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  • 10 May 2017
    It was quite a last minute decision to ask friends and family to sponsor me for this year’s London Marathon as I wasn’t a 100% sure I would make it to the start line after some glitches with my training plan. I really wanted to run on behalf of my sons’ school as we do a lot as a family to support their fundraising as members of their Parent Teacher Association. In particular I wanted to raise some money towards the Russell School’s new playground and outdoor learning space. Luckily the charity was already registered with Localgiving so it was quick and easy to set up a fundraising page. It wasn’t until I set up the page that I realised I would automatically be entered into the Local Hero Competition and a chance of winning a cash prize for the charity. On the Friday before the London Marathon my wife Hollie asked parents to sponsor me as I was going to be running it on behalf of the School’s Playground appeal. She explained about the Local Hero competition and the fact we could boost our fundraising if everybody connected with the school gave just a little. The timing couldn’t have been better as the children’s assembly that day was on the challenges of running a marathon and Katherine Switzer, the first woman to ‘unofficially’ run the 26.2 in 1967. Lots of our own friends and family also wanted to know who I was running for as the London Marathon really is known for being the biggest single fundraiser in the world. It was great to direct them to my Localgiving page and ask them to donate to the playground appeal. On the day itself Hollie used social media and updated everyone via Facebook on my progress along the route. As the event was live on TV lots of donations came in and it was clear to her that we might stand a chance of winning one of the Local Hero Prizes. She kept posting on Facebook throughout the day which prompted people to help move me up the leaderboard during the actual event. After the Marathon itself the number of donations meant I had moved up to second place on the leaderboard, so the race was on! We knew we only had to secure a small number of donors to move to the top position and the £1000 prize and this was a real incentivize to publicise the fundraising page. The Friends of Hillside school who were in first place understandably wanted to keep their position and so they put on a spurt too! Over the final week we managed to take the top spot on the leaderboard but Hillside were in hot pursuit. It really was neck and neck, as we got more donors, so did they! We used social media and word of mouth to encourage anybody and everybody we knew to donate just the minimum £2. This was an affordable amount to ask for, and we explained that crowdfunding worked by lots of people giving just a little. I am sure many more people donated to our charity because of the competitive nature of the leaderboard. We had lots of feedback about how exciting it was to keep checking my position and how each person could see how their donation made a difference to the leaderboard, and ultimately our chances of winning the £1000 prize. Everybody got into the spirit of the competition and so many people approached us on the school run to say they had donated and were telling their friends. It meant we engaged with lots of people connected with the school’s children that didn’t know about our fundraising efforts for a new playground. We also noticed a few parents who don’t usually come to our fundraisers get involved. As the final day approached the race became even more exciting when a third contender shot up the leaderboard. We used social media and school communication channels to again communicate how close we were to winning the prize. The fact there were only one or two donors in it really did prompt people to donate to us, in fact 261 individual did! It was that close right up until midnight on the closing day and we had absolutely no idea if we had done it when the competition closed. We nervously waited for Localgiving to validate the results but celebrated the fact the competition had helped us raise £2630 in sponsorship alone. This far exceeded my expectations and just showed how much could be raised for the children when everyone chipped in. It was clear the leaderboard race had kept many school parents engaged as many wanted to ask about the nail biting results the following morning on the school run. It was a fantastic feeling when the results came through to say I was top of the leaderboard and Local Hero 2017. This feeling wasn’t because of being the winner personally, or a hero as such, it was just a great way to thank everyone for their individual support and donation. It also felt like we had helped the other charities in the same way, i.e. the leaderboard race had prompted their supporters to donate when perhaps they might not have otherwise. It was a win, win situation for everyone concerned, if not a little nerve-racking! The £1000 prize is a significant amount to aim for and a real incentive to enter the Local Hero competition. We all know how much effort goes in to raising a £1000 from scratch. The prize has given the whole school community something to be proud of and a substantial boost to our fundraising. The Russell School is a small community school that is undergoing some exciting change and the new school building has been erected on the original playground. The children aged 3-11 have been so patient whilst the building work is carried out. It’s just fantastic that this Localgiving prize, along with all the money donated, can go towards making the play and outdoor learning space great for them. The whole school community pulled together. We are proud of the Russell School PTA and what we have achieved by working as a team during this competition. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Great fundraising at the Great Manchester Run And the Local Hero 2017 Champion is...  
    1343 Posted by Adam Curtis
  • It was quite a last minute decision to ask friends and family to sponsor me for this year’s London Marathon as I wasn’t a 100% sure I would make it to the start line after some glitches with my training plan. I really wanted to run on behalf of my sons’ school as we do a lot as a family to support their fundraising as members of their Parent Teacher Association. In particular I wanted to raise some money towards the Russell School’s new playground and outdoor learning space. Luckily the charity was already registered with Localgiving so it was quick and easy to set up a fundraising page. It wasn’t until I set up the page that I realised I would automatically be entered into the Local Hero Competition and a chance of winning a cash prize for the charity. On the Friday before the London Marathon my wife Hollie asked parents to sponsor me as I was going to be running it on behalf of the School’s Playground appeal. She explained about the Local Hero competition and the fact we could boost our fundraising if everybody connected with the school gave just a little. The timing couldn’t have been better as the children’s assembly that day was on the challenges of running a marathon and Katherine Switzer, the first woman to ‘unofficially’ run the 26.2 in 1967. Lots of our own friends and family also wanted to know who I was running for as the London Marathon really is known for being the biggest single fundraiser in the world. It was great to direct them to my Localgiving page and ask them to donate to the playground appeal. On the day itself Hollie used social media and updated everyone via Facebook on my progress along the route. As the event was live on TV lots of donations came in and it was clear to her that we might stand a chance of winning one of the Local Hero Prizes. She kept posting on Facebook throughout the day which prompted people to help move me up the leaderboard during the actual event. After the Marathon itself the number of donations meant I had moved up to second place on the leaderboard, so the race was on! We knew we only had to secure a small number of donors to move to the top position and the £1000 prize and this was a real incentivize to publicise the fundraising page. The Friends of Hillside school who were in first place understandably wanted to keep their position and so they put on a spurt too! Over the final week we managed to take the top spot on the leaderboard but Hillside were in hot pursuit. It really was neck and neck, as we got more donors, so did they! We used social media and word of mouth to encourage anybody and everybody we knew to donate just the minimum £2. This was an affordable amount to ask for, and we explained that crowdfunding worked by lots of people giving just a little. I am sure many more people donated to our charity because of the competitive nature of the leaderboard. We