Charities are struggling to cope with rising demand and costs at a time when many are facing a funding battle.

But throwing your loose change into donation buckets may have more impact than you could possibly imagine. Individual donations are the largest source of income for charities and the typical gift is £10.  We all know that even a small donation can have a really big result if they’re given to a cause that really needs it.   Small donations can be particularly helpful for small charities. A survey by Charity Choice revealed that five percent of UK charities receive eighty-five percent of donations. It’s no wonder that smaller charities are in decline. A small donation within a large charity’s budget will seem insignificant but within a small charity it could make a real difference.  Compared to the voluntary sector as a whole, research (Beyond the Cuts, National Children’s Bureau) has shown that children’s charities will see a greater proportion of its public funding cut.   Most Children’s charities are taking action to manage the cuts. Many are reducing staff hours, reducing the range of services and reviewing their fundraising strategy. However, for some it’s ‘likely’ that their organisation will have to close.  SNAP Cymru is no different; and our funding is just as precarious.  However, we have survived for 28 years and have faced many periods of ‘up’s and down’s, always managing to continue to build and deliver a quality independent service for families across Wales.

So when Denise Inger (CEO) set the staff and volunteers a target to raise funds for SNAP Cymru the team in Hengoed took the challenge seriously!

Over the last few months, on top of their roles as family and young people’s officers, they have been successfully fundraising through various events, including a raffle, with wonderful prizes donated by local shops/businesses, friends and families and a team a pool tournament at the Cardiff Arm’s in Treorchy (the local pub of staff member Donna Morgan!) which incidentally was so popular, the Cardiff Arms is more than happy to host another.  Donna’s parents Valerie & Tom were roped in to take the collection boxes to Pentre Allotments & her husband Ian got involved in the Pool tournament.

It was also a family affair in Ynyshir where Alex Palmer’s partner and owner of Imprint, Jeremy James, made a t-shirt for the pool tournament and Alex’s mother Yvonne took collection boxes to her work local shops.

Big thanks also to Helen, the Hengoed team’s cleaner from Magic Mops who also made a valuable contribution to these efforts.

In Senghennydd, Teresa Bradley shared charity boxes with family and friends along with local shops and persuaded her husband to join the pool tournament, and a 11 a -side football match which was held at Heollddu Leisure Centre. Our very own SNAP team led by Chris, emerged victorious against the Derby Wanderers!

All the team are dedicated to SNAP

 ‘if you cut us in half we would have SNAP written through us… like a stick of rock!’ Donna Morgan

Collection boxes were placed around local communities and shops including in ANH stores and the Rhondda Kebab Shop.  Bucket collections are also being arranged for the Asda store in Caerphilly on the 12th December (a big thank you to the community support officer at ASDA Caerphilly). As part of their efforts the Hengoed team are also hoping to relink with other stores including Tesco and Wilkinson’s.

Initially staff were asked to raise £50 a head or to donate 50 bags each to our charity shop.  However, Team Hengoed weren’t about to stop at this amount!  Teresa, Donna, Nicola, Chris and Alex with the support of their volunteers, extended families and communities, have raised over £700 and still counting. They are also fortunate to have their SNAP office at South Road, Pennallta where generous members of the public are donating to the Hengoed warehouse, each black bag will add at least £20 to the fundraising effort!

These ongoing activities involve local communities and are a reflection of SNAP Cymru as a truly inclusive, family centred organisation. The SNAP Cymru Hengoed team would like to say a huge thank you to the joint enthusiasm of partners, volunteers and family; without whom they couldn’t achieved so much.

However we also believe the value of community fundraising goes beyond immediate financial support for SNAP Cymru.  It also provides long-term benefits of building a strong presence locally, creating trust, developing relationships and raising awareness of SNAP Cymru’s work with children and families.

Our staff and volunteers efforts are very much part our approach to become more sustainable and less reliant on ever diminishing local authority funding. With the spirit and determination demonstrated by our RCT, Merthyr, Caerphilly and Torfaen teams and their communities there is no reason we cannot achieve this aim.