Shaw Thing – Give volunteering a try

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WE’VE probably all given to charity before.

Whether that was raising money for Comic Relief or putting your penny change into a charity box, we have all contributed even in the smallest of ways.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about charity in general and not because I don’t think its not important to help those who can’t help themselves or who need support.

My family does give to a number of cancer research and animal charities, but I am very cautious, I am always wary of the number of times I’ve heard cautionary tales about fake charities or companies that steal your money and run with it.

I also tend to find that the really big, well-known charities have to spend more money on administration costs.

There is one charity in particular that spent something like 40 per cent of their money raised on administration this past year, and though 60 per cent still went to actual charity work, I’d much rather give my time and money to charities that benefit Hartlepool, such as Hartlepool Hospice, or History of Hartlepool in Images.

History of Hartlepool in Images was quite recently formed, and is a charity that my mum is a huge part of and which I regularly get involved in.

It is currently engaged in trying to preserve the Ward Jackson Parkkeepers’ Lodge, and just a few days ago my mum discovered a new shipwreck on Seaton beach. It aims to discover and preserve the jewels and history of OUR town, and it is something that is very dear to both our hearts.

I think one of the things I’ve learnt most over the years is that it is better and much more rewarding to get really hands on with causes you feel deserve attention.

I volunteered with the Girl Guides for a number of years, trying to give back to them for all the years they had looked after me.

Instead of giving money this year, try volunteering.

You might enjoy it and it will definitely be rewarding!

If you have anything to add, feel free to email me, Danielle Shaw, at yourshout@northeast-press.co.uk