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  • 15 Dec 2015
    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 jewels@art4space.co.uk 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.
    1521 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • 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 jewels@art4space.co.uk 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.
    Dec 15, 2015 1521
  • 25 Nov 2015
    Between 22nd November and 22nd December we are celebrating UK Disability History Month. This month highlights the contribution and achievements of disabled people in the UK and raises awareness of the continued unequal position of disabled people in society. Local disability charities and community groups are at the very heart of the movement to create a more equal society and world for disabled people. Local disability groups are often user-led (DPULOs) and have highly specialist knowledge of their cause, their beneficiaries and of the facilities and issues in their communities. Localgiving’s recent Local charity and Community Group Sustainability Report found that 13% of local charities in the UK specialise in 'disability' with another 14% focussing on 'health and wellbeing'. Together, that represents over a quarter of the UK’s local charities. The UK disability sector is hugely diverse - services range from advice and advocacy to campaigning to running specialist projects such as buddy schemes. Why not find out what groups there are in your area? It's easier than you think to get involved, volunteer, fundraise or donate. You may have the very skills a local group is looking for. To give you some help, here are just some of the amazing charities that we work with every day: Spider- Y (Yorkshire) Ability Dogs 4 Young People IOW (Isle of Wight) Twinkle House (Manchester) Wisp dance club (Wrexham) WinVisible (London) Muffins Dream Team (Hampshire) Staffordshire Therapeutic Independent Neurological Group STING (Staffordshire) Sports Driving Unlimited (Dumfries & Galloway) Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres (Reading) CoDa Dance Company (Surrey) Diverse Abilities Plus (Dorset) Rock Foundation (Lincolnshire) Autism Angels (North Yorkshire) Glenshane Care Association (Londonderry/Derry)   There are many, many more groups working tirelessly all across the country – to find a group near you click HERE. December 3rd is International Day of Disabled Persons- That’s just two days after #GivingTuesday. What better time to make your donation go that bit further? Images: Top left- Sports Driving Ltd, Right- STING   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro    
    1537 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Between 22nd November and 22nd December we are celebrating UK Disability History Month. This month highlights the contribution and achievements of disabled people in the UK and raises awareness of the continued unequal position of disabled people in society. Local disability charities and community groups are at the very heart of the movement to create a more equal society and world for disabled people. Local disability groups are often user-led (DPULOs) and have highly specialist knowledge of their cause, their beneficiaries and of the facilities and issues in their communities. Localgiving’s recent Local charity and Community Group Sustainability Report found that 13% of local charities in the UK specialise in 'disability' with another 14% focussing on 'health and wellbeing'. Together, that represents over a quarter of the UK’s local charities. The UK disability sector is hugely diverse - services range from advice and advocacy to campaigning to running specialist projects such as buddy schemes. Why not find out what groups there are in your area? It's easier than you think to get involved, volunteer, fundraise or donate. You may have the very skills a local group is looking for. To give you some help, here are just some of the amazing charities that we work with every day: Spider- Y (Yorkshire) Ability Dogs 4 Young People IOW (Isle of Wight) Twinkle House (Manchester) Wisp dance club (Wrexham) WinVisible (London) Muffins Dream Team (Hampshire) Staffordshire Therapeutic Independent Neurological Group STING (Staffordshire) Sports Driving Unlimited (Dumfries & Galloway) Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres (Reading) CoDa Dance Company (Surrey) Diverse Abilities Plus (Dorset) Rock Foundation (Lincolnshire) Autism Angels (North Yorkshire) Glenshane Care Association (Londonderry/Derry)   There are many, many more groups working tirelessly all across the country – to find a group near you click HERE. December 3rd is International Day of Disabled Persons- That’s just two days after #GivingTuesday. What better time to make your donation go that bit further? Images: Top left- Sports Driving Ltd, Right- STING   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro    
    Nov 25, 2015 1537
  • 18 Sep 2015
