WITH new possibilities and positivity in the air, it’s a good time to not only look forward to getting back to doing the things we love but to think about all the ways that we came together last year to do good – how we can make that kindness last and pay it forward.
Here at the CSRF, we have long been a charity devoted to playing our part in ending loneliness (since 1965, in fact!), and this last year has brought us a new understanding of just how important our work will continue to be, as the entire nation cautiously steps into new beginnings.
Our work is all about supporting those in their retirement (and their dependents) and putting friendship at the heart of it all. The money we raise goes into funding the work that we do to make a difference to the older generation all over the UK – those who worked in the civil service and played their part in making many of the institutions that we regularly use and recognise today, from planning the major motorways to working during the war and serving in the armed forces, working in science, working in the national archives, working in job centres, working for the Ministry of Defence – our beneficiaries have had many different kinds of careers, and so it is fitting that in our quest to ensure they have a fulfilling retirement, that there are many different ways to contribute to our work – and a lot of them are free!
- Online Shopping: Many of us have shopped online for perhaps the first time ever in the last year, or at least far more than we used to – and not many people know this, but your online shopping can be a free source of giving! If you shop online through Amazon Smile (which provides the same access to regular Amazon services) or Give As You Live (including 4,000 of your favourite retailers) and choose us as your chosen charity, you can raise free funds for us at no extra cost to you every time you shop online – so that whenever you get, you give!
- The power of sharing: it’s free to follow or to RT a tweet from us (@TheCSRF), to send the link to our website to an older person in retirement who may benefit hugely from access to our services, to use the sharing link provided on our free e-newsletters or to simply tell those you know about us and our befriending services. Making a difference isn’t limited to donations – sometimes, the biggest difference we make is through our conversations and the possibilities that open up to those who may not have heard of us otherwise. One sad thing we have learnt in this last year is how isolated many older people who are not online have felt, and if the people who found out about us online could tell them we’re there, it could really help us help them.
- Fundraising: it’s free to start a challenge between yourself, your followers and your friends and see how far it can go. Perhaps your lockdown baking experiments can be put to the test, and you can start your very own virtual bake-off to raise money for our charity! Maybe there’s a fitness goal you want to reach that your friends can sponsor to spur you on? Or maybe there’s a watch party or games marathon – whatever you put your mind to! We would love to see the younger generations coming together to help us support the older generation – because as we know now more than ever, we all need each other, and as many great fundraisers in 2020 have proved: all it takes is one person to make a difference, exactly where they are, exactly as they are, with exactly what they have available to them.
We hope that learning about the free ways of giving will help show that whilst it isn’t always possible to make a donation, it is always possible to make a difference – and we would be honoured if, in 2021, you would help make a difference with us.
To find out more about the CSRF and what we do or how to get involved with our work, please visit: https://www.csrf.org.uk/.