Get involved

If you love your job then getting up each Monday morning is something to look forward to rather than a chore. I’m lucky, I work in the charity sector and each and every day I can go home knowing that I’ve made a difference to someone’s life. That is incredibly rewarding. Perhaps we have helped them through a difficult patch or problem. Maybe we have given them the tools to get a better job or even get back to work after being made redundant. For a lot of people, work is a means to an end, it pays the rent or mortgage and keeps food on the proverbial table. At the Rainy Day Trust, we have a number of firms that are business partners and we work closer with them to support their staff, and also to give those same staff members the chance to give something back for the benefit of their colleagues. Many people help charities or even set ones up after the loss of a loved one. For me, at face value, there are two very simple reasons why I work for a charity and then set one up in my daughter’s name after she died; firstly, I set up Evie’s Gift to make sure that Evie’s name lives on long after I have died, and secondly, because for both work and Evie’s Gift, nothing beats the feeling you get when you help someone else. But underneath that was a more fundamental need. A need to help, be needed, to regain that purpose in life once again. Nothing helps like helping someone else.

Setting up a charity is a pretty extreme step to take, involves an incredible amount of time and work and there are so many other simpler ways that you can help others. You could fundraise for a charity that has been involved with you, look out for elderly neighbours, do a beach clean looking for plastic, do litter picks or volunteer your time for any one of 167,000 active charities in the UK. It’s one of those dreadful clichés to say it’s ‘giving something back’, but the act of selflessness does help us through a dark time or can help us to make sense of our place in the world. You never know, one day you might need that help from someone else.

For me, being needed is central to who I am, who I want to be. On Christmas Day we volunteered for Bath Churches Open Christmas all day, serving a Christmas meal to people living alone and those who are homeless. The gain for us was that we didn’t have to think about Evie not being there for our first Christmas without her, we just got on with the job, and then went home to chicken fajitas and a decent bottle of wine. Supporting charity doesn’t always have to be about donating money – although all charities need that too.

Every day the news is full of stories around Brexit, the uncertainty that it is causing and new job losses or companies struggling to survive. I live near Swindon and the town is reeling from the news that Honda is to close the plant in 2021. Since Christmas we have seen a number of well-known home improvement firms go under with thousands of jobs affected. The Rainy Day Trust is supporting both the firms and the staff affected by the risk of redundancy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we don’t have an endless pot of money to dip into, and we constantly need people to help us help others. So how about being an ambassador where you work? Do something for someone else! Run a small event for us to help fundraise, make your work colleagues aware of how we can help them if they need us, or just be there when someone needs a shoulder to lean on. Whatever you do, helping someone else will give you a lift, so why not give it a go? It doesn’t have to be much, and whatever you choose to do for someone else, it will feel good. A classic win-win.

If you’d like to do your bit for Evie's Gift then ping me an e-mail for a sponsorship pack. Remember every little helps.