Celebrating the big impact that small charities make in our communities

The Small Charity Week campaign was first established by the Foundation for Social Improvement (the FSI) in 2010 to celebrate and raise the profile of the small charity sector. Due to the closure of The FSI in spring 2023, this year’s campaign is delivered by NCVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation.

The week is organised as a series of activities and initiatives to support and raise awareness of thousands of small charities that, every day, make a huge difference to vulnerable communities across the UK.

We want small charities to flourish and continue to provide the vital services that are essential to thriving communities. We help where we can by offering free, bespoke advice to small charities in North Yorkshire.

Gathered below are some of our resources that small charities use the most as well as blogs and stories to celebrate the small charities in our communities.

Small charity stories

No Small Charity - a poem

Ebberston Village Hall

We (Ebberston Village Hall) are always looking for new ideas for events to organise that help to bring in the income we need to maintain our hall, but we especially like the sociable events that bring villagers together. To that end, we held our first village breakfast in January. It went down so well with brilliant feedback on the day and on the village Facebook group that we held another in March where we again served almost 60 cooked breakfasts in 2 hours! Another one is now planned for July.

As a small charity, our small size means we can act on an idea quickly. It is lovely to know that at each event we are bringing about a morning of conversation, helping to make and renew friendships and most importantly of all provide a true sense of what it means to be a community.

Low Bentham Public Hall and Village Institute

Our small charity is Low Bentham Public Hall and Village Institute, a bit of a mouthful, I know. We are located on the main street in Low Bentham. Physically, the institute constitutes a hall, kitchen, conservatory, meeting room and snooker room all of which can be hired separately or in any combination along with the use of toilets and a fully accessible toilet. The building is well used; the Community Link Café, Helen Howard School of Dance and Kay’s art group are weekly users. Events such as parties and weddings also take place. None of this would happen without the hardworking committee, which is what I really want to highlight. As an entire committee, we meet about every two months. The discussions and decisions that take place at these meetings are supported by an enormous amount of work ‘behind the scenes’. This work includes researching and making grant applications, keeping and publishing the accounts, energy audits and following these up, building maintenance and of course incidental fund and profile raising by public events such as coffee mornings and afternoon teas. All the committee are volunteers and give their time in order to further the offer to residents of Low Bentham, High Bentham and further afield. Low Bentham Public Hall and Village Institute is not only physically at the heart of Low Bentham it is also in the hearts of its committee members and a vibrant pulse of village life.

Low Bentham_Community Link Café users engaging in activities after lunch

Low Bentham_members of the Community Link Café visiting Brief encounter in Carnforth

The Island, York

The Island is a well-established York charity committed to supporting some of our city’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable and isolated children and young people. We strive to deliver impactful services (Counselling, Tuition, Mentoring, Youth Groups, and Educational Support) that provide islands of time and space and that unlock and enhance young people’s potential and quality of life.

Our Research Officer Ben has been hard at work putting together case studies about the transformative impact of our work. For small charity week, we want to share the story of Jasper, one of the young people we have recently helped through our mentoring service. Recently, our Research Officer completed a testimonial interview with Jasper’s guardian Paul as part of his Case Study Project. Paul felt ‘beholden to do’ a testimonial’ to give ‘something back because of how much The Island’s done for our family.’

When Jasper was first referred to The Island, he struggled with life; Jasper ‘had temper problems at Primary School and home’. He had a tough early childhood, receiving physical abuse from his dad, eventually leading to his grandparents taking him on as special guardians.

Shortly after Jasper’s referral, we matched him with one of our volunteer mentors Karl. Jasper’s guardian, Paul, explained that a flourishing relationship followed: ‘Karl is worth his weight in gold if you could duplicate Karl for every kid, that’s what you need.’

Jasper and Karl did many weekly activities together during their one-year mentoring relationship. They are both sporty and often played badminton and football together. Most importantly, though, their strong relationship meant Jasper felt comfortable expressing his feelings to Karl about his difficult early childhood. Previously, Paul had struggled; he ‘couldn’t get through to him’ on this.

Where Jasper was previously struggling, he is now thriving thanks to his mentoring relationship. His educational attainment has massively improved, and Paul noted how they currently get emails from his teachers about his positive academic progress. At the same time, his confidence and emotional regulation has also got much better. Paul puts these positive changes down to The Island: ‘The amount that The Island’s done for him you just can’t put it into words really, you would have to see the before and after. I always say that it’s got to be the best thing that’s happened to him. If you land on anything, then we landed lucky when we made that first phone call [to The Island].’


They’re small but beautifully formed!

Read our blog by our small-charity enthusiast as she explains what she loves about small charities


Volunteering in North Yorkshire

If you want to involve volunteers in your organisation, but aren’t sure how to get started, we can help.

For more information, head to our Volunteering in North Yorkshire Page.

Commonly used resources for small charities

Volunteer Management Toolkit

If you’re thinking of involving volunteers in your organisation for the first time, or wanting to review your current volunteer management processes, this Volunteer Management Toolkit is for you.

Trustee Recruitment Toolkit

Are you seeking to develop your board with new trustees? Many charities and community groups can find it a daunting process. Our Trustee Recruitment Toolkit can walk you through the steps needed.

CIO Toolkit

Thinking of registering or converting your group to a CIO? Our easy-to-read step-by-step guide will navigate you through the process. There are links to external sites and other resources.

Funding Toolkit

Securing funding and planning for the future is vital.

We can  help you become ‘funding ready, find the right funds to apply and submit an application form. Take advantage of the wealth of resources in our Funding Toolkit to help you on your funding journey.

Climate Change Toolkit

This toolkit brings together simple to understand and useful resources to help individuals, communities and charitable organisations take steps to reduce their environmental impact and tackle climate change at a local level.