Founded in 2001, Giving World is a small Leicestershire-based national charity. Strongly believing that a world without waste creates a world without want, they distribute new end of line stock and equipment to the most deprived communities in the UK. Essential items are given for free to those who need them most. This includes items such as clothing, toiletries and basic household products which despite being unopened, would otherwise be sent to landfill.
As well as providing this extremely valuable redistribution service, Giving World also runs a popular volunteer programme. The programme supports some of the most vulnerable people in communities, many of whom are recovering from mental ill health or who are learning disabled, by providing learning opportunities and work experience. Numeracy and literacy skills and confidence building are just some of the impacts that this programme has on its participants.
In 2014 Giving World redistributed 540,492 individual items to over 130,000 vulnerable people in the UK. Beneficiaries include children and low income families, adults with physical or mental health problems, homeless people, the elderly and isolated hospital patients.
Giving World also run an additional volunteer programme. This programme seeks to support the volunteers by providing learning opportunities and work experience to some of the most vulnerable in the community, such as those recovering from mental health issues and those who are learning disabled with complex needs. It has proven to be a very popular programme, with a waiting list of over 8 weeks.
Recognising the importance of programmes such as this, the Carlton Hayes Mental Health Charity has supported Giving World’s volunteer programme over the last year. Volunteers love coming to the Giving World programme, benefitting from important experiences such as numeracy and literacy skills, collaborative working and confidence building.
Volunteers attain amazing achievements as a result of the programme. For the first time, they do things like getting on the bus, solo; counting past 20; and creating friendships - some of which truly endure. They laugh with one another, challenge each other and eat biscuits together, all while sorting and packing boxes of goods to deliver to a family or person they are helping. So, rather than simply the volunteers being helped, they’re helping others too. The power and effect of this simple notion cannot be underestimated.