There are hundreds of Gloucestershire charities doing incredible work to care for, support and improve the quality of life of people across the county – from looking after our elderly to our very youngest, to creating communities and protecting our wildlife and countryside.
In this hot list, SoGlos shares 19 different ways you can help your community in 2022 – whether it’s through donating your time, energy and skills or your money.
Donate to St James’s City Farm Gloucester
It costs £70,000 a year to run this modest inner city centre farm that delivers its own special brand of education and community-making magic for young and old alike. A £100 donation will pay for a vet to visit and treat a sick animal, £50 helps to buy tools essential to maintain the animals’ homes, £25 helps towards buying food for the animals, £10 funds a child’s life-changing pony riding experience and £5 pays for a bale of hay and straw.
Leave a legacy in your will to Lilian Faithfull Care
Cheltenham-based elderly and dementia care charity, Lilian Faithfull Care, is proud to provide a ‘home for life’ for every resident – with a promise that nobody will ever be asked to leave due to financial reasons. By leaving a legacy to Lilian Faithfull Care in your will, the charity can continue to provide exceptional elderly care to people who need it most.
Join Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and help safeguard nature in the county
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust cares for more than 40 nature reserves county-wide, helps protect wildlife habitats at risk of disappearing and works to create better and more connected spaces where people and wildlife can thrive. You can join Vitruvius and the charity’s 28,000 other members to get involved with activities, discover wonderful wild places and contribute to safeguarding vulnerable wildlife over 1,000 hectares. Its work relies on membership to generate funds.
Take on the Hope100 challenge for Winston’s Wish
Support Winston’s Wish in Cheltenham by running four miles every four hours for 24 hours as part of its Hope100 challenge this July 2022. During the course of 24 hours, more than 100 children will lose a parent, but with your support, Winston’s Wish can be there for them. Go solo or sign up as part of a relay team to share the load and raise vital funds for children who have been bereaved.
Pedal for Maggie’s
Starting and finishing at Maggie’s in Cheltenham, cycle a 40-mile or 60-mile route through the Cotswolds, passing jaw-dropping scenery, local landmarks, exhilarating hills and much needed refreshments in aid of this vital cancer charity. Advance registration costs £20 or £100 for a team of six. Advance ticket sales end on Thursday 15 September 2022 with the event on Sunday 18 September 2022. Participants can also join on the day between 8am and 10am for £25.
Read the news for The Cotswold Listener
The Cotswold Listener is a free talking newspaper for sight impaired people in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the North Cotswolds, with volunteer newsreader positions available at its Cheltenham studio. Established in 1978, it is a registered charity funded entirely by donations and is always looking for volunteers to carry out tasks including administration, news selecting, news reading, magazine presenting, sound recording, and copying the recordings to send to listeners.
Dine at Star Bistro and support National Star
Enjoy breakfast, lunch, light bites or a takeaway at the Star Bistro at Ullenwood and help support one of the county’s best-loved institutions, National Star – an independent specialist further education college for people with physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and associated learning difficulties. Enjoy a varied menu from crumpets, tea cakes and breakfast baps, to ploughman’s, pasta, coronation chicken and chips to tea, coffee, soft drinks, beers and ciders.
Take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Hope For Tomorrow
Hope for Tomorrow has been operating its mobile chemotherapy units since 2007 and encourages a series of fundraising events every year – including golf days, fun runs, skydives and wing walking. On Tuesday 20 September 2022, you can take part in its Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge – 25 miles of walking in 12 hours, 5,249 feet of ascent and descent over Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent. Registration is £50 and includes a t-shirt and training tips. A qualified mountain leader will be on hand on the day, too.
Make a donation to Home-Start Cotswolds
Many factors place pressure on families: coping with a new baby when you have post-natal depression; struggling to manage a family when mum, dad or a child has a physical disability, illness or mental health issues; coping with bereavement; managing children’s behaviour; financial hardship; family breakdown and so much more. Home-Start Cotswolds supports people to move forward with their lives – and supporters can use its Just Giving account to make a regular or one-off donation.
