Every little helps: how your small donation can build up something bigger

A CHARITY that offers help, advice and support to empower people is looking for a little help of its own.

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CommuniCare, which offers everything from a form filling service to support with finances, divorce and legal issues, is looking for a lot of people and churches to contribute a little each, proving that small things make a difference.

“We’re a small charity that punches way above its weight,” explains CommuniCare’s manager, Francesca Yates. “Agencies we work with can’t speak highly enough of what we do – we have an amazing reputation. I just want to continue growing it.”

At the moment, the East Reading-based advice centre is open for a limited amount of time and that regularly means high waiting times for people looking for help. One in five of the people who call in need help with form filling, with Francesca citing one such form weighing in at 54 pages.

“A lot of clients have low literacy levels and you give them a big booklet to fill out,” she explains. “They know that coming to us they can sit with one of our advisors and get help.”

Francesca adds: “Every single one of us [volunteering] is needed. We’re often really full to the rafters.

“CommuniCare fulfills an awful lot of community work.”

The charity, which is based behind Wycliffe Baptist Church on King’s Road, Reading, has seen a 25% increase year on year on clients helped.

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“A lot of clients are referred to us by other agencies. We have four paid part-time staff (two of whom are advisers), and we want to grow with the need and take it to the next level.”

To do this, Francesca is appealing for people and churches to help out.

She says: “I want churches not to give a big commitment. Just £50 or £150 a year would really help.”

As an example, Francesca says that a small amount of help would provide mobile phones for the team, so they don’t have to use their own personal phones.

To sign up to become a Friend of CommuniCare, email them, call 0118 926 3941 or log on to www.communicare.org.uk.

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