Monthly Archives: August 2013

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#Youngpeople today are living in a world which has changed dramatically. This is the digital era – the age of social media – whole lives are projected online via sites such as Facebook and Instagram. The world is rapidly evolving and young people are facing a life where terms like cyber-bullying, ‘Facebooking’ and ‘going viral’ are the norm. On top of this the opportunities to advance their lives and carve successful careers are limited compared to previous years, thanks to the relentless stagnation of our economy. Older generations are staying in work longer thanks to increased pension age and longer life spans and free higher education is a thing of the past, potentially restricting individuals from getting better job. Those who do go to university face enormous fees of up to £9000 a year and a lifetime riddled with debt. Many public sector organisations and private companies have reduced their apprenticeship schemes and youths are scrabbling in their hundreds and thousands for low or unpaid internships even if they have degrees.

Life is not easy for young people of today.

“Teenagers and young people have an unmapped mountain to climb and most of them already have grit under their fingernails from making a damn good try. We shouldn’t be bashing them – we should look a little harder at what we’ve done.”

But what about young people who are living in poverty, as well as facing the general problems of growing up in a recession-riddled digital age? Can we really blame the kids or are they victims of their era? In contrary to the (sometimes) mass perceived notion of young people – especially those who end up on benefits – is that this is their choice; their accountability. Most young people do not aspire to a life in the dole queue and want the opportunities many poverty-stricken baby-boomers had in their time. Social mobility is more inert than ever and blaming young people for their inability to progress is unfair and short sighted.

What can be done to help young people in poverty in the UK?

Many charities like No Limits, offer an olive branch and the prospect of enabling young people to take positive steps towards a better life – a future which may not have been deemed possible by the young person.

Thanks to the generous donations we’ve received and the money raised for No Limits, we have been able to raise some of the funds to send four young people to complete The Challenge Adventure Charities Rad Vlaanderen Stuttgart Challenge 2013 at the end of September, which is in aid of Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

By including disadvantaged young people in this challenge we are supporting them in their quest for a positive life and better future. The skills and experience they will inevitably gain will be transferable to many aspects of their lives and increase overall confidence.

“I am at the beginning of my adult life, just starting to find my feet. I struggled in the past due to criminal behaviour, always looking for ways to get money but I am now realising my potential working with No Limits. I was referred by Probation to No Limits. Their Next Steps project always helps keep me busy and active. I enjoy cycling to get out and to keep fit and am really looking forward to the trip if we can raise enough to participate”

Young people of today are facing such adversity and struggle – let’s start helping them pave the way for a positive future by providing opportunities like the Rad Bike Challenge. Help support charities like No Limits who enable young people to help themselves.

Give some of our young people – disadvantaged or not – credit for fighting back against the problematic society we live in today. Let’s help them move forward and enable them to make something of their lives, irrespective of background or financial wealth.

Young people are more resilient than we think. Let’s help them, not crush them.

Max Willis

Marketing & Communications Intern

No Limits

My learning curve:Combating homo/transphobia #gay #lesbian @nolimitshelp

Gay Flag Until I became a charity fundraiser for No Limits I was, for many years, in primary education. It is only recently that I have began to understand and realise the full extent of the prejudice suffered by young people who are LGBT ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender).

One of my current projects is fundraising for Breakout Youth, a charity that supports young (13 to 21 years old) LGBT young people in Hampshire. Here are some facts that I gleaned in my trawl for information. There is much more information on a range of sites such as Stonewall.

National stats show that LGBT young people are:

  • 2 to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth.
  • At much higher risk than the heterosexual population of substance abuse.
  • At least 7 times more likely to be crime victims than heterosexual people.
  • More likely to contract HIV (gay young men)
  • More likely to be homeless (40% of homeless youth are identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual)
  • More likely to be rejected (50% of all gay and lesbian youth report that their parents reject them).

If you are:

  • an individual concerned with the extremely widespread issue of violence against and amongst school children and students
  • a teacher or other educational staff who takes seriously every child’s right to be safe at school and to receive a quality education
  • an organisation working on the rights of the child
  • an organisation working on gender-based violence
  • an organisation working on the rights for sexual and gender minorities
  • a local authority, city council, local government,…. which has a mandate on education
  • a trade union working on the right to education
  • or any other constituency concerned with this issue

Then look here  for more information to help you combat homo/transphobia.

