A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to our ‘Stevenage Helps’ Appeal to support those impacted by COVID-19 in and around the Stevenage area. Here are a few examples of how we’ve been able to help thanks to your generosity:
£1,000 has allowed the Food Shed to buy food and essential items to meet the significant increase in demand they are facing every day.
A supermarket gift card has helped a single mum studying under an apprenticeship scheme to buy food and essentials for her family. As a lone parent she can barely scrape enough money together to pay rent and bills
£1,500 has enabled Stevenage Football Club to increase the number of people over the age of 70, that they are able to support through their Community Kitchen Sandwich Service. Just £1 per sandwich per day means this grant will provide 1,500 sandwiches over the next 3 months for elderly people who are lonely and isolated and have no immediate family members locally.
A grant has helped this low-income family of five in their time of need. Mum is undergoing aggressive treatment for cancer and worrying about how she will feed her children.
£100 has relieved some of the stress for this family of three who were reliant on Dad’s income from self-employment. Dad is now unable to work and Mum has serious long-term mental health concerns. With no income whatsoever, they have relied on food from the local food bank but have no money for gas and electricity, leaving the family unable to cook, with no access to hot water and no lighting.
We've allocated £400 for local families living in temporary accommodation where there are no cooking facilities and therefore an increased cost to access hot food.
Being employed on a low wage, 0 hours contract meant this man had no reserves to fall back on when his employment ceased recently. With his bank statement showing only £10 in his account, we were able to help this single father and his young child to buy food and essentials.
Basic mobile phones have been provided to local homeless people so they can contact and be contacted by their support workers to ensure their wellbeing.
We were able to provide much needed food for a young homeless person with significant mental health concerns and no access to funds.
Stevenage Family Centre’s identified 24 vulnerable families, predominantly single parents suffering with poor mental health and struggling with the current isolation. A grant of just £120 has enabled them to buy activities for parents to help with their mental well-being.
After being diagnosed with a lung infection, this young mum was advised by the NHS to stop working and stay at home for 12 weeks. Being inside a small flat with a young child led to her feeling isolated and alone, and with a significant reduction in income and being so unwell this lady was finding it difficult to manage physically, emotionally and financially. A grant from the Trust has enabled this family to buy food and essentials and ease some of their worries.
A grant for £576 will allow award winning charity The Living Room to provide remote counselling therapy to adults living in the Stevenage area who suffer with the illness of addiction.
As a self-employed tradesman, this father had to stop work due to the current crisis. Mum is a full time carer to their youngest child who has complex physical needs. With no money coming in and unable to meet their utility bills, rent, council tax and food bills we were pleased to help this family with a grant.
Stevenage Citizens Advice has seen an unprecedented increase in demand from thousands of local people affected in a variety of ways from the current crisis. To help meet this demand and ensure that people are able to access the specialist advice they need, we have provided a grant for £4,980 for additional staffing and resources.
A grant for £2,000 will enable Headway Hertfordshire’s Occupational Therapists to support their clients remotely so they continue to make progress in the recovery of cognitive and executive functions following a brain injury. The funding will also be used to ensure regular contact is made to check on the physical and mental well-being of carers who may be feeling anxious and isolated during the lock-down.
Many people’s well-being is being negatively affected by the effects of the Coronavirus situation. We are therefore pleased to provide Mind In Mid Herts with a grant of £1,000 to support people across Stevenage who are struggling with their mental health.
We’re thrilled to have partnered with Stevenage Football Club and the Stevenage Community Food Bank with funding to provide fresh fruit, vegetables and a bespoke shopping service for families in severe financial hardship.
To donate to our 'Stevenage Helps' Appeal Click Below
Our community fund provides grants to a wide range of voluntary organisations and charitable causes. Here are some examples of those who’ve been awarded a grant:
Herts Vision Loss provides support for people living with sight loss across the county. A grant for £1,000 will fund a new support group and counselling sessions for blind and visually impaired residents in and around Stevenage. The group aims to reduce social isolation, increase confidence and provide a safe place for people to discuss issues and seek peer support.
The Living Room is an addiction recovery charity that has been supported by Stevenage Community Trust for many years.We were pleased to award a grant for £1,000 to purchase new seating for the disordered eating group and counselling room at the Stevenage centre to ensure clients feel comfortable and relaxed during therapy.