had lots of feedback about how exciting it was to keep checking my position and how each person could see how their donation made a difference to the leaderboard, and ultimately our chances of winning the £1000 prize. Everybody got into the spirit of the competition and so many people approached us on the school run to say they had donated and were telling their friends. It meant we engaged with lots of people connected with the school’s children that didn’t know about our fundraising efforts for a new playground. We also noticed a few parents who don’t usually come to our fundraisers get involved. As the final day approached the race became even more exciting when a third contender shot up the leaderboard. We used social media and school communication channels to again communicate how close we were to winning the prize. The fact there were only one or two donors in it really did prompt people to donate to us, in fact 261 individual did! It was that close right up until midnight on the closing day and we had absolutely no idea if we had done it when the competition closed. We nervously waited for Localgiving to validate the results but celebrated the fact the competition had helped us raise £2630 in sponsorship alone. This far exceeded my expectations and just showed how much could be raised for the children when everyone chipped in. It was clear the leaderboard race had kept many school parents engaged as many wanted to ask about the nail biting results the following morning on the school run. It was a fantastic feeling when the results came through to say I was top of the leaderboard and Local Hero 2017. This feeling wasn’t because of being the winner personally, or a hero as such, it was just a great way to thank everyone for their individual support and donation. It also felt like we had helped the other charities in the same way, i.e. the leaderboard race had prompted their supporters to donate when perhaps they might not have otherwise. It was a win, win situation for everyone concerned, if not a little nerve-racking! The £1000 prize is a significant amount to aim for and a real incentive to enter the Local Hero competition. We all know how much effort goes in to raising a £1000 from scratch. The prize has given the whole school community something to be proud of and a substantial boost to our fundraising. The Russell School is a small community school that is undergoing some exciting change and the new school building has been erected on the original playground. The children aged 3-11 have been so patient whilst the building work is carried out. It’s just fantastic that this Localgiving prize, along with all the money donated, can go towards making the play and outdoor learning space great for them. The whole school community pulled together. We are proud of the Russell School PTA and what we have achieved by working as a team during this competition. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Great fundraising at the Great Manchester Run And the Local Hero 2017 Champion is...  
    May 10, 2017 1343
  • 08 May 2017
    On 28th May, Mancunian runners of all abilities will be taking part in the Great Manchester Run, and will be running either a 10k or, for the daring, a half marathon. Many of these runners will be raising money for brilliant, Greater Manchester based local charities. To celebrate the efforts of these fantastic fundraisers we’ve decided to focus on one fundraiser, Bec Greenwood, who is raising money for Salford Foodbank. We asked her why she’s running; why she supports Salford Foodbank; and any tips she has for other fundraisers. Why & how did you decide to take part in the Great Manchester Run? "I work full time in TV and have irregular hours so can't commit to a regular volunteering rota but wanted to support those in need." "I've been volunteering at collections with the Salford Food Bank for a few years and when the 10k Run was coming up I thought it would be a great way to raise some much needed funds. I've never done any running before, which I think is what has made most people sponsor me out of shock!" "I've been trying to do around 3 runs a week and I'm yet to enjoy it or experience the famous 'runners high' but the fact that I'm doing it for such a good cause makes it all the worthwhile!" Why are you raising money for Salford Foodbank in particular? "I am incredibly humbled by the work that the full time staff and volunteers at the food bank do and always wish I could do more." "I find it obscene that in this day and age, people have to use food banks to help support their families as the government don't provide the infrastructure to help those in need. I watched Daniel Blake last year and was incredibly moved by the food bank scene. I wanted to do something to help those in need but didn't know how I could help them directly. The best way I can see to help is to donate my time and any sponsorship I can gain." Any advice for future fundraisers on how to get donations through & prepare for your challenge? "I had chosen a flattering picture for my fundraising page, but it was only when I changed it to a mid run/sweaty and knackered picture that I started to get more sponsorship! So I think being honest if you're finding it difficult. You don't have to pretend to find the challenge easy. People seem more impressed if you're finding it hard!" A huge thank you to Bec, and indeed all the fundraisers on Localgiving who are raising money on behalf of local charities across the UK! If her answers have inspired you to fundraise for a local charity, why not sign up to do so? It’s really quick and easy to set up and fundraising page, and there are 1000s of great, local charities online at Localgiving for whom your support would be valuable.   For further information about fundraising, why not check out these other posts in our blog? Rod’s Top Tips for Running & Fun and Funds Wise Words from Alistair Still, Local Hero Champion 2016
    1729 Posted by Joe Burns
  • On 28th May, Mancunian runners of all abilities will be taking part in the Great Manchester Run, and will be running either a 10k or, for the daring, a half marathon. Many of these runners will be raising money for brilliant, Greater Manchester based local charities. To celebrate the efforts of these fantastic fundraisers we’ve decided to focus on one fundraiser, Bec Greenwood, who is raising money for Salford Foodbank. We asked her why she’s running; why she supports Salford Foodbank; and any tips she has for other fundraisers. Why & how did you decide to take part in the Great Manchester Run? "I work full time in TV and have irregular hours so can't commit to a regular volunteering rota but wanted to support those in need." "I've been volunteering at collections with the Salford Food Bank for a few years and when the 10k Run was coming up I thought it would be a great way to raise some much needed funds. I've never done any running before, which I think is what has made most people sponsor me out of shock!" "I've been trying to do around 3 runs a week and I'm yet to enjoy it or experience the famous 'runners high' but the fact that I'm doing it for such a good cause makes it all the worthwhile!" Why are you raising money for Salford Foodbank in particular? "I am incredibly humbled by the work that the full time staff and volunteers at the food bank do and always wish I could do more." "I find it obscene that in this day and age, people have to use food banks to help support their families as the government don't provide the infrastructure to help those in need. I watched Daniel Blake last year and was incredibly moved by the food bank scene. I wanted to do something to help those in need but didn't know how I could help them directly. The best way I can see to help is to donate my time and any sponsorship I can gain." Any advice for future fundraisers on how to get donations through & prepare for your challenge? "I had chosen a flattering picture for my fundraising page, but it was only when I changed it to a mid run/sweaty and knackered picture that I started to get more sponsorship! So I think being honest if you're finding it difficult. You don't have to pretend to find the challenge easy. People seem more impressed if you're finding it hard!" A huge thank you to Bec, and indeed all the fundraisers on Localgiving who are raising money on behalf of local charities across the UK! If her answers have inspired you to fundraise for a local charity, why not sign up to do so? It’s really quick and easy to set up and fundraising page, and there are 1000s of great, local charities online at Localgiving for whom your support would be valuable.   For further information about fundraising, why not check out these other posts in our blog? Rod’s Top Tips for Running & Fun and Funds Wise Words from Alistair Still, Local Hero Champion 2016