If you live in Hampshire and need support, advice and help  about issues around sexuality then contact Breakout Youth or No Limits.

No Limits: Helping Young People Help themselves

Want a successful business? Donate to Charities

Non profit organisations and charities such as #nolimitshelp work hard to invest in ways to help the community and provide invaluable services to people often in need. By investing in your community, you or your company could give back to the community who potentially keep your business afloat.

By helping a local charity raise funds by volunteering your time, or donating, the list of benefits to you on a personal level and your company is endless.

There can be many ways of measuring success, so “it’s really important to have some clear goals in mind, and make sure those are shared and delivered for both partners”, as well as a clear exit strategy that leaves the charity in a better place.

“Charities sometimes say they find it challenging working with business, so having a good cultural fit between the two organisations is also vital.”

There are tangible advantages to giving back to the community too. For one thing if you give enough, you’ll be able to reduce the tax you pay based on charitable deduction on your income tax.  Information can be found on HM Revenue & Customs website. Why not increase your business profile too? By being affiliated with a charity that helps the local community, more potential customers may become aware of your business. Also it makes your company look good by adopting ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’.

Although this is usually a term associated with big companies and brands, it’s still important to socially aware and accountable within a local community. Within our current society and austere economical climate, people are becoming disillusioned with corporate fat cats and companies who make huge profits but give nothing back to the communities who helped them thrive. By helping charities, you help yourselves as a business and the community – that’s a win-win situation, surely?

“When companies implement ‘strategic CSR’ they can find there are many benefits, including strengthened corporate and brand reputations and enhanced trust with key stakeholders (customers, employees, regulatory agencies, suppliers, and investors), improved risk management, increased revenues from innovation to identify new business opportunities, and reduced costs from efficiency improvements. “Chris Howells, Forbes

How can you specifically help No Limits?

Businesses are well placed to help No Limits by:

  • organising  a team building event e.g. refurbishing a room,
  • encourage employee volunteering with us
  • donating gifts in kind e.g. food, office furniture, prizes, venues
  • nominating No Limits as your charity of the year giving us publicity and greatly needed funds.
  • developing payroll giving e.g. so a proportion of employees pay goes directly to No Limits in a tax efficient manner
  • offering  a secondment e.g. to support an area of need within No Limits
  • By helping support local charities who help those less fortunate than others, we can strengthen the resolve of our local people, as well increasing awareness of local businesses, which in turn serves the community. By working together we can strive to bring back a sense of unity in our communities.

    We are all part of our society, so we have to take responsibility for it.

    Help others and help yourselves.

    Max Willis

    Marketing & Communications Intern

    No Limits, City

    #Volunteering @nolimitshelp What value volunteers?

    Volunteering Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” Marjorie Moore

    It is my perception that volunteering seems to have become more acceptable and ‘OK’. This was borne out by some research that showed that the United Kingdom is now the 8th most charitable country in the world, according to new figures from the Charities Aid Foundation. We all know that a charity cannot succeed without a strong core of volunteers. I work as a Fundraiser for No Limits (and Promotion, Communications). The range of tasks undertaken by the volunteers (currently around 150) is huge as well as the skills that they have to offer. From receptionist to drop in from mentor to intern, from trustee to befriender. Even more pertinent is the actual financial benefit to our charity. In 2011/2012 we estimate that our then 114 volunteers contributed around 11,967 hours of time worth about £140,000. I was further reminded of our need to value our volunteers by an article written by Lissa Cook Community Sports Trust @Village_Games ‘Managing volunteers: The motivations and the pitfalls’. Lissa identified ten areas that charities need to think about if they want to recruit, keep and motivate their volunteers.

    • Take advantage of selfish motivations
    • Don’t wait for people to volunteer
    • Give everyone specific tasks
    • Cut out the unnecessary red tape
    • Recognise when people want to take on more responsibilities
    • Learn how to deal with bureaucracy
    • Don’t make everyone sit round the committee table
    • Volunteers need managing too
    • Be patient
    • Define your responsibilities

    At No Limits we value our volunteers. Can you help us? You can support No Limits in a variety of ways. If you want to volunteer go to http://nolimitshelp.org.uk/page/volunteering