Category Archives: Fundraising

Our 2014 Blog review. Something to say about #vulnerable #youngpeople? Be a #guestblogger in 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 830 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people

Click here to see the complete report.

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#YoungParents Should Read This

Life is a lottery and where you are born can mean everything…

The #DuchessofCambridge is in labour and the #RoyalBaby’s birth is imminent. The press are waiting with baited breath, “boy or girl, future king or queen?” What a life awaits this child. No financial concerns will dog its parents, no housing problems or school dinner money worries will keep them awake at night. A life without many of the problems facing parents in the UK today.

What about young parents? For them life can be tough on myriad levels. For those who lack the vital support of an extended family unit, parenthood can be even harder. Isolation can have a devastating effect on a young parent and create future problems for the children. In addition, young parents often face a barrage of criticism and judgement from the media who continue to stigmatise them in the press. Some may feel left out by their child-free peers who don’t have time for them anymore, as well as facing a future without a formal education – limiting future job prospects. Others slip into a life using drugs and alcohol to combat seclusion.

The list is endless, but there is hope.

No Limits run a project for young parents called Bright Beginnings. By working on an individual basis with young people we aim to extend our knowledge and experience of parenthood to those who need a little extra help and support. No Limits encourage young people who are pregnant or who have small children under two to maintain good relationships with people and build strong, positive connections with their children. The Bright Beginnings’ mentors are focused on building parenting confidence, encouraging and teaching the methods that will enable their children to flourish.

Young people will continue to have babies in the UK despite the customary sex education in schools and the rudimentary knowledge of how tough life can be as a parent. When it does happen though, instead of dismissing and condemning, we should continue to offer ways of improving an outcome which could be potentially disastrous long-term.

If you are a young parent who needs our help, please visit us at No Limits, 24A Bernard Street, Southampton, SO14 3AY or call 02380236237

If you would like to volunteer as a Bright Beginnings Mentor, get it touch – No Limits need you! If you would like to provide No Limits with much needed financial support to continue fundamental services then send £3 via TEXT to NLMO1.

#SocialMedia and #Technology: Helping #NoLimits make a difference in seven different ways #charities #nonprofits

Facebook Data May 2013When I first joined No Limits in 2010 they  had a Website, a fledgling YouTube Channel and used Outlook Express as an e-mail client …..and that was it. Over the last couple of years things have changed dramatically. Not only do I fundraise but I also have within my job title Promotion and Communications.  The charity has also grown in size….in 09/10 it supported around 4,500 young people, had 45 volunteers, 31 paid staff and a turn over of about £825,000. This year (12/13) we have supported over 6,000 young people, have over 150 volunteers, 65 paid staff and a turn round of about £1.5 million. It has also expanded its operations from Southampton to include Hampshire, Eastleigh and Portsmouth.

Measuring the success (and that in itself is open to debate) of all forms of Marketing/Promotion/Communications is difficult and far from an exact science. It is also challenging  to separate out where fundraising ends and promotion/communication/marketing starts.

I now regularly use seven different tools to ensure that prospective supporters  (in all shapes and guises) and users  know of  No Limits and feel that they want to help or support us or use our services.

  • Our website, www.nolimitshelp.org.uk, was redeveloped about twelve months ago. We are still making changes and, of course, keeping it updated. Google Analytics ( a great free service that shows you exactly who  is looking at what, when and where) shows that in  June 2013 we had about 2,400 visits, up 600 on the same time last year. We still have around 62% of new visitors and around 11,000 page views per year, up 2,000 on last year. The website is well used by young people looking at the details of our services. It is also a vehicle for donating (Text, Everyclick) and for finding out about volunteering opportunities.
  • I developed a Blog in WordPress which can be accessed through our website along with our news page http://www.nolimitshelp.org.uk/news .This only started in started four months ago but  we have already  had 1,100 page views (best of 85 in one day and 15 comments). A great way of speaking in depth about your charity to supporters and potential donors/volunteers.
  • Embedded in  our website is CiviCRM. (Constituent Relationship Management software) This has several modules but in the last couple of months we have focussed on using it  for bulk mailing, e newsletters to 400 volunteers and friends and for mail merging appeals. This particular programme needs a great deal of thought before using. It is not for the fainthearted but with perseverance it does work well. The response by volunteers and friends has been encouraging. There has only been one person unsubscribing! We can now regularly let our volunteers and friends how much we value their support and share with them successes.
  • Our Facebook page is very popular. We have 240,000 friends of fans, each posting often reaching 200 to 800 unique users with an average weekly reach of 800 to 1000 unique users https://www.facebook.com/nolimitshelp This is an instant way of reaching users, friends and volunteers with success stories as well as commenting on how  the political scene is impacting on our work.
  • Twitter. @nolimitshelp We started tweeting about a year ago and have just reached 1,500 tweets. We have 550 followers , almost doubled in the last  five months. An excellent way of interacting with other similar providers, professionals and those interested in our work.
  • You Tube. We have only started to use this more effectively in the last twelve months. To date we have had 1,300 views, one clip has reached  400 views. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ug4q_iphtA  This is a very easy way of showing  what you are doing. A moving picture is worth several hundred words.
  • I just had to mention Everyclick.  Every time you use it to search you are given free money! If you encourage others to use the Give as you Live feature it is even better. To date we have raised  £17,200, averaging £300 a month. For no work (apart from the occasional reminder to staff and volunteers and supporters.) See http://www.everyclick.com/nolimitssouthampton/info It is  also a cheaper  and alternative to other sites such as Just Giving. Supporters can make up a page for a particular event or project with ease.

