To tell you about *BESOM* if you are fed up with freecycle?

(64 Posts)
GuffSmuggler Tue 30-Jul-13 15:41:00

I have read a few threads on here recently about people being fed-up with the rude grabby people on freecycle and I would like to direct you to www.besom.com if you have stuff you want to get rid of and would like it to go to a good home.

This is from their website:

Many of us have good quality things that we do not use or need and local Besoms provide a service that enables you to pass them on to people who really need them. Those who are re-housed are often given flats with absolutely nothing in them. Those escaping domestic violence may have to leave all their possessions behind. Through a network of contacts in social services, charities, refuges and family centres, The Besom constantly hears about people living on the edge. We are then able to match up the things given with the needs we hear about.

If you have good quality items you wish to give away, your local Besom would love to receive them. We can pass them on immediately to vulnerable people who really need them. These include women escaping domestic violence, homeless people, refugees, families or individuals living in extreme poverty

They collect stuff and are the nicest bunch of people making a real difference to the needy in their communities. They aren't everywhere, but if you click on the local besom link you will find if there is one near you.

<Disclaimer: I am not associated with them, I just think they are amazing!>

I agree with Eccentrica and think that she puts forward totally reasonable views as to why it might have been good to say it was a religious organisation. Most people use various bits of information to decide which charities they are going to support and religion may or may not be one of them.

HilaryM Wed 31-Jul-13 07:39:31

And another agreeing with eccentrica. I never donate money or goods to religious charities.

Also snorting at the name. What were they thinking??

Anthracite Wed 31-Jul-13 07:51:10

Our local Besom is amazing. Not only do they collect and redistribute "stuff", they also clear, clean, redecorate.

They help with benefits applications and will tide people over with food while waiting for the money to come through.

Although clients have to be referred, the service they get is personal, loving and non-bureaucratic.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 31-Jul-13 09:56:35

eccentric so, the organisation that you donated to that with hindsight you wish you hadn't - what do they do, or what policies do they have, that you disagree with? I assume there are, as you said 'practical consequences' to supporting them that you have a problem with?

I ask this because if people are saying they don't donate to religious charities because they assume they will be homophobic etc, then they are making sweeping assumptions which may not be true. It is as wrong to make those assumptions about any religiously-orientated organisation as it would be about any individual. Of course if people have done their research and find that an organisation endorses something very much at odds with their personal beliefs, then they should not give them money - for instance, many people support animal charities but only the ones that have a policy of not putting healthy animals down. But I doubt that that is the case with a lot of people: I think it comes down to people being happy to make assumptions about religious charities that they wouldn't like made about them.

To those posters saying you don't support religious charities: I expect you all do your research before donating to make sure of this, right? In which case, why are you complaining that the OP didn't do it for you? If it's that important, surely you'll take the trouble to find out for yourself...

Back on topic - I hadn't heard of Besom before this thread came up. There is one a little way away from me but not very very close - but I'll keep on eye on whether they open any more branches.

DeWe Wed 31-Jul-13 10:57:00

Besom are excellent. We've given them various stuff including a fridge, freezer and washing machine (moved into a house with them, having already got our own and the next people didn't want them). They came to collect it in their (the volunteers) own car too-which they don't get even expenses given.

I've also contributed to a new baby packet. They ask you to pack everything in a baby bath or moses basket, and you put a mixture of baby stuff including a treat for the mother. These sometimes are the only new things people get for their baby.

In this area they are also connected with a household "help" network. So they have a list of plumbers, electricians, gas men, decorators, car maintenance etc. All professionals who are prepared to give their time and experience for a mimimal price (Last time I looked they got £5 to cover expenses)-the charity pays for spare parts etc. needed too.

I also know people who have received. They come from various different religions and none, and various different circumstances, including-shock horror-same sex relationships. They give to those who need regardless.

It seems strange to say you wouldn't donate because the people running it are Christians who hence must have prejudices. You in fact are expressing a prejudice yourself about people you don't know.

eccentrica Wed 31-Jul-13 12:56:02

DeWe again, don't want to keep repeating myself but no, I am not prejudiced. It is not prejudice to choose not to donate to charities whose ethos you fundamentally disagree with. I asked above if Christians would be happy to donate to Brook or Marie Stopes for e.g. their excellent work advising young people and providing contraception and counselling - no one has responded to this. I'm aware that church, synagogue, mosque organisations can do excellent work but I and many others would still prefer to donate to the many non-religious organisations out there.

