VOLUNTEER COLUMN: Make a massive difference at a small charity near you

Small Charity Week logo

Small Charity Week logo

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This week is Small Charity Week, organised by the Foundation for Social Improvement, which is a celebration of the incredible work done by small charities across the UK; work which makes a massive difference to people’s lives and communities and yet often goes unnoticed.

By volunteering just a few hours of your time to a small charity near you, you could make a massive difference too. Here are some of the local small charities you could become involved with.

Littlehampton Shopmobility exists to ensure that people with mobility problems enjoy their shopping experience and help to maintain their independent lives.

They provide the hire and sale of wheelchairs and scooters and the sale of items to improve the quality of life of those with a disability.

They are looking for people to work in the shop; serving customers, explaining/demonstrating products and ordering stock, as well as people to join their board of Trustees.

Launch Pad is a free Breakfast Club that runs before school every day during term-time.

Children who attend get a healthy nutritious breakfast that includes cereals, toast, yoghurts and fresh fruit, plus opportunities for games or craft sessions before cleaning their teeth and joining the Walking Bus to school.

Breakfast Club Helpers are required to assist with tasks such as: preparing fruit, setting the tables, helping the children to make informed choices, joining in with craft activities, clearing away and encouraging children to brush their teeth.

Help is required from 7.30am to 9am, term-time only.

Project 82 is an Information Shop for young people aged 13-25 offering advice, support, information and mentoring to young people in a non-judgemental and empowering way; covering issues such as sexual health, mental well-being, alcohol, drugs, housing and homelessness, family and relationships, leisure and travel, volunteering, education, employment and training, money and debt, justice and equality, legal rights and advocacy.

Volunteers help run the evening sessions with trained youth workers and are expected to work with other staff on a programme of activities, bringing in new ideas and approaches to working with challenging groups of young people.

Each volunteer is encouraged to work a minimum of two hours, one evening per week, but any time a committed volunteer can give is most welcome.

The Angmering Youth Forum has been set up in response to a request from the youth of the village to provide them with a meeting place.

The primary aim is the provision of a bus converted to a chill out area for the youth to use.

The bus can be used by other villages to obtain maximum usage and make it more cost effective.

The purpose of this programme is to deliver life skills and diversion from anti-social behaviour, but it is also about having fun.

They are looking for more volunteers to train up to drive the bus to increase its usage.

Volunteers will need to be over 25 years of age and hold a clean driving license (although an HGV or PSV licence is not required.)

For more information on any of the above roles, please call Volunteer Now! on 01243 864220, or visit www.do-it.org.

For bite-sized volunteering of ten days or less please visit http://skillshare-westsussex.org.uk/.