We are a Buckinghamshire based registered charity which supports children, young people and families throughout Buckinghamshire.
The charity was formed in 2021 after several years of running a successful county-wide Christmas Gift campaign for disadvantaged children.
In 2020 we identified a need within the county to extend support to vulnerable children and families beyond scope of the Christmas campaign and so Inspire Bucks was born.
We now design, run and facilitate a range of projects throughout Buckinghamshire, as well as providing support to our Youth Leaders with an assortment of community projects.
In December 2015, Paul Irwin attended a Salvation Army service in Aylesbury on behalf of the former Buckinghamshire County Council (now Buckinghamshire Council), to receive toys the Aylesbury congregation had collected for Buckinghamshire children in crisis.
Paul was so inspired by the wonderful service and the amount of gifts given by local people, that he organised a similar collection within the Council amongst its staff and councillors.
That first year we collected more than 1,000 presents from staff and friends, which inspired us to make it an annual Council event. This has grown each year since and the total number of presents donated in December 2019 reached 3,000.
Then came Covid-19 and we discussed whether it would be possible to carry on with the collection among Council staff, or whether we would need to pause for a year. However, we knew just how much these gifts meant to children, young people and families in crisis in previous years; if ever there was a year to show kindness and generosity, 2020 was it!
So we set up a Just Giving page online to enable Council staff, councillors and their friends to donate without going out, as most were working from home. With a spot of outside publicity through Martin Tett’s regular Leader’s emails to residents, we were about to inspire the whole of Buckinghamshire.
Little did we realise just how inspired Buckinghamshire would be!
We received more than £30,000 in donations and many hundreds of presents, which left us delighted, surprised and, to be honest, very emotional.
If this is the magnitude of Buckinghamshire’s generosity for local children, young people and families in crisis, we really did need a more formal footing.
So in 2021 the Inspire Bucks charity was born, which would allow us to do more throughout the year – not just at Christmas and on birthdays - to help children, young people and families going through struggling times.
We intend to carry on giving birthday presents and gifts at Christmas. But there’s more: achieving registered charity status allows us to widen our support for children, young people and their families, and so we’re inviting residents and businesses of Buckinghamshire to partner with us to provide:
Buckinghamshire Council has kindly loaned us office space at 66 High Street, in Aylesbury town centre, where we have formed our charity base.
We look ahead with great encouragement to how an inspired Buckinghamshire can do even more for children, young people and families who need and our help and encouragement.