18 March 2020

What can I do? To still make a difference this year...

We might be in an unsettling period right now. But there’s heaps we can still all do to help the Trust sail through the uncertainty, so that more young people can continue to benefit from our support in the future. So, whether your running event has been cancelled but you’re still super motivated or you just want to keep yourself busy, not bored, at home by helping, what could you do?

1. Plan ahead

While anything community-based looks out of the question in the short to medium term, use the time to plan something awesome for later this year or next.

Think about what you get involved in or organise yourself to support the Trust in late summer and autumn. Or if that still feels a bit risky, what could you do locally at Christmas? Carol services? Mince pie bake sales? Festive quiz nights? Running stalls or games at Christmas markets and fayres?

It might feel a long way off, and hopefully we will all be able to start doing more in our communities before that time. But the more time you have to think, plan and promote, the bigger difference your support is likely to make.

2. Give instead of gifts

This is always a popular idea that’s easy to do. Got a birthday or a significant celebration coming up this year, why not ask people to celebrate with you by supporting the Trust? You can set up ‘celebration’ fundraising pages on websites like JustGiving or you could do it through Facebook Fundraisers.

3. Reward perseverance

Could you give something up people would definitely get behind you for? What’s your vice? Smoking? Chocolate? Swearing?? Or is there something you really don’t like you could dedicate yourself to? Hate sci-fi? Commit to watching entire Star Trek box sets! Can’t bear facial hair? Grow a beard! Don’t like Marmite? Have it everyday! Whatever would be really tough for you can make it very entertaining for others.

4. Get Gaming for Good

If we’re going to be spending more time than we’d like inside and away from friends and family in the coming months, gaming is a really social way to stay connected. And if you’re gaming, you can support young people in recovery from cancer too!

Gaming for good is huge. Could you host a videogame challenge, for example, a one-v-one contest against a friend? A 24-hour gaming broadcast? A 'speedrun' where you try to complete the game as fast as possible? Then during your livestream, direct viewers to places they can donate and that’s it, actual fundraising whilst having virtual fun.

Twitch, the world's leading live game streaming platform, estimates more than £79m has been raised through the platform since 2011. Wow! Read this blog to find out more - Gaming for Good is huge. But what is it?!

5. Shop with Amazon Smile

We’re likely to be doing more online shopping than ever so if you order from Amazon instead of using the usual Amazon website, shop through Amazon Smile. It’s the same products, same prices, but Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to the charitable organisation of your choice, i.e. us!

6. Declutter & donate

Now is the perfect time to start your spring clean and declutter your home. Turn your unwanted Books, DVDs, CDs and Games into precious pounds without even having to leave your house. Check out Ziffit It's completely free and Gift Aid can be reclaimed, so 100% of the money plus any Gift Aid will directly towards supporting young people during their recovery.

Having a sort out of your wardrobe or have other items you want to get rid of, then head over to eBay for Charity. They have teamed up with PayPal Giving Fund to make it easy to donate some or all of the proceeds from your listings to your favourite charity such as the Trust.

7. Host a virtual quiz night

We’re all going to need entertaining. So if you can’t go to your local quiz night why not host one of your own? Quiz websites, such as Sporcle, have multiplayer options where you can invite your friends and quiz together. One donation equals one entry, let’s quiz!

8. Donate whatever you're not spending money on

If you are saving money on your daily commute to work – and even better, if you are a season ticket holder and have secured a refund from your rail or bus company – why not donate some of that? What else are you not spending money on while staying at home? Takeout coffees, child care, gym memberships a small donation from the money save could make a BIG difference.

9. Who can help?

In the ‘Making a difference all year round’ workshop at our recent Volunteer Training Day in Birmingham, the volunteers were set a fun task to come up with as many groups and organisations they interact with in their communities every day. A ‘community’ could be a workplace, where they lived, clubs they were members of, anything.

Result? There were tonnes! And every single one is an untapped opportunity to raise awareness of the Trust by putting up posters, getting collection tins in, offering to do talks, connecting with them to become their ‘Charity of the Year’, researching and networking to access local grants, funding or support from local businesses. The list is endless. Spend some time doing the same for your community then…

10. Make contact!

Drop them an email, write them a letter, give them a call, let them know why the Trust matters to young people in their community, and how they can help. We can help provide templates of what to say depending on the nature of your enquiry.

11. Challenge accepted

Is there something you’ve always wanted to but never had the time to plan or train for? Make 2021 the year you do and spend this year putting everything in place to make it happen. Whether you sign up for an existing event or do one of your own, do it bigger, braver and bolder than you might have done otherwise.

12. Online challenges

We all know how vital it is to our physical and mental wellbeing to stay as active as possible, which can be a challenge when you're stuck at home. So why not organise a sponsored danceathon, zumbathon or aerobicsathon? Or if you fancy a bit of healthy competition then check out our new event and 'Step up for the Trust' this April.

13. Ask or tell us!

There’s so much bad news at the moment so let’s bring some sunshine. If you’re planning on doing something awesome, or have a story about something you’ve already done, let us know and we can share the glow. Or if you really want to make a difference, but aren’t sure where to start, we can help with ideas and inspiration.

But, whatever you do, please think of yourself and others. We’re all in this together. Be safe.