The Welcome Group is run solely by volunteers and meets each week to provide free activities to many of the most vulnerable people in our society. With a grant of £2,000 the group was able to purchase much needed materials for the therapeutic activities and employ a trained counsellor to support many of the attendees with deep emotional needs.
Herts Inclusive Theatre uses the arts to create enjoyable life experiences where everyone is encouraged, valued and has their part to play. A grant from the Trust funded summer workshops for young people aged 12-22 with specific learning needs or registered disabled. Every day presents tough challenges for these youngsters, with particular concerns around social exclusion and the negative consequences associated with this. They have experienced bullying, labelling and feelings of anxiety. The workshops counteract this through the use of drama, movement, music, yoga and wellbeing techniques to build confidence, communication skills and help build social inclusion.
Woolenwick Infants and Nursery School is located in the Symonds Green area of Stevenage. The Trust was pleased to provide funding for light changing equipment, a CD player and yoga mats for the school’s new sensory room. The room has a wide range of uses such as; mindfulness and relaxation sessions for vulnerable children to improve their concentration; a place for visually impaired children to reduce eye stress; yoga classes to improve posture and concentration. With a large number of children entering the school with low-level language skills, the light changing equipment will also be a useful resource during storytelling sessions in the classroom, which are important in enriching vocabulary acquisition.
Stevenage Sporting Futures works with over 30 schools with the overarching aim of creating opportunities, raising aspiration & positively influencing the health and wellbeing of young people through sport and physical activity. With a grant from the Trust, the Sporting Futures Team were able to deliver the Ninja Academy programme in three schools for children with challenging behaviours, special educational needs or disabilities. The programme embraces martial arts in a safe and controlled manner but without the usual formal nature of positioning and grading. This adaptation appeals to young people who may display some behaviour issues and allows them to channel this in a supervised and safe environment. The approach still ensures discipline, one of the key characteristics of martial arts, but makes it fun and engaging for all.
Watton Ladies FC has been providing women’s football since 2004. This year they announced a new under 16 team, the first time in its history that the club has had two teams. The Trust was pleased to sponsor this newly formed team for young women.
Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) offers support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse through one-to-one support, group work and courses. Although the service is relatively new, they have already supported hundreds of people and we are proud to have helped them with the following grants.
- Children in the family are often the forgotten voice and accessing support for them can be difficult. Play therapy provides children with the opportunity to communicate feelings and experiences they are not able to articulate. The Trust provided a grant of £3,000 towards play therapy training. Staff have now been able to provide invaluable support to children accessing the service and in schools across the town.
- ‘You and Me, Mum’ is a 10-week course that aims to empower and support survivors in furthering their understanding of their role as mothers and in addressing the needs of children and young people who have lived with domestic abuse. Thanks to a grant of £300 to purchase 50 books, SADA was able to run 5 courses, benefiting over 70 families.
- Many families flee from their abuser with nothing other than the clothes on their back. SADA is able to provide a Safe Space for these families to live while they figure out their next steps. Our donation of £500 provided mobile phone SIM cards and supermarket vouchers for 20 of these families.
Garden House Hospice Care supports personalised and compassionate palliative end of life care for those in need following a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. Funding from the Trust enabled the hospice to create a community hub, making services more accessible to people living in Stevenage. Each week, the hub provides essential clinical rehabilitative services such as physiotherapy sessions.
Herts Vision Loss supports and empowers people living in Hertfordshire with a visual impairment. A modest grant contributed towards a Christmas gathering for blind and visually impaired Stevenage residents. Many of those who attended suffer from social isolation, rarely leave the safety of their own homes and survive on a limited income. The get-together gave them opportunity to dress up and socialise with others without worrying about the cost.
Lonsdale is a school for physically and neurologically impaired young people aged from 3 to 18 years. Pupils require a lot of additional support on a daily basis and the last couple of years have embarked on the Duke of Edinburgh Award. To gain future and higher awards they were in need of specialist camping equipment to meet their needs in order to help them achieve. Thanks to a generous donation from Stevenage Community Trust the school was able to purchase the necessary equipment and support the pupils embarking on their Gold Award, guaranteeing their safety and making them as comfortable as possible to fulfil their dreams.
