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Blog | neighbourly

10 ways to use up bread

bread

Whether we’re grabbing a sandwich in our lunch hour or having a cheeky slice of buttered toast after a night out, us Brits love bread. It seems strange then that bread is the most wasted food here in the UK. Nearly half of us eat bread every day, yet we throw away 24 million slices of bread every day. Worse yet, one in five of us have thrown a loaf away without even opening it.

But, as the old saying goes, it doesn’t have to be this way. With these few basic tips you can give your loaf the longest life possible, get creative and also have some fun with it.

1.   Freeze it

If you have a decent sized freezer, you can have your bread and eat it – simply take a slice out and pop it in the toaster whenever you fancy it. Waste avoided. If you have a look in your supermarket’s reduced section, it’s quite possible to spend mere pence on a loaf to save some cash. If it’s an un-sliced loaf, slice before freezing.

On a side note, putting it in the fridge actually makes it go off quicker.

2.   Bread and butter pudding

Mop up those sad slices of old bread by whipping up a bread and butter pudding. There are various takes on it, but this easy recipe says you can prep it in five minutes. Throw in your bread with some fridge and cupboard essentials and voila – perfect comfort food.

3.   Breadcrumbs

If your kids leave their crusts, or you don't like those end bits, here’s a perfect ways to use them up. Pop them in a food processor to transform them into a versatile ingredient. Impressive on mac’n’cheese, breadcrumbs are also handy as a binding ingredient to make your own burgers. Thicken a soup into a filling meal or throw them into an easy meatloaf. If ever there was an excuse to get creative in the kitchen, this is one.

4.   French Toast

Does a better way exist to cheer everyone up on a lazy Sunday morning than French toast? Grab your bread, egg, milk and the vanilla extract and cinnamon from the back of the cupboard, dip then fry. Tres bon.

5.   Croutons

Cheer up any salad or pasta dish (and impress your friends) with homemade croutons. Chop, oil and fry cubes of bread or pop them in the oven for a few minutes and they’ll be good for a few days. Why not make them chunkier for a Bruschetta style base? Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil for a great appetiser.

6.   Ale

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can transform that extra bread into tasty ale. The brilliant Toast Ale have kindly open-sourced their recipe to encourage bread waste-busting home brewers.

7.   Toast 2.0

Now’s your chance to take things to the next level: if you’ve never really got on the avocado toast bandwagon, this is the time to dip your toe. What about peanut butter and banana for an energy-boosting snack? Or peanut butter and Nutella for a delicious, Reese’s Cups-inspired dessert. Then there's always poached egg and spinach. Or simply channel your inner Paddington bear and let loose with the marmalade. The possibilities are endless.

8.   Stuffing

Give stale bread a seat at the holiday table by teaming it with an onion and plenty of seasoning to make a delicious stuffing. Good inside or outside a turkey.

9.   Cheese fondue

Be like the Swiss and get on the phone to your cheese loving friends pronto. Tear or cut your bread into chunks and this 15-minute no-fuss recipe will get you a bubbling pot of cheese fondue in no time.

10. Bread sauce

Bread that is a bit dried out or stale also makes the best Sunday dinner sauce. You don't have to wait for Christmas - double cream, a bay leaf and a bit of onion elevate a simple bread sauce to something great for any roast poultry dinner. Try this easy french bread sauce if you have a french stick that is past its best.

 

About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can donate time, money or surplus food. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Charities: get your project started here

Businesses: email us about memberships on hello@neighbourly.com

Supporters & volunteers: sign up to be part of the Neighbourly network here - or simply find a project you care about and share it to help spread the word!

Jane

Content Manager

Mar 30, 2017

How to be happier and healthier in 2017

happy_volunteer

The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to think about how we can make life better for ourselves and do things differently. But conventional resolutions are often about restraint, and countless, sadly, fall flat on their face.

What if I told you there was another way to be happier and healthier this New Year, and no diet or cross-training machine is required? In fact, this activity is scientifically proven to make your life better in a number of ways without costing a dime.

What is it? Volunteering.

More than just an altruistic glow and the satisfaction of helping others, volunteering actually gives a lot back to the one doing the helping.

It turns out that from your physical health and happiness levels to improving your career prospects, volunteering is very worthwhile if you want to make life better!