    In our recent blog, The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep, we highlighted some of the practical ways that people can support refugees through local initiatives. While the headlines focus on the need for emergency assistance, it is important to remember that, once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face many additional challenges and barriers - from alienation, to housing to health. Much of the support available is provided by small, local charities and solidarity organisations. These groups not only have an acute understanding of the particular needs in their area and community but many also provide unique, innovative solutions. A perfect example of this is The Bike Project. Jem Stein set up The Bike Project in 2013 after witnessing first-hand the problems for refugees and asylum seekers caused by London’s soaring transport costs. Jem’s solution was simple - to get refugees cycling! By repairing abandoned bikes and giving them to refugees, The Bike Project estimate they save each refugee over £1000 per year. Since 2013 the project has gone from strength to strength. To date, they have distributed over 980 bikes to refugees as well as venturing into new areas such as cycle training for refugee women. This week we met Jem amid the wheel-lined walls of The Bike Project’s HQ in South London. Here we took the opportunity to discuss how the project started, its successes so far and new initiatives. We also looked at how the project is benefitting from its business partnerships. What was your inspiration behind the Bike Project? “When I was at university I started mentoring a refugee. He was 16 and had fled the Darfuri genocide. He was placed in the outskirts of London. Beside all the terrible things he had experienced, one of the biggest challenges he faced was that he couldn’t get anywhere. London transport is so expensive. As an asylum seeker you get £36 per week to live off and a bus pass is £21 per week. As you can’t work this leaves you very little”. “I grew up in Oxford - a cycling city - one of the first things I did to help him therefore was try to get him a bike. This enabled him to access education, healthcare, base community and psychological support”. “I founded The Bike project in my spare time while at my last charity. I left that charity to run it full time in March 2013. So we’ve been going two and a half years”. Talk us through how The Bike Project works? “Our core work involves collecting bikes donated through individuals, police, local councils and various different organisations. These bikes are refurbished by the mechanics in our workshop”. “Refugees can come and get a bike from us - most are referred from refugee organisations but people can turn up on the door.” “We have just started providing basic cycle safety training to refugees too. Every refugee receives a set of lights, a lock and a helmet. Many choose to become regular volunteers with us – this way they are also involved in the process of fixing the bikes” “We also have a project that teaches refugee women to cycle. It quickly came to our attention that we were becoming very male dominated. When we did some research we realised that this was because most refugee women come from patriarchal societies where it is not socially acceptable for women to cycle. We got a little bit of funding from TFL and a private trust. We run that project every Tuesday with the Jesuit refugee service”. Have you had any specific success stories? “One of our success stories is Resom (pictured above) who is working next door. He initially came to us as a refugee and soon started volunteering for us. As he had leave to remain, he was allowed to work. He had a knack for bike mechanics so we supported him to train as a mechanic. We now employ him 3 and a bit days per week.” You have recently been sponsored by the Law firm Winckworth – Sherwood to become a member of Localgiving. Have you explored working with businesses before and would you say there are any particular benefits from working with businesses? “We are really grateful to Winckworth - Sherwood for supporting us. We encourage them to visit and see what we do. We look forward to working with them in the future”. “We are a charity and social enterprise. Part of our income comes from providing bike servicing to firms in the city with commuter cyclists - so we work with a lot of big and medium sized businesses” “The great thing about working with businesses is that people who work in the private sector really like to feel that their skills can be useful (to charities). You can get a lot out of a relationship if you can find a way to use these skills. For example, our treasurer is the financial director of a private equity firm in the city. It is important for him to be able to use his skills in a way that helps a charity.” “When working with a business if there is a way for you to utilise their skills, this can be the core of a really productive relationship in terms of volunteering and potentially financially.”    To find out more about the bike project or donate please visit: The Bike Project To find out about groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities HERE.     
