Charity of the Month
There are some great charities in the city who do amazing work supporting people, on a range of issues, and who deserve a bit more recognition for the work that they do.
My Charity of the Month is an ongoing effort to highlight, promote and celebrate the brilliant work that is carried out by so many local charities in Plymouth.
Each month, I will feature a charity on my website and social media channels to showcase their fantastic work and encourage people to give what they can to some great causes.
NOVEMBER 2023 – FIRST LIGHT SW
This month I am featuring First Light SW to showcase their fantastic work and encourage people to give what they can.
Recently I visited the First Light team to hear about the vital work of their sexual violence advisor team and Plymouth counselling service, which offer crucial support to those affected by sexual violence.
First Light are committed to helping everyone regardless of your gender, sexuality, abilities or cultural background, and they are independent of statutory agencies, such as the police. They have helped thousands of adults and children to lead safer lives, free from violence and abuse.
I am in awe of the incredible work that the team do and would encourage anyone who feels they may benefit from their services to reach out as help is available to those who need it.
OCTOBER 2023 – HORIZONS PLYMOUTH
This month I am featuring Horizons Plymouth to showcase their fantastic work and encourage people to give what they can. This amazing charity, from their base in Devonport, provide opportunities for young people to take part in sailing and powerboating which improves general wellbeing for them.
Not only do these young people get to experience sailing, but they support participants to gain confidence, improve their problem-solving skills and teamwork. This can have a huge and lasting impact on the young people’s transferable skills.
The testimonials from the young people speak for themselves:
“I never thought I would get the chance to sail… at first I was scared, and I came out confident and happy to do it again… I loved sitting on the side of the boat and getting splashed”
“Before I came to Horizons I was like really angry, and now I’ve just sort of like settled down a bit.”
“I loved putting my hand in the water as we went fast so it splashed me… I got to see the Hoe from the other side, I’d never been out there in the water before.”
With many children in Plymouth – Britain’s Ocean City – not having access to the sea, this charity offers a vital opportunity to connect our community to the ocean and remove those socio-economic access barriers.
SEPTEMBER 2023 – PLYMOUTH HEARTBEAT:
This month I am featuring Plymouth Heartbeat. September is a good month to display this brilliant organisation as they are celebrating their 30th birthday on 9 September – details of their celebration event are on their website below.
Plymouth Heartbeat was initially a support group set up to raise money for cardiac patients due to the lack of support available at the time – and since 1994 they have been affiliated with the British Heart Foundation, aiming to raise money to help and support cardiac patients on cardiac wards at Derriford Hospital.
They also offer exercise groups for cardiac patients and their carers, and support people with their rehabilitation, with facilities such as cardiovascular machines, Power Plate Exerciser, and other, lighter equipment to help with people’s rehabilitation.
Wishing Plymouth Heartbeat a very happy 30th birthday!
AUGUST 2023 – SAFE FAMILIES:
This month I am featuring Safe Families. Following the tragedy in Keyham in August 2021, the whole community pulled together to ensure everyone who needed it was supported, and the brilliant community work that Keyham is famous for has been continued since.
The hard work of organisations like Safe Families has meant that this support has also continued, with the charity working with 24 Keyham families via peer support and volunteers. These families did not have a support network, and so the charity trained and recruited 14 volunteers who provided a listening ear, reassurance and time with the children or young people.
Safe Families is still supporting families in Keyham and Ford and is looking to expand the area it works in, so I wanted to showcase their fantastic work and encourage people to give what they can.
JULY 2023 – STORYBOOK DADS:
This month I am featuring Storybook Dads to showcase their fantastic work and encourage people to give what they can to them.
I visited HMP Dartmoor recently to speak with the governor about plans for improving facilities at the prison and was pleased to see that the charity is still going strong, and in fact is now operating in around 100 prisons around the UK.
The organisation encourages parents in prison to get creative, supporting them to create photo frames, height charts and challenge charts, as well as recording bedtime stories, to send home to their children. The work that they do recognises that prisoners’ children have not committed a crime, and instead focusses on their relationship with their parents, reminding them that they are loved and the prisoners that they are valued as parents.
JUNE 2023 – PLYMOUTH DOMESTIC ABUSE SERVICES (PDAS)
This month I am featuring Plymouth Domestic Abuse Services (PDAS) to showcase their fantastic work and encourage people to give what they can to enable them to continue supporting those who have been victims of domestic abuse.
PDAS provide practical, non-judgemental support, advice and protection for all victims of domestic abuse. This support is offered to individuals and families, including confidential advice, one-to-one and group support sessions.
Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes in England and Wales, and I believe that the current criminal justice system is failing those who become victims of these crimes, which makes the work that PDAS do more important than ever.
You can contact the refuge on 01752 562286 or PDAS directly on 0800 458 2558.
Information on what services are offered is available here.
PDAS have an Amazon wish list, items from which are given to individuals and families living in refuge accommodation.