I have been thinking about abandoning this silly challenge as it's a bit pointless, but pure stubbornness and wanting to see it through for a year is keeping me holding on!! I've been thinking that the reason I wanted to do it was that our time on this planet is relatively short and I've always wanted to leave it having done more good than bad.
So, now I'm thinking that maybe I have a reputation as a "do-gooder" which is not me at all. Maybe this silly challenge isn't helping anyone but me. If it comes to the end of day and I think that I must find a charity and make a donation just for the sake of it, then clearly I'm not doing it for the right reasons. Initially, I thought it would be a good way to find out more about those smaller charities that don't get as much publicity and money as the larger ones, but now I can't help thinking that most people have a charity that's close to their hearts and they then run marathons every day or cycle to Africa and back and raise tens of thousands of pounds, which is far better than spreading yourself too thinly.
Anyway, there's a little insight into what's been going round my head of late, frightening though it is! So all I did today while I appraise this situation, and my life in general (hoho!) was to take a bag of clothes and books to Helen Hospice. Fortunately the volunteer had no idea of the contents of my head, and was pleased with the contents of the bag!
There are currently around 300 families on the charity's books and we actively support over 60 bereaved families. Helen House has eight beds - two are for emergency use. There are also four family flats so that the whole family can stay at the same time. Douglas House has seven beds, one is for emergency use. There are also three family suites so that the whole family can stay at the same time.
The limited number of beds in each house means that we can offer a very high level of 1-1 care for the children and young adults who visit us.
At our busiest periods, we cannot always meet the demand for our services and we may not be able to offer a family their first choice dates for respite stay. However, as we plan well in advance, we can almost always offer an alternative.
There is no charge to families using either House.
It costs £4.5 million every year to run Helen & Douglas House, the vast majority of which comes from voluntary sources (i.e. not the government).
Around 150 people across a range of disciplines. Most people work on the Care Team, but we also need people who can manage our finances, give HR and administrative support to our staff, look after our buildings and grounds, cook food, manage our shops, answer the telephone and, of course, look after our donors!