    1979 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • In our recent blog, The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep, we highlighted some of the practical ways that people can support refugees through local initiatives. While the headlines focus on the need for emergency assistance, it is important to remember that, once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face many additional challenges and barriers - from alienation, to housing to health. Much of the support available is provided by small, local charities and solidarity organisations. These groups not only have an acute understanding of the particular needs in their area and community but many also provide unique, innovative solutions. A perfect example of this is The Bike Project. Jem Stein set up The Bike Project in 2013 after witnessing first-hand the problems for refugees and asylum seekers caused by London’s soaring transport costs. Jem’s solution was simple - to get refugees cycling! By repairing abandoned bikes and giving them to refugees, The Bike Project estimate they save each refugee over £1000 per year. Since 2013 the project has gone from strength to strength. To date, they have distributed over 980 bikes to refugees as well as venturing into new areas such as cycle training for refugee women. This week we met Jem amid the wheel-lined walls of The Bike Project’s HQ in South London. Here we took the opportunity to discuss how the project started, its successes so far and new initiatives. We also looked at how the project is benefitting from its business partnerships. What was your inspiration behind the Bike Project? “When I was at university I started mentoring a refugee. He was 16 and had fled the Darfuri genocide. He was placed in the outskirts of London. Beside all the terrible things he had experienced, one of the biggest challenges he faced was that he couldn’t get anywhere. London transport is so expensive. As an asylum seeker you get £36 per week to live off and a bus pass is £21 per week. As you can’t work this leaves you very little”. “I grew up in Oxford - a cycling city - one of the first things I did to help him therefore was try to get him a bike. This enabled him to access education, healthcare, base community and psychological support”. “I founded The Bike project in my spare time while at my last charity. I left that charity to run it full time in March 2013. So we’ve been going two and a half years”. Talk us through how The Bike Project works? “Our core work involves collecting bikes donated through individuals, police, local councils and various different organisations. These bikes are refurbished by the mechanics in our workshop”. “Refugees can come and get a bike from us - most are referred from refugee organisations but people can turn up on the door.” “We have just started providing basic cycle safety training to refugees too. Every refugee receives a set of lights, a lock and a helmet. Many choose to become regular volunteers with us – this way they are also involved in the process of fixing the bikes” “We also have a project that teaches refugee women to cycle. It quickly came to our attention that we were becoming very male dominated. When we did some research we realised that this was because most refugee women come from patriarchal societies where it is not socially acceptable for women to cycle. We got a little bit of funding from TFL and a private trust. We run that project every Tuesday with the Jesuit refugee service”. Have you had any specific success stories? “One of our success stories is Resom (pictured above) who is working next door. He initially came to us as a refugee and soon started volunteering for us. As he had leave to remain, he was allowed to work. He had a knack for bike mechanics so we supported him to train as a mechanic. We now employ him 3 and a bit days per week.” You have recently been sponsored by the Law firm Winckworth – Sherwood to become a member of Localgiving. Have you explored working with businesses before and would you say there are any particular benefits from working with businesses? “We are really grateful to Winckworth - Sherwood for supporting us. We encourage them to visit and see what we do. We look forward to working with them in the future”. “We are a charity and social enterprise. Part of our income comes from providing bike servicing to firms in the city with commuter cyclists - so we work with a lot of big and medium sized businesses” “The great thing about working with businesses is that people who work in the private sector really like to feel that their skills can be useful (to charities). You can get a lot out of a relationship if you can find a way to use these skills. For example, our treasurer is the financial director of a private equity firm in the city. It is important for him to be able to use his skills in a way that helps a charity.” “When working with a business if there is a way for you to utilise their skills, this can be the core of a really productive relationship in terms of volunteering and potentially financially.”    To find out more about the bike project or donate please visit: The Bike Project To find out about groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities HERE.     
    Sep 18, 2015 1979
  • 04 Sep 2015
    It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    3669 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    Sep 04, 2015 3669
  • 07 Jan 2014
    Afro*disiac Live Radio CIC is an independent, online radio station based in Christchurch, Dorset. The group gives music production and radio training for local young, older and disadvantaged people. Helping to increase their skills, confidence and future prospects. Station director, Raymond Nyenje, says “We believe Localgiving is the best online fundraising tool. As a C.I.C, it’s difficult for us to access grants and other fundraising avenues. With Localgiving.com it’s simple for us to generate donations and thanks to promotions like Grow Your Tenner, friends and supporters can get involved and we receive matched funding - it’s a fantastic idea for local organisations like us. “Running Afro*disiac has been tough as it operates out of a double garage at one of our director’s homes, with second hand equipment that’s prone to breaking down. The garage isn’t equipped with a bathroom or heating and with just under 20 DJs and presenters using the temporary studio the lack of quality equipment and amenities can be difficult. Thanks to funds raised through Grow Your Tenner, over £2,230, we’re hoping to relocate to Bourne Spring Community Centre in spring 2014 and purchase new computers and mixers for the new studio.” Find out more about and support Afro*disiac here.