Msbluebozooka that's a really silly question, when you put money in a Cancer Research tin you are donating to Cancer Research, not the individual holding the tin.

Snazzy "eccentric so, the organisation that you donated to that with hindsight you wish you hadn't - what do they do, or what policies do they have, that you disagree with? I assume there are, as you said 'practical consequences' to supporting them that you have a problem with?"

Snazzy, the organisation I donated to was Camphill Communities who run communities for people with learning difficulties and of course provide extensive pastoral care as part of that remit. I don't know exactly how they would treat a member of their community who was gay, or needed an abortion, and obviously I don't have the time or resources to investigate how every single aspect of their organisation works.

My knowledge of Christian and Jewish charities is that they are often not able to provide that kind of support as it goes against what they most deeply believe. they are likely to be staffed by individuals who cannot support those examples as it would in their eyes be against God's will.

They also are likely to include prayer and a promotion of Christian belief as part of their activities. I am personally not comfortable with the idea of funding people to promote beliefs I don't share, especially to people with learning difficulties. That is not prejudice.

The impossibility of knowing every detail of how every organisation works is precisely why it is more realistic to make a decision based on the fundamental values of a charity - what belief system is the charity ultimately built on?

Similarly not everyone has the time/resources/inclination to research every charity which is why I think everything should be as upfront as possible so people can make informed choices.

I think I've said everything I can possibly say on this subject, I know I'm not alone in thinking this so I will politely bow out of this thread now.

Anthracite Wed 31-Jul-13 12:58:32

The ethos of Besom is to help people in need. What's not to agree with?

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 31-Jul-13 13:09:00

There's a lot of 'are likely to' in that post, (of eccentrica's) and a lot of unpleasant assumptions. I would have to wonder how many secular organisations have people working for them who are homophobic, anti-choice and so on in their dealings with people. I bet there would be a comparable number. Yet no such concerns exist there.

My experience of religious charities has been quite different, and I have found them very willing to help people who are acting, or have acted, in a way that does not align with their own religious beliefs. I have also found that they prefer to preach by example - i.e. demonstrating that they feel it is their duty to help and support people in trouble - rather than attempting to convert people. It's quite sad that their good work goes uncredited because they are deemed on no evidence to be more prejudiced than the average individual you will encounter.

Emilythornesbff Wed 31-Jul-13 13:50:22

Thank you for posting OP.
Like another poster I have just let an old (perfectly working) tv go.
Shame. Wish I'd known about them.

Belchica Wed 31-Jul-13 14:51:33

Thanks OP. I have a room full of things that I wanted to pass on to a good home.

I am astounded at Eccentrica's attitude. Donating to charity is supposed to be a selfless act. Are you still reading Eccentrica? that means it has little or nothing to do with your own interests. Seriously, get rid of the chip on your shoulder and just GIVE!

For the record, I have seen first hand my local Catholic Church supporting gay people in the community and taking an active stand against homophobic behaviour. Christians are able to separate 'sin from sinner' so they can carry on helping people in need alongside their beliefs. Because that is part of what being a Christian is about (when we aren't busy persuading single mums to have abortions and trying to 'turn' gays, of course!).

blue2 Wed 31-Jul-13 15:07:00

This looks like a magnificent cause - thank you for flagging it up, OP.

I'm soon to have to clear out my parents house, so will certainly give them a ring.

Why this thread has to turn into some giant religious argument, Heaven knows! (if you don't like it, don't donate, but don't bother posting either!)

sashh Thu 01-Aug-13 07:06:01

It's a bit disingenuous of you not to mention that they are a religious Christian charity.

No it's not. Had that been in the title I wouldn't have looked. As it is I could quite happily work with them because they are not preaching at the same time as helping.

GiveItYourBestShot Thu 01-Aug-13 07:25:01

Thanks, OP - there are 2 groups near me and I am looking to have a big clearout so perfectly timed.

hesterton Thu 01-Aug-13 07:46:22

Anyone on any principle is quite entitled to choose not to donate to a particular charity. There are plenty of other organisations which cater for the many people in need in our society.

I wouldn't have a problem with this charity but would support the right of another person to boycott it because of its religious basis.

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