Let’s examine the benefits in greater detail, and how much volunteering you should do to reap the rewards.


Why should I volunteer?

A great bod

Those that volunteer are good hearted in more ways than one. This research showed that people who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure over four years than those who didn’t volunteer. Volunteers were also more likely to use preventative health care services like cholesterol checks and flu shots. Better yet, a sense of purpose, that you feel with volunteering, is linked with better heart health.

 

Quality of life

This sense of purpose, as mentioned above, is helped in no small part by increased social connections. We now know that loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking. Connecting with your community and staying active all make life a little better.

 

Emotional health 

Whether it’s connecting with another person or working with animals, the social aspect of volunteering can reduce stress, anxiety and depression – all of which can contribute to positive physical health. It’s a virtuous circle.

 

Happiness 

Heard of the “helper’s high” or “giver’s glow”? Helping others gives us a generous helping of happy chemical dopamine in the brain. Of people that volunteered weekly, 16% felt “very happy” – that’s a hike in happiness comparable to a salary of $75,000–$100,000 rather than $20,000 (say the researchers!)

 

Making friends

Gathering around a shared activity with like-minded people is the perfect spark for making friends. Volunteering can help you improve your social skills and expand your connections. It’s worth knowing that little else matches the happiness we get from friendship.

 

More time

One of the reasons you might not volunteer is due to time constraints, yet paradoxically, volunteers who give their time often feel like they have more of it – in the same way that people who give to charity often feel like they’re wealthier. Strange but true.

 

Career benefits 

Businesses look more favourably on your CV if you have voluntary experience – it shows that you’re a hard worker, and keen to acquire knowledge and skills. For those considering a career leap, volunteering can provide a taster and a chance to get some experience under your belt.

 

How often should I volunteer?

So, how much should you volunteer to reap all these benefits? First of all, you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’re volunteering for a cause you actually care about. Try searching on Neighbourly’s volunteering board for an activity you’re interested in.

Weekly volunteers enjoy the biggest hike in happiness – with 16% of those that did feeling “very happy”. People who volunteered monthly and every two to four weeks rose their odds of being very happy by 7% and 12% respectively.

 

But you don’t have to make volunteering a very regular thing to enjoy the benefits. In fact, there’s a certain sweet spot to volunteering – just 2-3 hours a week – after which the benefits no longer stack up the more you do. If you did indeed volunteer 100 hours in 2017, you can expect a boost in your self-esteem, happiness and satisfaction a year later.

Good luck!


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Jane

Content Manager

Jan 10, 2017

How to write a compelling project story

typing

Once upon a time, a charity like yours decided to set up a profile on Neighbourly.

What is it about storytelling that grabs our attention? Well, we’ve been telling stories for thousands of years; they’re more memorable than facts, activate more of our brains and make us twice as generous when it comes to donating.

So it begs the question – are you telling a story about your charity, and if so, what story are you telling?

When businesses and potential supporters arrive at your project page, they’ll probably head straight for your description to understand exactly what your organisation (or project) is about. This could be the make or break moment when they try to determine whether your cause is something that they want to align with.

You could probably write pages and pages about your organisation and the background of your project, but writing a compelling project story means distilling it down to its essence. Here are some ideas on engaging supporters with your organisation's story.

 

Why should people support you?

As someone close to your charity, you can probably think of plenty of reasons why people should support your organisation. Start by noting these down, as this will help tell your story.

 

Consider starting off with a specific anecdote

There’s a reason why many public speakers kick off with a personal anecdote – as humans, we’re wired to hear them! It also helps us to relate to and empathise with a scenario. For example, a story of someone suffering from homelessness might begin with redundancy, divorce or other negative life event that could happen to anyone.

 

What story would you like to tell?

You might depict a fictional person that represents your ‘average’ service user, or a real person that experienced true transformation thanks to your organisation. Perhaps that person is a volunteer, or you might want to explore the story of how your group came to fruition. Regardless of what story you choose, make it feel personal - your supporters are influenced more by their emotions than rationality.

 

How to tell a story

Traditionally, the story arc is a three-act structure: setup, confrontation and resolution. A good way to break that down is to introduce your character, a challenge they need to overcome, what action they took with the help of your charity (and donors), and finally the impact this has on their life.