    902 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Afro*disiac Live Radio CIC is an independent, online radio station based in Christchurch, Dorset. The group gives music production and radio training for local young, older and disadvantaged people. Helping to increase their skills, confidence and future prospects. Station director, Raymond Nyenje, says “We believe Localgiving is the best online fundraising tool. As a C.I.C, it’s difficult for us to access grants and other fundraising avenues. With Localgiving.com it’s simple for us to generate donations and thanks to promotions like Grow Your Tenner, friends and supporters can get involved and we receive matched funding - it’s a fantastic idea for local organisations like us. “Running Afro*disiac has been tough as it operates out of a double garage at one of our director’s homes, with second hand equipment that’s prone to breaking down. The garage isn’t equipped with a bathroom or heating and with just under 20 DJs and presenters using the temporary studio the lack of quality equipment and amenities can be difficult. Thanks to funds raised through Grow Your Tenner, over £2,230, we’re hoping to relocate to Bourne Spring Community Centre in spring 2014 and purchase new computers and mixers for the new studio.” Find out more about and support Afro*disiac here.
    Jan 07, 2014 902
  • 17 Jan 2014
    Based in Wolverhampton, ConGens works to connect generations by providing health and wellbeing events and activities for young and older people. From exercise classes and social dances to cooking projects and I.T training, delivering intergenerational projects helps to bring local young and older people together to increase respect and understanding. Following on from a successful fundraising experience during Grow Your Tenner 2012, ConGens has benefitted from £4,600 through Grow Your Tenner 2013. Janet Mahay, Vice Chair of ConGens says “Grow Your Tenner is a fantastic arrangement for local groups to raise additional funds to support their work. Many funding sources groups have previously relied on are increasingly difficult to access or no longer exist, so with funds raised from Grow Your Tenner we’ll be able to provide day trips and lunches for our members. “ With funding from the Grow Your Tenner campaign in 2012, the group were able to deliver an eight week computer training project for older people, teaching them basic computer skills so that they can enjoy the benefits of being online like many other ‘Silver Surfers’. One participant, Mrs Lue, was very excited about the project as she had wanted to learn how to use a computer for a long time but hadn’t had the opportunity to. By the end of the program she had learned basic I.T. skills sufficient enough to use the computer independently. She was so happy about the new skills she’d gained, she introduced her husband to computing and they now support each other in their learning. “Localgiving has been a tremendous asset to our organisation, since joining we’ve benefitted in numerous ways. Grow Your Tenner has helped us to raise money for projects and general expenditure. Having a webpage on Localgiving.com gives our group greater credibility in the eyes of supporters, they can see that we are a trusted, structured group and read about what we do before making a secure donation with Gift Aid.” Find out more about and support ConGens here.
    1034 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Based in Wolverhampton, ConGens works to connect generations by providing health and wellbeing events and activities for young and older people. From exercise classes and social dances to cooking projects and I.T training, delivering intergenerational projects helps to bring local young and older people together to increase respect and understanding. Following on from a successful fundraising experience during Grow Your Tenner 2012, ConGens has benefitted from £4,600 through Grow Your Tenner 2013. Janet Mahay, Vice Chair of ConGens says “Grow Your Tenner is a fantastic arrangement for local groups to raise additional funds to support their work. Many funding sources groups have previously relied on are increasingly difficult to access or no longer exist, so with funds raised from Grow Your Tenner we’ll be able to provide day trips and lunches for our members. “ With funding from the Grow Your Tenner campaign in 2012, the group were able to deliver an eight week computer training project for older people, teaching them basic computer skills so that they can enjoy the benefits of being online like many other ‘Silver Surfers’. One participant, Mrs Lue, was very excited about the project as she had wanted to learn how to use a computer for a long time but hadn’t had the opportunity to. By the end of the program she had learned basic I.T. skills sufficient enough to use the computer independently. She was so happy about the new skills she’d gained, she introduced her husband to computing and they now support each other in their learning. “Localgiving has been a tremendous asset to our organisation, since joining we’ve benefitted in numerous ways. Grow Your Tenner has helped us to raise money for projects and general expenditure. Having a webpage on Localgiving.com gives our group greater credibility in the eyes of supporters, they can see that we are a trusted, structured group and read about what we do before making a secure donation with Gift Aid.” Find out more about and support ConGens here.
