Thanks for heading over to my wee Top Ten Glasgow Charity Page.
The idea of this page is simply to give a little back to Glasgow and the world beyond. To be fair, I could have chosen any ten charities. My aim though is to raise as much as I can for the ones listed here, but to be honest, even if it does nothing but persuade at least a few folks to become a bit more benevolent or philanthropic from day to day, I'd be absolutely fine with that as well. It's just that Tracey and I are perpetually thankful for everything we've got and want to return the favour.
Callum's Causes is run via Yorkhill Children's Charity referred to below. It was set up by our good friends, James and Catriona Lally, whose golden wee boy Callum died after collapsing at nursery in 2013, devastating all who knew him. Callum was born with a heart defect and, having battled through many complex surgeries & treatments and coming out each one with a huge grin on his face, had been awaiting surgery for pacemaker replacement when his brave life came to a tragic end. James and Catriona have been doing what they can to raise as much funds as possible and help other children in need benefit from Callum's shining light, and would appreciate any support you can give. Along with his mum and dad and everyone who was touched by him during his short but amazing life, Tracey and I miss the wee man every day and can't thank you enough for your help.
Yorkhill Children's Charity provides enhanced medical equipment and resources which benefit sick children and babies who are treated at Yorkhill Hospital and within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. These can include innovative medical equipment, improvements in child and family facilities and paediatric research and training. Tracey & I know of a few of our friends (including James and Catriona mentioned above) whose kids have really benefited from this magnificent Glasgow charity, so any support you can give would be much appreciated.
Maggie's Centre has been called "a community jewel" by Michelle Obama. There are Maggie's Centres dotted around Scotland, with a few in Glasgow, and they're designed to be a place to turn to for help with any of the problems, small or large, associated with cancer. Under one roof you can access help with info, benefits advice, psychological support and stress reducing strategies. You don’t have to make an appointment, or be referred and everything's free of charge.
P.D.S.A. is the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. The branches in Glasgow and elsewhere aren't supported by Government funding and rely solely on donations. They care for the pets of people in need by providing free veterinary services to their sick and injured animals & promoting responsible pet ownership. In the UK we're constantly raving about the love we have for our pets, but despite this there are still legions of animals here needing our help and attention, so these types of Glasgow charities are a good place to start.
Glasgow Old People's Welfare Association was formed after WWII originally as the Glasgow Old People's Welfare Committee, and has been tasked ever since with assisting in the serious problems of the elderly citizens of Glasgow involving poverty, ill health and loneliness. The GOPWA attends to this quietly across the City and relatively unthanked, and I can't stress enough how vital it is to have the greatest of regard to our elder generation (and I'm not just saying that in case my parents are reading this and are pondering my inheritance!).
Glasgow the Caring City was established in 1999 originally to provide humanitarian relief to those made homeless by the wars raging across the Balkans. Now known as Glasgow's Aid Agency, for every disaster and relief effort since then it's responded effectively, compassionately & with the interests of humanity closest to their hearts. From the mountains of Afghanistan to the beach of Sri Lanka, from the sky scrapers of Manhattan to the windswept shacks of Sudan, Glasgow the Caring City has responded in the name of our City. They express no political motive and seek none in return, simply providing care, help & love to the most fragile and destitute in our local and global community.
The Poverty Alliance has a vision of a sustainable Scotland based on social & economic justice, with dignity for all, where poverty and inequalities aren't tolerated and instead are challenged. It grew out of an informal network of groups and individuals active in tackling social exclusion & poverty since the mid 1980s. Its membership includes grassroots community groups, individuals facing poverty, voluntary organisations, statutory organisations, policy-makers and academics. It now acts as the national anti-poverty network in Scotland, working with voluntary organisations, policy makers and politicians at Scottish, UK and European levels.
Turning Point Scotland was originally called the Helping Hand and was founded in 1964. It concentrates on the provision of residential rehabilitation services for people with alcohol & drug addictions, mental health & learning disabilities, and also provides homelessness services. It's not committed to any one model of support or treatment, but works instead in a person-centred way, so it doesn't exclude people from services and aims to make its services fit people. This is a vital Glasgow charity particularly given the cycle of addiction and troubles which tends to spiral from communities in need.
Glasgow Disability Alliance is a membership-led organisation of disabled people and groups in Glasgow. It's the biggest groundswell of disabled members in Scotland, was established in 2001, and seeks to act as the collective, representative voice of disabled people here, promoting equality, rights and social justice. This amazing Glasgow charity gives advice, accessible learning opportunities and more to disabled people, organisations & agencies, and acts as a catalyst for genuine inclusion in society for the disabled, challenging discrimination & building their confidence and skills.
RIBI is an association of Rotary members, clubs & districts. It's part of Rotary International, a worldwide organisation with 1.2 million business professionals and community leaders in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary clubs are based in local communities across the world with its members meeting on a regular basis for fun and friendship, and to plan local projects that will benefit the lives of others in their communities and beyond. I'm a member of the Dumbarton Rotary Club, and would welcome anyone looking to join up & pitch in.
So as I implied before, this Glasgow charity page could have ended up being pretty massive, as there are plenty more organisations here dedicated to those in need in my home town and beyond, and that's not even to mention those set up to serve the arts, culture, education, environment, sport and who knows what more.
Thanks therefore, for spending some time on the page and thinking a bit about Glasgow charity, and feel free to let me know if you want any more information on getting involved in making a difference - as far as I'm concerned, if you've got some good in your life, it's great to pay it forward!