State of the Voluntary Sector in Hampshire

State of the Voluntary Sector in Hampshire

Action Hampshire, with the support of the district CVSs, recently carried out some research into the state of the voluntary sector in Hampshire.

An on-line survey was circulated around Hampshire’s voluntary and community sector organisations in November/December 2017. A range of questions were posed, most of which were asked in relation to the organisation’s position 3 years ago.

478 responses were received commenting on areas including capacity to deliver services, financial security, volunteering and planning for the future. Some of the key findings highlighted issues on the increase in demand for services and areas that organisations are struggling with.

Demand
Over 60% of respondents reported that demand for their services has increased over the past 3 years, but many also report that the type of demand has changed. As other services close, there is nowhere to refer clients on to:

“Clients are more likely to have multiple issues, and as other support services have decreased we often cannot refer them for other support and therefore work holistically.”

What are organisations struggling with?
Organisations continue to struggle with a range of subjects and issues: volunteers (recruiting, retaining and managing), marketing, and gaining funds (specifically earning fees, bid writing, and tendering & procurement).

“It has become much harder to generate revenue. Even our fund raising events are getting fewer people.”

Very few respondents said that they were likely to be helping their beneficiaries less in a year’s time. A worrying 22% of respondents felt that they either had ‘no idea’ where they would be in a year’s time, or were unsure if they would still exist in a year’s time.

What does this mean for the future of Hampshire’s voluntary sector organisations?

You can download the summary and full report here:

National Cyber Security Centre produces guide for small charities

The NCSC has published advice to help charities to protect themselves from the most common cyber attacks.

The guide covers 5 topics:

  • backing up your data
  • protecting your charity from malware
  • keeping your smartphones and tablets safe
  • using passwords to protect your data
  • avoiding phishing attacks

The guide is easy to understand and its recommendations cost little (or nothing) to implement.

Click here to visit the NCSC website to download the guide.

How to get the most out of your local park

ParkLives is a free and easy way for you to get the best out of your local park. In fact, it’s much more than just a walk in the park – you’ll find a whole host of activities from tai chi to donkey grooming!

They’ve made it super-easy for you to take part and all of their activities take place in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. This isn’t about breaking world records, they just want you to have fun.

So go check out their website, have a laugh and enjoy some brilliant days out with your family and friends.

Southampton City Funding Bulletin

Southampton City Council have relaunched their valuable Funding Bulletin to make it more user friendly, easier to navigate and to improve its appearance, whilst also fulfilling their obligations to the General Data Protection Regulation.

To sign up to get regular information on funding and grants available in Southampton and the surrounding area you will need to enter your e-mail address here and click ‘submit’. There are also a range of other topics to sign-up to, covering everything from City Events and Community News and Events to Culture Vulture and Waste and Recycling News.

Christmas feel good story

In 2013 a teenager collected hundreds of supermarket vouchers to buy £600 worth of shopping for 4p so he could give the food to families:

Jordon Cox, 16, scoured endless websites and magazines and gathered hundreds of coupons for dozens of products.  After spending hours each day searching the internet for coupons, he managed to collect 470, which he took to his local supermarket, and filled three trolleys with food and household items.  The bill came to £572.16, but once the coupons were factored in the bill was reduced to just 4p – a saving of 99.81 per cent.  The teenager, of Brentwood in Essex, donated all his food to the charity Doorstep which gives food to disadvantaged families.

He said:

“I read an article that said a thousandth of the UK population are unable to eat this Christmas because they don’t have any money.  I decided wanted to help as many people as I can, and to also show that it’s possible to shop very cheaply, if you know how.  It’s not an exact science, so you can never really work out ahead of time how much the total is going to be. I was stunned when it came up as just 4p.”

He started his Christmas shopping project on December 1 and scoured hundreds of in-store magazines and websites for money off and cash back coupons.  His shop, at Tesco Brent Cross, ended with an hour stop at the checkout to unload his items which included 200 packets of biscuits and 60 packs of butter.

He said:

“The lady at the checkout had worked at Tesco for 19 years, and she said she’d never seen anything like it before. I had a big crowd. I felt like a celebrity.  My heart was pounding and the adrenaline was pumping when we got to the till. So much could have gone wrong.  I could have left some coupons at home, or not read the terms and conditions properly. Some of them might have expired too.”

Vicky Fox, who works at Doorstep, said families who he had helped out were overwhelmed by the donation. She said:

“I’d call his gift a great and generous act of a young man and what he did made a real difference.  He’s made a really difference to families who work with us to survive on extremely low incomes and do need the help.  He made such a different to people living on the breadline.”

