It’s a great way to make a real difference to someone’s life at just the time they need it most.
Huddersfield-based charitable group 500 Give a **** aims to build a network of 500 people who donate £1 a week.
The donations all go in a pot and members can nominate individuals to benefit from help.
The group, which took its inspiration from a similar idea operated in Manchester by former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, has been going for almost a year. It is run by Deborah Munt, Sharon Munt, Charlotte Furness, Christine Renshaw, Ammie Flexen and Yvonne Witter.
Over the last year the Huddersfield group has donated £3,900 to nine individuals and two Huddersfield charities, Destitute Asylum Seekers in Huddersfield (DASH) and the Basement Recovery Project.
Charlotte Furness said: “500 give a **** is such a simple and beautiful idea. Five hundred people join forces and give £1 a week to help others who are in a tough place.
“Any member of the group can then nominate if they come across someone who could really use a little financial support in a hurry. The group cuts through ‘it can’t be done’ bureaucracy by quickly responding when people really need it.”
The group is known as 500 Give a *** and people can decide for themselves which four-letter word suits them best! It could be ‘gift’, ‘hand’ or ‘s**t’ for example.
Dijana, who became a member of the group, found it frustrating trying to help a mother-of-four who was fleeing domestic violence.
She felt she couldn’t do enough to help her around Christmas time and she turned to 500 Give for help. The group awarded the mum £350 to help towards the cost of school uniforms and Christmas presents.
There was a similar story from Anne who came across an older gent through her work. She found no-one else was able to help when he needed support. Anne nominated him and he had £350 in his bank account within 48 hours.
The group carries out extensive scrutiny and a panel votes on the nominations before money is handed out.
Deborah Munt said: “Dijana and Anne’s feedback shows us how easy it is to feel helpless or angry when we see how people are falling through the gaps.
“You might think £1 doesn’t go very far these days or wonder what difference it could make but this group shows that if we join all our little bits together we can make a very big difference to someone who is at their lowest. It helps them and it helps the giver – it’s a win-win.”
The group is growing slowly but is calling for new members to join because without the quids there can be no gives! The more members there are, the more help can be offered.
To join the group or find out more go to www.500give.co.uk and follow for updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.