Support The Family Haven when you sell on eBay
Gloucester’s The Family Haven has been providing support and assistance to disadvantaged families across Gloucestershire from its day centre on Spa Road since 1988. You can support The Family Haven whenever you sell an item on eBay by choosing to donate between 10 and 100 per cent of the item’s final sale price to the charity, or simply make a donation. The money will help with everything from therapy, healthy eating and basic welfare advice to day trips – or simply providing a safe place.
Donate to Sara and help save lives across Gloucestershire
Despite Gloucestershire technically being on the coast, courtesy of the tidal River Severn, the RNLI doesn’t cover the treacherous waters north of the Severn Bridge. That job is left to Gloucestershire’s own, self-funded Severn Area Search and Rescue Association (Sara). They’re also there to assist the police should anyone go missing on dry land as well. The volunteers are on-call and use their skills to find the ones we love when no one else can – with all of their lifesaving work funded by donations.
Become a volunteer youth work assistant with GayGlos
Providing safe spaces for Gloucester’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people, GayGlos is looking for youth work assistants to help run activities where the city’s LGBTQIA+ youth can feel confident, while also acting as a positive role model. Anyone with a few hours to spare at the weekend can apply.
Play golf or go shooting for the Nelson Trust
Join ex-England and Gloucester rugby captain Mike Tindall for the Nelson Trust’s main fundraiser of 2022 – its golf day at Minchinhampton Golf Course on Friday 2 September 2022. Or on Thursday 4 August 2022, you can also take part in the shooting day at Berkeley Estate, followed by a dinner and auction to raise money for the charity, which helps builds belief, hope and long-term recovery to people whose lives have been torn apart by addiction and the multiple and complex needs that come with it.
Buy an item from Scoo-B-Doo’s wish list for newborns and mums in Gloucester
Neonatal charity Scoo-B-Doo provides equipment to help mums and their newborns at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital – from small gifts and stethoscopes costing a few pounds; breast pumps, intravenous pumps and monitoring equipment costing into the thousands; all the way up to incubators and ventilators for premature babies costing up to £20,000 each. Scoo-B-Doo has a wish list of items that people can buy to donate to help new mums and their babies get the best start.
Cook a meal for Gloucester Feed The Hungry
Gloucester Feed The Hungry provides takeaway bags of home cooked meals for people who are struggling in the city. Businesses can donate food like fresh fruit and vegetables, while individuals can volunteer to cook or bake too. Gloucester Feed The Hungry has become an institution, seeing its profile soar through the pandemic as it also supported front-line workers, the homeless, struggling individuals and families by providing them with free healthy, nutritious food.
Answer the phones on the GRASAC helpline
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre operates a telephone helpline for women and girls who have suffered or are at risk of suffering sexual violence. The service is always recruiting female volunteers to answer the phones, provide an empathetic ear and a non-judgemental attitude for women and girls in Gloucester when they need it most.
Join the many flocking to one of Pied Piper Appeal’s popular events
A charity making incredible efforts to support sick and disabled children in Gloucestershire, Pier Piper has calendar of eclectic fundraising events throughout the year which you can attend and support – from its golf day, this year at Brickhampton Court Golf Complex; open gardens at Highnam Court, Gloucester; to Gloucester Rugby player Billy Twelvetrees’ Testimonial Golf Day in August 2022 – plus an online auction in September and Christmas Concert in December.
Become a member of Vale Wildlife Hospital
For just £20 per year, members of Vale Wildlife Hospital can help the charity cover its £40,000 monthly running costs and help it rescue and treat sick and injured animals – from barn owl chicks to badgers. The charity treats more than 7,500 wildlife casualties every year. 2021 was the busiest in its 38-year history, on top of dealing with a ‘huge financial loss’ inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic – so every membership helps.
Join the Cotswold Riding for the Disabled community
Cotswold Riding for the Disabled has created a community that comes together to ride ponies, or to help others to ride.
According to the Prestbury charity, contact with ponies can offer ‘excellent therapy’ to those who live with a disability, with riding providing physical benefits, improvements in confidence and social skills. It’s always on the lookout for volunteers and for ways to help generate funds and raise its profile.