Camps Hill is a primary school with almost 550 pupils aged 2-11 years old. The school has successfully delivered the Parenting Puzzle, a nurturing programme which guides parents through the challenges of family life, emotional health and wellbeing. The 10-week course has helped many families realise that they are not alone in the challenges they face. Funding from the Trust provided staff training and essential resources to ensure the school is able to continue to offer these important workshops to new families who require support.
Graveley School is located in a small village on the outskirts of Stevenage. A grant of £1,500 contributed towards their new outdoor classroom, providing a beautiful sheltered outside space used for a wide range of purposes; educational, social and play.
Roebuck Academy is a local primary school. We recently provided funding for 60 glockenspiels and were thrilled to hear how much the children have enjoyed learning a new skill.
The Stevenage Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. A contribution from the Trust enabled the festival to put on a fantastic ceilidh event for 120 local school children.
Stevenage Survivors brings local people together who have a shared enjoyment of poetry and have survived adversity during their lives. Once a year the group holds a community therapy day focusing on poetry, storytelling, creative writing, relaxation and music. Most of those who attend are from deprived and disadvantaged back grounds who are struggling with life and we were therefore pleased to support this worthwhile activity with a contribution of £200.
Stevenage Pioneer Trust is part of the Youth Engagement Service providing community sessions, events and activities across the town. Our £300 donation was used to run a football project enabling young people to play sport, improve their health and, if they choose, speak with youth workers for support and guidance for any problems or concerns they may have.
Watton at Stone Community Hall is an important hub for local activities. Following the success of the Forever Active Archery programme for the over 55’s we were delighted to provide a grant of £500 to purchase archery equipment for the continuation and expansion to all ages for this activity in the area.
Barclay Kart Team is an extra-curricular club that introduces kart racing to children aged 10-18 years old. Stevenage Community Trust has donated £2,000 to ensure all members of the team are able to attend and compete in the National Schools Karting Championships in Scotland, regardless of their financial background.
Ashtree Primary is a large, friendly school offering a wide range of opportunities for its pupils. With concerns surrounding inactivity and obesity in children, we were more than happy to support the school’s cheerleading club with a grant of £500 to purchase some fantastic pom-pom’s.
Longmeadow is a larger than average-sized primary school for children aged 3-11 years. A £2,000 contribution was awarded to create a vibrant new early year’s outdoor learning area to meet the needs of 180 pupils, many with special educational needs.
Tilehouse Counselling exists to provide professional counselling and therapeutic group work for adults and young people. With mental health concerns on the increase there has been a rapid escalation in demand for support for vulnerable young people in desperate need of help. We were therefore pleased to approve a grant of £2,480 to enable this fantastic organisation to offer brief, focused counselling in a safe, confidential space for young people aged 13-19 in Stevenage.
Benington Recreation Ground is home to many local teams and clubs who use the facilities. A grant of £2,000 will help with the costs needed to complete the building of a new pavilion to replace the existing one which was completely destroyed by an electrical fire in 2004.
The Gordon Craig Theatre Senior Drama Academy provides workshops for youngsters aged 3-18 years. A group of these young people were offered a wonderful opportunity to perform their own production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With each student having to raise £400 through a variety of fundraising activities, the Trust was happy to provide a contribution of £1,000 in recognition of their efforts.
Herts Area Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre provides free & confidential counselling for females who are survivors of rape and sexual assault. To meet the needs of the women who require their support, the centre received financial assistance from the Trust to create a new user friendly website.
Herts Disabled Cricket Association has been in existence for 15 years and has continually been helping people with disabilities to become and stay active through cricket. A £439 grant provided training for 5 support staff and purchased a table tennis table to enable disabled people to play table top cricket.
Ditchy Extras is a peer support group for those with mental health difficulties. All have been sectioned at some time and the vast majority live alone, making Christmas an especially difficult time. With a grant of £110 all 22 members of the group will receive a small Christmas present, for many it will be the only present they receive.
Headway Hertfordshire supports people who are affected by an acquired brain injury. Our grant of £2,000 helped to fund Headway’s Pathways project to aid rehabilitation and recovery.
Tracks Autism is a specialist early years centre for children with an autistic spectrum condition. Children were able to enjoy a day out at Shepreth Wildlife Park in the summer thanks to a grant of £875 from the Trust.
