8 charities in Birmingham to support this year
The UK’s third largest city in terms of population, Birmingham is home to well over 2,000 registered charities, organisations, services, voluntary groups, and social enterprises. The city has a strong connection to the third sector, with the University of Birmingham being one of the founding institutions of the Third Sector Research Centre. A diverse hub in the heart of the West Midlands, the charities in the city span a large variety of causes. Some of Birmingham’s most noteworthy annual charity events include the Great Birmingham Run and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Christmas Concert.
Charities in Birmingham:
St. Basil’s Birmingham
St. Basil’s works with young people aged 16-25 who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Birmingham area. The charity enables those living on the street to find and keep a home, grow their confidence, develop their skills and increase their opportunities in life.
Each year, over 1,200 young people are housed through one of St. Basil’s forty supported accommodation schemes, including offspring of those in need of help. The organisation also provides a variety of prevention, support, employability and engagement services to help young people regain stability in their lives.
St. Basil’s aim is to help young people successfully break the ‘cycle of homelessness’ so that they can go on to experience a bright, fulfilling future and never return to a state where they are at risk of homelessness again.
Birmingham Crisis Centre
Since its establishment in 1988, the Birmingham Crisis Centre has provided a safe place for female victims of domestic abuse in the city. The charity works hard to offer security and comfort to women who have suffered the trauma of physical and mental abuse.
The charity’s purpose built accommodation offers a home for up to 23 women and their children in self-contained bed-sitting rooms, each with its own kitchen and bathroom. Communal facilities include a residents’ lounge, laundry, children’s playroom and an outside play area with an all-weather games facility. The centre also has a full-time nursery on site.
Over the last 12 months, 135 families stayed at the Birmingham Crisis Centre, spending an average of three to four months in the accommodation. The project’s aim is to assist in the process of reclaiming and rebuilding lives, restoring confidence and giving hope for the future.
Birmingham LGBT is the leading charity advocating for and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in the city and the surrounding area. The charity’s vision is for a vibrant LGBTQ+ community in Birmingham, in which individuals can realise their full potential and have equal access to what the city has to offer.
The objectives of Birmingham LGBT include raising awareness of the needs of those in the LGBTQ+ community in order to develop the services they require. Additionally, the charity works hard to challenge the negative stereotypes of LGBTQ+ people and fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the city. Creating a highly skilled LGBTQ+ third sector that has opportunities for volunteering and service development is also highly important to Birmingham LGBT.
The charity operates on five core values: Passion, Community, Respect, Equality and Diversity, and Empowerment.
Founded in 1899, Birmingham Settlement is one of the oldest charities in the city. Originally, the charity concentrated on providing support to deprived families in the St Mary’s area, now known as Newtown. Nowadays, Birmingham Settlement has a far broader reach, helping disadvantaged communities all across the city.
The charity offers a variety of services to help Birmingham residents gain the skills and confidence they require to bring about a positive changes in their lives. These services include money advice, youth work, employment assistance and skills training.
The mission of Birmingham Settlement is to create opportunity and choice for those in Birmingham who need it most – connecting and empowering people through action, activities, and shared learning to build and sustain wellbeing for all.
Young at Heart Birmingham
A small local charity established in 1982, Young at Heart offers help and support to families of children diagnosed with heart defects. Most children with serious heart defects require multiple surgeries in order to keep them alive, putting the loved ones of these children through enormous amounts of emotional turmoil.
Young at Heart provides regular ward visits and social forum groups for parents during their time in hospital with their sick child, but also offer a telephone support line for when they return home.
The charity brings families of those with heart defects together at social events, where they can meet with other families and share experiences. The events also give the children an opportunity to mix with peers who have gone through the same trauma and make friends with other ‘special hearted’ children.
Rape and Sexual Violence Project
The Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP) believes that everyone deserves a life free from sexual violence and abuse. The charity offers empathic services to support and inspire children and adults of all genders who have been subjected to sexual violence and abuse.
All of RSVP’s services are completely confidential, and are delivered with professionalism, humanity and sensitivity. Through these services, the charity provides the tools needed for victims to overcome the effects of sexual violence and give them a hopeful future.
A new steering group led by survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Birmingham the surrounding area will inform RSVP’s work in order to make sure the charity provides the services most needed by the community.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth
Birmingham Friends of the Earth is the largest Friends of the Earth local group in the whole of the UK, campaigning for environmental and social justice at a local, national and international level.
The group owns a building called the Warehouse, which has been the base of the charity’s work for past decades. Birmingham Friends of the Earth is owned and run by its members, and has ensured the Warehouse has disabled access so that it can be used by a wide range of groups that care about the environment.
The group campaigns on climate justice, including forced migration and a just transition from fossil fuels to renewables. It also campaigns for clean air, decent public transport, thriving nature, and a responsible approach to waste in the Birmingham area.
Birmingham Conservation Trust
Birmingham Conservation Trust exists to preserve and enhance Birmingham’s threatened architectural heritage and to promote an enjoyment and understanding of the city’s historic buildings. Founded in 1977, it is one of over 250 building preservation trusts in the UK.
The charity believes in working with local people in Birmingham to find imaginative, sustainable solutions that address local needs. This collaboration then helps Birmingham Conservation Trust achieve its goals of creating better places to live, work and play, enhancing local distinctiveness and identity, and acting as a catalyst for urban regeneration in run down areas of the city.
Birmingham Conservation Trust also actively works to encourage access and promote enjoyment of the city’s historic buildings.
Next read: 9 Bristol Charities to Support this Year