Local Charities

Local charities making a difference in 2019

If your 2019 resolution is to give something back this year, here’s 10 top local charities and how to help



According to NHS England, over 40,000 children in the UK are left with a brain injury as a result of accident or illness every year. The Children’s Trust is the leading UK charity which offers aid to children living with a brain injury or neurodisability. The charity delivers rehabilitation, education and community services with skilled teams who work to support the children, their families, and aid young people who are living with long-term difficulties. The charity has an in-house paediatric brain injury rehabilitation service which seeks to maximise each child’s potential, restore lost skills, facilitate new learning, among other aims. Donations towards the charity also go towards research which supports clinical research. The charity is also home to The Children’s Trust School, which is a residential non-maintained school for children aged three and upwards who live with profound multiple learning difficulties.



Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, St Raphael’s in Sutton has offered hospice care to people with terminal and lifelimiting illness living in the boroughs of Merton and Sutton since 1987, and continues to do so through funding from the local community (80% of its running cost) and the NHS. The free hospice service provides exceptional palliative and end-of-life care, with hospice doctors working closely alongside specialist home care nurses, general practitioners, community nurses and social services. Ultimately the hospice aims to relieve symptoms, sustain quality of life, and support end of life care and care after death. The hospice also cares for the family and friends of those with life-limiting illnesses, offering support and counselling to partners, family, and close friends and providing advice for coming to terms with grief. St Raphael’s Hospice services also includes day therapy at the Jubilee Centre, providing creative opportunities for those in need with social days out, access to physiotherapy, comforting therapies, welfare advice and emotional support while giving carers a break.

Please check St Raphael’s website at or call its Fundraising Team on 020 8254 2450.



Did you know that Epsom plays host to one of the oldest charities in the UK? SeeAbility, formerly known as the Royal School for the Blind, will celebrate its 220th anniversary in 2019. SeeAbility champions better eye care for people with learning disabilities and autism, many of whom have sight loss. The people they support overcome huge barriers to achieve exciting new things every day. What can you do to help? Desiree D’Souza, director of partnerships, says: “We are incredibly grateful to our many volunteers and supporters who live in Surrey. You make it possible for the people we support to live extraordinary lives and we wanted to thank you for this.”

Please check Seeability’s website at christmas-concert  or call 01372 755042



Kingston Samaritans took their first phone call on 10th May 1968 and since then their 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 their free telephone number – 116 123. Last year they answered over 21,000 telephone calls, sent over 2,000 texts, responded to nearly 4,000 emails and saw 160 callers face to face. Their vision at the Samaritans is that fewer people die by suicide and they work to achieve this vision by making it their mission to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicidal feelings and suicidal behaviour. They 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. 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! Their 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 they 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.



The Buddy Scheme started approximately 19 years ago and matches volunteers to a buddy with learning disabilities so they can enjoy leisure activities together. Their aims are to reduce isolation amongst people with learning disabilities and increase independence and choice. They 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 they had 20 buddy pairs enjoying leisure activities throughout the year, with their volunteers giving a total of 700 hours. The range of activities their buddy pairs take part in is huge and includes day trips to the coast, sports activities, visiting museums, enjoying meals out and allowing their service users to follow their own interests. They are also very proud of our volunteers who are kind, caring, patient and allow their buddies to make decisions at their own pace. Check out the Buddy Scheme’s website for more information



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

See their website for more information



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. They are asking Home Office permission to resettle their first family so they hope to be receiving that family some time in 2019.

See the website for more information



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. They 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. While respecting that each carer will have individual needs regarding their own wellbeing, they are keen to make contact with more ‘hidden’ carers. As Time to Change Champions, they fully support all measures to destigmatise mental health.

Please see the website for more information



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. This 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 they have their 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.

See their website for more information



Partnership for Children was founded as a charity in 2001 to help children to be mentally and emotionally healthy. They 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. Their 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.

For more information visit their website at