All about Sunday appeals in 2017

– raising over £7,000!

As you know, every Sunday after Meeting for Worship there is an appeal for money for a Quaker cause or a local charity. The schedule of who-appeals-for-what is drawn up by the Appeals Group of Friends in the Learning & Action Hub. We thought you’d like to know more about the money you gave in 2017.

The total amount raised by appeals in 2017 was £7,181  which is about £800 more than the totals raised in recent years. 

The amounts collected varied enormously week-by-week, depending on how many people were at Meeting that Sunday and the cause itself – some causes raise much more money than others. The overall average for a Sunday appeal was £135 (up from £123 the previous year).

Exceptionally, a Sunday appeal raises more than £200. Last year, six appeals topped the £200 mark, including Toilet Twinning, Money for Madagascar, the Julian Trust, Caring at Christmas and two refugee charities: the City of Sanctuary Transport Fund and Phone Credit for Refugees.

Last year, we continued to support Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW), appealing six times and raising £560, an average of £93 per collection. This is an increase over last year, but still low compared with money donated to other causes, probably because many Friends already give to QPSW through the annual contribution scheme.

We continued to support two special causes:

  • Motivation – a locally-based charity which supplies wheelchairs in developing countries www.motivation.org.uk. It does terrific work in helping disabled adults and children who would otherwise be left with no ability to get around, without education or work, often stigmatised and ignored in their communities. We had six collections, raising £826, an average of £137 per collection. Again, this is an increase on the amount raised for Motivation last year. 
  • Organisations which help refugees especially in Bristol. We had a total of nine collections for local refugee charities raising £1,423, an average of £158 per collection (about the same as last year).  

 In 2017 we continued to encourage Friends to give online if they prefer so that they can claim Gift Aid, which isn’t possible with the cash we collect on Sundays. We publicise website addresses for online donations in the emailed notices our Clerk sends out every week. (Any Friends’ online donations are not, of course, included in the figures we give here.) 

A change last year was to link Meetings for Learning with Appeals – so when Friends talked about their work for a charity in a MfL, they also appealed for it that Sunday. In addition, we had some welcome film screenings and input from Friends at Sharing Lunches which gave Friends opportunities to learn more about refugee issues.   

It is also the responsibility of the Appeals Group to publicise national appeals when there is a Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) call for an urgent response to a disaster anywhere in the world. Last year we drew attention to the DEC appeals for three humanitarian crises: starving people in Yemen and in East Africa, and the Rohingya people from Myanmar. 

As always, we invite Friends to make suggestions for causes to appeal for, and we welcome help to organise and give appeals on Sundays. We look forward to supporting lots of good causes in 2018! 

Linda Ewles and Helen Watkins
Redland Appeals Group, Learning & Action Hub, January 2018