    May 08, 2017 1729
  • 19 Apr 2017
    We’ve reached the half way point of Local Hero 2017. Francesca and Rachel, who are raising funds for Friends of Hillside School, have stretched their lead to 16 points raising £1875 in the process  – a strong but by no means unassailable lead. Meanwhile, the chasing pack is becoming increasingly concertinaed. Just 15 points (donations) currently separate 7th to 20th place. Each week we are inspired by the creativity and energy put in by our Local Heroes. This week is no exception. Here are some of our highlights from week 3: Fundraising is an art! Charlotte Clark is creating a bespoke piece of wall art to be exhibited as a permanent fixture in the Clifton Community Arts Centre. She will be incorporating the artwork of local community groups such as schools and charities.  Knit you usual challenge Avid knitters from the "Made to give......with love" group in Plymouth  are  getting sponsored to knit links. These links will be built into a chain which will be measured in September.  All funds go to Jeremiah's Journey. Digital detox  These days detoxes take all types  - for Anoushka Yeoh and friends going without screens for a day is the hardest challenge of all!  Tour de France Force After conquering Kilimanjaro in 2017, Lynda Dean and the wider Sporting Family Change Team are at it again – this time cycling mighty 240 Miles from Bath to Paris!  “…Even if we’re just dancing in the dark…” Julia Fletcher is hosting on an energetic night of glow sticks and Lycra for Basingstoke group,  Helping Hands for the Blind. Fundraising from 10,000 feet above! 6 brave souls will be jumping out of a plane in a tandem skydive for Oxford Cruse, which provides free bereavement support and counselling to people in Oxfordshire. If you’ve got stirring story or a creative challenge why not get in touch! Until next week, happy fundraising!  
    1153 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • We’ve reached the half way point of Local Hero 2017. Francesca and Rachel, who are raising funds for Friends of Hillside School, have stretched their lead to 16 points raising £1875 in the process  – a strong but by no means unassailable lead. Meanwhile, the chasing pack is becoming increasingly concertinaed. Just 15 points (donations) currently separate 7th to 20th place. Each week we are inspired by the creativity and energy put in by our Local Heroes. This week is no exception. Here are some of our highlights from week 3: Fundraising is an art! Charlotte Clark is creating a bespoke piece of wall art to be exhibited as a permanent fixture in the Clifton Community Arts Centre. She will be incorporating the artwork of local community groups such as schools and charities.  Knit you usual challenge Avid knitters from the "Made to give......with love" group in Plymouth  are  getting sponsored to knit links. These links will be built into a chain which will be measured in September.  All funds go to Jeremiah's Journey. Digital detox  These days detoxes take all types  - for Anoushka Yeoh and friends going without screens for a day is the hardest challenge of all!  Tour de France Force After conquering Kilimanjaro in 2017, Lynda Dean and the wider Sporting Family Change Team are at it again – this time cycling mighty 240 Miles from Bath to Paris!  “…Even if we’re just dancing in the dark…” Julia Fletcher is hosting on an energetic night of glow sticks and Lycra for Basingstoke group,  Helping Hands for the Blind. Fundraising from 10,000 feet above! 6 brave souls will be jumping out of a plane in a tandem skydive for Oxford Cruse, which provides free bereavement support and counselling to people in Oxfordshire. If you’ve got stirring story or a creative challenge why not get in touch! Until next week, happy fundraising!  
    Apr 19, 2017 1153
  • 06 Mar 2017
    As part of our preparation for Local Hero 2017, I called Nicky Heath, director of the Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre in Herefordshire to ask her about Adam Heaths fundraising challenge last year. Adam had raised funds for them through a simple yet imaginative fundraising campaign. His mantra of "never bringing a moustache to a beard fight’’ paid off as he raised over £1000 by growing his beard out for 12 months and then dying it in a rainbow assortment of colours drawn from the suggestions of his donors! It was a huge success for Yelini and caught our eye here at Localgiving HQ. Nicky was more than happy to share the story with us. Why do you think it's important for charities to engage fundraisers and how do you find fundraisers? What sort of relationship do you have with them? "We have a lot of people that come to our centre. We’re a cancer support charity and what we find is that people who use us support us. (Yelini offer free therapy to people with cancer). A lot of them offer after they have recovered. Their friends and family also often want to raise some money as a thank you for what we’ve done for them". What has been the benefit of engaging fundraisers? Is it just about raising money? Or can they reach out to new donors and also be ambassadors for your group? "It's a combination of things. One of the reasons is obviously that you are trying to raise funds and it's a very competitive market out there at the moment. But also we find that using things like the Localgiving website as a donation collection forum allows us to promote it around social media and give people a focus of where they can donate. It also gives the person doing the fundraising the opportunity to explain how they are doing it and what they are doing it for." "Fundraising is really hand-in-glove with raising community awareness of who you are as an organisation. Especially when it is as fun as what Adam did, it engages people as they find it amusing and think it's really great. It also allowed us to incorporate another local business into the campaign. The local barber shop that he went to get it all done did it all for free because they loved the idea! So it really engaged with them as well. We were also in the local newspapers so it really did help raise awareness in the community. It was such a unique and different thing for somebody to do". Did it take a lot of resource from your organisation to manage the fundraising campaign? "Adam did a lot of it himself and he certainly raised what he wanted to. He set up the Localgiving page under my suggestion. He is actually my son! But he did most of it himself, I didn't hold his hand or anything. All that we had to do off the back of his efforts was try and share it around different forums as much as we could and have posters and things up in the centre. He took the campaign to his workplace which really helped. They were very proactive and actually donated £100 to the campaign. They had to sanction that he could do it in the first place! In the business he is in he does go to meetings and things so they had to agree that it was okay for him to do it". "I feel like Localgiving does give a lot of support to people that are trying to do something like this off of their own volition and we as an organisation tried to offer a level of support as well. I think that's the least you can do if someone's going to put themselves out there in order to raise money for your organisation".  It's a combination of things right? Obviously it is ultimately up to the fundraiser themselves but the more support they can get from us, the platform, and from you guys, the charity, the better right? "Thats right!" So last question, what top tip would you give other Local charities if they were thinking of approaching people to become fundraisers? "Come up with ideas. I think it's quite difficult if you just say "we want you to raise money’’ but you don't have any ideas to get started. Think outside the box a little bit. Everybody knows the usual things like coffee mornings or something like that. That will appeal to a certain sector of society but if you want to make your reach broader I think you need to introduce a variety of different activities and also see where you could perhaps engage other sectors of the community. For example the business world, local shops, people in your local area. Even if it is approaching them to donate a prize or to sponsor and aspect of what you are trying to achieve". "I also think people will be more interested in things that they find interesting, amusing or exciting. I think this engages people more than just standing on the street corner shaking a bucket. People find that quite off putting now actually so you want to try and avoid that really. Think about all the different aspects of who you are trying to engage. You want to especially engage young people because they are the potential future users of your charity (depending on what it is). Don't always pitch it where you think the money is. Often you will find it's the people who have little who give the most". Well that is often true and I think Adam is certainly a brilliant ambassador for the "think outside the box’’ approach to fundraising! Thanks Nicky! Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre are holding a Wellbeing day in collaboration with Kemble at home on Saturday 4th March 10 am til 4pm. All proceeds from the raffle and donations are going to Yeleni. Evi Hudson is also running a fundraising page for Yelini this year. Her ''hair today, gone tomorrow'' campaign is already underway! Help her by making a donation here. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Bright Light Bright Light's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds! Big Strong Hearts: Training Tips for your Charity Challenge
