[highlighted]Vote for your Charity[/highlighted]
Gatehouse – Sophie Ross
The Gatehouse is an Oxford-based charity providing food, shelter and company to Oxford’s homeless and poorly housed population. The service is open to anyone aged 25 or over and relies largely on voluntary workers and donations of money, food and other items. They strive to offer a familiar routine for those on the street with a very unpredictable lifestyle, creating a friendly, accepting atmosphere. As many as 200 volunteers help regularly, serving food, chatting with the guests and helping with the washing up, supported by a small team of permanent staff. An average of about 80 guests attend during a two-hour session, but on a busy night this will rise to 100. Generous donations of unsold food are provided by local shops and restaurants.
Oxford Homeless Pathways – OxHoP – Jess Quinlan
Oxford Homeless Pathways provides a range of services for homeless and recently homeless people aged 22 and over, helping to tackle directly the issues that have led to homelessness. In the short-term, the charity provides safe emergency accommodation and daytime facilities for people in need. In the longer term, the charity aims to help rebuild the confidence and develop the skills of those that seek its services, putting in place plans and support to change their lives completely.
British Heart Foundation – Clare Buffery
The British Heart Foundation is the UK’s number one heart charity. Every day they save lives, through pioneering research, providing vital information to help people reduce their own heart health risks, campaigning for change and supporting and caring for heart patients. Through 50 years of funding cutting edge research, the British Heart Foundation has already made a big difference to people’s lives – however, coronary heart disease remains the UK’s single biggest killer. More people survive a heart attack or cardiac arrest than ever before, meaning that more people are now living with heart disease and need the foundation’s help.
Childreach International – Luxmmi Varathan
Childreach International is an international development charity that believe all children should have the opportunity to unlock their full potential in life.They work in partnership with local communities in the developing world and address children’s most immediate needs improving access to education, health, and greater child rights and protection.They currently operate in Tanzania, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia and Bangladesh. As well as being an important organisation, it was started by students and is still run primarily by students which is why I think it’s a great charity for us to raise money for.
Christian Aid – Maria Bergquist
Christian Aid is the official relief and development agency of the 40 British and Irish churches and works to support sustainable development, stop poverty, support civil society and provide disaster relief in South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Christian Aid campaigns to change the rules and systems that keep people poor, speaking out on issues such as Tax Justice, trade, justice, climate change and Third World debt. Christian Aid has fought poverty for more than 65 years, under the ethos ‘We believe in life before death’.
India Direct – Mark Johnson
India Direct is a charity that funds two children’s homes in Chennai, South East India. I sponsor a child in one of the homes (Gowthami) and visited in July 2011, just before I arrived at Oriel. Every penny raised for the charity goes directly to the kids. No money gets spent on advertising, fancy websites, accounts, administration, sending people up some mountain or off a plane etc. It doesn’t just provide the children with food and shelter, but a good education, job prospects and most recently has begun providing university scholarships for some of the children in their care. The charity currently cares for over 160 children, and many widows and older people in village communities. It builds huts, shelters and runs medical camps.
Many of the children there are the poorest in society, and everything we give makes the world of difference to them: www.indiadirect.org.uk