Charitable Christmas - Our pick of 5 charities that we think deserve your support


As Christmas approaches and everyone counts down to the days where they can spend quality time with loved ones, eating, drinking and being merry and sharing gifts with family and friends, we ask that this Christmas you consider extending your love, kindness and gifts to those beyond your immediate circle to some people, charities and causes that would really benefit from a helping hand.

The Windrush Justice Fund

2018 has been the year that the Windrush generation became headline news and familiar to all in the UK, sadly for the wrong reasons. Whilst this year marked the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush arriving on Britain's shores with Caribbean passengers who were eager to help re-build the 'mother country' following WWII, and as such should have been cause for celebration - of those pioneering early migrants who helped significantly in the aftermath of the war and also changed the face of British culture (with new sounds, tastes and much more) forever.

The Windrush Justice Fund is a crowdfunding campaign which was launched by Patrick Vernon OBE in April during the height of what is now known as the Windrush Scandal. As outlined on the Go Fund Me page, the focus of the fund is to raise money and provides a small grant scheme to cover the following key aims: • Focus and target to organisations/networks around the country that are currently or established doing additional free legal advice sessions for Windrush Generation and other Commonwealth citizens. • Encourage and support migrant and third sector to engage with those affected by the Windrush Scandal to extend their offer and services to meet the increase in case work

The target is to raise £20,000, which is well within reach by the close of the year if enough people donate in the coming weeks. To make a donation and help stop the injustice being done to the Windrush Generation visit:

https://uk.gofundme.com/windrush-justice-fund

Black Cultural Archives

Located in Brixton, the BCA (Black Cultural Archives) centre is the only national institution for Black history and culture in Britain. Unfortunately, like many other charity organisations, BCA faces serious financial challenges after the end of its Heritage Lottery funding.

Since opening, BCA has hosted a number of fascinating and varied exhibitions focused on Black British history and culture and with its shop, cafe and space available for hire has proved a much-needed centre for those seeking a great understanding what the Black British experience is and to hold events that celebrate the best our community has to offer. With their We Are One campaign, BCA is seeking support 'from everyone who wants to embed the heritage of African and Caribbean people in its rightful place at the heart of British history and culture.' As outlined on their website, 'As identity and inclusion continue to be challenged, the stories BCA helps to uncover are more crucial than ever. To ensure we have a legacy to leave to future generation, BCA has launched our WE ARE ONE campaign to secure the investment needed for a financially sustainable future. We invite individuals, families, companies, foundations and other organisations to help secure the future of BCA and a treasured legacy for future generations.'

You can donate to #BackBCA by texting BCAT30 £1, £5 or £10 to 70070 or by visiting www.bcadonate.org

Black Ticket Project

Founded by arts producer Tobi Kyeremateng, Black Ticket Project is an initiative designed to improve diversity among theatre audiences by making the theatre more accessible to young black people. The idea came after Tobi saw a performance of Inua Ellams' 'Barber Shop Chronicles' back in 2016 at the National Theatre - a play which explores the bonds and conversations that exist in black barber shops across world. Although the show was incredible, for Tobi something didn't sit quite right - 'it felt like something was missing in the audience development of the show.' With the help of friends Tobi set about putting this right. Reaching out to potential theatre goers via social media, Tobi paid for 30 young black people to go and see the show.

What started as a small self-funded project has since grown fairly rapidly, with a clear demand for what the Black Ticket Project is offering. Earlier this year Tobi officially partnered with the National Theatre to fundraise for over 250 young black people to see Natasha Gordon's 'Nine Night' - within just 3 days she had raised almost £2500, an incredible achievement. Thanks to the Black Ticket Project over 1,000 black youngsters have now seen some of the top plays touring in the UK, some of whom perhaps had never been to the theatre before or hadn't been able to afford to go to these plays. To be able to continue this fantastic work, Black Ticket Project is looking at different ways of making the project sustainable. One way they are hoping to do this is by looking for dedicated patreons who can offer continual financial support. If becoming a patreon is too much of a financial commitment but you would still like to support the project, you can also make a one-off donation (of any amount).

To make a one-off donation visit: https://www.paypal.me/btproject

Or, to become a patreon, go to: https://www.patreon.com/blackticketproject

Brixton Soup Kitchen

Brixton Soup Kitchen, as the name suggests, is a Brixton based service for the homeless and people in need. Although based in Brixton however, the charity helps people who are from London and surrounding areas.

Open daily to the public, the soup kitchen offers somewhere warm, hot meals and drinks and also legal advise and also has people who go out to reach those who are unable to make it in to the centre.

Brixton Soup Kitchen is completely staffed by volunteers and reliant on donations. You can help out in a number of ways:

Donating food items (please ensure that they are non-perishable goods) or toiletries and clothes (please ensure that are in good condition). Before donating at the Soup Kitchen please email brixtonsoupkitchen@gmail.com

Making a monetary donation - either visit their Get Funding page, or email brixtonsoupkitchen@gmail.com

If you would like to fundraise for the Soup Kitchen, please email them at brixtonsoupkitchen@gmail.com with your fundraising ideas

Volunteering your time - Voluntary activities could include fundraising, administration, assisting with cooking, befriending and more. Please note the Soup Kitchen is only open on weekdays from 10am to 2pm. For individuals who want to apply email brixtonsoupkitchen@gmail.com, and include the following information:

Name

Age

Work/Volunteer Experience

Availability

Potential Trial Date

Inside Out UK

Inside Out UK is an organisation that promotes mental health and positive well-being through creativity. "No one is immune to developing mental health problems, yet it is often the case that people are not actively working on improving their mental health- mainly due to lack of knowledge, understanding and the huge stigma that is attached. Inside Out UK is a chance for young people to learn and acquire skills that can help develop healthy minds. We are all about prevention- that's why we want to help before it's too late," says founder Vanessa Boachie.

Inside Out UK's aim is 'to increase mental health awareness amongst young people and create a supportive environment where everyone can talk about and find solutions to deal with their mental health no matter what stage of the journey they are at. By merging psychoeducation with creativity, we educate, engage and entertain. We want to equip and empower young people with the knowledge and practical skills to improve their mental health through our programmes, activities, events, theatre productions and much more. This supports our overall mission which is to help young people develop healthy minds and reduce their rick of developing mental health problems.'

Last year Inside Out UK put on a production called 'P for Pressure' exploring how pressure and stress can affect a person's mental health, following the journey of a talented young man who is working towards achieving his goal of being a successful music artist but faces many challenges on the way, over time proving damaging for his mental health and setting him on a new path of self-discovery. This year's events featured a Mental Health Panel Discussion & Networking Event facilitated by mental health professionals and advocates, where attendees were encouraged to share practical tips that can help improve mental health and wellbeing, and a series of workshops for Mental Health Awareness Week that were targeted to help tackle stress - through dance, yoga and music.

By donating to Inside Out UK you will help raise money for events and workshops:

https://www.insideoutorg.co.uk/donate

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