Dell computer and was attending various courses but was not very efficient. I decided to change to Apple and take advantage of their 1:1 teaching sessions. I needed to be more proficient and efficient and Apple helped with advice and teaching sessions. I now use my computer all the time for: Communicating with other groups, people interested in funding and every day business Reaching a lot of people- this saves us time and money Researching what’s new in the dementia world, who is doing what and where Filing of all documents - this is very efficient and documents are easily accessible at any time Applying for funding - most donors want online applications Correspondence” What were the biggest lessons learned for you? “Learning a new language and a new skill Realising what a powerful tool my computer is and putting my knowledge to good use to benefit my cause Becoming less worried about breaking my computer Conquering all of the above and then enjoying using my new knowledge to fully benefit my cause. It is a great feeling and worth all the effort. I am always learning as there is always something new in this exciting world we live in”   What are the benefits of using Facebook and Twitter? “It helps us to spread the word to a wider audience and puts us in touch with people doing similar work. People 'retweet' which means that more and more people can see what you do. You get exposure to different groups which normally would not be available to you. It builds a lot of interest - I have had many messages from overseas readers. You can use it to advertise forthcoming events and keeps your work in peoples' minds - this is very important.” So, what next? “Recently, we bought two iPads and I am using them to work with people with dementia as another method of interaction and communication. I am learning as I go along but it is taking off and proving to be another useful method in the art of communication. I download special games and use them as interaction tools - it is an ongoing learning experience!” What advice would you give to someone who is starting off using a computer and the internet?  “Take a knowledgeable person with you when you purchase a computer and buy the best that you can afford. Be certain that the shop that you buy from offers good customer service and that follow up advice is readily available. Have a clear idea of what you want the computer to do for you. Buy or borrow books and read up to increase your knowledge. Seek help and keep practicing until you are familiar with what you are doing. Be not afraid!!” “I would advise anyone to use computers for their charity work. It is an invaluable tool and if I can do it age 88 then anyone can!” To find out more about June's work with Singing with Dementia, go to their new website: . To support the work of Singing with Dementia, Salford, visit their Localgiving page:
    4858 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • 05 Sep 2014
    The Charity Engagement team’s newest member Cara joined Annalisa on a visit to Global Generation’s community garden in Kings Cross, London. In this blog post she tells us about her encounter and what she learnt about the fantastic work the charity is doing. It’s my second week at Localgiving and to celebrate, Annalisa and I went on a Charity Engagement Team Adventure to Global Generation’s ‘The Skip Garden’ near King’s Cross. We enjoyed our morning exploring and learning about the garden's mission to foster an understanding of self, others, the environment through the medium of community gardening, educational programmes, and lots of climbing into colourfu, repurposed skips. We almost thought we were in the wrong place when we arrived at what looked like a construction site, but a friendly builder assured us that yes, there is a community garden plonked in one of Europe’s largest development sites. When we entered the garden, we saw chillies, pears, ginger, aloe vera and flowers of all kinds growing in skips and recycled containers. And butterflies!  We had a really interesting meeting with Nicole who told us about Global Generation and its mission to ‘harness the positive spirit of young people as catalysts for environmental and social change’ - the project is about much more than just growing vegetables. The garden is a powerhouse of unique work focussed on giving young people a broad and holistic perspective of who they are, the environment, and how the two relate.  Wanting to stay true to the urban environments that is the context for the lives of many young people, Nicole told us that The Skip Garden is happy to be positioned in the middle of a building site; their green garden is completely mobile (hence the skips) and migrates as the concrete jungle around them develops, opening up a new pocket of colourful garden for local people to enjoy. We saw Global Generation’s vision reflected in everything that they do from maintaining corporate partnerships that involve the local community, to using materials from the construction site to build the garden. Nicole told us that they have some of their meetings in skips, and used them as immersive reflection spaces for young people – we jumped in and found it pretty nice to be surrounded by plants, flowers and fruit. From a funding perspective, Global Generation is mature in its thinking; following a cut in funding from the Big Lottery Fund, their diversified income streams are a shining example of how local charities can adapt, and make themselves less vulnerable to any once funding source. The list is endless: The Skip Garden works closely with construction companies at Kings Cross Central, runs a café, hosts supper clubs, is available for venue hire, provides training and out of the ordinary social events for businesses, stocks seasonal flower beds for nearby restaurants, sells produce to the nearby office of The Guardian, maintains a roof-top vegetable garden on top of Wolff Olins, and has a ‘flying café’ which flits around the area selling meals made with produce from the garden form a purpose build bike. (…and breathe!) The Skip Garden has lots of exciting plans and I am looking forward to supporting their fundraising through Localgiving – our crowdfunding feature will be launched soon, and will be a really good tool for the charity to use. It will create a platform for project-specific fundraising, and will hopefully present a high impact opportunity for supporters to donate and get involved in supporting the project.  Although London is full of greens spaces, to me, The Skip Garden offers a lot more than a simple park; I saw a lively team of people, with an exciting mission, focussed heavily on interaction – all of which puts my wilting basil plant to shame. Highlights included ‘orchard skip’, ‘polly skip’, seeing ginger growing (who knew it could be grown in pots?!), some ceramics from Central St Martins, the behives and wormery, a bicycle powered irrigation system, pizza ovens … and wildflowers growing out of hard hats – an image which, to me, sort of sums of what Global Generation is all about. Find out more about Global Generation and support them here.