    1770 Posted by Conor Kelly
  • As part of our preparation for Local Hero 2017, I called Nicky Heath, director of the Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre in Herefordshire to ask her about Adam Heaths fundraising challenge last year. Adam had raised funds for them through a simple yet imaginative fundraising campaign. His mantra of "never bringing a moustache to a beard fight’’ paid off as he raised over £1000 by growing his beard out for 12 months and then dying it in a rainbow assortment of colours drawn from the suggestions of his donors! It was a huge success for Yelini and caught our eye here at Localgiving HQ. Nicky was more than happy to share the story with us. Why do you think it's important for charities to engage fundraisers and how do you find fundraisers? What sort of relationship do you have with them? "We have a lot of people that come to our centre. We’re a cancer support charity and what we find is that people who use us support us. (Yelini offer free therapy to people with cancer). A lot of them offer after they have recovered. Their friends and family also often want to raise some money as a thank you for what we’ve done for them". What has been the benefit of engaging fundraisers? Is it just about raising money? Or can they reach out to new donors and also be ambassadors for your group? "It's a combination of things. One of the reasons is obviously that you are trying to raise funds and it's a very competitive market out there at the moment. But also we find that using things like the Localgiving website as a donation collection forum allows us to promote it around social media and give people a focus of where they can donate. It also gives the person doing the fundraising the opportunity to explain how they are doing it and what they are doing it for." "Fundraising is really hand-in-glove with raising community awareness of who you are as an organisation. Especially when it is as fun as what Adam did, it engages people as they find it amusing and think it's really great. It also allowed us to incorporate another local business into the campaign. The local barber shop that he went to get it all done did it all for free because they loved the idea! So it really engaged with them as well. We were also in the local newspapers so it really did help raise awareness in the community. It was such a unique and different thing for somebody to do". Did it take a lot of resource from your organisation to manage the fundraising campaign? "Adam did a lot of it himself and he certainly raised what he wanted to. He set up the Localgiving page under my suggestion. He is actually my son! But he did most of it himself, I didn't hold his hand or anything. All that we had to do off the back of his efforts was try and share it around different forums as much as we could and have posters and things up in the centre. He took the campaign to his workplace which really helped. They were very proactive and actually donated £100 to the campaign. They had to sanction that he could do it in the first place! In the business he is in he does go to meetings and things so they had to agree that it was okay for him to do it". "I feel like Localgiving does give a lot of support to people that are trying to do something like this off of their own volition and we as an organisation tried to offer a level of support as well. I think that's the least you can do if someone's going to put themselves out there in order to raise money for your organisation".  It's a combination of things right? Obviously it is ultimately up to the fundraiser themselves but the more support they can get from us, the platform, and from you guys, the charity, the better right? "Thats right!" So last question, what top tip would you give other Local charities if they were thinking of approaching people to become fundraisers? "Come up with ideas. I think it's quite difficult if you just say "we want you to raise money’’ but you don't have any ideas to get started. Think outside the box a little bit. Everybody knows the usual things like coffee mornings or something like that. That will appeal to a certain sector of society but if you want to make your reach broader I think you need to introduce a variety of different activities and also see where you could perhaps engage other sectors of the community. For example the business world, local shops, people in your local area. Even if it is approaching them to donate a prize or to sponsor and aspect of what you are trying to achieve". "I also think people will be more interested in things that they find interesting, amusing or exciting. I think this engages people more than just standing on the street corner shaking a bucket. People find that quite off putting now actually so you want to try and avoid that really. Think about all the different aspects of who you are trying to engage. You want to especially engage young people because they are the potential future users of your charity (depending on what it is). Don't always pitch it where you think the money is. Often you will find it's the people who have little who give the most". Well that is often true and I think Adam is certainly a brilliant ambassador for the "think outside the box’’ approach to fundraising! Thanks Nicky! Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre are holding a Wellbeing day in collaboration with Kemble at home on Saturday 4th March 10 am til 4pm. All proceeds from the raffle and donations are going to Yeleni. Evi Hudson is also running a fundraising page for Yelini this year. Her ''hair today, gone tomorrow'' campaign is already underway! Help her by making a donation here. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Bright Light Bright Light's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds! Big Strong Hearts: Training Tips for your Charity Challenge
    Mar 06, 2017 1770
  • 24 Jan 2017
      Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian Swimming Pool in the UK. Sadly the pools have been closed for swimming for over quarter of a century. However there is now an appeal being run through Localgiving to rejuvenate and reopen this forgotten landmark. This appeal, led by local resident Suzy Granger, has really caught the imagination of the local community.  On the week commencing 6th February, 8 local swim schools and approximately 700 children will be participating in a swimathon to raise money for the campaign. We spoke to Suzy in advance of the big swim to find out what inspired the campaign, what makes Cleveland Pools so important and how supporters can get involved with the campaign. What makes Cleveland Pools special and how will this campaign benefit the local community? “The Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian swimming pool in the UK. Closed for swimming in 1984, a trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year old site with it crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles.  Situated on the banks of the river Avon it is a peaceful and beautiful location to enjoy an outdoor swimming experience.  It will be the only public outdoor swimming pool in Bath so will be a great asset to the local community in the summer months, especially as it will be naturally heated and treated for the first time in its history. Outdoor swimming has had a revival in recent years and it will be a great opportunity for Bath to have such an offering for its local community.” Tell us about the challenge? “I thought it would be great to get the swimming community in Bath involved in raising money for Cleveland Pools.  I have organised sponsored swims before at my swim school, Bath School of Swimming.  However I have never organised a sponsored swim of this scale with so many swim schools involved.  To my knowledge this is the first time the whole swimming community in Bath have come together to raise money collectively.” What are you enjoying and looking forward to about running this appeal? “Lots of people have heard about the Cleveland Pools but don’t know where they are in Bath and know little of their history.  This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the pools with the swimming community.  I am also looking forward to witnessing the swimming community coming together and collectively raising money for such a great cause.” How can people get involved with the appeal? If you would like to make a donation to support the Swimathon then please go here. If any local companies want to match fund what the swimmers raise we would be really grateful and they should get in touch with suzy@clevelandpools.org.uk. Likewise get in touch with Suzy if you would like your swim school to take part.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 3 Top Tips On Creating Great Social Media Content For Charities Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge  
