Who will be our Charity of the Year 2014!

The following 6 charities have been short-listed to be our Charity of the Year for 2014.  Please carefully consider each of them before deciding who you believe deserves our help and support during 2014.

Please Note:  Voting will run throughout October and November and the winner will be announced early in December 2013!

We believe that climbing is a sport that can and should be enjoyed by all – regardless of disability or limitations.  Along with our practical support and getting everyone up our walls we will host a series of fundraising events.  Our commitment is difficult to put a sum to but provision of sessions and fundraising sees a pledge of close to £10,000.

Please scroll to the bottom of the page to be able to cast your vote!

The Charities:

StarlightStarlight is a national charity working at local level and its mission is to brighten the lives of seriously and terminally ill children.

Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for children whose young lives have been affected by a serious or terminal illness. A Starlight wish is a precious opportunity for these children to escape their illness and creates wonderful memories that the whole family can share together, whatever the future may hold.

Starlight is also the only national charity working with every hospital and hospice throughout the UK, bringing entertainment, fun and distraction to over 500,000 sick children with a year-round programme of Starlight Parties, Pantomimes, Fun Centres and Escapes.

All Starlight’s activities are aimed at distracting children from the pain, fear and isolation they can often feel as a result of their illnesses.

HalowThe halow project supports young people aged 16-35 who have a learning disability, communication difficulty or special need with varying degrees of severity. We believe that these young people have the right to the same life choices and chances as any other young person. The young people we work with want the opportunity to build relationships, be part of a community, find meaningful employment and/or have a home of their own.

We offer a range of services:

  • Social activities that run throughout the year include bowling, theatre trips, sports matches and llama trekking. They are all chosen by the young people at their monthly Youth Committee meetings.
  • 1:1 Buddy support. The Buddies help with daily living including finances, transport, mentoring and provide a level of friendship
  • Parent support meetings and online facilities that provide emotional support and knowledge to parents who may have trouble coping.
  • Building Futures Group–  works with up to 10 young people a year. We work towards helping them achieve their individual life goals through Person Centred Planning and life-skill training. They have also been climbing at Craggy Island a number of times
  • A Reason to Get Up!– offers meaningful day time activities that focus on healthy eating, vocational skills, creative arts and recreational pursuits.


Step by StepNow in our 20th year of working with young people aged 11 to 25 Step by Step use a structured combination of services including accommodation, support, training, and counselling to support those who need us.

Our services are open to the young people living at our accommodation projects as well as young people from the wider community via our drop-in advice and information centres.

Watch our new film to meet staff and clients and hear their stories.

The programmes are developed to enable clients to develop towards their full potential by:

  • taking more control of their adult lives
  • learning to be a team player and trust others
  • increasing their self-esteem and self-confidence
  • realising their potential and gain the motivation to progress successfully
  • developing new skills to live, work and become an active and successful part of their wider community

Step by Step don’t just provide emergency accommodation ‘to keep people off the streets’, but a structured scheme of accommodation and support giving opportunities which can lead to independent living. As clients progress through the scheme, they experience decreasing levels of supervision, but remain fully supported throughout their stay with us.

We also believe that simply providing accommodation isn’t enough – young people need to learn vocational and life skills to help them achieve independence, and to enable them to express themselves and find fulfilment. Our training services provide a variety of opportunities to learn these skills in an informal environment, which is often more suitable than the more formal context of school or college.

For those young people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness and who need advice and support Step by Step offer Youth AIMS, a free, confidential drop-in service from our building at 36 Crimea Road, Aldershot, near the centre of town. This is run as a partnership with Hampshire County Council Children’s Services and Rushmoor Borough Council.

Working in partnership with the Surrey & Borders NHS Foundation Trust, our D’n’A service provides a confidential counselling and support service for those wanting to tackle substance abuse and any housing issues.


Surrey Search & RescueSurSAR is a team of dedicated, highly trained volunteers who are on call to the emergency services 24 hours a day all year round to assist in finding and rescuing people in need.

We search woodland, scrub, riverbanks and urban areas for missing children and vulnerable adults. Aside from our weekly core training that includes Search Techniques, First Aid, Patient Evacuation, Navigation and Comms, we also have trained search dogs and handlers and specialist members for riverbank and deep water search. Our Tech Team volunteers come into their own where rope work or climbing is needed (they train at Craggy in Guildford!).

SurSAR are here to assist any of the community in Surrey as the need arises – on average 70 times a year – we aim to be on site and ready to go within an hour of being called. Our members fund their own travelling expenses and most of their kit but we need funds for training, technical rescue equipment, vehicles and insurance – and for callouts that cost us an average £350 each time.

Please note that we receive no funding from government or emergency services as we provide our expertise free of charge so all our income comes from our own fundraising efforts.


Wish4moreWish4more is a small local charity founded in November 2012, which aims to provide additional support for the pupils of Wishmore Cross Academy.

Wishmore Cross Academy is a special school where all pupils have a statement of special education needs for behavioural emotional and social difficulties.  Some of these children come from disadvantaged backgrounds, can be socially excluded or face several hardships. We do that by providing support and opportunities for children to gain the skills, confidence and change of attitude to improve their economic wellbeing and reduce their social isolation, through learning, training, play and emotional support.

Wish4more is managed by a board of 4 Trustees, and all of whom bring to the role a wealth of skills and expertise gained from their diverse business and professional experience.

A key part of our fundraising is to provide funds for children who have been excluded from mainstream schools because of their complex needs, they are missing out on education and limiting their future options and prospects. Wish4more can create safe learning environment for them to achieve their full potential, thus giving a giving a second chance to challenging, unhappy and disengaged children.

All of our children have exclusions from their schools and typically will have had minimal or no attendance. Some have experienced bullying or social exclusion from their peer group, others exhibit disruptive or withdrawn behaviour, and many have learning difficulties or disorders such as BESD, ADHD, dyslexia and autism. Often our children come from homes which offer little support or encouragement to engage with education. Some are already involved with low level criminal activity.


VarietyVariety helps children who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged to have the opportunity to enjoy a  fulfilled childhood; we do this by providing coaches, wheelchairs, specialist and sensory equipment, funding children’s wards, giving grants to youth clubs and enabling children to experience memorable days out through our Variety at work programme.

Variety works with families, schools, hospitals and other organisations across the UK to ensure that those children who most need our help benefit from the support we have from our corporate supporters.
Like Craggy Island, Variety believes sport should be available to be enjoyed by all children and proudly supported a number of athletes in the London Paralympic Games 2012 and continues to provide disability sport wheelchairs.



Please vote for the Charity that you would like to be our Charity of the Year for 2014.

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