Credit: Sarah Dalton

International fundraisers say people still want to help despite cost-of-living crisis

But life is tougher for charities when supporters have less cash in their pockets

GROUPS and organisations throughout Cardiff have questioned how to continue fundraising for international causes during a cost-of-living crisis… but say people are still desperate to help.

“It’s fair to say this is a difficult time for fundraising in the UK, we’ve seen major charities have to move to online fundraising,” said Councillor Sean Driscoll, who represents Llandaff. 

But for the communities of Llandaff and Danescourt, the take-home message has been clear: “The world is a local place and we all have to help each other.” 

2nd Llandaff Scout Group, whose members have been collecting warm clothing and sleeping bags to send to Ukraine, found the hardship of the Ukrainian war hit home this year when they welcomed three Ukrainian scouts into their group. 

“We’ve got two sisters and a young lad who joined us when they moved here to escape the war,” said group scout leader Mike Walker. “They were part of Scouts in Ukraine and they’ve still got family over there, but they’re also a part of our Llandaff North scouts now.”

Ewan Chadwell and Mike Walker with some of the clothes donated to the Scouts. Credit: Sarah Dalton

“Talking to the mums of these Ukrainian scouts, it quickly becomes clear that winter’s coming and particularly in some of those cities in Eastern Ukraine, the power situation is really bad.”

2nd Llandaff Scouts knew that they had to support their Ukranian scouts in some way, but were reluctant to just ask people for money. 

The group leader added: “Obviously we’ve now got a big cost-of-living crisis in parallel, so asking for practical stuff people might have lying around in the cupboards made it a bit easier. People could still give to those in need without having to spend.”

The Scout group have emptied out their store cupboard full of children’s boots, coats, and sleeping bags, as well as asking people to donate items such as warm clothing, packet soups, torches and card games. 

For 19-year-old Ewan Chadwell, assistant group scout leader, it was essential that this fundraiser went ahead despite the financial crisis. 

“I know that there are a lot of people in Cardiff that are struggling to heat their homes,” he told The Cardiffian. “But there’s also lots of people in places like Ukraine that don’t have homes to heat at all.

“It’s important for our scouts to realise how lucky they are even when things seem bad here. It’s as much about raising awareness as it is about raising things.”

Two miles down the road, this sentiment was shared by Rehaz Abdoolla, who brought the Danescourt community together with a food and cake fair for the UNICEF East Africa Crisis Appeal. 

After four years of failed rainy seasons killed livestock and crops, more than two million children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia need urgent treatment for severe acute malnutrition. 

Volunteers at the East Africa Crisis appeal fundraiser. Credit: Sarah Dalton

When asked why it was important that this fundraiser went ahead despite the cost-of-living crisis, Mr Abdoolla told The Cardiffian: “I’m a big part of the local Muslim community and in Islam, we’re encouraged to pray and do charity. It’s a huge part of the religion.

“You can raise money in other ways, but you raise awareness, too, by doing this.” 

Angela Abdoolla, Mr Abdoolla’s wife, added: “For me, it’s all about interfaith working, everyone helping each other and focusing on what unites us. The world is a local place and we all have to help each other.” 

The Abdoolla family, who raised over £3,000 at their last fundraiser, hope to continue hosting fundraisers for international causes in the new year. 

Councillor Peter Huw Jenkins, who represents Llandaff, said people continued to see the bigger picture.

He told The Cardiffian: “The Danescourt community continue to reach outward and inward. Groups like the Danescourt Covid Support Facebook group are living documents of that.

“I think the Covid pandemic has made us more aware than ever before that we are a part of something more, of a local and a global community.”