The early days of lockdown were full of optimism, exercise and banana bread for most people, but as time goes on, losing hours in front of the TV or staring at your phone is many people’s go-to activity. Surveys show that Brits aren’t exercising as much, we’re less engaged with our hobbies and we’re spending less time volunteering. We all need a boost.
Fortunately, one of the easiest things you can do to lift your mood is to help others. You may think that spending some money on yourself will make you happier, but the opposite is actually the case. Swap the fleeting pleasure of your latest purchase for the “warm glow” associated with giving to charity – it’s a real thing!
Let’s be honest, a lot of people have it a lot worse off than most of us. Yes, we’re cooped up indoors, but that shouldn’t stop us from helping those in need. With volunteering time dropping and events being cancelled, many charities are struggling to keep their vital services running. This month, consider taking part in some virtual activities to support charities local to Birmingham and have a real impact on people’s lives.
Have a Feel Good February with SIFA Fireside
SIFA Fireside, a leading homelessness charity based in Birmingham, set up their monthly Big Brummie Night In campaign last year, partnering with local businesses to help keep us entertained while we’re stuck in the house. Your money will go towards the immediate and long-term support services that SIFA provides to over 3,000 vulnerable adults each year.
For a £5 donation, you’ll receive a digital activity pack with a different theme each month. It’s currently ‘Feel Good February’ and you’ll get a brownie recipe from Michelin-starred Carters of Moseley, mindfulness walking maps from Positively Birmingham Walking Tours, workout videos from Good Gym and much more including music, crafts, quizzes and a treasure hunt. If you choose to keep your donation going, you’ll have a new activity pack each month to enjoy!
March in Memory with John Taylor Hospice
If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19 or you want to raise money in someone’s name, John Taylor Hospice is asking for your support. The hospice provides end-of-life care for people in need and they are known for going above and beyond to help make patients comfortable as well as providing invaluable support to struggling family members.
They’re asking you to walk, run or cycle 50 miles throughout the month of March, and encourage you to share memories of that special person along the way. Simply sign up on their page and you will receive a welcome pack and a running vest or t-shirt. Share your journey on social media to encourage your friends and family to donate to this great cause so that John Taylor Hospice can continue providing their vital service to local families.
Walk 5 for 5 to raise money for St Basils
If you, like most people, saw the late Captain Tom Moore as an inspiration, you can take part in a similar activity to help Birmingham-based young people’s charity St Basils. They work with young people who are homeless or at risk by offering accommodation, support networks and youth engagement services.
All you need to do to get involved is nominate someone to walk 5km in a confined space such as their kitchen or garden. If they complete the challenge, you donate just £5 to St Basils, the cost of housing a vulnerable young person for one night. Use #5for5 on social media and nominate as many people as you like to spread the word. Bonus points for doing it in fancy dress!
Skydive to Save Acorns Black Country Hospice
Fancy a bit more excitement? Maybe you’re terrified of heights and want to face your fears while raising money. Whatever the motive, Acorns Black Country Hospice in Walsall needs your help. Due to a lack of funding, the hospice is at risk of closing. The team provide care and support for life-limited and life-threatened children and their families, and over 200 local kids rely on this service.
So, you can you help? Well, it’s as easy as jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet… Pledge to raise £450 and you can join the fight to save the hospice which has been admirably holding off its closure since 2019 thanks to the kind donations and fundraising efforts of Britons.
Become a Red Runner for Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Get into a healthy routine while supporting the NHS by completing a sponsored run, walk, jog or even swim! You decide the distance and you set the pace, but this as good a reason as any to get off your sofa, dust off those running shoes and get active for a good cause.
Birmingham Children’s Hospital takes care of 90,000 sick kids at their hospital and have so far raised over £14,000 since July last year. Take part so the heroes at the hospital can keep doing their work and you’ll even receive your very own Red Runners medal!
Raise Your Game for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice
Do you need a better excuse to play games? Whether video games are board games are your thing, you can use your hobby to raise money for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. They are a team of people dedicated to improving quality of life for people with life-limiting illnesses, whether by lending an ear, advising or offering pain reduction strategies, as well as supporting families through this challenging period.
You could stream yourself playing a game on YouTube or Twitch, host a virtual fundraising gaming tournament, or set a target for you to play a game for a long period. Perhaps you’d like to bring some more excitement and introduce challenges or forfeits. Whatever you fancy, the event page is full of even more ideas on how to get involved and gather donations for the hospice to keep running.
With all of this in mind, it’s clear that are still lots of ways for you to help your local community this month. What’s more, you can get active and feel good while doing it!