 

Back your story up with facts

Once you’ve explored the individual’s story, zoom out and illustrate the trends at large. How many people are affected by this problem? Is the situation getting worse? What does the future look like for those affected if nothing is done?

You may have already introduced the great work your organisation does in the story at the beginning, but again, you can broaden the information out. How many people are you helping? How is that impacting society? What kind of future are you working towards?

 

Be specific how support will help

If you’re raising funds or rallying volunteers on Neighbourly, share exactly what this support will achieve, both in practical terms (such as renovating a space) and in terms of impact. This might be making your centre more pleasant for beneficiaries to be in, but also enabling you to help even more people.

 

Consider the person reading about your project

Why should they help your organisation rather than another one tackling the same issue? Why now? Remember that both people and businesses are looking to help causes that reflect their own worldview, so be clear on what your vision is.

Also, use language that your audience will understand. Your supporters might be emotionally engaged with your cause, but not an expert on the subject. Avoid jargon and always try to explain things in the simplest manner possible.

 

Get inspired

It’s always helpful to take inspiration from how other charities choose to tell their story. Take a look at the other projects looking for support on neighbourly.


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.


 

Jane

Content Manager

Dec 19, 2016

Bringing your project story to life through photos

girl_photo

It’s an old proverb that says, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and marketers have certainly cottoned on to this trend. In short, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text, and content with visuals gets 94% more views.

                                                                                   

We know that charitable giving is more likely an emotional response rather than rational logic, and visual mediums like photos are helpful to invoke that emotion.

 

The good news is that you don’t need technical equipment to take great photos – your smartphone is perfectly adequate and available to you most of the time! Taking your own photos can often provide a much more insightful and authentic representation of your organisation than even the most professional stock photos.

 

The aim really is about taking better images – how do you take capture your mission in a photo? How do you get people to feel something about your organisation in an instant? Not everyone will get to visit your organisation or be there with you on the front-line, so consider this an opportunity to give outsiders a window into what you do.

 

You can include pictures on your project and fundraising pages on Neighbourly to help bring your story to life. Here are some ideas on what to capture with your pictures to attract more support.

 

Try a mixture of planned and spontaneous shots 

Think about what story you’d like to capture and what shots you’d like to try before you get your smartphone or camera out. Perhaps you have particular beneficiaries in mind that you’d like to involve in portraits, or you want to get some snaps at an event.

 

Don’t be afraid to capture something unexpected on the day also. You can experiment and discard them later if they didn’t work out how you intended – but you might be capturing a vital part of the story that you hadn’t considered before.

 

Take plenty 

We live in a digital world where we’re no longer limited by the amount of film we have. Get creative and allow yourself to play. Try taking a portrait of a service user, and then take some of them interacting in the space, and see which communicates more powerfully.

 

Include humans in your photo 

Ideally, you want those who look at your photograph to be emotionally moved by it, and having people in your photo adds that crucial layer. You might have a beautifully kept garden, but having your service users interacting with it will be the element that transforms your photo. Experiment with bringing another person (or group) into the frame, and see how that affects the dynamic of the photo.

 

Even if your organisation is an animal charity, you can include photos of an employee interacting with the animals, or a family with their new pet.


Food_kitchen

 

Tell your story with one or more photos 

Your photo can still tell a story in just one frame. The first step is to identify what your community’s story is, and try to capture those elements within the picture.

 

To expand your story across several photos, consider contrasting images. Try capturing the realities of life for people before using your service and during or after. How have their circumstances and emotions changed?

 

Make your subjects feel comfortable 

If you’re doing posed photographs, help your subjects feel at ease by explaining in advance what you are doing, and what the photos will be used for. When shooting, try to encourage the emotion you are trying to capture – if you want a broad smile, for example, see if you can get them to laugh!  

 

Avoid stereotypical images 

There are plenty of photos on the web of people standing in a group looking chummy. Try to capture some real interaction between them, or the ‘doing’ element of your project instead.

 

Also, consider how you might capture something that isn’t immediately visual. For example, the “headclutcher” is often used to depict mental health, yet most people surveyed didn’t think this accurately represented what it’s actually like to have a mental health issue. If in doubt, ask some of your beneficiaries who are in a good place to advise. They might have ideas of their own.