    2748 Posted by Lewis Garland
  •   Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian Swimming Pool in the UK. Sadly the pools have been closed for swimming for over quarter of a century. However there is now an appeal being run through Localgiving to rejuvenate and reopen this forgotten landmark. This appeal, led by local resident Suzy Granger, has really caught the imagination of the local community.  On the week commencing 6th February, 8 local swim schools and approximately 700 children will be participating in a swimathon to raise money for the campaign. We spoke to Suzy in advance of the big swim to find out what inspired the campaign, what makes Cleveland Pools so important and how supporters can get involved with the campaign. What makes Cleveland Pools special and how will this campaign benefit the local community? “The Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian swimming pool in the UK. Closed for swimming in 1984, a trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year old site with it crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles.  Situated on the banks of the river Avon it is a peaceful and beautiful location to enjoy an outdoor swimming experience.  It will be the only public outdoor swimming pool in Bath so will be a great asset to the local community in the summer months, especially as it will be naturally heated and treated for the first time in its history. Outdoor swimming has had a revival in recent years and it will be a great opportunity for Bath to have such an offering for its local community.” Tell us about the challenge? “I thought it would be great to get the swimming community in Bath involved in raising money for Cleveland Pools.  I have organised sponsored swims before at my swim school, Bath School of Swimming.  However I have never organised a sponsored swim of this scale with so many swim schools involved.  To my knowledge this is the first time the whole swimming community in Bath have come together to raise money collectively.” What are you enjoying and looking forward to about running this appeal? “Lots of people have heard about the Cleveland Pools but don’t know where they are in Bath and know little of their history.  This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the pools with the swimming community.  I am also looking forward to witnessing the swimming community coming together and collectively raising money for such a great cause.” How can people get involved with the appeal? If you would like to make a donation to support the Swimathon then please go here. If any local companies want to match fund what the swimmers raise we would be really grateful and they should get in touch with suzy@clevelandpools.org.uk. Likewise get in touch with Suzy if you would like your swim school to take part.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 3 Top Tips On Creating Great Social Media Content For Charities Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge  
    Jan 24, 2017 2748
  • 23 Jan 2017
    Every year our Local Hero campaign shines a spotlight on the incredible work of individual fundraisers. This campaign sees fundraisers competing over a month to top our Local Hero leader board. 2016 saw a nail-biting race to the finish line, with fundraisers changing positions right until the last minute. Our eventual champion, Alastair Sill, secured an incredible 317 unique funders, raising over £4000 for Taking Flight Theatre Company - plus a further £1000 in prize money. We recently had a chat with Alistair to discuss what inspired him to take part in Local Hero, to find out what his greatest challenges were during the month and to gather some tips for those interested in participating in this year’s campaign. How did you hear about the Local Hero campaign and why did you choose to support Taking Flight Theatre Company? “The theatre company had heard about the Local Hero campaign and told me about it as it coincided with plans I had already been making to fundraise for them” “I have worked with them for 6 years now as an audio describer. I recognise how hard they are trying to make their work accessible to a wide audience and the difficulties they face” How did you decide upon your challenge? “I enjoy cycling and wanted to do a cycling challenge anyway. My decision to ride from the East to the west of Wales matched the tour route the theatre company were taking.” “Throughout the ride I stopped off in places they were performing to explain what the company was doing. The theatre company sent out actors to the schools before I arrived and delivered iambic pentameter workshops. I did some games involving audio description and talked about my role and explained what audio description is" What training did you do for your challenge? “I followed a hilly route quite near my house when cycling. There is also a lake quite near where I live that I cycled around. I built up to the challenge, got my stamina up and made sure I had enough supplements.” What did you enjoy most about participating in, and winning, Local Hero 2016? “I didn’t expect as many people to get behind it as they did. I wanted to do something to help Taking Flight Theatre Company. I was quite baffled by how many people got into the idea.”“I got into the friendly competitive edge. You respected everyone who was participating, all of the charities and causes they were raising money for were equally important so you wanted them to do well.” “The competition got lots of people involved who I hadn’t been in touch with a while. It was a nice surprise when people you hadn’t seen in a while donated. The amount people donated was also a surprise – we had somebody donate £500!” “It got really close at the end. Beth House, one of the directors of the company got really involved. I could see emails coming through saying “we need 7 more sponsors and then we’ve done it, we’ve only got 10 minute left”. I tweeted a lot about what I was doing and put updates on Facebook too." “The fact it was so tight created a great atmosphere and built up publicity for the company. It also engendered excitement for the tour before it had even begun.” Do you know how the money raised during Local Hero was spent ? “Taking Flight are about putting on accessible performances with artistic and creative integrity. The signers for example are characters in the play. There was a deaf actor playing the role of Juliet and the audio description was integrated into the performance. All of these things push the boundaries.” “These things take time to work in during rehearsals. The money raised from Localhero was spent on creating even more accessible performance so that people can go to watch the shows who wouldn’t ordinarily think about going to watch a live performance - to ensure nobody is isolated or segregated in any.” What advice would you give to people interested in participating in Local Hero 2017? Pick something you are going to enjoy doing that can engender an appetite among the public. The more you enjoy the prospect of doing the challenge yourself the more you will be able to sell that idea to other people. Make sure you do something you can really throw yourself into and have a good time while you’re doing it – you may not do something like it again Ensure you have people around you who are supportive and as into the idea as you are. You’ve got to think about the challenge you are doing and so you’ve got to get other people to help with getting the message out. It’s very difficult to do the campaigning and do the challenge yourself – although its important to play a part in that. Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with as many people you can. You’ll be surprised how many people will support you. Enjoy the competition - the Localgiving website is really easy to use and you can view your growing sponsors . And the fact that the winners get an extra £1000 on top of what they raise is a really great incentive.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge What Makes Local Charities Unique?  