    Jan 17, 2014 1034
  • 28 Jan 2014
    “SWINDON 105.5 has been on air for almost six years, serving the town as an accessible, inclusive station, delivering local programmes made by groups and individuals for the whole community. “Our youngest trainee is 10 years old and our oldest presenter is 72. We provide training at all levels, from school placements to students wanting to go on to university to community groups needing to develop their profile and confidence in using the media. We also support unemployed people needing to develop skills and volunteers wanting to become part of the Station on a long-term basis. Seeking new funding streams “As a not for profit, non-commercial radio station, we rely on grant-funded projects, donations, fundraising activities and ‘Friends’. After hearing that costs of remaining at our current premises were going to increase considerably, with fairly short notice, we started looking at how to manage our current situation in the short-term and long-term as well as seeking possible alternative accommodation. Right time, right campaign “Whatever the decision, more funds were needed to help us through. So the Localgiving Grow Your Tenner Challenge came at just the right time. We set ourselves a target of raising at least £3,000. Donations came in, volunteers carried out a couple of fundraising bag packs and the number of “Friends” has increased. We raised just over £3,000 and with donations through a forthcoming Valentines evening, we expect to increase this just in time before Grow Your Tenner ends. “This fundraising has covered premises costs for the coming six months and is giving us time to develop ongoing support. Plus our Patron, Lord Joel Joffe’s fund will be donating £2,000 to us because we have achieved this £3,000 through Localgiving. The Grow Your Tenner opportunity proved really helpful in making people aware of showing support for SWINDON 105.5”. Shirley Ludford, Station Manager and Trainer, SWINDON 105.5. Find out more about SWINDON 105.5 here.
    1500 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • “SWINDON 105.5 has been on air for almost six years, serving the town as an accessible, inclusive station, delivering local programmes made by groups and individuals for the whole community. “Our youngest trainee is 10 years old and our oldest presenter is 72. We provide training at all levels, from school placements to students wanting to go on to university to community groups needing to develop their profile and confidence in using the media. We also support unemployed people needing to develop skills and volunteers wanting to become part of the Station on a long-term basis. Seeking new funding streams “As a not for profit, non-commercial radio station, we rely on grant-funded projects, donations, fundraising activities and ‘Friends’. After hearing that costs of remaining at our current premises were going to increase considerably, with fairly short notice, we started looking at how to manage our current situation in the short-term and long-term as well as seeking possible alternative accommodation. Right time, right campaign “Whatever the decision, more funds were needed to help us through. So the Localgiving Grow Your Tenner Challenge came at just the right time. We set ourselves a target of raising at least £3,000. Donations came in, volunteers carried out a couple of fundraising bag packs and the number of “Friends” has increased. We raised just over £3,000 and with donations through a forthcoming Valentines evening, we expect to increase this just in time before Grow Your Tenner ends. “This fundraising has covered premises costs for the coming six months and is giving us time to develop ongoing support. Plus our Patron, Lord Joel Joffe’s fund will be donating £2,000 to us because we have achieved this £3,000 through Localgiving. The Grow Your Tenner opportunity proved really helpful in making people aware of showing support for SWINDON 105.5”. Shirley Ludford, Station Manager and Trainer, SWINDON 105.5. Find out more about SWINDON 105.5 here.
    Jan 28, 2014 1500
  • 29 Jan 2014
    LGBT Youth North West raised over £3,215 through Grow Your Tenner, helping to continue the great work the charity carries out in support of young LGBT in North West England. Over 300 people in the local area use the LGBT Youth Centre as a safe space to access support, social opportunities and volunteering/training opportunities. Without the organisation, “many of the group’s members would return to misusing alcohol and drugs or become very isolated”, predicts Ali Hanbury, the Centre Manager. Others would lose out on opportunities of increasing their skill set and their confidence. The centre is at capacity and is in need of repairs and improvements which the money raised during Grow Your Tenner will be put towards. It costs around £1,000 a week to run the centre so the unrestricted funds provided through Localgiving are a big help. The group have also managed to secure seven matched monthly donations which provides a comfort over uncertain funding in the future. Emergency food parcels LGBT Youth North West will also use the money to buy extra emergency food parcels for homeless young people such as one transgender man who was thrown out of his family home after “coming out”. The centre has helped him to purchase items for college as well as dedicated staff time to help with homework, time management and travel costs. Ali explains that with the success of these interventions, “he has maintained good attendance at college and is now developing friendships on the course and is able to access learning mentors.” One of the biggest on-going problems the organisation faces is the assumption that LGBT equality has been achieved. As Ali clarifies, “Unfortunately many of our users continue to experience negative experiences of discrimination and our services help to counter this through training, work in schools, campaigns and through best-practice events.” Using the tools available to boost their fundraising The ability to use Localgiving to receive donations and benefit from their match fund campaigns will go towards making sure there is much needed support still available to the LGBT community in the North West of England. By using the resources from the Fundraising Toolkit, the team were able to focus on a strategy for promoting the webpage through twitter and other online networks. “Localgiving has been a real asset to our fundraising efforts and the Grow Your Tenner has made a massive impact” says Ali. Click here to find out more about LGBT Youth North West
