As a young child you don’t notice all of the things around you; you stick to your regular routine and you don’t tend to go outside of it but as an ‘adult’ (still weird calling myself one, who agrees?) I’ve definitely opened my eyes more to what is happening around me everyday. It’s helped me make a conscious decision to doing more to help those around me, whether it be a charity, a friend or just changing the way I do something that can in the long run, make a positive change the environment and community.

I was mostly inspired by some social media posts I saw late last year, encouraging people to donate to their food banks and how to do it. Believe it or not, its much easier to do it than you think – and it really doesn’t take much out of your day and week. Feeling passionate about helping others, I then shared the post on my own social media and encouraged my family to do what they could do, to help those around us, less fortunate this Christmas. I’ve been trying to find a way to talk about this subject since then, and just how you can all round help your local community so when I found out that Slater and Gordon Lawyers had a campaign running called #MyCommunityAndMe where they’re influencing people like me and you to have more pride in the community we live in.

Wherever you’re from, you’ve probably heard the famous words “I hate this place, I can’t wait to move” but with a given chance, would you? I wouldn’t. I love my home town and knowing that I have the ability to spare a bit of time in my life to show the pride I have in our local communities such as local charities and events is such a brilliant thing. Small steps can make big changes.

So, with that being said – I’m sharing five things I’m doing this year with PRIDE to support my local community, Doncaster. This post is in no way a step by step manual on what you should be doing but more of a bit of encouragement from me to you, on how you can support your local community as well.

ONE | Donating Supplies to Local Food Banks
If I can encourage just one person to donate to a local food bank from this blog post then I will have succeeded in everything I set out to do when I first wrote this post. The Trussell Trust partners with local communities to help stop UK hunger. I’m very fortunate to have grown up with everything I’ve ever needed but some people, closer than you think, don’t.

With over 400 food banks in our country alone you are close enough to drop some supplies in. An extra £5 on top of your food shop will support a family that are experiencing crisis. Some supermarkets even hold a drop off bin so you aren’t going out of your way to give the food in. My father & I are starting a shop once a month especially to help the local food bank by checking The Trussel Trust’s website to find out EXACTLY what my local food bank needs and don’t need – it’s important to check this. It can be found by locating your town on their website (click here). You really don’t need to spend much or go out of your way to make a big difference.

TWO | Attending Local Events (charities)
Charities run off our support and attending an event (it could be a fun day, a charity run or even a party!) thats specialising in fund-raising for a special cause could be a great day out for you and also end in a great success for the charity. It’s easy for you to find out whats on by searching your town or cities name along with ‘charity events‘, keep an eye out for notices in windows, leaflets through your door and appeals on Facebook.  Find something thats going on, get your friends together and support whoever and whatever you can. I know that theres a few that we already visit annually to raise money and it’s always been great fun.

THREE | Encouraging Those Around You
As soon as I heard about how easy it was to support my local food bank and also find out exactly what they needed from a social media post on Twitter spreading the word, I told my friends, my family and everybody that I could. I sat and talked to my Dad about what we could do to help as a small business in our local community and opened another pair of eyes to what we can do to help those around us. Without conversation, people don’t know. So drop it into a conversation when you’re next hanging out with friends or at a family get-together and show those around you how much pride you have in your local community in order to help.

FOUR | Plan Your Own Events
So, if you’re struggling to find local charity events to support in your local community or you’re feeling a little bit creative, why not plan your own? It’s a great excuse to spend a few weeks or months planning something special by getting people on board and being passionate about who and what you’ll be supporting by running the event. It gets the community together and as a whole team, doing something big for a local charity gives you more pride than you realise you ever had.

Although I didn’t plan an event itself, I did a charity Sky Dive last year and raised £700. It’s so easy to do and so many more people came together to support me and the charity than I thought would.

FIVE | Smile & Talk More
Finally, the last thing I’m making a decision to do more this year is to smile and talk more with those around me; especially in my local community. When I first moved areas in my town, I found it really hard to get to know those around me. Mostly my neighbours, because of anxiety. Going round to collect a parcel can seem like a big job so I would send someone else round for me but I’ve faced my worst fears and started doing more things that scare me. The things anxiety can stop you from doing (such as knocking on someones door) can seem really small from someone else’s point of view but this really did stop me from speaking to people more than I could have. I now go round with my head lifted high, grab my parcels and stand and talk for a few minutes. I always feel much better about myself when I leave and it can really perk up my day. We all live in the same community so we might as well live in a happy, friendly one. I’m contributing a smile, it can make somebody’s day.

I absolutely love the community I live in and all the opportunities there are out there to contribute my time and effort into supporting them. Small changes to the way you see things can make a huge difference in the community you live in. A different topic for my blog but something I feel so passionate about, I’m all for a much more positive year and the things I’ve touched on in this post is definitely going to assist me into making sure my year is exactly that.

I’d love to know if there are any local charities or events you attend and support.

Lots of Love, Debra-Bow xxx