International Day of Charity – The importance of Social Action

Today is the International Day of Charity, it has been established with the objective of “sensitizing and mobilizing people, NGO’s (non-governmental organisations), and stakeholders all around the world to to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities”.

According to the United Nations “The date of 5 September was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.””

More information about the International Day of Charity can be found here on the United Nations website.

You can take part in the International Day of Charity any day of the year just by volunteering or taking part in social action. If you are aged 16 – 17 you can take part in NCS, this is a great opportunity for you to meet new people, have fun and do something good at the same time. My last articles cover what a group of young people in Bridlington did as part of the ERVAS NCS programme. If you would like to sign up to NCS visit www.ncsflt.co.uk.

If you’re aged between 16 and 25, and you have a positive message that you want to use to inspire others, then you can take part in Fixers. They will help you do just that, whether it comes from your own personal experiences, or it’s just something you feel passionate about, you can use posters, leaflets, films, stage your own events, or even star in your own music video to get your message across. The best part about Fixers is that they reach every single postcode in the UK and they cover a wide range of topics. To find out more about Fixers visit www.fixers.org.uk.

There are also a range of other national organizations that you can volunteer for such as Get Connected. Get Connected is the UK’s free, confidential and multi-issue helpline service for young people under 25 who need help, but don’t know where to turn. They are currently looking for people to become digital connectors, you can find out more about this great opportunity on their website here: www.getconnected.org.uk/volunteer.

If you would like to find a volunteering opportunity near you, you can contact your local Volunteer Centre, they can help you to find volunteer opportunities that are right for you.

If you already volunteer why don’t you share your social action story with the #iwill campaign on twitter @iwill_campaign or make a pledge on their website www.iwill.org.uk. Or take part in #GivingTuesday (the first Tuesday of December every year) www.givingtuesday.org.uk.

Check out this video by me, that shows why you should volunteer, it is also available on the Devan Group website www.devangroup.co.uk.

Isn’t bullying just part of growing up?

45% of young people are bullied before the age of 18 and some people believe that this is just part of growing up saying “it’s character building.”

This however is not the case, bullying can have some huge effects on young people and can also aid in the development of mental heath conditions, such as SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

“So it’s not just part of growing up?”

Out of 3,600 young people questioned, 10% said they have attempted to commit suicide – that’s a massive 360 young people! Yet a further 30% have actually self-harmed because of being bullied proves otherwise.

Some people believe that we are “running the risk of children growing up who are not going to be able to look after themselves in social situations” yet one main effect of bullying is Social Phobia…

So why do people let it happen? Its not surprising that 51% of young people are not happy with the support they receive from teachers – but why is this?

My opinion is that there is not enough information provided to schools about the issue and that some teachers have never been a victim – therefore do not understand what its like as a young person.

That is one of my main reasons for working with Fixers to create a website for teachers on how to tackle bullying. The website can be seen here www.adviceforteachers.org.uk. Fixers are an amazing charity providing young people a voice and the best part is that they reach every UK postcode.

By teaching the teachers about bullying, we can start to help change the attitude towards it, by showing that it is not accepted and not a part of growing up. If something like this causes so many problems it should be stopped once it is apparent.

There are some great organisations out there who provide help and support to victims of bullying. My main advice to anyone being bullied is to tell someone. You can start that now by contacting Get Connected.

Remember there’s always someone you can talk to, so don’t suffer in silence. Have a chat today. It’s good to be different.

Click here to contact Get Connected or visit www.getconnected.org.uk.getconnected_logo

Notes:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-490250/Coping-bullies-growing-says-child-expert.html

http://www.ditchthelabel.org/uk-bullying-statistics-2014/

http://www.headspace.org.au/is-it-just-me/find-information/bullying