Local charities, communities and their challenges

Local charities have a tough job, with small budgets, small teams and at times, a lack of resources. So, it is vital that the local communities come out and support their local charities in any way possible.

We spoke with a charity in Barnet – the Young Barnet Foundation. Their mission is to help ensure children and young people have access to local opportunities in safe spaces and get the chance to develop and grow to the best they can be. We spoke with YBF and asked about their experience with their local community and what it could do for them. YBF explained, “So many people have so many great skills and just a small amount of help, be it even a few hours can help make a real difference.” They go on to describe how they have had a positive experience with their community, “a local accountants reached out to us to donate their secret Santa presents to young people rather than among their staff.” Small acts of kindness go a long way, particularly when you are giving back to your local community and this has been shown for YBF. We also spoke with another small charity, Wandsworth Oasis, who aim to provide support and break the stigma towards people living with HIV. With their 11 charity shops located around London, they are doing everything they can do reach out to the public about their message.

Being a small charity has its fair share of challenges, as YBF state, “82% of funding nationally goes to just 4% of organisations. This means that most local charities work on a very tight budget, yet have really key work to do on a local level and they know their communities best and have the trusted relationships with the people they serve.” With this in mind, getting the community to help and take an interest is so valuable. Becoming volunteers is always a fantastic way to ensure you are doing your part to help charities, especially within your local area.

“The local charity and community sector do great work but don’t always have the skills or times to shout about it and make the community aware.” As a community, we should all be supporting our local charities, ensuring that people are aware of the great work that they are doing. For the Young Barnet Foundation, “we would love the community to be our voice, maybe someone is part of a business network and would like to be an ambassador for Young Barnet Foundation and could tell other about our work.” There are a range of opportunities for people within the local community to help make a difference and get involved with their local charities, to help build a better community for all.

Promoting small and local charities is not always easy, so using new platforms is a fantastic way to get your brand name out there. For example, Wandsworth Oasis joined Scooploop to “connect with other local businesses and reach the business community surrounding our charity shops.” Since they have joined, they have expressed how, “using Scooploop may have benefited our business in a way that has raised awareness of who we are and what we do.” By joining Scooploop, it offers local charities and small businesses the chance to branch out to an audience you might not have reached before, even in your local area! Allowing your charities voice to be heard by your wider community, this also gives people within the area, the opportunity to get involved and maybe even volunteer.

It is clear the local charities need continuous support in order for them to carry out the good and vital work that they do for those in need. Yet, the challenges they face, cannot be faced without the help and support of the local communities around. As YBF put it, “we are always looking for more of the community to get involved.”

If you would like to get involved with either charities mentioned above, please get in touch!