Community A-Z


Ambulance service – In 2013 the number of emergency calls to the ambulance service was 9.08 million within the UK and of that number 2.95 million were considered category A; in other words life threatening.  There are 12 ambulance services in the UK with the London Ambulance being the biggest and busiest by far.  Each ambulance is equipped with a variety of emergency care equipment.  Paramedics carry out tests at the scene before referring to hospital if necessary.  Call 999 if a life threatening situation or 111 if immediate attention is not necessary.


Blue Monday – The name given to the third Monday in January, which thanks to a variety of statistics has regarded the day as the most depressing day of the year.  When we’re all supposed to feel super glum.  The retail sector get in on the act and offer a variety of promotions.


Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) – Did you know that accidental injury is one of the biggest killers of children in the UK.  It is second only to cancer.  It can be prevented.  The CAPT provides free safety advice to parents and carers via their website, and through campaigns and working with frontline professionals who work with children, they support and spread key safety messages.  They also advise central government on specialist support and guidance.


Day for Change – Every year UNICEF nominates a different country and a different theme for this awareness day.  This initiative has been going for 25 years.  The idea is to help children through education to realise their potential and help improve their wellbeing and most importantly learn about what life is like for children around the world.


Employee motivation day – A day created to inspire passion and appreciation across the UK’s workforce.  Launched by Argos for Business in 2015.


Farmhouse Breakfast Week – Originated in 2000 with the intention to remind people of how important it is to have a healthy breakfast; how breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  Normally held in January, managed by HGCA and run on behalf of arable farmers who grow crops such as wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape.


Guide Dogs – The average working life of a guide dog is 5-6 years and as at Mar 2014 there were nearly 4,800 guide dog owners in the UK.  It costs Guide Dogs around £50,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement, and around £3,100 to breed a guide dog puppy.  It also takes around 20 months of specialised training to transform a newborn puppy into a confident guide dog.  56% of guide dogs are golden retriever crosses (with labradors or German shepherds).


Home help – Supporting the assessed needs of vulnerable people in the community who through illness or disability are in need of help with day to day tasks.  It is the HSE (health service executive) who either provides the home help service directly or makes arrangements with voluntary organisations to provide them.  The home help is expected to provide a set number of hours each day or each week and these arrangements can be agreed between you and the HSE.


In Kind Direct – A charity set up to redistribute goods from companies to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.  This enables charities to spend vital resources on personnel.


Jamie Oliver Food Foundation – Founded in 2002 with Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Apprentice Programme.  Now there are over 200 primary schools signed up to the Kitchen Garden Project as well as a Ministry of Food which holds courses and workshops across the UK teaching people how to cook nutritious meals from scratch.


Kidney Research UK – The leading national charity dedicated to research that will lead to better treatments and cures for kidney diseases.  The charity also provides information for patients and raises vital awareness of kidney-related issues among the general public.


La Leche League – Founded back in the 1950s by a group of mothers who wanted to support their friends in breastfeeding.  It is now an international charitable organisation that gives encouragement, information, mainly through mother-to-mother support, to all women who want to breastfeed their babies.


Mayor of London – Elected every 4 years.  An elected politician who sets the budget and sets an overall vision for London, which includes a duty to create plans and policies for the capital.  The Mayor is also responsible for championing London and Londoners.


Neighbourhood & Home Watch – A voluntary network of schemes where neighbours come together, along with the local police and local partners, to build safe and friendly communities.  It is possible to join a local scheme or set one up yourself.


Overseas Aid – Assistance given from one country to another country who needs it; a voluntary transfer of resources.  It may be given by individuals, private organisations or governments.  In 2013 the top three donor countries include UK and US in terms of actual value donated.


Pearly Kings & Queens – The London tradition began in 1875 by a small lad named Henry Croft.  He wanted to help others less fortunate than himself and began to sew pearl buttons on his clothes.  Today there are still around 30 Pearly families continuing the tradition to raise money for various charities.  Each London borough having their own King and Queen as well as City of London and the City of Westminster.


Quakers – Members of a group with Christian roots that began in England in the 1650s.  There are about 210,000 Quakers around the world.


Refuge – The first safe house was opened in London in 1971 and since then Refuge has led the campaign against domestic violence.  Each day around 3,000 women and children are supported though a range of services.


Samaritans – Providing a confidential helpline to anyone who has something that is troubling them.  Phone lines are open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.


Time for a Cuppa – Organised by Dementia UK, this annual weekly event encourages people to get together over tea and cake to help raise the profile and raise funds for the charity.


United Nations – The UK’s leading source of independent information and analysis on the UN.  We are a grassroots movement campaigning for a safer, fairer and more sustainable world.


Variety Club – Originally just in the USA, the Variety Club of Great Britain began in 19949 as one of the UK’s first charities to be founded especially for children and young people.  They provide practical help through Sunshine coaches, wheelchairs and specialist equipment as well as memorable childhood experiences.


Winnie the Pooh Day – Each year on 18 January, people are encouraged to celebrate the birth of the character Winnie the Pooh which first appeared back in 1926.


XLP – Standing for The eXceL Project, XLP is a registered charity at the cutting edge of urban youth work in the UK, working to create positive futures for young people.  The charity was set up in 1996 in response to a stabbing in a school playground.  XLP now works in 22 inner London estates.


YMCA – The largest and oldest charity working with young people in the world.  As at 2014 there are 114 YMCA’s across England and each one is a thriving and active community transforming lives.  YMCAs help with accommodation, family work, health & wellbeing, training and education, support and advice and policy and campaigns.


ZSL or in other words Zoological Society of London was founded in 1826 by Sir Stamford Raffles.  It is now an international science, conservation and education charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.