He bought:

  • 20 packs of frozen Yorkshire puddings
  • 20 jam roly polys
  • 80 packs of butter
  • 23 packs of Quorn mince
  • Four Gressingham poussin.
  • 40 black puddings
  • 200 packets of biscuits
  • 23 blocks of hard cheese
  • 20 pots of Yeo Valley organic yoghurt
  • 19 bottles of fruit juice.
  • 10 boxes of Paxo stuffing
  • 40 bottles of Anchor whipped cream
  • 15 bags of frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 4 packs of After Eight mints
  • 15 Covent Garden Soups.
  • 10 bags of Florette Salad
  • 36 packs of Cauldron tofu, vegetarian sausages and falafel
  • Crumble mix
  • Haribo sweets

Community Christmas Meals

Community Christmas Meals

Communities are encouraged to provide companionship to older people on Christmas Day by running a community Christmas Lunch event, joining up with others at a local pub or restaurant, popping round for tea and cake, perhaps organizing a film viewing or anything else that can be enjoyed by all those that take part. This should be a chance to meet up with old friends and make new friends creating bonds in the community that last well beyond the single day.

If you have elderly or older clients or anyone needing somewhere to go for a Christmas Meal they can put their post code into this website and it will bring up all the options in their area. Some even include transport!

If you cannot find your area, keep checking as the site is being updated regularly. And of course if you know of a scheme that isn’t already on the site this is a great place to add it .

Support refugee event with Lord Dubs

oasis-foundation

Join Oasis on the 9th December to listen to Lord Dubs and show your support for refugees:

At Oasis we care passionately about every human being and recently had the privilege of running a safe house that gave sanctuary and security to young refugees who crossed the channel.  We are proud that the UK has been involved in the response to this crisis – but we believe more needs to be done.

The UK Government has pledged to provide sanctuary for a significant number of child refugees but this is now in doubt.

Join Oasis and Lord Dubs – former refugee and author of the amendment compelling Government to help refugees – to take a public stand for a compassionate solution to the crisis and to help the countless children still stranded near the beaches of France.

The event will be a chance to hear from Lord Dubs about what he believes the Government needs to do, to debate and discuss the issues and join together to show our support for refugees.

  • DATE: Friday 9th December 2016
  • TIME: 19.30 – 21.00
  • LOCATION: The Oasis Centre, London SE1 7QP

To book your free ticket, click here:

https://oasis.foundation/events/act-now-refugees-event-lord-dubs

‘Breakfast in a bag’ is a brilliant new simple initiative to support the homeless

‘Breakfast in a bag’ is a brilliant new simple initiative to support the homeless

A small gesture is all it takes to make a huge difference to the thousands of people sleeping rough everyday.  And that’s why one woman is asking you to donate just £3 so that a homeless person won’t go hungry tomorrow.

In a new initiative called ‘Breakfast in a Bag’, Michelle Clark, from Enfield, is handing out free, healthy breakfasts to London’s homeless.

Michelle told Metro.co.uk:

It dawned on me earlier this year that despite there being several soup kitchens feeding London’s homeless in the evenings, no one was providing breakfasts.

breakfast-in-a-bag-1For just £3, a homeless person will receive cereal or porridge, milk, fresh fruit, a cereal bar or similar, fruit juice and biscuits, together with disposable cutlery and a bowl.

According to figures released by Combined Homelessness Information Network (CHAIN), over 7,500 people slept on London’s streets in 2015.  This was a dramatic rise from the 3,673 in 2009/2010.

The simple but effective idea was started by Michelle earlier this month, but she’s actually been supporting the homeless and dogs living on the streets in London since 2010 with Off The Streets London.

She added:

‘I’ve helped several homeless people find permanent housing and I still keep in touch with most of them today.  I consider them to be my friends.’

The project is currently being funded by public donations with additional support from food manufacturers and supermarkets.

breakfast-in-a-bag

At the moment, Michelle delivers most of the bags direct to the homeless herself but she does have a small team of volunteers who help host the popular Breakfast In A Bag ‘Brekkie Stations’ on Friday nights.

The projects has already got huge support on social media, where @breakfastinabag has more than 2,900 followers.  Amongst its supporters are comedians Al Murray and Reginald D Hunter, Ian Danter from national radio, actress Linda Robson, Labour MP Jess Phillips and BBC’s Nick Knowles.

