Compass Group who are one of the UK’s top catering, hospitality, and business support providers, based in Chertsey, have been helping the local homeless with the donation of rucksacks.
Megan at Just a Helping Hand told us
“To have this amazing donation of rucksacks is honestly just incredible, and we are truly grateful.
We have many distributors who issue rucksacks to those who need them most. One such group is women who are released from prison. Many of these women being released are homeless and some come from domestic abuse situations. We take this into account when filling these rucksacks.
Can you imagine the feelings of these women when they open their rucksack and find such lovely things as a wash bag filled with deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, nail file, and lip balm. But there is much more – including a pack of new socks and underwear, a flask (with refill information for free at local outlets), hat, scarf and gloves, meal vouchers, and a small Bible.
Such an act of kindness makes such a difference to them from both a practical and an emotional point of view. It has been said to us that such generosity from a stranger provides a real sense of being cared for and thought about. This can ease anxiety, provide hope, help with depression and even remove thoughts of suicide”
You want to inspire and motivate your audience to get involved with your charity by posting great social media with valuable content. You need engagement, retweets, likes, shares, followers, and all the other good things that comes with a successful social media profile. So the question is, what kind of social media content gets that kind of love and gives you the most value?
Who is your audience?
This is a group of people that you’ve identified that you want to appeal to and who are most likely to be interested in your charity. Your audience can be based on location, age, employment or behavior. Look at other similar charities to yours. What content are they publishing? What kind of voice are they using? Who are they appealing to? What’s their call to action?
What is your goal for the social media post/campaign?
Your social media posts should have a purpose – this is a call to action CTA. Do you need donations? Sign up to an email list? Volunteers? Publicising an event? Your call to action should encourage readers to engage with you further. Be clear what you want your audience to do.
What should you write?
We write about our successes, our beneficiaries, our volunteers, our community and we share local and national social media from partners and charities. Cause awareness and giving days can also be powerful themes for fundraising and social media awareness campaigns. Get ideas from 2021 Cause Awareness Days Days of the Year Wikipedia’s List of Commemorative Months and download the handy calendar template from Hootsuite for your office wall.
When should you post?
Different audiences on different platforms read posts and view videos at different times of the day. For example, commuters consume social media on their journey to work. Homeworkers may read posts in the middle of the day. Twitter audiences are consuming in the early morning and engagement drops off later in the day. Use the Sprout Socials guide to experiment with posting at different times on different platforms.
How do you make it visually attractive?
Including images is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase engagement. Our brain can interpret images much quicker than text making your post much more effective. Top tip – make your images the correct size for the platform! We use a free version of an easy to use graphic design platform called Canva and Hootsuite have a guide to getting the sizes right. Remember to use images that belong to you or those from a royalty free site – we use pixabay or unsplash
Finally … make it easy
Posting diverse, interesting content at the right time on the right platform is made much easier by using a scheduling tool. We use Hootsuite. It allows us to plan our content in advance and schedule appropriately across 3 platforms for free. Read about Hootsuite and other scheduling options here.
For many people this year, Christmas was a time of extreme loneliness, but Surrey Heath charities made a massive effort to tackle this.
The Rotary Club of Camberley staged a Virtual Christmas Day Drop-In for two hours for anyone by themselves fancying a chat on Christmas Day.
Camberley Besom and the Rotary Club of Camberley put together 180 and 80 Christmas hampers respectively, of which 18 were made up from donations by SHBC councillors and staff. Normal food bank parcels were also available for the festive period. The Old Dean Community Group in partnership with St Martin’s Church supported local people in hardship with food parcels including vegetables donated by the local allotments, fresh pastries and a fresh chicken voucher.
Lightwater Connected, Windlesham Caring and Bagshot Care combined efforts to take part in the Windlesham Parish scheme to provide a Christmas meal for those living alone on Christmas Day. Through the support of local restaurants volunteers were able to deliver meals to nearby residents who were lonely or vulnerable.
Our two local befriending groups the Time-to-Talk Project from VSNS and Surrey Heath Age Concern supported their clients with a special gift in Christmas week delivered personally as well as a friendly call.
