7 ways to help The Together Project that (mostly) don’t involve giving us your money

Dad Lee, mum JJ, Karis and baby Zoe getting to know Summerdale Court resident Iris at Songs & Smiles

Dad Lee, mum JJ, Karis and baby Zoe getting to know Summerdale Court resident Iris at Songs & Smiles

Moving to the non-profit sector is simultaneously one of the most rewarding, frustrating, empowering and challenging things I’ve ever done. The benefits are immense – our time and energy are directed towards activities that make a tangible, positive impact on people’s lives, which gives an incredible sense of purpose. But it’s no secret that, in these times of austerity, funding to help ventures such as ours can be incredibly hard to come by.

We receive many wonderful messages of support about our work from across the globe, so I wanted to give you a list of easy actions you could take that would make a real difference to us.

If you can find the time and inclination to do one (or more!) of these actions, the team and I would be so, so grateful. And we’d love you to tell us about it too, on Twitter, Facebook or email!

Action: leave a review on our Facebook page

How this helps: your review might convince someone to try Songs & Smiles for the first time. We love to reach people who are feeling nervous about coming into a care home, or who are wondering how to interact with the people they meet, and show them they can be part of something really special. Plus, reviews create a great impression for potential funders who might visit the page.

Action: talk about us on social media

How this helps: it puts our work in front of new people – and you never know who that might be and how they could help. Our work in Newham came about because a wonderful person from the NHS discovered us on Twitter and was the kind of mover-and-shaker who gets things (and money) moving. Serendipity is a wonderful thing and social media is a great facilitator. Our Twitter and Instagram handles are @together_proj.

Action: talk to your workplace about us

How this helps: we’re on the lookout for a corporate partner who wants to support us on our journey. From sponsorship opportunities to teambuilding events, we can create something that is beneficial to both parties. Does your workplace have a CSR strategy? Do they want to start one? Are they looking to give back to local communities? Then send them our way.

Action: donate the cost of a monthly coffee

How this helps: ok, so this one does involve money, but not much! Our donation page includes the option to set up a regular monthly payment. £2.50 is the amount some people spend on a daily coffee – donate it to us once a month and you’ll be giving us a regular income, which really helps. 

Action: sign up to easyfundraising

How this helps: This is a corker – you can raise funds for us every time you shop at most big name (and some smaller name) online retailers at zero cost to yourself. John Lewis, Amazon, Sainsburys, Apple, Thomas Cook and more! Sign up quickly and easily using this link and you’ll get full instructions on what to do. (If you use Google Chrome as your web browser, we recommend installing the Donation Reminder, which will prompt you every time you visit a partner site).

Action: hand out some flyers

How this helps: we like to spread the word about Songs & Smiles to new parents/guardians who haven’t come across us before. Maybe you go to a local coffee shop near one of our venues that might be happy to have some flyers? Or you think some of the people who go to one of your baby & toddler groups would be interested in hearing about us? Let us know and we can send some flyers your way. 

Action: join us as a volunteer

How this helps: we’re always on the lookout for people to help with our weekly groups, so head over to our Volunteer page to find out more. Previous volunteer Aishwarya described it as ‘one of the best experiences of my life’!

Louise Goulden