We have just started to use Text giving and a Google+ account but have not had enough time to how effective these may be. I can also see some benefits in using Instagram and Pinterest…..

As a result of this work I am convinced that more people are aware of  our services. This includes other providers, professionals and users. Apart from increase in use are there any other signs of increase in volunteers or an increase in income? Well there are some signs. In the last few months we have been made Charity of the Year for two branches of Sainsbury’s and  a University, received unexpected gifts and donations , chosen by an individual for her challenge  and are now receiving  volunteer support from Barclay’s Bank. We are also managing to recruit more volunteers including some part time interns. We are distributing collection tins and are starting to place a new set of posters in a range of locations. We have a better relationship with a range of media. ….and have won a major award. All difficult to measure but compelling enough for me to encourage you to try some or all of these (and other) techniques. Let me know how you get on!

No Limits. Helping young people help themselves.

A life changing experience.#nolimitsradbikechallenge

imaging

At the end of September No Limits will be supporting four young people take part in the
Rad Vlaanderen Stuttgart Challenge. This team event involves riding 500+ miles from Bruges Belgium) to Stuttgart (Germany) in three days. There is more about this challenge here.
This event will provide a potentially life changing experience to those young people that take part. All of them have already faced adversity and challenging issues that have given them a disadvantaged start in their lives. This exciting venture could make a huge difference to their lives.
There is only thirteen weeks left until the start. We will be inviting eight young service users to take part in the training and preparation and the four that show the most commitment will take part. This is much to do…..sourcing bikes, equipment (helmets, riding clothing, backpacks etc.), accommodation, ferry crossings, passports and, of course, training. By the middle of September the young people will need to be cycling at least 100 miles per week…….
So if you know of anyone that can help with bikes, equipment, sponsorship please let us know or make a donation here.
We will keep you updated about the progress made by the young people…..so come back to this blog or subscribe via e mail.
No Limits: Helping young people to help themselves.

Training for the @ClipperRace

As part of her Clipper Round the World Challenge Lindsey is raising much needed funding for No Limits. If you want to support Lindsey and No Limits the go to her fundraising page at http://www.everyclick.com/lindseyjnoble

Lindsey goes around the world

My next on boat training will be starting on 5th July. The last practical training I did, indeed last time I was on the water, was in April.  We were out in the Solent and the channel. Definitely getting better. What can I say………

  • I’m moving about the boat much better not banging into things as much – outcome fewer bruises and knees not so swollen
  • More likely to pick the right sheet/halyard to pull or ease at the right time
  • Was able to instruct crew quite well on a sail hoist
  • Also stayed on the helm longer than expected at night to help Stuart do his navigation – had to control nerves and concentrate hard
  • Enjoying navigation and passage planning

BUT

  • Need lots more practice downwind helming. Pretty dodgy gybing!
  • Still liable to moments of complete confusion
  • Usual problem with confidence and being prepared to try when uncertain
  • Must…

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National Award For No Limits,Southampton and Hampshire Charity supporting young people

No Limits has been awarded a national award, the GSK Impact Award in recognition of its outstanding work supporting young people.
The GSK IMPACT Awards have been running since 1997 and are designed to recognise and reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health. The awards are funded by GlaxoSmithKline and managed in partnership with The King’s Fund.
The awards are open to registered charities that are at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with a total annual income between £10,000 and £1.5 million.
The GSK IMPACT Awards is seen as a ‘seal of excellence’ in the sector. As well as receiving £30,000 in funding during a difficult financial climate, No Limits took part in a training programme hosted by The King’s Fund that provides training, development and networking opportunities.
Click through the link below for more details and to listen to an interview with Annabel Hodgson, CEO, No Limits.
National Award For Southampton Youth Charity | Wave 105.

No Limits. Helping young people help themselves

#Homeless. In Poverty.Alone.

MAXWILLISPOSTERHOMELESS

Next week No Limits is hosting a Business Breakfast.It is for those individuals and businesses who have supported us or who have shown an interest in our work with young people or who may be able to work with us in the future.John Denham MP, will be giving a keynote speech about young people and poverty. It is a sad fact the each year we support hundreds of young people who are either sleeping rough,sofa surfing or living in a hostel. To continue to help them we need donations. Go here or Text NLIM01 £5 to 70070 Thank you
No Limits. Helping young people help themselves.