    1833 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Every year our Local Hero campaign shines a spotlight on the incredible work of individual fundraisers. This campaign sees fundraisers competing over a month to top our Local Hero leader board. 2016 saw a nail-biting race to the finish line, with fundraisers changing positions right until the last minute. Our eventual champion, Alastair Sill, secured an incredible 317 unique funders, raising over £4000 for Taking Flight Theatre Company - plus a further £1000 in prize money. We recently had a chat with Alistair to discuss what inspired him to take part in Local Hero, to find out what his greatest challenges were during the month and to gather some tips for those interested in participating in this year’s campaign. How did you hear about the Local Hero campaign and why did you choose to support Taking Flight Theatre Company? “The theatre company had heard about the Local Hero campaign and told me about it as it coincided with plans I had already been making to fundraise for them” “I have worked with them for 6 years now as an audio describer. I recognise how hard they are trying to make their work accessible to a wide audience and the difficulties they face” How did you decide upon your challenge? “I enjoy cycling and wanted to do a cycling challenge anyway. My decision to ride from the East to the west of Wales matched the tour route the theatre company were taking.” “Throughout the ride I stopped off in places they were performing to explain what the company was doing. The theatre company sent out actors to the schools before I arrived and delivered iambic pentameter workshops. I did some games involving audio description and talked about my role and explained what audio description is" What training did you do for your challenge? “I followed a hilly route quite near my house when cycling. There is also a lake quite near where I live that I cycled around. I built up to the challenge, got my stamina up and made sure I had enough supplements.” What did you enjoy most about participating in, and winning, Local Hero 2016? “I didn’t expect as many people to get behind it as they did. I wanted to do something to help Taking Flight Theatre Company. I was quite baffled by how many people got into the idea.”“I got into the friendly competitive edge. You respected everyone who was participating, all of the charities and causes they were raising money for were equally important so you wanted them to do well.” “The competition got lots of people involved who I hadn’t been in touch with a while. It was a nice surprise when people you hadn’t seen in a while donated. The amount people donated was also a surprise – we had somebody donate £500!” “It got really close at the end. Beth House, one of the directors of the company got really involved. I could see emails coming through saying “we need 7 more sponsors and then we’ve done it, we’ve only got 10 minute left”. I tweeted a lot about what I was doing and put updates on Facebook too." “The fact it was so tight created a great atmosphere and built up publicity for the company. It also engendered excitement for the tour before it had even begun.” Do you know how the money raised during Local Hero was spent ? “Taking Flight are about putting on accessible performances with artistic and creative integrity. The signers for example are characters in the play. There was a deaf actor playing the role of Juliet and the audio description was integrated into the performance. All of these things push the boundaries.” “These things take time to work in during rehearsals. The money raised from Localhero was spent on creating even more accessible performance so that people can go to watch the shows who wouldn’t ordinarily think about going to watch a live performance - to ensure nobody is isolated or segregated in any.” What advice would you give to people interested in participating in Local Hero 2017? Pick something you are going to enjoy doing that can engender an appetite among the public. The more you enjoy the prospect of doing the challenge yourself the more you will be able to sell that idea to other people. Make sure you do something you can really throw yourself into and have a good time while you’re doing it – you may not do something like it again Ensure you have people around you who are supportive and as into the idea as you are. You’ve got to think about the challenge you are doing and so you’ve got to get other people to help with getting the message out. It’s very difficult to do the campaigning and do the challenge yourself – although its important to play a part in that. Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with as many people you can. You’ll be surprised how many people will support you. Enjoy the competition - the Localgiving website is really easy to use and you can view your growing sponsors . And the fact that the winners get an extra £1000 on top of what they raise is a really great incentive.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge What Makes Local Charities Unique?  
    Jan 23, 2017 1833
  • 28 Nov 2016
    Thanks to generous funding from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Localgiving has been running a Regional Development Programme in the North West of England which has been supporting local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raise online is matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. This #GivingTuesday (Tuesday 29th November) we’re highlighting some of the fantastic projects and charities who have benefited from the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, without whom none of the below would have been possible. Ruth Hannah, Gorgeous Gorse Hill Gorgeous Gorse Hill is a small community group in Greater Manchester. We’re made up of local residents, who got together to improve our local area through the use of art, planting and flowers. We believe that positive changes to a local area can benefit the health and wellbeing of local people, by making residents feel more connected to their area, more empowered, and that by making positive changes, we can help reduce negative behaviour. Being able to fundraise online, and the match funding that’s been available, have been very useful for our group, and has helped in a number of ways. It’s freed up time for volunteers who would usually try to raise funds through completing grant applications, which can be time consuming, and it has also freed up our use of funds, as a lot of grant applications won't allow charities to funds for core costs, which for us is vital i.e. insurance, or the cost of shed rental. Even hot drinks on a cold winter day during a full day of planting can sometimes not be covered. With our unrestricted income from Localgiving and matched funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we no longer need to worry as much about covering these costs. This has allowed us to focus on what we really want to focus on – making Gorse Hill Gorgeous! The wider support offered from Localgiving has been great. Joe’s suggestions about ways to fundraise have opened our eyes and the amount we have raised and then had match funded has been incredible. Anita Morris, Hack Back Hack Back CIC is a small social enterprise that aims to improve the mental health and well-being of people of all ages throughout the North West. What makes us different is that we combine psychological therapies with interaction and engagement with nature, and specifically with Birds of Prey.  Taking part in the programme has enabled us to raise funds by reaching a much wider audience. We have been able to use social media to inform people about our fundraising and the ease of the process has meant that we have been successful in raising funds. In addition supporters were able to set up their own fundraising page to personalise their support for Hack Back. We have learned that it is important to get your message across succinctly through social media and that it must be easy for people to donate, which was achieved through Localgiving.  The funding, both from our donors and then matched by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, has made a massive difference to us. We have been able to deliver one to one sessions in the home of a child with autism, we have visited a terminally ill lady in her own home, we have been able to visit a young boy with a rare form of bone cancer several times and we have been able to deliver an anti-bullying project in a local school. Without this funding all of this would have been very difficult to achieve, and the real difference the funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has made is that it has enabled us to deliver projects and services we may have had to decline previously, even though there is a clear need.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- These are just two examples among many of the fantastic work done by local charities which the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has helped. This #GivingTuesday, we thought it would be a good time to look back, and to reflect on the real difference this support has helped to make, and to also take the time to say thank you as well. So this one goes out to all the players (of the People’s Postcode Lottery) out there – THANKS! There’s still opportunities to get involved in this programme, so if you are or know of a charity who could benefit, please do look here for further information.   
