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Kingston Charity Special

Kingston Samaritans took our first phone call on 10th May 1968 and since then our volunteers have been supporting the community by providing a non-judgemental listening service. The majority of callers who contact the Kingston branch do so by calling our free telephone number – 116 123. Last year we answered over 21,000 telephone calls, sent over 2,000 texts, responded to nearly 4,000 emails and saw 160 callers face to face.

Our vision at the Samaritans is that fewer people die by suicide and we work to achieve this vision by making it our mission to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicidal feelings and suicidal behaviour.

We do this by being available 24 hours a day to provide emotional support, reaching out to high risk groups and communities, working in partnership with other organisations, agencies and experts and influencing public policy and raising awareness.

What can the local community do to help?
Monday 21st January, also known as ‘Blue Monday’ is considered to be one of the most difficult days of the year for many people, Christmas is over, the credit cards are in, the New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned, not to mention the weather! Our Brew Monday campaign encourages people to take time to talk (and have a brew) with friends, family and colleagues to ease the burden.  This year we hope to run a number of Brew Monday fundraising events for the branch so if you would like to run an event please email to request a fundraising pack.

Donations to Kingston Samaritans would also be much appreciated – you can donate via our website

We are always looking for volunteers so if you are interested in becoming a Samaritan please visit our website:

The Buddy Scheme started approximately 19 years ago and matches volunteers to a buddy with learning disabilities so they can enjoy leisure activities together. Our aims are to reduce isolation amongst people with learning disabilities and increase independence and choice.

We are proud of the number of people who have been able to enjoy leisure activities over the years and the difference the scheme has made to the lives of people with learning difficulties. In 2017/2018 we had 20 buddy pairs enjoying leisure activities throughout the year, with our volunteers giving a total of 700 hours. The range of activities our buddy pairs take part in is huge and includes day trips to the coast, sports activities, visiting museums, enjoying meals out and allowing our service users to follow their own interests. We are also very proud of our volunteers who are kind, caring, patient and allow their buddies to make decisions at their own pace.

What can the local community do to help?
We would welcome more volunteers so we can increase the number of service users who could enjoy going out regularly with a buddy.

We also welcome any donations that helps us to provide group activities so that volunteers and their buddies can meet each other.

Save the World Club was founded in 1985 to act as an umbrella for people concerned about the health of the planet.  We are particularly proud of our award winning community mosaic murals that adorn Kingston and their success in tagging prevention, beautifying the borough and recycling ceramics destined for landfill. We are currently using this technique to transform the entranceway to the backdrop of Millais's iconic "Ophelia" - here in Kingston borough!

What can the local community do to help?
We are always happy to chat to interested locals who express an interest in our mosaics, our programme of recycling and reuse, and our surplus food collection and donation service, identifying those who are locked in food poverty. We focus minds on positive solutions to consumptive lifestyles whilst recirculating countless objects destined for landfill.

Kingston Community Refugee Sponsorship (KCRS) works within the government’s Community Sponsorship scheme to resettle refugee families within the Kingston borough. KCRS was founded as a registered charity in June 2018 as a collaborative effort between different faith groups in the borough. We are asking Home Office permission to resettle our first family so we hope to be receiving that family some time in 2019.

What can the local community do to help?
We will need help from the local community to locate a property for rent, preferably at the local authority rate, within the borough. When the family arrives we will need volunteers who can help with their integration into the local community. The family’s first language will probably be some form of Arabic so volunteers able to help with English / Arabic interpretation will be especially useful. If you support our objectives and want to help, then please visit our website

Formed in 2001, Kingston Mental Health Carers' Forum is the only local charity to specifically support these carers, who are often reluctant to make their situation generally known. We are pleased to be able to provide both group and 1:1 Peer Support as well as, where appropriate, being able to refer to more professional help. Run by carers, we campaign strongly for their views to be taken into account by commissioners, health and social care providers when services are being provisioned. Whilst respecting that each carer will have individual needs regarding their own wellbeing, we are keen to make contact with more 'hidden' carers. As Time to Change Champions, we fully support all measures to destigmatise mental health.

There are 40,000 people in the UK who have Down’s syndrome and two babies are born every day with the condition.  All have some form of a learning disability and many also have other health conditions. In spite of these issues, people with Down’s syndrome can lead full and rewarding lives; they are entitled to access high quality healthcare, good education and employment, with the expectation to live fulfilling lives within their local communities.

The registered charity strives to improve the lives of people with Down’s syndrome whilst raising much needed awareness of the condition.  The DSA runs a number of services to transform the lives of people with DS including DSActive, providing opportunities for those with Down’s syndrome to actively take part in sport and Workfit. Workfit recognises that young people with Down’s syndrome have aspirations and expectations similar to their peers.  On leaving mainstream school at 16 years they wish to seek employment like their peers but face an ‘invisible barrier’ with many more obstacles to overcome to secure employment and independence than their contemporaries. WorkFit is unique in the bespoke training and support it offers to both employers and employees.

Locally we have our Down2Earth group. The Down2Earth group is a group of adults with Down’s syndrome. They help the DSA make decisions about what they do. They make sure people with Down’s syndrome have their say.

What can the local community do to help?
We would love your support by fundraising for these important services, getting your employer involved, or through volunteering. You could do something amazing and really make a difference.

Partnership for Children was founded as a charity in 2001 to help children to be mentally and emotionally healthy. We have produced a series of school based programmes which help young children (aged 5 – 9 years) around the world to communicate effectively, cope with their anxieties and difficulties and develop skills for life. Our flagship programme for 5 – 7 year olds – Zippy’s Friends – is one of the world’s most successful mental health promotion programmes.  It is taught across the UK and in over 30 countries around the world.  To date over 1.7 million children around the world have enrolled on our programmes.

What can the local community do to help?
We would love local children in Kingston and Richmond to benefit from our work.  Modern life can be full of challenges for our children.   As parents and teachers, we can’t change this but our programmes can help children to develop the skills they will need to cope with life’s difficulties, to manage their emotions and to develop resilience.  We are looking for local primary schools interested in running our programmes and local businesses and grant givers who may wish to support our work.

We would like to offer local primary schools the chance to be trained to run our programmes.  We also have free resources available on our website for parents and teachers who want to help children deal with difficult issues such as anxiety, communication, friendships, bullying, conflict and change and loss.