The Gifted Organisation supports disadvantaged young people to unlock their gifts and create bright futures for them. We provided a grant of £2,000 to deliver The Butterfly Effect project; an intensive intervention to support the social and emotional development of girls and young women at risk of exclusion from school, have been excluded, are involved in anti-social behaviour, engaging in risky behaviour or are at risk or doing so.
The Living Room is an award winning addiction recovery charity providing help and support to local residents for many years. Our donation of £500 will help to buy food and equipment for a new healthy eating programme aimed at educating parents and children who use the services of The Living Room.
Wheelchair Dance Sport Association is the UK National Governing Body for wheelchair dance sport and wheelchair dancing in the UK, for those who would otherwise be excluded from dancing. A tea dance in Stevenage was arranged, thanks to a £1,000 donation from the Trust, to encourage local wheelchair users to get involved.
Barnwell School is a secondary school serving the communities to the south of Stevenage and the surrounding villages. A grant of just £180 was all that was needed to run a 6 week boxing programme for some of the school’s most at-risk students displaying signs of anti-social behaviour, both in school and the community.
SPACE is a parent/carer support group for children with autism, ADHD and related conditions. A new group was set up in Stevenage earlier this year and the Trust was pleased to donate £350 to create a library of relevant books for parents and carers to borrow.
Almond Hill Junior School is a community school based in Stevenage Old Town. With the aim of finding at least one sport or physical activity that each of the children enjoys, the Trust was pleased to provide funding of £1,700 for additional activities for disadvantaged children from low income families to take part in.
Stevenage Arts Guild is an umbrella organisation for all the voluntary arts groups in Stevenage, supporting many of the town’s talented youngsters. A donation of £1,000 from the Trust helped to fund a series of interactive musical theatre and instrumental workshops for talented young people whose parents are unable to fund the sessions themselves.
Stevenage Cricket Club has been based in the town for over 200 years and is home to 8 adult teams and a number of junior teams of all age groups. The Trust has supported the club for many years and was pleased to donate £1,000 to purchase an automatic bowling machine to support their programme to encourage more youngsters, especially girls, to take up the sport.
13th Stevenage Guides is a new unit for girls who meet each week and take part in various activities and adventures, as well as fundraising for local causes. The Trust donated £500 so the group could purchase tents and equipment for camping trips.
Stevenage Starlets is a brand new football club dedicated to getting more girls playing the game. A grant of £750 enabled the club to purchase much needed kit and equipment.
Stevenage Borough Snowcats is a newly formed under 10 girl’s football team. A grant of £500 was provided towards the purchase of a new kit and equipment.
Aston Parish Council A donation of £450 contributed towards the purchase and installation of a defibrillator for the community of Aston
Barnwell Kart Club is a parent led kart club based at Barnwell School but open to all children in the local area. The Trust donated £1,500 so that the club could purchase essential equipment and safety clothing.
Stevenage South Children’s Centres are made up of a group of 4 centres in Bedwell, Broadwater, Shephall and Chells and Manor and serve families who have children under 5 years of age. We provided a grant of £500 to run a pilot scheme to promote healthy lifestyles to expectant mums.
Eastern Roller Speed Association received a grant for £450 to deliver roller skating taster sessions to a variety of schools in Stevenage.
Holy Trinity Church and hall is used by many members of the community from local school children to the elderly. A grant of £150 was used to purchase a portable ramp to assist wheelchair users, babies in buggies and those with mobility concerns.
Codicote Football Club has 150 players across a variety of youth and senior teams. The club received a grant of £1,146 to upgrade their fencing to comply with FA regulations.
Aqualina Synchonised Swimming Club is part of the Amateur Swimming Association and has over 40 swimmers, ranging in age from 8 to 20 years. Earlier this year we were pleased to provide a grant of £300 towards the cost of a training one of the club’s volunteer coaches.
Knebworth Football Club is a FA Charter Standard Development Club with teams for boys and girls from the age of 3 through to seniors and veterans. A £1,000 donation from the Trust contributed towards the purchase of new kits for four of the club’s youth teams.
