Changing lives, it’s easier than you think…

The Surrey Care Trust is an organisation that provides learning, training and mentoring to support young people and adults in improving their chances in life. Whether you are fundraising, raising awareness or giving what you can to charity, it all goes towards helping others.

As I have publically announced, I will be running the Virgin London Marathon in order to raise money and awareness for the Surrey Care Trust. I pledge to not just raise the money, but also act as a medium in order to report on the incredible work that this charity commits to everyday.

Talking is one of the most powerful natural tools we have as human beings. We socialise, negotiate, joke, explain and offer advice through talking.

It’s good to talk. And as a charity that every week is bringing together people needing support with volunteers wanting to offer it, the Surrey Care Trust is helping to start many conversations.

But mentoring is not just about talking. Its mentoring team – volunteers and staff – often give very practical help, too.

Stuart – not his real name – is an example of someone who wasn’t too keen on talking when he first met mentoring co-ordinator Cathy Leamon.

The dedicated staff are experienced to offer realistic, viable yet life-changing solutions. Long-term unemployed and without a home of his own for years, he was finally on the point of getting a toehold on a more stable life with the offer of housing association accommodation. The days of sofa hopping or living in a tent were at an end. In the past, he had been involved in petty crime but he seemed to have put that behind him too. Perhaps he didn’t want or need the help.

But it was to Cathy he turned to the day he went to pick up the key to his new home and a discrepancy between two pieces of information threatened to derail the process. The timing, just a couple of days before Christmas, added urgency and poignancy to the situation.

Awkward when dealing with other people, Stuart had simply become angry and agitated and the housing staff felt intimidated.

Cathy dropped everything to go and act as an unofficial negotiator. She managed to defuse the situation and Stuart got the key to his new front door.

On New Year’s Eve, one of Cathy’s team of volunteers helped Stuart with his online application for housing benefit. He had never used a computer before.

Since then the volunteer has helped him to budget more effectively, to apply for a provisional driver’s licence so he has photo identification to smooth his dealings with officialdom, and persuaded him to try an employability skills course.

All charities make a difference. The organisations don’t have to cure diseases or end third-world poverty in order to be effective. The Surrey Care Trust works in order to help people who are struggling with many different situations. Sometimes just a bit of effort can go a long way in making someone’s lives more fulfilled. Knowledge on education, housing and employment can turn someone’s future around.

I respect every single employee and volunteer that works to help people like Stuart. I couldn’t do it and neither could a lot of people. I strongly feel as if we should all do what we can to help local charities. For me that starts by writing this blog, showing people how amazing this charity is, raising the vital funds needed to keep the work going and running 26.2 miles to raise awareness for the Surrey Care Trust.

Please give what you can. Please visit my just giving page to learn more about my journey, the charity and how you can help make a difference. Thank you. https://www.justgiving.com/Hamish-Kilburn?

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