 

Don’t be afraid to get close                                                                                             

It can be tempting to stand back to avoid interfering in the action, but close ups can really capture facial expressions and emotions that might not be as poignant far away.


SSG_child

                                                                                                                     

Ask others for their opinion

Which pictures make you feel something? Which ones tell your story best? Ask a colleague or even someone outside the organisation to see which photos “speak” to people the most.

 

Upload your images to your neighbourly project page, and be sure to share it with your networks.


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.



Jane

Content Manager

Dec 5, 2016

How to create a fundraising page on Neighbourly

Donate

Project pages on Neighbourly can now be used for fundraising - and both companies and individuals can support these campaigns. Setting up your fundraising page takes no time at all. Here’s how.


Am I eligible?

As long as your project is for a registered charity or CIC, you can apply to receive donations from members of the public via Neighbourly.


Who can donate, and how?

Companies can ‘pledge’ to projects on Neighbourly and then make an offline donation. Individuals are able to make card donations, right there and then.


How do I get started?

To get started you'll need to have a Neighbourly account, and once you're logged in, create your first project page, making sure you fill in all the sections of the form. Please be sure to include your registered charity number on your project page as this makes the approval process quicker. Also include your Gift Aid number, if applicable, as donors will be offered the option to include a Gift Aid declaration as part of their donation.

It's worth mentioning on your main project page what you're fundraising for and what the money will be spent on, but there is more space to expand on this when you create your first fundraising 'pot' - more on that below. Save your project to publish it on the website.


How do I request card donations?

1. Make sure you are logged in to neighbourly.com 

2. Find your project page by clicking on your profile (top right), then selecting 'dashboard'. Click on the 'Projects' tab, followed by the 'Managing' tab. 

3. Click on your chosen project tile and press the 'edit' button at the top of the project page

4. Scroll down about half way and make sure the box ‘I’d like to receive donations via credit card payments from individuals’ is ticked. This will send a request to us for approval, and we’ll normally come back to you within three working days - usually sooner.

5. The next step is to make sure your payment account is set up and ready to receive donations. Just below the tick box mentioned above there is a ‘Connect to Stripe’ button which will direct you to set up an account with our payment provider. Click on this to either connect an existing account or set up a new one.


How do I set up my fundraising page?

It's easy! Once you've received a message from us that your project is approved, click on the ‘Fundraising’ tab on the project page and press the blue ‘Create fundraising pot’ button.

Fill in the form with a description, your fundraising goal and include an engaging image. This is your opportunity to tell people why they should donate. What work does your charity do, and why is it so important? How does this particular programme help? Why is it urgent now, rather than next year?

You can choose your start and end dates by clicking on ‘Show advanced options’ and input your dates. You can also include an optional deadline countdown on the fundraising pot by ticking the box next to this option. Bringing a sense of urgency may help drive donations.

Press save and your pot will be live on your fundraising tab, unless you’ve chosen to hide it until your future start date.


create_pot2


How do I get donations?

Share the page often with your own followers and supporters to spread the word. You can do this through social media, websites, emails and word of mouth in the same way you promote your project page or other appeals. Any number of companies and individuals can pledge to support a fundraising pot, which means you could potentially receive contributions from a number of sources.


pot


How do I receive payment?

Stripe will process donation payments, which will generally be made on a 7-day rolling basis. You’ll set up and manage your Stripe account directly with them. They will ask for authorisation from you for payments to and from of your account (the 'from' request is only for very rare cases where a donation has to be refunded due to error or card holder query).

Stripe has comprehensive pre-payment verification to minimise this as much as possible. Donors will only be able to cancel a donation if they contact us within 48 hours after it is authorised on the site. After this time, they would need to contact you directly to request a refund, which will be at your discretion.


Are there any fees?

We charge a small transaction fee on every donation made to cover the costs incurred. This is currently 5% of the gross donation, exclusive of any Gift Aid. Fees are deducted automatically through Stripe before donations are credited to your account. There are no additional subscription fees.


How do I keep the momentum going?

Your project page is your ‘hub’ for updating on all your activity and campaigns. Have you reached the half way mark? Shout about it! Have you got some great stories that might drive up those valuable donations? Share them! Feel free to set up multiple fundraising pots for different campaigns that you want to run - there's no limit.


