The Smile Foundation, which supports many of the region’s charities and community groups, is currently looking for help in collecting Easter eggs to distribute to local children and others.
Sarah Shepherdson, Smile Foundation’s Events Manager, is co-ordinating the mammoth Easter egg donations campaign.
Sarah said: “We’ve had requests in for just short of 1600 eggs so far, from the charities we support. There will be about 30 to 40 charities that receive eggs from us. We just want to ensure that every child receives an Easter egg. What we’ve noticed this year, though, is that we’ve had a lot of requests from groups supporting vulnerable older people as well. So this year we’re providing eggs for children and older people. That’s why this year’s requests have gone higher. Most of the charities putting in requests are those that use The Vault service we run, but any charities can apply.”
Businesses in Hull and the East Riding are already beginning to collect and donate Easter eggs to this year’s ambitious campaign, but much more help is needed and welcome, explained Sarah.
“All of our regular business partners have been approached, to collect eggs for us, but anyone can get involved, any business can drop eggs off to us. Any type of Easter egg is welcome, even down to the small cream eggs, the charities we support will make use of them! We get a lot of requests from children’s charities for eggs for Easter egg hunts, the smaller eggs are really useful for that,” said Sarah.
Smile Foundation’s office, within Gosschalks solicitors off Queens Gardens in the centre of Hull, is the main drop-off point for egg donations. Reception staff will be pleased to receive donations from visitors during normal office hours. The last day for donations to be dropped off is Friday 27th March.
The annual Easter egg campaign is just one of dozens of activities that the Smile Foundation delivers each year. Other fun activities include their renowned ‘Devil’s Kitchen’ events, and lots of golf days. It’s by engaging the skills and enthusiasm of the business community locally that the foundation helps to add capacity and strength to the charitable sector too.
Ann Newlove is the Smile Foundation’s Business Manager.
Ann said: “Smile Foundation supports charities and social enterprises across Hull and the East Riding. It may be working with an established group that is looking at the next stage of their development and are in need of some funding support. We also have the Smile Trustee Academy, which helps charities to up-skill their trustees or recruit new trustees. The academy is now on its fifth cohort.”
The charitable sector often relies on the goodwill of volunteers, especially the smaller charities, and Smile continues to deliver activities that help to develop and reward volunteers.
Ann said: “There’s a drive at the moment for making sure that volunteers are recognised and appreciated, and that the right people are doing the right things. We launched the Volunteer Awards last year, it was a great way to say the area has got all these great people doing great things, and we often don’t hear about it. They are doing amazing things. We’ve just set the date for this year’s Volunteer Awards, it will be on the 8th October, and nominations will be open from Volunteers’ Week, the first week in June.”
[Jerome Whittingham – Editor, HULL IS THIS]