Friday, 21 June 2013

Small is beautiful

Written by James Jacobs, Communications Apprentice at Nottingham CVS, a Full member organisation of One East Midlands

This is the last day of Small Charities Week – a national week established to raise the profile of the thousands and thousands of small charities throughout the UK. Naturally, the East Midlands has its fair share of these.

Oxfam, Save the Children, the NSPCC – There are plenty of big charities in the ‘household names’ league that often get the media’s attention. However, underneath these gargantuan organisations there are many small, less visible charities often working below the radar but delivering a plethora of great work.

One of the real joys of working in the Voluntary and Community Sector is seeing the brilliant work that these small charities do. More often than not they are the groups that keep communities ticking – they cover a huge gamut of activities.

Here are just three examples of the fantastic work that small charities do:

  • Take Double Impact, a Nottinghamshire based charity. They work with young people who are recovering or stabilising from problematic drug or alcohol use. They offer information, support and advice, as well as helping them with their personal development, delivered one-to-one support in small groups.

  • Then there is the Pet Blood Bank UK. They collect blood from pet donors at collection sessions throughout the UK. The blood donated is taken to a processing unit in Loughborough where it is processed into red blood cells and plasma products.  It is then stored, ready to be supplied to veterinary practices.

  • Crowland Cares is a charity that provides additional comfort and support for people in the Crowland area of South Lincolnshire who have health or social care needs. They provide information, transport to and from hospitals and surgeries, help shopping and filling in forms and letters.

Groups such as those mentioned are more flexible than large, sometimes cumbersome organisations. Though their budgets may not be as large as Oxfam or Save the Children, they are just as passionate about doing their bit for society.  Small charities are developed from and respond to local and niche needs and therefore bring with them a vibrant and committed army of dedicated volunteers (and volunteering opportunities).  All the household names once started in this way and supporting the growth of these valuable organisations is essential for a functional and civil society.

So, as the title says, small is beautiful. 

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