Spelthorne

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Lockdown Loneliness

Do you know an older person who is living alone, rarely leaves the house, has recently suffered a bereavement, is in poor health, disabled, has sight or hearing loss, or doesn’t seem to have close family living nearby?

You could ask them if they need any help with tasks such as shopping, posting letters or picking up prescriptions and medicines.  Practical help may be an absolute blessing to them but what if they really need a chance to talk to someone for more than just a few words on the doorstep?  And they want to have a good old chinwag over a cup of tea to cheer themselves up?

During lockdown telephone befriending was a fantastic way to connect isolated people with their community & offered by many national and local groups .  Now with lockdown easing, local befriending services are opening up where possible to offer face-to-face meetings between befrienders and befriendees, socially distanced in the garden, the park or at a café, but now giving that closer contact.

Your contribution could be as simple as a weekly telephone call to an isolated older person, or extend to regular home visits for a chat and to help with shopping.  Read the difference it made to one person below:

“I lost my wife a year ago and had given up on most of the clubs and things we used to do together, so when lockdown happened in March I had already run down the number of friends we used to be in contact with.  We never had kids so I’ve no family local, just a couple of brothers up north.  It hit me really really hard not being able to go out – although I’m 80 I still enjoy walks and wandering round the town centre.

Suddenly I found myself totally isolated from everyone it felt.  The only contact I had for the first month was when the council arranged for food parcels but I felt so lonely and sad by myself. Everything on the tele was about the virus, virus this virus that, it made me really anxious to even go in the garden.

Then the lady from the council suggested me having a befriender to phone me each week. I didn’t want to at first but then I began to enjoy the calls. I don’t have a computer so we just talked on the phone, me and the young lad. Didn’t know what he looked like until things got easier with lockdown and Jack came over and sat in the garden with me.  Can’t tell you how great it is to have that to look forward to each week.  He stays quite a while, sometimes more than an hour, but it’s not difficult to fill the time.  We talk about all sorts of things and laugh a lot. “

There are a number of local charities offering befriending services if you know someone who needs support or you would like to volunteer:

Runnymede: Runnymede Befriending Service

Spelthorne: Age UK Surrey

Surrey Heath: Time to Talk and Surrey Heath Age Concern

15 sec without words

The 15 Second Bounce

Charities must diversify their fundraising strategy, raise their digital profile, increase their supporter base and generate online donations – an out of date website and ignoring social media is not an option.

Your website should be the centre of your communications. Visitors to your site are interested in the people you help, how you help them and how they can get involved.

Please remember that donors fund people not organisations.

You have 15 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention – this is called the 15 second bounce. In those 15 seconds you must stir emotion, empathy and invite engagement.

Menu Options: You should have no more than 5 menu options with short, call to action words:

About    Get Help    Get Involved   Contact Us   Donate

Mission statement: The message on your home page must be simple and immediate ‘We’re ending homelessness and rebuilding lives’

Fundraising: It must be obvious to the donor who you are fundraising for. Donors and funders will check your site to see what you do with your money. Tell beneficiary stories and have project pages with images and totals raised. Keep pages and interest fresh by updating regularly.

Donations: Your donate button should be in the top right of your website and visible on every page. The button should be a different colour from other menu options. No more than 3 clicks to donate from anywhere on your site. Where possible offer different donation values and tell the donor what their money buys.

Tell Stories and Use Images: Site visitors want to hear about real people and their lives. They want to hear stories and quotes from volunteers and beneficiaries about how your intervention improves lives and makes a difference. If you have vulnerable beneficiaries, try copying the image creativity of larger charities to get around the problem of showing faces. Don’t bury your stories deep in the website – they should be easy to find.

Calls to Action: Every web page, email, Tweet, Facebook post should have a call to action – donate, volunteer, contact, support, sign up, share.

Mobile Friendly: Google penalises websites which don’t display well on mobiles or tablets. In 2018 25% of all online donations were made on a mobile.

What are you for? Who do you benefit? Where are they? Show faces and tell stories. You have 15 seconds before I bounce.

FB live streaming

Livestreaming Charity Events

Charities are using livestreaming for fundraising events with great ingenuity and success.

Event Ideas:

Has your charity had a successful event that could be made virtual or could you try something new? ow.ly/4ywM50Ae06N 

Choose the right platform:

Facebook Live – people have and use Facebook accounts and are more likely to find your event because they are on the platform anyway http://ow.ly/eYiM50AfgoO

Twitch – known as a gaming platform it has increasingly been used for charity fundraisers an allows fundraising goals and rewards for donations http://ow.ly/paSE50AfgoM

YouTube – best and least technical option with built-in features including a virtual tip jar for donations http://ow.ly/awoT50AfgoL

Zoom and other meeting platforms – connect and communicate with clients, donors and supporters http://ow.ly/Y1KJ50AfgoK

Sell Tickets:

The most effective platforms can help with ticketing, marketing, bookings, payments and donations, giving out essential information about the event http://ow.ly/RtXr50AhzD2

Use Subtitles:

90% of people watch videos with the sound off. There are free online tools such as Clideo, Adobe Spark to add titles to your videos and YouTube also generates subtitles.

Call to Action CTA:

Tap into the energy from your event to inspire people to take action. Tell them what do you want them to do – buy tickets for another event, donate, volunteer, sign up, share on their social media?

St John’s Ambulance have a great guide on livestreaming your event http://ow.ly/rEcK50AfgoN

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Donate to foodbanks in Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath

Local foodbanks need your support with donation of non-perishable food or a financial donation.

Runnymede: 

Runnymede Foodbank

Food donations to any of the food bank centres or at 95, Guildford Street, Chertsey.

Make a financial donation via their Virgin Money page link on the Runnymede Foodbank website.

Spelthorne:

Community Foodbank – Sunbury and Shepperton:

Food donations to Saviours Church, 205 Vicarage Rd, Sunbury-on-Thames TW16 7TP.

Contact: community@stsaviourssunbury.org.uk

Make a financial donation to the Community Foodbank on the St Saviour’s Sunbury Community Foodbank website

Manna Foodbank

Food donation points https://www.mannafoodbank.co.uk/where_to_donate_

Contact: Jean Pinkerton on 07770 478778 or info@mannafoodbank.org.uk

Make a financial donation to (please ensure your donation is referenced ‘Foodbank’ or ‘Manna Foodbank’):

HSBC Walton on Thames,
PCC of St Mary & St Peter
sort code 40-52-40
acc number 00033500

Stanwell Foodbank 

Donations of food to the The Pavilion, Cambria Gardens, Stanwell, TW19 7ER

Contact Anna-Marie Goodacre on 07429 584286 or info@stanwellfoodbank.org.uk

The Salvation Army – Ashford

Donations to be placed by the main door at the Community Centre, Woodthorpe Road, Ashford, TW15 3HY.  Food bank opening hours 9am – 12 midday from Monday to Friday.

Contact : Cath Maughan on 01784 423424 or staines@salvationarmy.org.uk

Financial donations by cash and cheque should be sealed in an envelope and posted through the letterbox. Anyone requiring a receipt should include their name and address in the envelope.

Surrey Heath:

Besom Food Bank

Non perishable food donations to High Cross Church, Knoll Rd, Camberley GU15 3SY

Financial donations via the High Cross Church Camberley website.

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