Spring cleaning with meaning


I love charities and the positive impact that they make in society. I've written campaign letters, helped to run my local Brownie group and volunteered at recruitment drives for blood donors. But as a charity sector enthusiast, I've never actually fundraised before. At least not in the way that I did for South London Cares last summer.

Since I started hanging out with my neighbours in Brixton through South London Cares, Richard has taught me how to make a tasty veggie quiche, Bill has shared his extensive knowledge of blues music with me, and Miriam has given me a lovely handmade Christmas card.

So when the opportunity arose last year to give something back by walking the Thames Path to raise some funds for the charity I jumped at the challenge. And then I realised that I would have to overcome my fear of asking people for money...

More Clothes

To make it easier - and give our flat a bit of a spring clean - my housemate Amy and I decided to host a clothes swap. We asked our nearest and dearest girlfriends to bring their unwanted clothes to our charity auction.

We didn't really have any targets in mind but we did want to raise a decent amount. We were both pleasantly surprised that after a few hours of laughs, furious bidding, tantrums and Pretty Woman style montages we had raised over £200! It really helped to boost our fundraising pages and also brought a lot of our friends together so we could explain why we volunteer for South London Cares. And the impact goes beyond money - we've got friends who've signed up on both sides of the river to volunteer as a result. So the impact really does go beyond the money you can raise.

My top tips for the fundraising phobic who want to make a difference:

  • A clothes swap is a really quick and easy way of making a large sum of money. Clear your wardrobe of those unused, unwanted items. Invite your friends to do the same. And then get swapping.
  • Refreshments always help - ours was a civilised cake, strawberries and tea affair but a few bottles of prosecco might really get that cash flowing!
  • If you have leftover clothes (and you will, trust me) consider bringing them into work, especially if you're part of a large organisation. I made an extra £30 in donations just by bringing in a bag of carefully curated items and opening a pop-up shop in my office.

When people think of fundraising it can seem daunting. What I learned through my experience with South London Cares is that it can be the complete opposite: easy, fun and just as rewarding. And a cheeky way to get a whole new wardrobe!

Between Monday 9th - Sunday 15th May, we're inviting as many of you as possible to follow Iana's lead and host a fundraising event in aid of South London Cares. Find out more and join 7 Days to Raise below:

Iana Vidal

Posted by Iana Vidal on Tuesday 26th April 2016

Iana is one of South London Cares' amazing volunteers.

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