A Word of Welcome and Thanks

A word of welcome from our chairman…
THANK YOU! I want those to be the first words in our charity’s first newsletter, because without support and interest from people like you, Living By Giving simply would not exist. It is your charity, so again, THANK YOU!

It’s amazing to think that as a Trust we’re only a year old, but already, for a small charity, so much has been achieved. In our first twelve months we’ve enabled a child to spend time at Derian House Children’s Hospice in Lancashire, we’ve sponsored other sick children to go on holiday and supported the families of sick children in hospital. In London we’ve helped out at a soup kitchen and also helped to initiate a fund for those affected by this summer’ s riots. In addition, we helped to fund a student volunteering in a reconciliation project at the Dachau Memorial Site – that’s a diverse set of projects to be involved in!

And that’s how Living By Giving hopes to make a difference. There are many great charities and social projects out there, but rather than compete with them, we hope to build networks between us, and initiate new projects. Our aim is to advance the standard of life for all people in need; the poor, the disabled, the deprived. With such a large remit, we’ve decided to take a particular focus for three-years and our first cycle of projects (2010-13) is associated with young people – “Living By Giving… Young People New Experiences”.

At the grand old age of 32, I’m probably falling out of the bracket of ‘Young People’ myself, but I have to say that the new experience of becoming a Trustee has been wonderfully enriching and great fun. My fellow trustees – Matt Betts, Stephen Daly, Dail Maudsley and Sadie Vile – are all people I met in Lourdes, and our inspiration for setting up the trust was our life-changing experience of volunteering to help the sick and disabled.

So much in our society today encourages people to hold on to what they have got, and to hoard for an uncertain future. The world seems to promote a message of ‘Living By Taking’ – there is an unspoken fear that sharing your time, energy and resources with other people will leave you going without. In fact the opposite is true; our experiences as Trustees have proved that giving time and energy to others actually enriches you. Life is unpredictable, and so the best place to invest your resources is in the here and now, in relationships with other people. Giving really is the best way of living.

We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, and we’re looking to involve as many people as possible. We always need help with fundraising and publicity for events such as our first birthday party, and would appreciate anyone who can volunteer their time. If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can help or would like to get involved right now, please just get in touch with us. And if you have any suggestions for how we can be “Living By Giving…Young People New Experiences”, do let us know.

With sincerest thanks again for your help and support in our first year.

Johan Bergström-Allen, Chairman (2011 – 2012)

Read our newsletter here

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