Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum charity supports Westonbirt, the National Arboretum with its 18,000 trees and 600 acres of woodland. Our vision is of a long and sustainable future of the site, for the good of the environment and people, with the mission to raise funds to support the arboretum, working alongside the Forestry Commission. Our membership scheme and fundraising projects fund ongoing maintenance and new developments, helping the arboretum to thrive.

Westonbirt Arboretum not only benefits local residents environmentally and as an educational resource, but also performs both national and international benefits such as training expert arborists and dendrologists who will help care for forests and woodlands across the UK, as we embark in climate change research for a broader environmental understanding.

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Home-Start Stroud District

Home-Start helps families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them. We support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. The benefits of our support include improved health and well being and better family relationships.

Our volunteers visit the family’s home for a couple of hours every week. They tailor-make their support to the needs of the parents and children. Volunteers are very committed and will keep visiting until the youngest child turns five or starts school, or until the parents feel they can stand on their own two feet. Parents and volunteers often develop a deeply trusting relationship which can lead to powerful change within the family.

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To donate to Home-Start Stroud District (Charity no. 1107019) please click here


Samaritans is a 24/7 listening service, manned by fully trained volunteers, who provide emotional support to those in need. If you have had a bad day, you are feeling distressed, in despair or even contemplating suicide we are here to listen and explore your feelings, in confidence and in the hope that we can make a difference to peoples lives. We are here to support you, not judge you, by listening over the phone or communicating by email, SMS or face to face. Talk to us - It may help.

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Marah runs regular Drop-ins at lunch times on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in Stroud. We serve about 40 to 50 two course meals on Mondays and Wednesdays and give out hot toasties on Saturdays. All this is much appreciated by the clients who often ask for take-aways to cover the rest of the week.

The clients are vulnerable men and women (mostly men) who often have alcohol or drug addictions and some have mental health issues.We provide a welcome to anyone who comes to our door and offer a smile, a welcome ,a hot meal and support where necessary.

We are very grateful to Tescos and Waitrose for the surplus food they donate for the clients. We are also very grateful to Stroud Food Bank for the food parcels they provide. The need never diminishes. We work in conjunction with agencies such as P3, CAB and others. There is always an underlying need for emotional and spiritual support.

Finance wise we run at a deficit around £2,500 per month which we manage to cover with grants and support from Stroud District Council and from street collections. Recently we reached a milestone of 100 regular donors for whom we are extremely grateful.

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The Churn Project

The Churn Project works across the community in Cirencester and nearby villages. Our aims are to reduce isolation, create opportunities and offer practical solutions to the issues people face. We believe every person should enjoy a sense of purpose, belonging and hope. Over 1900 local people used our services in the last year.

People turn to us at all the major times of transition: becoming a parent, being made redundant, becoming a carer, taking retirement, bereavement, moving to the area, onset of mental and physical health problems. So we concentrate on supporting young families, people looking to improve skills and job prospects, and older people.

We offer around 25 different activities and groups every week, including antenatal & parenting support, friendship groups, English, Maths, craft groups and a work club. We also run two volunteer visiting services, an allotment and a Men’s Shed off-site.

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Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan are here to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, providing physical, financial and emotional support. We'll be there for everyone, either through one of our services, or by pointing them in the right direction. So whatever cancer throws their way, we'll be right there with them.