St Nicholas Community Centre has been based in the heart of St Nicholas in Stevenage for over 40 years. The centre is a base for many clubs who rely on the facilities to provide activities and support to a wide range of local people. The Trust was pleased to offer a grant of £500 towards the repair of the wet pour rubber safety flooring which had fallen into disrepair.
Stevenage Striders is a relatively new running club for local people of all ages and abilities. A grant of £200 was used to purchase equipment to support training sessions and ensure the club remains free to attend for all members.
Stevenage-Ingelheim-Autun Association meets throughout the year to maintain good relationships between the residents of Stevenage, Ingelheim and Autun. The grant of £1,200 from Stevenage Community Trust assisted in financing the 13th annual ‘3 towns – 1 vision’ youth project which brings young people from Stevenage together with youngsters from Ingelheim in Germany and Autun in France.
Stevenage Education Support Centre provides education for twelve young people who are permanently excluded or at risk of permanent exclusion from their school. Pupils are often demotivated as they are out of mainstream school so as a way of trying to re-engage students the centre runs a Christmas raffle. Pupils earn raffle tickets by producing good work and then at the end of term three winners are drawn who each takes home a hamper of goodies to help towards their Christmas celebrations. The Trust was pleased to provide a donation of £90 to cover the cost of the hampers.
Warriorz is a Street Dance & Performing Arts Academy who aims to inspire & motivate young talented children. Earlier this year we awarded them a grant of £500 to purchase outfits for a group of dancers aged 9-17 years who had been selected to compete at the world championships.
Hampson Park Community Centre is based in the Pin Green area of Stevenage. Over 50 local older people were able to enjoy a fantastic Christmas party with a 3-course dinner and a small gift thanks to a contribution from our Chauncy Charity fund.
Herts Vision Loss supports the county’s estimated population of 22,000 people with severe and permanent sight loss. With a donation from the Trust the charity was able to hold two Christmas events for those who attend their various support groups, many of whom are severely socially isolated because of their disability.
Stevenage Food Shed aims to reach out and help those struggling and in need by providing food, clothing and essential items. To assist with the growth of this service we were pleased to provide funding to create a comfortable and safe area for confidential conversations with vulnerable clients.
Moss Bury Primary School and Nursery is based in Stevenage. To enhance the children’s global development, the school will be using a grant of £100 to purchase a trampoline. Primarily, this equipment will be used to support children with special educational needs, aiding many aspects of their learning experience from helping with their motor skills to assisting with their maths with activities such as counting their jumps.
We are able to react quickly and efficiently to urgent cases of hardship to ensure help is available to those most in need. A small sample of those who have recently received our support can be found below.
Case 1: Unable to work and receiving specialist help for severe mental health concerns, this gentleman had had to resort to using the Food Shed. Additionally, the lack of essential household items meant that his daughter was not able to visit him which was having a negative effect on the emotional well-being of them both. We were able provide a second-hand cooker, bed, washing machine and fridge freezer and reunite this father with his daughter.
Case 2: This single parent was involved in a domestic abuse relationship and heavy drug use leading to her children being removed from her care and being evicted from her property. Over the past 5 years she has battled to turn her life around, removing herself from the unhealthy relationship and working with drug and alcohol recovery services and is now able to volunteer her services and use her experience to support others in these situations. She intends to gain employment in this field of drug support to work for the benefit of other adults and children. A recent court order replaced the children back into her care. The Trust was delighted to provide a bunk bed and some basic furniture so she could start rebuilding her life with her children.
Case 3: With a child protection plan in place due to concerns regarding neglect, and speech and language delay caused through a lack of social interaction, stimulation and play opportunities at home, the Trust was quick to respond to a request to provide funding for specialist nursery sessions to support this child’s education, emotional well-being and safety.
Case 4: After fleeing severe domestic violence with very few belongings, we were able to provide emergency food, clothes, shoes and school meals for this mother and her children.
Case 5: For Baby’s Sake is a programme for expectant parents who want to bring an end to domestic violence and create the best possible start in life for their baby. They asked for our help for a young care leaver who was raising her six-month old child alone after leaving her abusive partner. With very little income and no family or friends for support, her flat felt cold and stark and was sparsely furnished with no carpet, curtains or soft furnishings. With a modest grant from Stevenage Community Trust, this young mother was able to purchase some household items to improve her surroundings for the benefit of her new baby
The grant was such a surprise I burst into tears. Life is such a struggle so it was a big, and I mean big, help.
