Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives of many individuals and communities, it has also shown the enormous generosity of local people and their genuine desire to support their neighbours. But it is not always easy to know how to provide that support. To solve that problem, Norfolk Community Foundation has launched Opportunities4Communities: an initiative making it easier for people to give their help and play a vital part in building our communities.
To solve that problem, Norfolk Community Foundation has launched Opportunities4Communities: an initiative making it easier for people to give their help and play a vital part in building our communities.
The Opportunities4Communities Facebook group is a place where offers of support and practical donations from individuals, businesses and organisations will be listed. Charities and community groups will be able to join the group and reply to any offers that would be of value to them and the people they work with.
“Whilst the charities we work with are always grateful for grants and funding, there are many other ways in which people can support them; Opportunities4Communities is about bringing together those who want to help, with those who need that support,” says Claire Cullens, Chief Executive of Norfolk Community Foundation. “It could be someone looking to get involved as a trustee of a charity or a company that would like to provide some professional advice for free. Or we might have been offered some fantastic office furniture or a team is keen to offer practical support with painting or gardening. From sacks of carrots or potatoes to use of a minibus or van: from an unused vacuum cleaner to home-cooked meals: we know that there will usually be a Norfolk charity or community group grateful for any help offered.”
If there is something they can benefit from, the charities and community groups who are members of the Facebook group will be able to contact the person or company who made the offer: it’s as simple as that.
Simon Wright is Chief Executive of Nelson’s Journey, a charity which provides support to bereaved children: “This initiative could really help local charities like Nelson’s Journey to access offers of help when we need it. There are so many organisations and individuals in the county who are able to offer something very specific, such as their resources or expertise, but it’s often unclear to them which charities would benefit. Charities will often be unaware of who is able to offer something that’s needed at the time they need it. By helping to connect charities with offers of help, this scheme has the potential to add to what charities can deliver in our communities and we look forward to the opportunities that it will provide to us.”
“There are so many people in Norfolk who are desperate to do something good for their community or neighbourhood, and part of our job is facilitate this. We are extremely excited to see Opportunities4Communities gather momentum and become the first stop for charities looking for support, and those who want to help,” concludes Claire Cullens.
Anyone wishing to get involved and support a local charity with time, services, resources, skills, equipment (anything apart from money) should email email@example.com or call 01603 623958. They will be asked to complete a short form detailing the support or item they would like to provide and, subject to it meeting brief criteria, Norfolk Community Foundation will post the offer on the noticeboard.