    4247 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • 06 Oct 2015
    Our members often ask us 'How can we ask for money? What are people interested in hearing about?' The key to successful fundraising is the ability to communicate what you do in a way which garners public support. The aim is to get the right balance between (a) building trust in your work by providing specific details, and (b) creating an emotional connection with your supporters by showing the impact of your work on your service users. Here are our 5 tips for effectively communicating what you do.... If you need any help with developing a 'pitch' for your group, get in touch with us on 0300 111 2340. Or, email a draft to
    4164 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • 05 Apr 2016
    The UK is one of the richest countries in the world and yet 1 in 7 people live in food poverty - meaning they struggle to obtain healthy, nutritious food. Meanwhile, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, almost 50% of which comes from our homes. So, what can we do to tackle this? Here’s five tips to help you cut down. 1. Share - three technology solutions to help you connect with your community Olio is a free app which connects neighbours with each other and with local shops and cafes so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. FareShare and the Irish social enterprise FoodCloud have announced a collaborative partnership designed to help UK retailers address the issue of edible surplus food. If you are a charity or community group that uses food to support people, you can sign up to FareShare FoodCloud and collect good quality, surplus food from Tesco stores for free! Casserole Club is an online platofrm that brings together volunteers to share extra portions of home-cooked food with people in their area who aren’t always able to cook for themselves. Currently operating in Staffordshire, Cheshire West and Chester. 2. Grow - local community groups across the UK are growing food Dorking Community Orchard is a nearly two acre site located on the western end of Dorking. The orchard is home to 100 fruit trees as well as several mature fruit and nut trees. The site is maintained as a community orchard. The site is free and open to the public. The Orchard is available for school groups and community events. The Growing Project Pensilva is a community business that delivers weekly veg boxes or fruit bags with  superb food grown locally to organic standards. The Growing Project provides people of all abilities and from all walks of life with the opportunity to learn new skills, socialise, get fit and gain valuable training and work experience. Everyone is welcome to come and join in, whether you’re a seasoned allotment-eer or an spade-less newbie. They convene every Wednesday from 10 a.m. and a hearty lunch is always provided. Bring your wellies! Petworth Community Garden is a group of local volunteers of all ages and abilities, who meet together weekly to tend their organic community garden. They share the gardening tasks, along with tea, cakes and seasonal soup, and each take home fresh, free, organic fruit and vegetables. 3. Learn - local community groups who support people to connect with their environment Sacred Earth is dedicated to supporting life and learning. They aim to assist in regenerative culture through nature connection. Their programmes, courses and community events are vessels to help people of all ages establish healthy relationships with themselves, with each other and with the more-than-human world of nature. From a medicinal herb garden to an organic and bio-dynamic farm. Global Generation connects people to each other and their natural world by creating hands-on and reflective opportunities. They combine activities such as supporting bees, carpentry, urban food growing, cooking, and eating together with dialogue, story, creative writing, silence and stillness.   4. Meet-up - local people working on community sustainability Blackshaw Environmental Action Team (BEAT) began as an environmental group but in the last few years has worked on broader sustainability issues. BEAT has installed a community wind turbine to generate a regular income for the community, created two community orchards in Blackshaw Head and helped to establish community allotments in Charlestown. Transition Network aims is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities to self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions. The Conservation Volunteers work across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone - communities where their activities have a lasting impact on people’s health, prospects and outdoor places. 5. Get inspired ReJuice re-directs food surpluses from local markets/supermarkets and transforms it into healthy socio-enviro friendly soups and smoothies. Rubie in the Rubble makes handmade chutneys and jam, made as much as possible from surplus fruits and vegetables, fresh from farms and markets before they’re discarded. Toast Ale is made using a Belgian recipe that includes fresh, surplus bread that would otherwise be wasted. It has a malty taste similar to amber ales and wheat beers. All profits go to the charity Feedback to support the fight against food waste  
    4137 Posted by Cara Sanquest
Featured charities 4,314 views Dec 15, 2015
16 Charity Christmas Gift Ideas

