BNC Review of Charities


KEEN Oxford

What it does:

KEEN runs social, recreational, and sporting activities for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities or special needs, because they believe that society should be fully inclusive for everyone.

 

What you can do:

You can volunteer to help run the sessions, all of which take place locally in Oxford. You can choose to work with kids or adults, participate in sports or arts and crafts, and pick a day that suits you.

 

Commitment required:

Very flexible, since you choose to sign up for however many sessions you’d like. Each activity ranges between an hour to an afternoon in length.

 

How to find out more:

The website: https://www.keenoxford.org/

BNC volunteers: Rosaline de Koning, Uma Vaidya

Project SOUP

What it does:

This project runs termly micro-funding dinners to support local projects, in which charities present their cause during a soup dinner and get the chance to win donations from the local community.

 

What you can do:

You can attend termly events to learn more about the charities and what they do, as well as volunteering at the termly events by being involved in advertisement before the dinner and helping to cook the dinner itself.

 

Commitment required:

Just one afternoon and evening a term, often between 4 and 10pm.

 

How to find out more:

The website: https://projectsoupoxford.weebly.com/

BNC volunteers: Eleanor Pendle

2nd Oxford Scout Group

What it does:

This is a scout group with young people between 6 and 14 years old. They do everything from crafts to camping, developing young people’s teamwork abilities, skills for life, and confidence.

 

What you can do:

You can volunteer to help out with a section (such as the Beavers, Cubs, and possibly Scouts), once a week during term time.

 

Commitment required:

Commitment is only a couple of hours a week, and always at the same time and same night.

 

How to find out more:

The website: https://scouts.org.uk/get-involved/groups/2nd-oxford/

BNC volunteers: Kristina Fox

Sing Inside - Oxford

What it does:

Sing Inside is an organisation that promotes music-based educational and rehabilitative initiatives by bringing singing workshops into Prisons in and around Oxfordshire.

 

What you can do:

Students can volunteer at the singing workshops themselves, helping the prisoners to learn songs, or they can help fundraise for the prison visits (mainly to cover the travel expenses of hiring a minibus).

 

Commitment required:

1 or 2 visits a term, which last the whole day (they're usually at the start or end of term so don't clash with anything else), as well as fundraising at any time during term and for however long!

 

How to find out more:

The website: https://www.singinside.org/

BNC volunteers: Bethy Reeves

It Gets Brighter

What it does:

It Gets Brighter runs events on the ground in Oxford, nationally and internationally, but its main space is its website. Some famous faces as well as many other wonderful people share a video message of support to those suffering with mental health issues; the main idea is to foster an atmosphere of hope, as it is very difficult when suffering with your mental health to believe it will ever get brighter.

 

What you can do:

IGB has a small student team here in Oxford, who take part in meetings about improvements to the website, run events which encourage people to talk openly about mental health and to make a video message and (if they want to and feel comfortable doing so) make videos of their own. The charity also has lots of social media platforms and is looking to expand its outreach this year, so whether you want to join the team or not, any awareness you can raise would have a real impact.

 

Commitment required:

This really varies depending on what you want to do! If you take on a specific titled role, you may have regular duties with an average number of hours made clear when you apply. As an ordinary team member, it can be as little as an hour or two a week, as you choose when to take on extra tasks.

 

How to find out more:

The website: http://www.itgetsbrighter.org/

BNC volunteers: Charlotte Wriglesworth

Jacari

What it does:

Jacari is a project that provides free home tutoring to children who have English as an additional language and are at risk of falling behind in school.

 

What you can do:

You can volunteer both as a tutor, in which you meet with a student each week for personalised teaching (with the project providing ample teaching resources), as well as getting involved in fundraising and awareness.

 

Commitment required:

If working as a tutor, you are required to do a session once a week for one full term. Fundraising is as much or little commitment as you’d like!

 

How to find out more:

The website: https://www.jacari.org/

BNC volunteers: Zara Naseer, Miriam Cakebread

Nightline

What it does:

Nightline provides trained, anonymous student listeners from 8pm to 8am every night of term, for listening, support, and information. Last year they introduced an online messaging service as well, and number of calls have more than doubled since. They reach an inaccessible population of the student body for college welfare – it’s an invaluable resource.

 

What you can do:

You can volunteer and train as a student caller for this valuable service.

 

Commitment required:

You will be asked to do around 2 nightshifts a term.

 

How to find out more:

The website: https://oxfordnightline.org/

BNC volunteers: Ella Dunlop

Education Partnerships Africa

What it does:

This project works in East Africa to improve the quality of secondary school education

 

What you can do:

The project is run by volunteering students from Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick and London Universities. Students can also donate directly.

 

Commitment required:

Volunteering is typically carried out over the summer during a 10-week period in Kenya and Uganda.

 

How to find out more:

The website: http://epafrica.org.uk/

BNC volunteers: Ines Rayment-Gomez

Oxford Hub - Early Years

What it does:

This project aims to make a long-lasting difference and have fun while volunteering with children and families, since the first five years of a child’s life are the most important.

 

What you can do:

The Messy Play part of Early Years Volunteering is on Thursdays and Fridays, as is a way for little kids, ages 0-4, to have time out of the house with other kids, allowing them to engage their curiosity, learn and socialise in a fun controlled environment. Sessions run most days throughout term and over the vacation, and they always need a few volunteers each day to run the sessions along with community centre staff. You get to play with the kids, organise games for them and read to them, helping them develop and have fun. You also get to talk to the parents, providing them with much needed social interaction and rest outside the home.

 

Commitment required:

As much or as little as you want, but ideally a few hours a week.

 

How to find out more:

The website: https://www.oxfordhub.org/activities/early-years

BNC volunteers: Jack Munns

Refugee Community Kitchen

What it does:

Refugee Community Kitchen serves hot, nourishing meals to displaced people in the UK & abroad. Entirely volunteer-run and donation-based, they are committed to serving wholesome food with dignity and respect to people in need. Conditions in Northern France for refugees sleeping rough are horrendous and RCK provide not just food, but also a moment in the day where people can gather and connect. The food distributions recreate a sense of community and provide a safe space for medical and legal services, safeguarding groups and other support. Their outreach programme in London is equally important in helping people on the streets there, ensuring the same core values of dignity, respect and kindness.

 

What you can do:

Lots of ways! RCK are always in need of volunteers – going to Calais to volunteer can be done on very little funds, and the project would be delighted to have you. If you can’t get to France, they always need volunteers in London! Fundraising events are a great way to help out, as is donating and raising awareness. Calais is often forgotten in the media, so it’s important for people to hear what’s going on. There is also a calendar for sale each year: 'Our hard-working crew of chefs have scaled down the nourishing recipes that are cooked in our kitchens for thousands of people, so that you can make them at home. Not only will these make for the perfect gift, but each calendar will provide 18 hot, nutritious meals for displaced people this coming winter.'

 

Commitment required:

Completely depends on what you want to do – from going for a few weeks to volunteer, to sharing facebook posts online.

 

How to find out more:

The website: http://www.refugeecommunitykitchen.com/

BNC volunteers: Katie Friedli Walton