Small Charity Week Focus - Lower Kersal Young People and Community Group

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Small Charities Week runs from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd of June, to celebrate we visited one of our local small charities to find out how they make a difference in Salford.

Lower Kersal Young People and Community Group is a small charity providing opportunities for social experiences and to gain skills for all ages.

 The Lower Kersal Young People and Community Group was set up in July 2004. It provides meaningful activities for people of all ages in Salford. They became a charity last year after 13 years as a social enterprise. They have found the admin procedure involved to be easier than expected and now have more freedom regarding funds and grants that are available to the group.

The group occasionally sold jam and veggies but did not really have a profit making stream so changing over to a charity suits them well.

The group has four major strands to its project work, these being:

  • Cooking & Healthy eating (Including putting young people and volunteers through food hygiene certification)
  • Growing fruit & vegetables through our allotment project.
  • Arts projects (Including film, drama, and visual arts.)
  • Managing twice weekly youth clubs.

The group also offers opportunities & mentoring to any and all community members, young and old alike.

When I visited last week to chat about the joys of being a small charity working with the local community the weather was lovely and warm. The regular group of volunteers were having a session in preparation for Soil & Shed, a gardening group for ex-military and their partners funded by the British Legion. I caught them on a break and we had a chat over a cuppa, with lots of laughs. It was evident they had worked together for some time and valued the friendship they received at the group.

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

They were still buzzing from the volunteer celebration event the previous week- awards and a buffet with about 50 guests. The other piece of exciting news they were happy to tell me was that they group itself has won the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, which is the MBE for volunteer groups. The group has 27 volunteers aged between 11 and 84.

People and Friendship

When I asked about the most important thing they get from being part of the group it was definitely about people- “Meeting new people” “Being with people” “Friendship” “It’s something we do together” and “They all know you”.

They also really enjoy giving a good experience to attendees of Shed & Soil and any other of the sessions they volunteer for (this could be cooking or the drama and film session that run project by project)- “We don’t turn anybody away” “People are surprised they don’t need wellies” “The community working together brings joy and happiness.”

One volunteer commented that attending the group “Stops you from being selfish, otherwise you are always in a hurry and just bothered about yourself.”

They say they treat the garden “like it’s their own” and on top of the satisfaction of seeing the produce when the harvest is done they also cook and eat a meal together in the group’s kitchen in the main building. This is a lovely communal experience and helps bring people together.

Undoubtedly this group of volunteers experience more resilience and less isolation from being a volunteer member and they pass that on in bucketful’s by supporting the participants who attend all the different sessions on offer.

If you want to go along or know somebody who may enjoy attending the group here is their website.

Salford CVS
Author: 
Lucy Sutcliffe, Salford CVS

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 
Email: office@salfordcvs.co.uk

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Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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