Gosport and Fareham charity Acts of Kindness looks to a bright future as it plans skills workshops and youth schemes
A HARDWORKING charity is hoping to expand its vision of helping others in new ways, including running workshops and setting up a youth ambassador scheme.
Acts of Kindness is based at St Matthew’s Church, Gosport and has been helping local people for five years, giving aid to an estimated 10,000 residents.
The charity’s services range from providing food parcels for people living on the breadline, to collecting laptops for schoolchildren and helping people access legal aid when needed.
Founder Kerry Snuggs is looking forward to the future of the charity and what its plans for continuing services look like.
She said: ‘We endeavour to spread Acts of Kindness across the Solent initially and then the dream would be for Acts of Kindness crisis centres across the UK.
‘It is sad that this is necessary, however it will give a huge support to communities for their crisis situations.’
The charity was recently given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for its efforts during the pandemic.
Acts of Kindness aims to be unlike any other crisis centre in the country, and in the near future Kerry hopes to be running community workshops and providing potentially life-changing skills courses.
She added: ‘We hope to promote budgeting courses, cooking and skills-based workshops to assist those who are trying to get back on their feet, but also loneliness workshops for craft and the like.
‘We will have an outreach worker who will encourage volunteers to use their skills and expertise to assist the community.’
Acts of Kindness is also developing a youth ambassador programme to promote kindness among the younger generation.
Kerry said: ‘The idea is in its infancy, however we imagine it to look like liaison between school and youth groups of an Acts of Kindness programme for young children and teens to achieve some sort of badge or acknowledgment of their efforts.’
The charity has already been promoting the importance of kindness and generosity to younger people through a scheme last Christmas which saw children donating presents for the less fortunate, instead of just receiving Christmas gifts without a thought of those who may not have such a merry Christmas.
While these plans are still in their very early stages due to the difficulties surrounding coronavirus, Kerry said she hopes that the future plans will benefit Hampshire in a far-reaching way.
Kerry said: ‘[These schemes] give a way of people supporting their community. [They will] increase a person’s mental health with a place to turn to without fear of being judged.’
After an especially difficult year for so many people, and an undoubtedly busy one for Acts of Kindness, Kerry and her team are optimistic about the future of their charity.
With a positive mindset, Kerry said: ‘The future of Acts of Kindness looks strong and very exciting.’
Acts of Kindness is searching for new premises, ideally needing a community building with rooms and a large space to hold furniture, clothing and food bank items.
Industrial units will be considered, and the new home must have easy access to Gosport and Fareham.
Kerry said: ‘We’re concerned that if we cannot find anywhere it will possibly cause us to reduce our capacity to help people.’
Email [email protected] if you can help.