Did you know that there are around 3,500 charities in the West of England? More than half of these are ‘small’ charities, that only have an income of £25,000 or less.
On the first ever Local Charities Day 2016, announced by the UK government this year, here are just a few local groups and projects you may have never heard of, that are doing amazing things in your community.
Aspiration Creation Elevation CIC
‘ACE’ inspires positive social change by working with disadvantaged young people through creative arts activities, music therapy, education and mentoring. They aim to raise the skills and life aspirations of young people, reducing anti-social behaviour and building community. They aim to see negativity overturned through art.
Baby Bank Network
Baby Bank Network helps families living in poverty, or in other difficult circumstances such as in refugee shelters, domestic violence refuges or homeless shelters, by collecting pre-loved baby clothes and essential baby equipment and re-distributing them to families in need.
Bristol Hospitality Network
The Network helps destitute asylum seekers in Bristol find accommodation in ‘host households’ (individual people who have a spare room in their home). They support asylum seekers’ mental and physical wellbeing by helping them be part of a supportive, local community, and they also provide a ‘welcome centre’ every Monday to support asylum seekers, including an advocacy service.
Buzz Lockleaze works to improve health, combat social isolation and improve financial wellbeing in Lockleaze, through skills development, enterprise and employability in their 3 projects: a Community café, garden and health food shop that offers healthy food and a community space, an Employability project helping local people to overcome barriers to employment, and an Enterprise hub that supports local business ideas by offering grants and flexible office space.
Carpenters Food and Support
Carpenters, based in Withywood, provides food and support to local people in crisis. Clients are referred to them from local agencies through a voucher system, and their volunteer registrars then carry out an informal interview with each family to understand their circumstances, and may also signpost them to other sources of support.
Filwood Hope Advice Centre provides a drop-in advice service, supporting people with a whole range of challenges including emotional, psychological and financial hardship. They seek to help clients prevent or relieve these hardships. And support people in distressing situations including benefit problems, food poverty, domestic violence, risk of eviction, debt advice, bereavement. They work one to one with those with low literacy.
Little Hands Bristol
Little Hands supports deaf and hard of hearing parents with young children, giving the parents an opportunity to talk to other parents who use BSL (British Sign Language) and building a supportive community. They provide speakers with an interpreter on helpful topics, and organise special family activities with an interpreter to ensure everyone feels included.
North Bristol Advice Centre
The Centre promotes social justice and combats poverty by providing free advice and support to local people facing difficulties, including advice on welfare benefits and debt, complex casework, money mentoring and workshops in the community, IT skill sessions, a community training hub in Lockleaze and advice and activities for older people including a home visiting service.
Phoenix52 Community Arts is run by and for residents living in East Bristol. The group is led by three local artists, and it delivers a range of creative opportunities and activities to bring the community together. In partnership with The APE Project they recently ran a project working with children, young people and those who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in Barton Hill to share skills including bicycle repairs, construction and engineering skills.
Room 13 Hareclive, Hartcliffe
Room 13 Hareclive is an artists’ studio based in the grounds of Hareclive Academy, run by children and adults working together as equals. It’s part of a network of Room 13 studios that exist around the world to encourage creative learning, business skills and independent thinking in young people. Children can go there to learn or make art, and are free to follow their own ideas and work on their own creative projects. Room 13 aims to raise the confidence, happiness, aspirations and life skills of local children.
Despite their humble size, local charities can and do change lives for the better. Quartet Community Foundation can help you to #givelocal this Local Charities Day.
We exist to support third sector groups like these, and to match people’s charitable giving with fantastic local causes. We also carry out due diligence to check that donors’ money will be used to fund vital local projects and each year gives around a thousand grants to small charitable groups and organisations like the ten featured.