It’s 9 days until Christmas and the festive shopping frenzy is upon us. On Black Friday alone, Amazon sold more than 7.4 million items in the UK. John Lewis said that it was its biggest ever day of trading. When consumerism flourishes, our spending habits express agency; what we spend our money on impacts on what is produced, who benefits from profit and the direction of innovation. Why not put down that glossy catalogue and take a look around your community to see what’s on offer? You can double down on your Christmas giving by buying a gift from a charity whereby the profits are reinvested in the community.

Many of our members are working hard to diversify their income streams and produce products that are attractive to Christmas shoppers. These purchases that make great gifts and will leave you feeling positively angelic about your spending choices.

Here’s a list of 16 of our members who are selling their wares this festive season: 

1. See a show at Brentwood Theatre, Essex

The Wind in the Willows, a family-friendly show, runs until the start of January. Brentwood have a good variety of shows to break the New Year blues. On 10 January, Brentwood Philharmonic are playing a special performance, in the presence of The Mayor of Brentwood who has selected them as one of his charities for the year. Later in the month, there are two magic shows in The Audrey Longman Studio.

For details of these, and all other shows, please call the Box Office on 01277 200305 or book online here

2. Craft works from Camphill MK, Milton Keynes

Camphill MK is a living and working community where people with learning disabilities and those who support them may reach their full potential in the spirit of lifelong learning.

Visit the shop in MK to see their range of craft works by renowned local makers, including books, pottery and a variety of environmentally-friendly household products here 

3. Turned wood artifacts from Camden Town Shed, London

Camden Town Shed not only provides missing facilities but replaces elements of a workplace that some people miss. These include:  a  role or purpose, workmates, problem solving, learning from or helping your peers, opportunities for creativity  creative and even the work itself!

Check out their Etsy store for skillfully made wooden gifts here

4. Vegetable boxes from Bosavern Community Farm, Cornwall

Bosavern Community Farm is situated near St Just at the very western tip of Cornwall near Land’s End and overlooking the sea toward the Scilly Isles. It is a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run on Wholesome Food Association principles by a community of employees, members and volunteers.

If you live in the area, check out their vegetable boxes that are available for weekly delivery here

5. Homeware from Designs In Mind, Shropshire

Designs In Mind is a leader in health innovation and arts for social change. It is a competitive business with a creative & social purpose working with adults in touch with Mental Health Services

Take a look at their online store for handmade homeware and bags here

6. Tickets to an event at An Droichead

An Droichead is an Irish language organisation that promotes the development of Irish language and culture through education, arts, family & community services, and outreach work. Focusing in particular on our immediate area of inner city south Belfast and our urban hinterland of greater south and east Belfast, the aim of An Droichead is to build the largest and most diverse community of Irish speakers in Ireland.

Browse events and buy tickets here

7. A bike or bike accessories from The Bike Shop, London

The Bike Shop isn’t any old shop - it formed out of The Bike Project, a charity getting refugees cycling in London. They do this by fixing and donating second-hand bikes. The fixing takes place at their workshop, where refugees learn the basics in bike mechanics, before fixing a bike up for themselves.  For refugee women that are new to cycling, they run cycling lessons.

Whether you need a bike lock, or a whole bike, this website has it all. Click here to see.

8. Paintings from ArtFreeDome, Berkshire

ArtFreeDome in Berkshire uses art therapy for the relief of sickness and distress in mind body and soul. They support people to explore and resolve day to day issues. Their art therapy activities include making teddy bears, painting and creating children's picture story books.

Buy from their range of paintings here

9. Craft materials from Art4Space, London

Art4Space in Stockwell gives people creative experiences and puts high quality art work into the public realm.

Art4Space brings diverse groups together with a common creative focus, improving their sense of well-being. These groups include: pupils, older peoples groups, tenants of housing estates, corporate teams, youth offenders.

The Art4Space workshops have therapeutic benefits; build confidence and self-esteem, encourage team building and problem solving and develop creativity and imaginative thinking.

If you’d like to buy Mosaic kits, handmade products and much more, their shop is located in their studio in Stockwell, email if you’d like to visit.

10. A Gift for a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide, National

Localgiving works with local Girl Guiding groups to help them to fundraise in their communities. We are delighted to see that they have an online shop with a great selection of goodies.

Buy from the online shop here

11. Odds and ends from Revive Leeds, Leeds

Revive Leeds is Yorkshire’s first reuse shop on a household waste site. Not only do they recycle but they also help the local community by selling donations at affordable prices.

Visit the shop at East Leeds Household Waste Site, Limewood Road, LS14 1LU or shop online here

12. Craft materials from Little Miracles, Peterborough

Little Miracles is a parent led support group and Charity for families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions.

You can buy craft materials here

13. Tickets for Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Dorset

The original building on the site was a sea water baths, opened in 1806 by Mr Giles Davies. The first of its kind in Lyme Regis, it pumped water directly from the ocean below. On the same site now sits a community hub, Lyme Regis Marine Theatre.

Take your pick from It’s a Wonderful Life, Jazz, Brian Ferry and a Celilidh here

14. A dance class from Montage Theatre Arts, London

Montage Theatre Arts is a charity in south-east London providing performing arts opportunities in the community for all ages. Classes, workshops, holiday courses, a volunteer programme, shows and events - suitable for all to take part in and enjoy, whatever your age or ability.

Book a class or workshop here

15. A ticket for a Red Ladder production, Leeds

Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 45 years of history. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice.

Get tickets for an upcoming show here

16. Monster gifts from Ministry of Stories, London

The Ministry of Stories is a local writing and mentoring centre in east London, where anyone aged eight to 18 can come and discover their own gift for writing.

Are you a monster, or of a monstrous persuasion? Partial to a daub of Thickest Human Snot on your morning toast? Running low on Fang Floss? Whether you’re a Vampire, Werewolf, Sasquatch or Something Else Entirely, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies has everything you need.

Shop online here or visit the shop at 159 Hoxton Street, London N1 6PJ.