This fund enables us to provide grants specifically for older people and the organisations that support them. Here are some examples of recent grants.
Stevenage Talking Newspaper was set up in 2013 with funding from Stevenage Community Trust. The organisation provides a bridge to the outside world for many of the 2,000+ blind and visually impaired people living locally. Each week, volunteers record themselves reading stories from the Comet newspaper and other publications, then distribute the recordings to people in the town who cannot read themselves. To meet the increasing demand, we were pleased to provide a grant for £1,500 for much needed audio equipment for new users.
INS provides weekly activities to support older people in Stevenage and helps combat social isolation. The Trust was pleased to contribute £1,072 for strength and balance classes for vulnerable older people at risk of falling.
The Red Shed Project provides gardening and craft activities for people with dementia, and their carers and families. Our donation of £1,364 enabled them to run workshops for those caring for loved ones with dementia. These weekly sessions offer important respite for carers and help enhance their well-being.
Knit and Natter is a wonderful group of 32 women who meet each week for friendship and use their knitting skills to raise money for a variety of charities and organisations locally. A £200 grant enabled the group to celebrate their anniversary with cream teas and an entertainer as a thank you to everyone who has supported the club over the years.
The Over 50’s Monday Club brings older people together for weekly activities. Many of the members have a limited income so our grant of £300 contributed to their summer activities and a trip out which many could not have otherwise afforded.
The Friendship Group aims to tackle loneliness and isolation by bringing the over 55’s together for weekly activities. A donation of £400 from our Chauncy Charity fund will subsidise a coach trip for the members. Day trips mean a lot to many of the 50 members of the group who are unable to manage or afford a holiday.
Knebworth Link Up Lunch Club was formed in 1982 and is run entirely by volunteers. Up to 50 elderly residents meet each week, many of whom are in their 80’s and 90’s. A £250 grant paid for a Christmas party for the club’s members and helpers. Betty, aged 85, produced a handsome roast turkey dinner followed by her legendary trifle!
The Good Companions Club provides companionship for men and women over 50. A grant of £450 contributed towards a Christmas trip to the Brick Lane Music Hall in London for 40 senior citizens. Many of the members live alone and would be unable to afford the cost of the trip without this funding.
Holy Trinity Church and hall is used by many members of the community from local school children to the elderly. A grant of £150 was used to purchase a portable ramp to assist wheelchair users, babies in buggies and those with mobility concerns.
Springfield House Community Association is a hub for a variety of activities located in the heart of the Old Town. The Senior Citizens Christmas lunch is a well-attended festive social gathering, with a hearty, home cooked meal and is very much enjoyed by all. It is attended by over 80 elderly people from the local community, many of whom are otherwise isolated through age or disability. A donation from our Chauncy Charity fund ensured everyone who wanted to was able to attend, regardless of their financial situation.
Hampson Park Community Centre is located in the Pin Green area of Stevenage. The centre has offered a Christmas lunch for older people for 50 years so we were extremely pleased to provide a contribution to ensure its continuation.
Hardship case: We were contacted by Social Services who were extremely concerned for this elderly gentleman’s welfare. He had been found living in squalid conditions, severely malnourished and suffering the effects of significant self-neglect. The property was deep-cleaned and we were able to act quickly to provide this vulnerable man with a second-hand bed, mattress and arm chair as well as other essential items such as bed sheets, a duvet, new underwear, clothes, shoes and slippers.
Stevenage Community Trust continues its invaluable support to the community with ease of information and access.The Oval Friendship Group
Many families struggle to afford to heat their homes during the cold winter months. Thanks to funding from The Chauncy Charity and councillors at Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council we were able to offer heating grants to struggling families.
Case 1: Concerns were raised for this elderly gentleman who was found in a very poor state having not left his home for many months. He was extremely malnourished and had lost a significant amount of weight, having not eaten for over two weeks. Depressed, agoraphobic, physically weak and with no money to heat his home, the Trust was able to act immediately to protect this gentleman from the cold and aid his recovery.
Case 2: Partially sighted with diabetes, breathing disorders and arthritis, this lady rarely left the house. A grant from the Trust ensured that she was able to heat her home and keep warm without worrying about the cost.