Michelle said:

‘We rely heavily on donations, every pound buys a pot of porridge for someone or a couple of energy bars.

‘Quite simply the more donations we receive, however small, the more breakfasts I can hand over.

‘People are realising that by donating just £3 to us they’re buying a homeless person a healthy breakfast, all for the same price as a coffee and for much less than a pint!’

If you’d like to donate to Breakfast in a Bag, email: breakfastinabag@gmail.com.

Anna Chaplaincy to Older People

debbie-thrower-lay-canonIt was a priviledge at the Diocese of Winchester Synod Conference in my table group to be sitting next to Debbie Thrower who nationally co-ordinates Anna Chaplaincy.

Anna Chaplaincy came about through a local willingness among Christians in the Hampshire market town of Alton.  Working together, they recognised that more should be done for older people. A job specification was drawn up and a half-stipend post (20 hours/week) was advertised as a part-time chaplain to older people.

Debbie Thrower was appointed in January 2010 and the role was carved out from scratch. Following secured funding from an alternative source, the work evolved into Anna Chaplaincy – Debbie Thrower was the UK’s first Anna Chaplain and she has developed the blueprint.

Since 2014, the Anna Chaplaincy approach has been at the heart of BRF’s The Gift of Years initiative to resource the spiritual journey of older people. It is being offered more widely as a proven way for other churches to cherish the gifts of older people in their membership, and to develop their service among this age group, and their mission to those marginalised and spiritually impoverished in later life.

Anna Chaplaincy is now a tried-and-tested model with the potential to spread far and wide as it begins to be replicated elsewhere, and as churches and individuals, whether they live in a city, town or rural context, are increasingly asking whether Anna Chaplaincy might work in their context.

Check out this powerful video clip we watched at the conference on how this project can help in your community:

 

Woman wins year of free pizza, donates it to youth homeless centre

pizza

Hannah Spooner, a 19-year-old Detroit resident, was delighted to discover she and her boyfriend had won a year of free pizza after entering a raffle at Little Caesar’s.

But instead of keeping the pies for themselves, they donated them to Covenant House, a nonprofit that offers shelter, classes and three square meals a day to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.

Spooner told a local FOX affiliate that she always knew she’d donate the pizza if she won — even when her boyfriend asked her whether she’d keep just a couple of pizzas for herself.

She said:

“I just know there are other people out there who have nothing.  And I don’t think I should be eating a year’s worth of free pizza when there are people who go hungry at night.”

Use McDonald’s monopoly tokens to help the homeless

mcdonalds-monopoly

If you’re a keen visitor to McDonald’s, you’ll know about its recurring Monopoly promotion that runs in a number of countries across the globe. You’ll often get a free food voucher for a portion of fries or a McFlurry, but while you might be tempted to hoard them for future binges, perhaps donating them to the homeless is a better way of using them.

That’s what Matt Lawson from Melbourne in Australia proposed in a Facebook post on Monday:

matt-lawson-photography

McDonald’s is currently running the monopoly game and I’ve got an idea. If you win free food by purchasing food you would of bought anyway, why not put your tokens in a jar and take them to an area where you know there are people less fortunate then yourself (Melbourne CBD, Fitzroy shelters etc).i did it today and if all of us do it together we can be part of a small change. FEEL FREE TO SHARE. #bethechange#monopolisecharity

“Why not put your tokens in a jar and take them to an area where you know there are people less fortunate then [sic] yourself,” he wrote. “I did it today and if all of us do it together we can be part of a small change.”

“I know it’s still consuming junk food, but it can teach our kids and ourselves a lesson in giving with no taking,” he said in a comment on the viral post.

What a simple idea to make a small difference in your community.

 

Refugees’ lifejackets have been turned into a ‘graveyard’ outside parliament

refugee-life-jacket-graveyard-1

More than 2,500 lifejackets that were actually worn by migrants who crossed from Turkey into Europe were placed in front of the U.K.’s Parliament today to raise further awareness about the global migrant and refugee crisis. The project was created by various charity and humanitarian groups to correspond with a meeting of world leaders at the U.N. to discuss the ongoing crisis.

This year alone so far, at least 3,212 refugees and migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.  Deaths are occurring more frequently this year than in 2015, according to the most recent figures reported by the International Organization for Migration.

refugee-life-jacket-graveyard

The installation — which was supported by refugee charities — intends to remind leaders of “the need for solidarity with refugees” and to encourage “international responsibility sharing”.

refugee-life-jacket-graveyard-2