Camberley Alzheimer Café hosted a special Christmas Social on 21 Dec in addition to their monthly zoom meeting for anyone living with dementia and/or carers recognising the isolation that some people feel during the festive period.
Ingenuity, sharing resources and using connections to help their community is a good news story worth telling.
Confronted with a global pandemic many local corporates have been responsive, engaged and extremely generous looking into ways to keep their CSR going and making sure they are still engaged and helping the local community.
Local businesses including Enterprise Rent a Car in Egham, ADP Chertsey, Compass Chertsey. Alcon Camberley, Enterprise Aldershot, Spirit Energy, Visa and CHEP Addlestone have donated over 900 Christmas gifts to charities in Surrey Heath, Runnymede and Spelthorne.
Besides the gifts several local corporates have donated over £12,000 to local charities across the boroughs. Recipients include the Runnymede Foodbank who received £2,500 for Tesco Vouchers and Just a Helping Hand who received £1,450 to help the homeless in Runnymede. Alcon Eye Care Specialists in Camberley bought and filled over 100 rucksacks for The Hope Hub and Spirit Energy in Spelthorne have bought and filled arts and craft bags for children in Foster Care in Surrey.
With many elderly and vulnerable residents being isolated and unable to leave their homes corporates have organised zoom events to write Christmas Cards which will be delivered through the Salvation Army, Age UK Surrey and Purple Angels to lonely individuals in our community.
We want to say a big thank you to all our local businesses who are working hard to ensure that their collective effort can support those most in need this Christmas.
The Communities and Prevention Team at Surrey County Council are working to create an online training resource platform to support community volunteers. The platform will provide links to training covering a wide variety of subjects, share challenges and problems, and then provide a space for people to share practice.
In the meantime they have put together a list of training opportunities to investigate further:
In addition you may be interested in:
Loneliness Digital Classroom with the British Red Cross, which aims to help people learn new skills to help them support people experiencing isolation/loneliness. There are 2 sessions are available. One for 10-19-year-olds and the other one for adults aged 19+. Email: RedCrossEducation@redcross.org.uk or call: 0344 412 2734 to book a place.
Financial Essentials for Charities – an online course to support finance professionals and charity leaders and help drive sustainable finance strategies and decision-making (cost £155.99)
Please remember that we offer volunteer recruitment and management training and fundraising training throughout the year at no cost – for more information get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you want to volunteer but the same old reasons of not enough time or unable to commit to a long term role keep holding you back?
Micro Volunteering is the answer – bite-size tasks with no commitment to repeat and with minimum formality, involving short and specific actions that are quick to start and finish. It’s a perfect way for you to do something good or give back, mostly from home, because 80% of micro volunteering takes places online.
We’ve put together a variety of microvolunteering ideas and there really is something for everyone:
Positivity by post volunteers send positive cards or packages to anyone who has a chronic illness/disability or mental ill health in the UK.
Post Pals volunteers send cards, letters, emails and small gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK.
Loving Hands volunteer crafters knit, crochet and sew for charities and groups all over the world.
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers who lend their eyes to solve tasks big and small to help blind and low-vision people lead more independent lives.
FCancer volunteers donate their skills by the hour to support cancer charities (eg. photography, coding, writing and design) and help beat cancer.
Campaign to End Loneliness has ways for you to get involved locally or nationally with campaigns and ideas.
Dementia Friends volunteers learn about dementia so they can help their community by raising awareness and understanding.
Give Nature a Home volunteers build homes for nature where they live.
Hedgehog Homes volunteers help hedgehogs when they go into hibernation by creating permanent structures in their gardens.
United Nations Online Volunteers (UNV) allows volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world. Some of their projects do require a little more time and commitment.
Zooniverse enables volunteers to take part in real cutting edge research of all kinds, from classifying galaxies to counting penguins to transcribing manuscripts, there’s a project for everyone.
Missing Maps volunteers help to map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people. Many of the places where disasters occur are ‘missing’ from any map and first responders lack the information to make decisions regarding relief efforts.
Furlonteer connects skilled professionals with remote volunteer opportunities. If you’ve been furloughed, are taking time out, searching for your next role, or employed with time to spare they have opportunities for everyone.
Remember – many people doing small actions can make a big impact!