As the weather starts to change and the nights get that little bit longer, we can certainly feel that autumn has most definitely arrived. With that comes beautiful sunsets, the array of leaves that crunch under your feet and wrapping up warm in your favourite coat for the cooler afternoons.
If you want to give something back, autumn can be the ideal time to actively support local and national charities. You’ll probably find yourself indoors more frequently now that summer is over and you haven’t started the dreaded Christmas shopping just yet, so chances are that you’ll have a bit more free time on your hands – particularly if you receive live-in or visiting care at home.
We’ve put together some ideas that you could do by yourself, with friends or even with your carer that will not only keep you busy – but benefit others in the process.
How do I choose which charity to support?
It can be difficult to know where to start when thinking about raising awareness for charity, particularly local charities or organisations. The best thing to do is to begin with things that you know. Does a member of your family have a lifelong health condition that is supported by a charity? Do you have a local British Legion club that supports ex-military men and women but is struggling to raise finances to help those locally?
The next step would be to decide what you’d actually like to help with and how you’re able to help. Many people decide to support charities or organisations close to their heart. So, if your grandchild plays for a football team close by and you know that they’re struggling to raise the funds to buy equipment and kit, you already have a cause that you could support that you know will benefit local people. Or you may have been affected yourself by a serious illness and you would like to help the charity linked to the condition with future research and fundraising. It’s important that you can identify with the cause that you’re supporting because you’re then more likely to invest more time and effort into raising awareness on their behalf.
Ways to raise awareness for charities at home
Once you’ve decided on who you’d like to support, you can now make a start on planning how you’d like to help them. If the local football team is your chosen venture, find out when your grandchild’s team plays their home games. Or if it’s a national charity, find out when their next event is being held by checking their website. Then, you can get started!
If you struggle to get out and about or have a health condition that limits your mobility, there are plenty of ways that you can get involved with fundraising from the comfort of your own home.
Baking – Everyone loves a sweet treat or a savoury snack. Baking cupcakes, fruit loaves or tray bakes with your carer is a great way to spend a chilly afternoon at home. Not only will you be able to sell your cakes and give the money to your chosen cause, you’ll reap mental health benefits too – such as calming you down and channelling your concentration into an end goal which can work as a good distraction technique. If you need some inspiration, we have a spicy cinnamon bun recipe that is sure to get your taste buds going.
Knitting – With the leaves swirling around and temperatures beginning to dip, it’s the perfect time to dig out your knitting needles and start making some colourful hats, scarves, gloves – and if you’re really brave – a cardigan or jumper! These could then be sold at a local event or charity shop on your nearest high street. You could also make some baby hats and mittens for your nearest hospital maternity ward. There are plenty of local and national campaigns you and your knitting needles can get involved with here.
Pledges – National charity events are becoming more and more popular each year. The likes of Veg Pledge and Movember are things that you can do very easily during the month of November, as they just require you to pledge a month doing, or not doing, one thing – in this case, either grow a moustache or stop eating meat – whilst raising money for charity. Now, this can be easier said than done, and some people find it much more straight forward than others, but ultimately, you’ll be raising money for a good cause whilst actually leading a healthier lifestyle too.
Activities you can do for charity
If you’re able to get out and about a bit more and want to be a little more active, there are plenty of local and national activities that you can get involved with during autumn and throughout the year.
Walks – Alzheimer’s UK have an all-year-round Memory Walk campaign that focuses on walking whilst raising money for future research projects for the charity. Similarly, Cancer Research UK hold Race for Life events across the UK that encourage people to walk or run to raise money for vital research into the causes and treatments of cancer. The great things about these events is that you can decide how far you want to stretch your legs for, the pace you take and even the time of day you do it. And with all of the beautiful scenery around at this time of year, it’s a wonderful time to spend outdoors taking in all of the autumnal sights, sounds and smells. For those that are more adventurous, why not try more tricky challenges such as walking the Three Highest Peaks in the UK or trekking in a foreign country?
Extreme activities – For those of you that are adrenaline junkies but still need a bit of extra support at home, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take up one of these activities and raise money for charity at the same time. How does a sponsored abseil sound? Or bungee jumping for your favourite charity? Although this will only take a short amount of time to complete compared to other activities, you may have to raise a certain amount of money first before you can take part, and of course, you might be spending lots of time plucking up the courage to actually do the challenge! It might be worth setting up a JustGiving page to keep all of your donations in one place, which is also an easy way to share and spread your fundraising message.
Halloween-themed activities – It wouldn’t be autumn without Halloween, and what better way to celebrate the spookiest of seasons than raising money for charity? There are plenty of things you could get involved with, from holding a Halloween party at home where friends and family pay a small donation to enter dressed as their scariest creation, to a pumpkin carving competition with your neighbours. You could even hold a Creepy Quiz Night at your local pub or social club for charity. Your carer could help you to write the questions and organise the format, and the money raised from people entering would go to a good cause.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that everything you do is within your capabilities and it doesn’t impact your physical or mental health in any way. Although what you are doing is for an excellent cause, you are important too. To find charities that are of interest of you, search for them here.