Case 3: Life was difficult for this single parent; coping with the physical effects of fibromyalgia and chronic migraines, whilst caring for 2 young children, studying full-time and managing on just £100 per week. A heating grant ensured that this mother no longer had to choose between buying food or keeping her family warm.
Case 4: Enduring her second round of cancer treatment meant that this elderly lady was particularly susceptible to the cold. We were pleased to help ease her money worries so she could concentrate on getting better.
Case 5: A wheelchair user with paralysis to both legs and suffering from a lung condition meant that this man needed to have the heating on throughout the winter but lacked the money to do so until he received a heating grant from the Trust.
Case 6: Working two jobs to make ends meet but limited by her very poor mental health, this vulnerable lady received no benefits and had to pay full rent and council tax from her very modest income. The offer of support from the Trust was therefore a welcome relief for this lady.
Case 7: A pensioner, working two jobs with restricted movement due to stiffness and joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, felt she had no quality of life having to constantly decide whether to buy food or heat her home. With her heating costs subsidised we were able to lessen her worries and ensure she was able to eat sufficiently.
I would like to thank you so much for my heating grant. I am 93 and live on my own. I suffer from pain and feel the cold so much. I live on my pension and have to be so careful. Thanks again I do appreciate it.
Thanks to generous donations from The Follett Trust each year we are able to provide 200 local families who are struggling financially with a £100 gift card to ease the strain at Christmas. Here are details of some of those who’ve benefited
Case 1: With dad unable to work following a fall which resulted in a serious head injury and mum caring for her husband and 3 young children we were happy to help this family at the end of an upsetting and stressful year.
Case 2: This young boy spends the year caring for his disabled mum and the family was therefore a deserving recipient of a Christmas gift card.
Case 3: Having been diagnosed with a terminal illness and struggling to cope financially, we hope our gift card gave this mum of two young children one less thing to worry about.
Case 4: Still grieving from the loss of her 4-year-old son earlier in the year, this lady is a single parent to three other children, one of whom is bed-ridden and has severe physical disabilities.
Case 5: This gentleman was forced to claim benefits following an accident which resulted in significant unrecoverable lower limb loss. Now a wheelchair user, he is cared for by his wife and 5-year-old son. A gift from the Trust was a real boost to this family who have been confronting multiple challenges and have had to make major adjustments physically, mentally and financially over the past few years.
Case 6: Struggling to manage on a low income but determined to complete the final year of her college course and provide a better life for her two children, this lady was working hard to change her circumstances and deserved a little help from the Trust in recognition of her efforts.
Case 7: This little girl is a wheelchair user who suffers from spina bifida. Her father goes above and beyond to make her life fun in spite of her disability. Each lunchtime he catches the bus from his place of work to his daughter’s primary school to see her and then returns to work. Our gift card was a special treat for this inspirational father and his amazing daughter.
Case 8: This Grandma and Grandad have special guardianship over their two grandchildren who both have additional needs. Grandad was made redundant just before Christmas with only two weeks’ pay. Thanks to a gift card from the Trust this family was able to have a Christmas they deserved.
Case 9: With two severely autistic and profoundly deaf children, daily life is challenging for this single mum who desperately wants to learn sign language but is hindered by her own dyslexia. Trying her best to provide for her family but in low paid work and unable to claim any state benefits, our donation brought a little relief from money worries for this hard working mum.
Case 10: Recently widowed and caring for his disabled son, this gentleman was struggling to manage on a very low income. We were pleased to bring a little happiness for him and his son at Christmas.
Case 11: Having been awarded full custody of his three young children, suffering from ill health and with all four members of the family living in a one bedroom flat, this gentleman was extremely grateful to receive a little help from us at Christmas-time.
I cannot express in words how grateful my daughters and I are for your kind donation. As a single mum and full time student, Christmas can be a difficult time financially. The gift card will mean we can afford to buy extras that we would not have been able to without this donation. Once again thank you very much
In our first 25 years, we gave out more than £1 million in grants to help local people and organisations.
We could not have realised this without the generosity of our supporters and our aim is to build on the these rock solid foundations and be even more impactful for our community over the next 25 years. Robert Stewart - Chairman