    4994 Posted by Joe Burns
  • Thanks to generous funding from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Localgiving has been running a Regional Development Programme in the North West of England which has been supporting local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raise online is matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. This #GivingTuesday (Tuesday 29th November) we’re highlighting some of the fantastic projects and charities who have benefited from the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, without whom none of the below would have been possible. Ruth Hannah, Gorgeous Gorse Hill Gorgeous Gorse Hill is a small community group in Greater Manchester. We’re made up of local residents, who got together to improve our local area through the use of art, planting and flowers. We believe that positive changes to a local area can benefit the health and wellbeing of local people, by making residents feel more connected to their area, more empowered, and that by making positive changes, we can help reduce negative behaviour. Being able to fundraise online, and the match funding that’s been available, have been very useful for our group, and has helped in a number of ways. It’s freed up time for volunteers who would usually try to raise funds through completing grant applications, which can be time consuming, and it has also freed up our use of funds, as a lot of grant applications won't allow charities to funds for core costs, which for us is vital i.e. insurance, or the cost of shed rental. Even hot drinks on a cold winter day during a full day of planting can sometimes not be covered. With our unrestricted income from Localgiving and matched funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we no longer need to worry as much about covering these costs. This has allowed us to focus on what we really want to focus on – making Gorse Hill Gorgeous! The wider support offered from Localgiving has been great. Joe’s suggestions about ways to fundraise have opened our eyes and the amount we have raised and then had match funded has been incredible. Anita Morris, Hack Back Hack Back CIC is a small social enterprise that aims to improve the mental health and well-being of people of all ages throughout the North West. What makes us different is that we combine psychological therapies with interaction and engagement with nature, and specifically with Birds of Prey.  Taking part in the programme has enabled us to raise funds by reaching a much wider audience. We have been able to use social media to inform people about our fundraising and the ease of the process has meant that we have been successful in raising funds. In addition supporters were able to set up their own fundraising page to personalise their support for Hack Back. We have learned that it is important to get your message across succinctly through social media and that it must be easy for people to donate, which was achieved through Localgiving.  The funding, both from our donors and then matched by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, has made a massive difference to us. We have been able to deliver one to one sessions in the home of a child with autism, we have visited a terminally ill lady in her own home, we have been able to visit a young boy with a rare form of bone cancer several times and we have been able to deliver an anti-bullying project in a local school. Without this funding all of this would have been very difficult to achieve, and the real difference the funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has made is that it has enabled us to deliver projects and services we may have had to decline previously, even though there is a clear need.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- These are just two examples among many of the fantastic work done by local charities which the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has helped. This #GivingTuesday, we thought it would be a good time to look back, and to reflect on the real difference this support has helped to make, and to also take the time to say thank you as well. So this one goes out to all the players (of the People’s Postcode Lottery) out there – THANKS! There’s still opportunities to get involved in this programme, so if you are or know of a charity who could benefit, please do look here for further information.   
    Nov 28, 2016 4994
  • 01 Nov 2016
    In July, thanks to generous funding and support from Big Lottery Wales, we launched our new Development Programme for Wales. Through the programme, Localgiving will work with 250 local community groups across Wales. It is an entirely free opportunity and includes free Localgiving membership for a  year, gift aid claimed on each group’s behalf, free training in online fundraising, 1:1 support from a locally based member of staff, £200 matchfunding for every group that signs up and further matchfunding campaigns throughout the year. We now have the pleasure of working with groups across Wales... One of the groups that has already made a great start is Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Gardens. They are run by a large group of volunteers who are working to develop 3 public parks in Swansea.  As part of their work, they are creating a Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park - to achieve this they need funds. Localgiving has been working with them to create both their group’s main fundraising page and a specific appeal for their wildflower project. They began this appeal at the start of October and have already raised £2780.75, which includes the £200 matchfunding that they have now earned as a successful participant in the Wales Development Programme. It also includes £271.25 gift aid that we have accessed and processed for them with no worry or admin time needed from them. Furthermore, during  our Grow Your Tenner campaign they have unlocked a further £370 matchfunding. How it works... After they expressed their interest in working with Localgiving, I went out to meet the group face-to-face at their base in one of the parks. I  worked through all of the basics of how to set up with Localgiving and how to get started with developing and promoting their cause. Since that point we have had much communication, they have attended a training session, Introduction to Online Fundraising, and are soon to attend a second session on Developing an Online Fundraising Campaign. This is the typical journey of a Wales group once they show interest in our year of free help. Hear from the group itself... Jane Terrett, volunteer: “One of the huge advantages of being associated with Localgiving is that you never feel you are on your own, there is always someone or somewhere you can go for help. Online fundraising enables us to reach people who are sympathetic to our cause who we didn’t even know existed. The online tips, advice and poster templates are invaluable. Donations are automatically paid into the bank account and the admin surrounding gift aid is taken care of. Fundraising isn’t easy and you do need to put in the work setting up the site and getting the message across to the local community so they know about your page. As an organisation, we weren’t sure whether online fundraising was to way to go as most of our supporters are 70+. However the publicity surrounding the webpage has resulted in many online donations - and also gifts of cash and cheques that we wouldn’t have secured without the online campaign. We are delighted with the progress, but checking the website is getting addictive!” Have a look at their brilliant appeal: localgiving.org/appeal/wildflowers   
    2348 Posted by Lauren Swain
