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We are 6 months in to 2022 and FoBC is as busy as ever, writes our Community Engagement, Communications and Development Manager, Jackie Marie. As FoBC grows, so does our team of staff, volunteers and, of course, our friends — you. During this month of June, we celebrate both Volunteers Week and Small Charity Week, the perfect opportunity to share with you the many ways you can continue to support us and they don’t only involve making a donation, although all donations are very gratefully received.

Tell everyone about FoBC!

We have over 1000 friends, that’s a lot of people with a lot of connections and a lot of social media shares. Friends support helps us show quantifiable proof of the active support for FoBC and our green spaces, potential funders recognise the strength of community support, and your voice on behalf of the community enables us to express support or concern for issues that affect our green spaces and all the projects we are involved with. Don’t forget to tell them how much fun it is!

Volunteering

Thanks to our engaged and active volunteers, many of whom are also friends, we are able to carry out conservation work across Barnes Common and Leg o’ Mutton, working on projects such as the Vine Road Project, Community Growing and Flood Resilience, as well as delivering outdoor learning activities for everyone in the community. You may realise by now, that FoBC does not like to sit still, we are doers and to do we need your help. Volunteers enable us to take our ideas, make them into plans and achieve them. We have lots of ideas and at the heart of every idea is our vision: Conservation, Biodiversity, Lifelong Learning and Wellbeing for all. Over the last year our volunteers have planted hedging, helped with an acid grassland scrape, sown, grown, shared their skills and laughed with each other, some have even been willing to take on administrative tasks and others have supported us in delivering our many learning activities – none of which would be possible without volunteers. So, if you or someone you know wants to get involved, we have many volunteering opportunities, no matter your age, ability or interest, there’s something for you.

Fundraising

Without funds we can’t do any of our work. Like all charities, we must work harder and harder with less and less. We are grateful for the support of Richmond Council who fund much of our work, however our growth means we need additional support, and in particular, unrestricted funds, which enable us to “get on with things” as our Chair Mike Hildesley so eloquently states. These monies have recently enabled us to support the launch of Barnes Community Gardeners, who are already doing amazing work in the community, as well the Black Poplar Project. There are many ways to fundraise and some that don’t cost you or us a penny. Easyfundraising is a platform that partners with thousands of retail outlets including utility companies, holiday companies, supermarkets, and department stores. Every time you shop online, they donate a small percentage to us. In the last year we have raised over £200, I am embarrassed to say I am one of only 3 regular supporters! Imagine if we all supported this easy-to-use platform? Oh, the things we could do!

Gift Aid is an easy way to increase your donation by 25% at no cost to either of us. If you’re a keen sports person, participating in a challenge event is a fun way to raise awareness, as well as additional funds. We will be more than happy to help set up and promote your event page. Why not ask your employer if they participate in a charitable giving scheme?
And there are legacies… let’s talk about that another time.

Share a skill

FoBC is never more than a conversation away from an opportunity to benefit from some of your valuable skills, talents, knowledge, and expertise – the phrase ‘6 degrees of separation’ comes to mind. If you are a photographer, artist, botanist, designer, finance guru, wood worker, educator, IT wiz, wildlife enthusiast — the list is endless — and have time to share your expertise, get in touch. We would love to work with you. Conserving our green spaces for present and future generations is achievable when we work together!

Friends of Barnes Common (FoBC)
Vine Road Pavilion
Vine Road
Barnes SW13 0NE

The Friends of Barnes Common (VAT No 197432967) is a registered charity (No 1153079) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales (No 08348124).

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