    1098 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • LGBT Youth North West raised over £3,215 through Grow Your Tenner, helping to continue the great work the charity carries out in support of young LGBT in North West England. Over 300 people in the local area use the LGBT Youth Centre as a safe space to access support, social opportunities and volunteering/training opportunities. Without the organisation, “many of the group’s members would return to misusing alcohol and drugs or become very isolated”, predicts Ali Hanbury, the Centre Manager. Others would lose out on opportunities of increasing their skill set and their confidence. The centre is at capacity and is in need of repairs and improvements which the money raised during Grow Your Tenner will be put towards. It costs around £1,000 a week to run the centre so the unrestricted funds provided through Localgiving are a big help. The group have also managed to secure seven matched monthly donations which provides a comfort over uncertain funding in the future. Emergency food parcels LGBT Youth North West will also use the money to buy extra emergency food parcels for homeless young people such as one transgender man who was thrown out of his family home after “coming out”. The centre has helped him to purchase items for college as well as dedicated staff time to help with homework, time management and travel costs. Ali explains that with the success of these interventions, “he has maintained good attendance at college and is now developing friendships on the course and is able to access learning mentors.” One of the biggest on-going problems the organisation faces is the assumption that LGBT equality has been achieved. As Ali clarifies, “Unfortunately many of our users continue to experience negative experiences of discrimination and our services help to counter this through training, work in schools, campaigns and through best-practice events.” Using the tools available to boost their fundraising The ability to use Localgiving to receive donations and benefit from their match fund campaigns will go towards making sure there is much needed support still available to the LGBT community in the North West of England. By using the resources from the Fundraising Toolkit, the team were able to focus on a strategy for promoting the webpage through twitter and other online networks. “Localgiving has been a real asset to our fundraising efforts and the Grow Your Tenner has made a massive impact” says Ali. Click here to find out more about LGBT Youth North West
    Jan 29, 2014 1098
  • 30 Jan 2014
    One group to make the most of Grow Your Tenner is CREW Heart Support. The group’s Chair, John Tudor says, “Match funding is a superb way of helping charities to maximise the amount they can raise. The advantage of Grow Your Tenner is that it allows individual supporters to give amounts that they can afford in the knowledge that even if they are retired or aren’t eligible to make Gift Aid declarations, our charity will still receive the donation with an added bonus. “CREW provide support in all forms, to people who have suffered from heart related problems, or those at risk of developing cardiovascular related problems in later life. This includes diabetes sufferers, people who are obese, have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels and so on. We also support carers and partners who would benefit from walking for health reasons. “With the money raised through Grow Your Tenner, we will purchase a lightweight defibrillator for our walking groups. We’ll also be able to ensure that the community venues that are run by Upbeat, our exercise and fitness providers are fitted with appropriate equipment for members to use. We’ve already fitted two venues with Public Access Defibrillators with the help of funds raised through Localgiving.” Find out more about CREW Heart Support Group here.
    1004 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • One group to make the most of Grow Your Tenner is CREW Heart Support. The group’s Chair, John Tudor says, “Match funding is a superb way of helping charities to maximise the amount they can raise. The advantage of Grow Your Tenner is that it allows individual supporters to give amounts that they can afford in the knowledge that even if they are retired or aren’t eligible to make Gift Aid declarations, our charity will still receive the donation with an added bonus. “CREW provide support in all forms, to people who have suffered from heart related problems, or those at risk of developing cardiovascular related problems in later life. This includes diabetes sufferers, people who are obese, have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels and so on. We also support carers and partners who would benefit from walking for health reasons. “With the money raised through Grow Your Tenner, we will purchase a lightweight defibrillator for our walking groups. We’ll also be able to ensure that the community venues that are run by Upbeat, our exercise and fitness providers are fitted with appropriate equipment for members to use. We’ve already fitted two venues with Public Access Defibrillators with the help of funds raised through Localgiving.” Find out more about CREW Heart Support Group here.