  • In July, thanks to generous funding and support from Big Lottery Wales, we launched our new Development Programme for Wales. Through the programme, Localgiving will work with 250 local community groups across Wales. It is an entirely free opportunity and includes free Localgiving membership for a  year, gift aid claimed on each group’s behalf, free training in online fundraising, 1:1 support from a locally based member of staff, £200 matchfunding for every group that signs up and further matchfunding campaigns throughout the year. We now have the pleasure of working with groups across Wales... One of the groups that has already made a great start is Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Gardens. They are run by a large group of volunteers who are working to develop 3 public parks in Swansea.  As part of their work, they are creating a Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park - to achieve this they need funds. Localgiving has been working with them to create both their group’s main fundraising page and a specific appeal for their wildflower project. They began this appeal at the start of October and have already raised £2780.75, which includes the £200 matchfunding that they have now earned as a successful participant in the Wales Development Programme. It also includes £271.25 gift aid that we have accessed and processed for them with no worry or admin time needed from them. Furthermore, during  our Grow Your Tenner campaign they have unlocked a further £370 matchfunding. How it works... After they expressed their interest in working with Localgiving, I went out to meet the group face-to-face at their base in one of the parks. I  worked through all of the basics of how to set up with Localgiving and how to get started with developing and promoting their cause. Since that point we have had much communication, they have attended a training session, Introduction to Online Fundraising, and are soon to attend a second session on Developing an Online Fundraising Campaign. This is the typical journey of a Wales group once they show interest in our year of free help. Hear from the group itself... Jane Terrett, volunteer: “One of the huge advantages of being associated with Localgiving is that you never feel you are on your own, there is always someone or somewhere you can go for help. Online fundraising enables us to reach people who are sympathetic to our cause who we didn’t even know existed. The online tips, advice and poster templates are invaluable. Donations are automatically paid into the bank account and the admin surrounding gift aid is taken care of. Fundraising isn’t easy and you do need to put in the work setting up the site and getting the message across to the local community so they know about your page. As an organisation, we weren’t sure whether online fundraising was to way to go as most of our supporters are 70+. However the publicity surrounding the webpage has resulted in many online donations - and also gifts of cash and cheques that we wouldn’t have secured without the online campaign. We are delighted with the progress, but checking the website is getting addictive!” Have a look at their brilliant appeal: localgiving.org/appeal/wildflowers   
    Nov 01, 2016 2348
  • 11 Aug 2016
    James  Ellis, a young rapper from Nottingham who was born with cerebral palsy, has a dream to perform at Bestival… and you could help him get there! The 26-year-old has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a 30 minute set at the popular four day music festival which draws a 60,000 strong crowd to the Isle of Wight. The offer came direct from festival founder Rob Da Bank after a campaign film which James made with Fixers, the charity which gives young people a voice, was tweeted to the renowned DJ. Bestival organisers are paying for James’ return ferry trip across the Solent but James is looking to fund the rest of the 420 mile round trip to play a set on September 9th. He needs to raise £855.20 to cover travel, including hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle and one night’s accommodation for himself and a small team of three who will drive, support and care for him. In James’ poignant film, called ‘Self Belief’, James – who cannot walk unaided and uses a wheelchair - says he pushes himself to achieve challenging goals because he is determined not to be held back by his disabilities. James says: “When I step out of my comfort zone, I do think people are going to judge me. I’m the guy in a wheelchair, I’m going to be seen as different. But when I’m on stage rapping, whether it’s for one song for three minutes or six songs for 25 minutes, I’m free for that amount of time. I’m no longer the guy in the wheelchair. I’m the guy that’s rapping. The biggest dream that I would like to achieve is to play Bestival in my wheelchair. He who controls the dancefloor, controls the world!” You can watch James’ film here James says: "Having the opportunity to perform at Bestival shows that anything is possible with the right amount dedication and self-belief. I really hope people in Nottingham will support me to create a moment in history I’ll never forget." Adding: “I think a lot of disabled people don’t have confidence in themselves. It’s always important to have an end goal, even if it’s very small. My disability has never held me back. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside – what matters is your passion on the inside.” James’ local Member of Parliament, Graham Allen MP, commented: “This is a fantastic and deserving cause. James has demonstrated that having a disability does not mean you can’t participate in life to the full. I would urge everyone to donate whatever they can to help James perform at Bestival and make his dream a reality.” You can listen to James’ music here. Donate to James' campaign today: https://localgiving.org/appeal/getjamestobestival/ If James raises more than his target, funds will be used to support other young people to have the opportunity to become a Fixer and campaign on issues they feel strongly about. The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Rio 2016 Olympics: Podiums & Playing FieldsKeeping Art Alive in CoventryHealthy giving for Healthy Living!  
    1783 Posted by Meg Lawrence
  • James  Ellis, a young rapper from Nottingham who was born with cerebral palsy, has a dream to perform at Bestival… and you could help him get there! The 26-year-old has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a 30 minute set at the popular four day music festival which draws a 60,000 strong crowd to the Isle of Wight. The offer came direct from festival founder Rob Da Bank after a campaign film which James made with Fixers, the charity which gives young people a voice, was tweeted to the renowned DJ. Bestival organisers are paying for James’ return ferry trip across the Solent but James is looking to fund the rest of the 420 mile round trip to play a set on September 9th. He needs to raise £855.20 to cover travel, including hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle and one night’s accommodation for himself and a small team of three who will drive, support and care for him. In James’ poignant film, called ‘Self Belief’, James – who cannot walk unaided and uses a wheelchair - says he pushes himself to achieve challenging goals because he is determined not to be held back by his disabilities. James says: “When I step out of my comfort zone, I do think people are going to judge me. I’m the guy in a wheelchair, I’m going to be seen as different. But when I’m on stage rapping, whether it’s for one song for three minutes or six songs for 25 minutes, I’m free for that amount of time. I’m no longer the guy in the wheelchair. I’m the guy that’s rapping. The biggest dream that I would like to achieve is to play Bestival in my wheelchair. He who controls the dancefloor, controls the world!” You can watch James’ film here James says: "Having the opportunity to perform at Bestival shows that anything is possible with the right amount dedication and self-belief. I really hope people in Nottingham will support me to create a moment in history I’ll never forget." Adding: “I think a lot of disabled people don’t have confidence in themselves. It’s always important to have an end goal, even if it’s very small. My disability has never held me back. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside – what matters is your passion on the inside.” James’ local Member of Parliament, Graham Allen MP, commented: “This is a fantastic and deserving cause. James has demonstrated that having a disability does not mean you can’t participate in life to the full. I would urge everyone to donate whatever they can to help James perform at Bestival and make his dream a reality.” You can listen to James’ music here. Donate to James' campaign today: https://localgiving.org/appeal/getjamestobestival/ If James raises more than his target, funds will be used to support other young people to have the opportunity to become a Fixer and campaign on issues they feel strongly about. The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Rio 2016 Olympics: Podiums & Playing FieldsKeeping Art Alive in CoventryHealthy giving for Healthy Living!  
    Aug 11, 2016 1783
  • 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    
    1673 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 1673