Need help with your fundraising pots?

Contact us at hello@neighbourly.com


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Jane

Content Manager

Nov 17, 2016

How to create a volunteer event on Neighbourly

BGL-Edinburgh-Vols

When you set up an event on Neighbourly, volunteers can donate their time with the click of a button and see other volunteers that are also attending. As well as it being easy for those signing up, it’s time-saving for you as confirming attendees and following up afterwards are automated. Set up a volunteer event page, start sharing and watch the recruits roll in!


How do I set up a volunteer event?

Firstly, make sure you're logged in at neighbourly.com. Click on your profile logo, top right and select 'My dashboard' from the drop down. Select the 'Projects' tab, followed by 'Managing' - from there you can select the project that you want to use for your events. If you don't already have a project set up, or would like a new one, just click 'Create a project' - top right.


How-To_VolBlog_1


Once you're on your project page, you’ll see the ‘Volunteering’ tab. Click on that, then select the ‘Create volunteer event’ button on the right hand side.


How-To_VolBlog_2


What information do I need to include?

Fill in all the details about your event, including a description, location, date, time and how many volunteers you need.

Here are five things you might like to include in your description:

1. Give a little background on the charity and event. For example, you might explain what your centre is used for, and what you need help with – perhaps the kitchen needs renovating as it’s not quite fit for purpose, or the garden needs a good tidy up. Or you might discuss how popular your annual open day is, and that you rely on volunteers to make it all possible.

2. Be clear about what activities volunteers will be doing on the day, whether it’s weeding, painting or setting up marquees.

3. Say how your volunteers’ time and efforts will make a difference, whether it’s improving the environment for service users or being able to help even more vulnerable people.

4. Advertise the personal benefits for volunteers as well. If it’s part of a festival, do volunteers get free entry to other shows? If it’s helping to pick the harvest on a farm, might there be some free produce going? Even if neither is the case, mentioning the free tea and coffee never goes amiss, and you can emphasise the opportunity to meet a friendly bunch of like-minded people.

5. Share some practical considerations: suggest what clothing would be appropriate and whether volunteers will need to bring a packed lunch. You should also specify a meeting point and instructions on how to get there.


How-To_VolBlog_3

Where will my event appear?

Your event will show on your project's 'Volunteering' tab and also feature on Neighbourly’s volunteer board (so make sure it has an appealing title)!

Volunteers can use the search function to find events that match their interests and location. To make your event more discover-able, add up to 12 tags that describe the type of activities they will be doing, for example ‘painting’ or ‘gardening’.


How do I get volunteers?

After publishing, get sharing! Cast that net as widely as possible on social media (and beyond) to give yourself the best chance of recruiting volunteers. Click the social icons or copy the page link into an email or other social channel.

Share opportunities regularly on social media and keep followers and volunteers up to date through posts on the news feed.


How do I approve volunteer requests?

You can choose if you want to approve volunteer requests and whether to keep a waiting list if the event gets full.

The system will manage volunteer sign-ups and create an attendee list. If you’ve selected to approve volunteers, you’ll receive an email when someone signs up and you’ll need to pop back to the website to accept them. Once a volunteer place is approved, your volunteer will automatically get an email confirmation.

If a company would like to support your events with staff volunteers, they’ll add your project to their volunteering list. You’ll get an email when this happens and be able to offer a number of spaces to this company at each event.


How-To_VolBlog_4


How do I follow up with volunteers?

Neighbourly follows up on your behalf. Attendees will automatically receive a quick email to thank them for volunteering. After the event, you can go through the volunteer list and click to confirm which people attended, so you have a record.


How many events can I set up?

You can set up as many volunteer events as you wish. Budding volunteers can keep an eye on your upcoming events via your news feed and on the volunteer notice board. A quick way to create additional events within the same project is to use the 'Clone' button.


How do I clone an event?

Click into the event listing that you want to duplicate and press the blue 'Clone this event' button which will appear on the right. If the date of the original event has gone by, select the 'Show me past events' tick box on the right and you will be able to see and click on the old listing. Once the new cloned event has been created you can edit it to include new information and dates.


Need help with your events?

Contact us at hello@neighbourly.com


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Jane

Content Manager

Oct 11, 2016