Spotlight on Tim

April 13, 2016

Tim, a guardian with us in High Wycombe, has always gone above and beyond the 16 hours of volunteering that we ask of everyone that we house. Since October he has jumped into a variety of volunteering opportunities – from heritage preservation to fundraising.

Tim has been involved with RAF Henlow, in particular he has been working towards the Families Day, Flying Display and Youth Engineering event, which is taking place on 2nd July 2016. The aim of the event is to educate and raise money for forces charities, where this year Veterans Aid is the lead charity.

veterans-aid-logo (1)Tim says ‘I am involved in two main aspects of the event. Firstly in organising and formulating the schools engineering competition which has taken up a great deal of time. Secondly I have been contacting many of my colleagues in the air display world to arrange displays as part of the air show.’  

He has previously been involved in fundraising evenings, including the FTSE Forces Charity Boxing Night at Banqueting House, and he is hoping to repeat that success in the first half of 2016 and has been finding organisations and aircraft owners willing to donate exciting and valuable prizes to the event.

Another aspect of property guardianship is based around being good neighbours for the people in the local communities. Tim has also taken this in his stride, bonding with a group of teenagers in order to prevent littering – which has led him to be invited for a chat and a slice of pizza! He also bought a team of boys two football goals, as they were using large stones and bricks to create a goal in the road, which was dangerous for cars and other vehicles.  He has become well known among the residents, and has taken the time to get to know them.

Tim has thrown himself into village life, and also volunteers at Duns Tew Village Hall:

village hall‘I have organised the next Village Hall Coffee Morning to raise funds for a charity close to my heart, Veterans Aid. The organisation helps ex-service personnel who have fallen on hard times, offering accommodation in their hostels and advice and support in finding full time employment. The coffee mornings have all been organised by different individuals for different causes, selling coffee, tea and cakes. I have had to learn to bake all over again, but it now must be said I make a pretty mean flapjack in a variety of flavours and no broken teeth! Many people from the village have also baked cakes. This should be a fun day!’

Altogether the event raised £185 for Veterans Aid and the village hall also gained £99.

Tim is a fantastic guardian, and he enjoys it too. He says, ‘I must admit this is rather fun. There is more I can do locally and I will endeavour to find more opportunities to make a community impact.’

Get involved

  • If you’re interested in volunteering and becoming a guardian with dot dot dot, apply here today
  • Keep up to date with our news and our guardians’ volunteering experiences on Facebook and Twitter

Making London better with SOUP.

November 14, 2013

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London is in the top ten of the world’s richest cities, and yet it has higher rates of poverty than anywhere else in England. At a time when the voluntary and community sector are facing cuts to their funding, how can we address growing inequalities in our city?

For the past few months, I’ve been involved with a number of other volunteers in an exciting new project, London SOUP, which aims to bring Londoners together in support of small, community-led projects in and for the city. The ultimate goal: to make London better through community action and interaction.

The idea to set up London Soup was inspired by the incredibly successful DetroitSOUP project, which last year raised raised over $12,000 for small businesses, nonprofits and individuals with ideas to help make the city better, whether it be through the arts, education, collaboration, social entrepreneurship, justice, or urban agriculture.

The idea of a SOUP is that it is a community dinner and micro-funding project, bringing local people together to share a meal and raise funds for small, community-led projects with a creative, environmental or social aim.

At a SOUP event we come together to eat as a community, and to hear from four different projects seeking to create social good. We eat delicious, home-made soup, salad and bread. We talk about the projects, our values, and what’s important to us. Importantly, in such a big and sometimes isolating city, we make new connections and new friends. We vote for the project that we like the best and, at the end of the night, we donate our door takings (£10 donation per person) to that project to help make it happen.

Even at this very early stage, we have been so overwhelmed by enthusiasm and support for the initiative. Ahead of our first SOUP event on 8th December we have bread donated by the Brick House Bakery in Peckham, and utensils and napkins donated by Nincomsoup on Old Street Roundabout.

One of the crucial things we need is people to pitch their great ideas for London. At London SOUP we are pretty open about what the project might be, as long as it has social value, and is public access – and benefits London in some way. Pitches could be from individuals, artists, activists or constituted projects involved in social justice, environmental work, community building, art, education, protest, urban agriculture – or any one of a hundred other ideas. If you have an idea, or know someone who has an idea that needs small-scale funding to get it off the ground, you can apply to pitch at a forthcoming London SOUP here.

We still don’t know how much money we’ll eventually raise but even a small grant of £50 – £100 can make a big difference to small, community-led projects. And then there’s the benefit that you can’t count: the value of bringing people together, connecting people, to share hope for the future of London and to make positive change happen in our neighbourhoods. For this, we don’t need money but people. We need you.

 

The very first London SOUP will be taking place on Sunday 8th December 2013, from 2pm – 5.00pm, at the Rotary Bar & Diner near Old Street and more information, including how to register can be found here.

If you’d like more information or want to know how you can get involved with London SOUP, please visit the website: http://londonsoup.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @SoupLondonUK. We’re still looking for an event sponsor and for soup ingredients, please do drop us a line on the I’d like to be involved page if you think you can help.

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