4 Small Charities That Do Amazing Work [International Day of Charity]

It’s September and The International Day of Charity is on the 5th of the month, so here at The Baytree Centre, we wanted to give a shout out to other incredible charities doing amazing work. As a charity focused on women and girls’ education, empowerment and mentoring, we strongly value recognising the brilliant success stories of other charities with similar goals. 

We believe every woman and girl has the right to reach her full potential in a safe and inclusive space. So, here are 4 of our favourite small charities working on issues close to our heart – the empowerment, education and mentoring of children! 

The Girls’ Network 

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The Girls’ Network is a charity dedicated to inspiring and empowering girls from disadvantaged communities by connecting them with mentors and professional role models who are women. They believe all girls should be supported to realise their ambitions, discover their self-worth and develop their capacity to shape their world. These aspirations should not be curtailed by their gender, ethnicity, background or parental income. 

Research has shown that forming personal relationships has a big impact on challenging stereotypes and expectations. That’s why, in partnership with secondary schools and colleges across England, The Girls’ Network has matched 1,164 girls aged 14-19 with a volunteer mentor.

Their impact has been astounding: 91% of mentees on the 2022 programme said virtual mentoring had improved their confidence, 93%  believe their mentor has helped them feel more positive about the future, and 75% said virtual mentoring helped them focus more on school work. 

The Doorstep Library

The Doorstep Library is a literacy charity whose mission is to bring the magic of books and the joy of reading directly into the homes of children aged 0-11, across London and beyond. Being able to read and write – but more importantly to enjoy it – is a crucial factor in a child’s development, from ensuring they acquire self-confidence to equipping them with the essential skills they will need in the future. 

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But, one in four 11 year olds leave primary school unable to read and write properly, 1 in 3 parents never read their child a bedtime story and 1 in 5 children in England don’t own a book.

The Doorstep Library has decided to address these needs by working with volunteers who visit children’s homes, equipped with the most appropriate book for every child and ready to build a relationship with the whole family. The books chosen by volunteers feature characters from a diverse range of backgrounds and situations that children will be able to identify with. This helps to open their eyes to other cultures, backgrounds and life experiences, all whilst forging strong bonds with the wider reading and volunteering community. 

Dandelion Time 

Dandelion Time is a nature-based charity that engages with children who may be struggling with their emotional wellbeing or mental health, along with their carers. There are many children between the ages of 6 and 13 who have faced challenging experiences such as bereavement, trauma, bullying, abuse or neglect. This may have resulted in them becoming vulnerable, withdrawn or excluded from school. 

These children are invited to attend Dandelion Time’s practical farm and craft activities with their carers, parents or siblings. These activities include caring for the farm’s animals and gardens, completing pottery, woodwork and craft projects, and cooking together using food they have grown and harvested. This has proven incredibly effective at helping children and their parents have stronger, more healed and happier relationships: 80% of children had improved behaviour at home after the program. 

Free Cakes for Kids

Free Cakes for Kids is a movement of local volunteers and community groups with one key belief: every child deserves a birthday cake. Many parents and families in the UK find it difficult to provide a birthday cake for their loved ones because of time, financial and resource constraints. The Free Cakes for Kids community therefore decided to step in and have been baking for hundreds of families with children between 1 and 18 since 2008. 

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There is now a significant number of volunteers all over the country that have mastered community organisation and are able to give back by mentoring newcomers. By working this way, Free Cakes for Kids has managed to create a movement everyone can join to make a difference without having a small central group of organisers. 

Anyone can sign up to bake a cake by checking the list of groups, getting in touch and seeing if there are any volunteering opportunities. It’s the little things that count! 

We are always trying to use our platform to give more visibility to different initiatives and create a strong community of support! Help us spread the word about the good out there!

Also check out all the wonderful new volunteering opportunities that have arrived here at The Baytree Centre website.

 

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Sparklers Club

supports girls in their final term of Year 6 and in year Year 7 with the transition from primary to secondary school; Tuesdays from 4:30 – 5:45 pm  

Junior Spark Club

for girls in years 8-9; Thursdays from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. 

Spark Club

for girls in years 10 and above; Wednesdays from 5:00 -7:00 pm.