Free to Be

Community Spotlight: Free to Be

In this month’s community spotlight, we spoke with the team at Free to Be. The Free to Be charity discuss obstacles they have faced since starting and offer their own advice to other charities and business starting up. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came about starting your charity

Hello! We’re Free to Be, a brand new children’s charity supporting children’s emotional health through nature and the arts. You can find us on Twitter or Facebook, or visit our website www.freetobekids.org.uk

What is the mission of your charity?

Our mission is to help disadvantaged children and young people across London develop emotional resilience, build self-esteem and discover their potential despite the adversity they face.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It varies hugely – from drafting funding applications, Tweeting pictures from our after-school club, interviewing new volunteers, chasing referral forms, meeting with our Advisory Board… no day is the same at this early stage!

What has been your biggest challenge since starting the charity?

Aside from the initial work building infrastructure and our website and logo, fundraising has and continues to be our biggest challenge as we’re developing our track record of running small projects.

slowly putting one foot in front of the other seems to be the best way to sustainable growth.

What exciting campaigns have you worked on recently?

We recently completed our first summer residential programme – taking 27 children away for a week’s holiday in the New Forest to develop self-confidence, try new things and overcome fears, and generally have a well-needed break from the stresses of home or school life.

What advice would you give to other charities or businesses just starting up?

While ambition is important, focussing on doing small things as well is vital for building up a strong track record that can be the foundation for future funding applications. It can be frustrating not being able to move as fast as you’d like, but slowly putting one foot in front of the other seems to be the best way to sustainable growth.

What tools and services would you recommend to other charities to help them improve their communications?

We love Nimvelo, of course! We find Canva very useful to design our graphics – it’s a user-friendly programme that’s free for charities with hundreds of pre-made templates for any poster or social media graphic you could want.

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