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Week 15 - Lively Minds

on 01/05/2015

So far, all of my time with the Nicest Job has been spent with charities who service a need within the UK. Be it blindness or animal rescue to Cystic Fibrosis and Autism. But this week, my focus and attention was cast over to Africa. Lively Minds are a UK based charity that provides support to mothers and children in Uganda and Ghana. Through their work and research, they give them the tools to educate and inspire their children through interactive play sessions.

Having won a Lego award for their work and being supported by a UNICEF grant, you can't really dispute the incredible work they have been doing over the last few years. Helping in excess of 22,000 children across 70 communities, they strive to help break the poverty cycle by empowering these young children. Allowing them to make their own choices in life, not just the same one their parents were faced with; poverty.

My week began in a small-shared office where I was greeted by the warm and bubbly Julia, the Fundraising and Marketing Manager at Lively Minds. Interestingly enough Julia was one of the heads of Fundraising for the British Heart Foundation before she met Alison, the founder. She decided to jump ship and help Lively Minds on a part time basis and run her own Yoga Business. For a small charity having such a knowledge base like Julia really is a gold mine. If it's one thing I see in small charities is lack of direction and knowledge. But lucky, Lively Minds has a weapon at their disposal, and a very powerful one at that.

It's always interesting going to small charities, because they struggle. Now, don't get me wrong all charities and businesses struggle, but when you are a small charity, relying on trust funding, life can be an uphill battle. Like many of the individuals Lively Minds help in Africa, they too as a charity have to wade through the mud to ensure there is funding to send overseas. And with Lively Minds I feel this is their biggest challenge. The fact that the charity helps so many people in Africa and not in the UK can be very hard to raise funds for. Teamed with the Ebola outbreak, they are also finding it hard to send volunteers overseas to help their cause.

I spent my week helping with admin and research. Looking into ways for alternative funding and cleaning up their social media streams to be more impactful. It's a fine line with overseas funding because you need to be emotive but be careful that you are not being too graphic. Much like those Water Aid or Comic Relief videos we are all so used too, Lively Minds take a different, more happy approach.

On Thursday, I got to meet with another amazing charity, The Media Trust. A unique charity that provide PR, marketing and comms support to charities all across the UK. If it's one thing that I spend a lot of my time doing, it's social media support, training, PR and marketing. But after having an amazing meeting the Media Trust and the Nicest Job are looking at ways of working together to help all of the charities that I am with this year. So watch this space for some very exciting news!

Next week, I am with Marie Curie. It's a full circle for me because it's the hospice staff that helped Maura through her last days of life and the reason for the existence of the Good Deed Diary.

Luke Cameron

Author: Luke Cameron

Good deed enthusiast Luke Cameron has the Nicest Job in Britain. Follow his journey as he travels the country helping a different charity each week.