    Jan 30, 2014 1004
  • 05 Feb 2014
    Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) is a charity committed to supporting anyone affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence. It provides a number of support services including refuge space, a helpline as well as outreach work into the community. “IDAS is essential as it’s about everyone having the right to live a life that is free from abuse and violence.” says the charity’s Director, Sarah Hill. “I feel privileged to work for the cause because the work we do makes such a difference to vulnerable victims and their children.” Formally York Women’s Aid, IDAS changed their name due to the developing and expanding nature of their work: protecting men, women and children from suffering abuse. To exemplify the importance of IDAS’ work, Sarah points to startling statistics that 1 in 4 people will be affected by domestic abuse at some point in their lives. IDAS’ work is clearly recognised by the community, being nominated this year as the Lord Mayor’s Charity. Though as Sarah acknowledges, the cause is often difficult to fundraise for due to its highly sensitive nature. Fundraising support is key to continuing the services of IDAS. A £100 donation through Localgiving could enable IDAS to provide emergency packs with food supplies, essential toiletries and nappies and toys for families that arrive at the refuge with nothing to their name. Beth's Story One such instance saw Beth* and her three children arrive at IDAS’ York Refuge in September 2012. She came to the refuge after suffering years of abuse at the hands of her husband including constant bullying and death threats. It culminated with a vicious attack, in which Beth was hospitalised with a fractured eye socket and multiple cuts and bruises. Her husband was imprisoned for assault, and Beth began a process of recovery with the help of IDAS. Through her time at the refuge, Beth overcame depression and anxiety and began to gain confidence and a sense of self-worth again. She eventually became comfortable enough to make new friends and move into a new home at the beginning of the year. While there is still a long way to go, without IDAS’ support, Beth and her children wouldn’t have had the chance to make the positive changes in their life needed to take steps towards recovery. Sarah reiterates that people can help IDAS in many different ways. From raising awareness about abuse, volunteering to support people directly or simply, by donating so that they can continue to provide their life-saving services. IDAS’ overarching goal is to liberate families from abuse when “a family can break free, escape from violence and go on to live without fear”. This, Sarah concludes is ultimately what they consider “a huge success”. Find out more about IDAS here *Names have been changed to protect identities.
    1010 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) is a charity committed to supporting anyone affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence. It provides a number of support services including refuge space, a helpline as well as outreach work into the community. “IDAS is essential as it’s about everyone having the right to live a life that is free from abuse and violence.” says the charity’s Director, Sarah Hill. “I feel privileged to work for the cause because the work we do makes such a difference to vulnerable victims and their children.” Formally York Women’s Aid, IDAS changed their name due to the developing and expanding nature of their work: protecting men, women and children from suffering abuse. To exemplify the importance of IDAS’ work, Sarah points to startling statistics that 1 in 4 people will be affected by domestic abuse at some point in their lives. IDAS’ work is clearly recognised by the community, being nominated this year as the Lord Mayor’s Charity. Though as Sarah acknowledges, the cause is often difficult to fundraise for due to its highly sensitive nature. Fundraising support is key to continuing the services of IDAS. A £100 donation through Localgiving could enable IDAS to provide emergency packs with food supplies, essential toiletries and nappies and toys for families that arrive at the refuge with nothing to their name. Beth's Story One such instance saw Beth* and her three children arrive at IDAS’ York Refuge in September 2012. She came to the refuge after suffering years of abuse at the hands of her husband including constant bullying and death threats. It culminated with a vicious attack, in which Beth was hospitalised with a fractured eye socket and multiple cuts and bruises. Her husband was imprisoned for assault, and Beth began a process of recovery with the help of IDAS. Through her time at the refuge, Beth overcame depression and anxiety and began to gain confidence and a sense of self-worth again. She eventually became comfortable enough to make new friends and move into a new home at the beginning of the year. While there is still a long way to go, without IDAS’ support, Beth and her children wouldn’t have had the chance to make the positive changes in their life needed to take steps towards recovery. Sarah reiterates that people can help IDAS in many different ways. From raising awareness about abuse, volunteering to support people directly or simply, by donating so that they can continue to provide their life-saving services. IDAS’ overarching goal is to liberate families from abuse when “a family can break free, escape from violence and go on to live without fear”. This, Sarah concludes is ultimately what they consider “a huge success”. Find out more about IDAS here *Names have been changed to protect identities.
    Feb 05, 2014 1010