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ACT approves £39,000 of funding for eight projects in its Q3 round of community grants

19 October, 2020 |Ardonagh Group | Ardonagh Community Trust

For quarter three of its community grant programme, Ardonagh Community Trust, the registered charity of The Ardonagh Group, has approved eight projects with £39,688.50 of funding across a variety of causes. 

The mission of ACT is to help communities become better, brighter and stronger and with many causes needing additional financial support to help them fulfill their projects in light of Covid-19, ACT is committed to giving more funding to those in need for 2020 and beyond. 

The projects approved by the trustees this quarter will help hospices, cancer support groups, day-care and respite centres continue to support those in need. Find out more about the chosen causes put forward by the colleagues of Ardonagh below…

The Friends of Beneden Grange
Submitted by Rob Worrell from Ardonagh Advisory

The Grange provides a range of residential and supported living services for up to 25 supporting adults with learning disabilities in Cranbrook, Kent, and the surrounding areas. Here the residents are able to develop key life skills through supported living programmes that encourage cooking, socialising with friends and developing their wellbeing. The Friends of Benenden Grange raise vital funds to increase the ability to deliver enhanced care, services, experiences and drive developments that would otherwise not be possible. One of their current projects is a programme of mindfulness, which during the current challenging times, is more important than ever to help support the mental health and wellbeing of residents and staff alike. A grant of £2,298.50 will allow them to train five of their staff to become mindfulness practitioners, thereby enhancing the care and support their beneficiaries receive. This funding will allow the team to share this knowledge with their current and future residents, creating a legacy of mindfulness and wellbeing.

Forest Holme Hospice
Submitted by Stephen Moore from Towergate Insurance Brokers

Forest Holme Hospice in Poole, Dorset provides palliative care to people in the local area who are suffering from serious illnesses. In addition to palliative care, the staff at Forest Holme provide a beautiful open and caring environment offering respite for family members, physiotherapy, massage and bereavement counselling services. Their overall philosophy is to not only provide a welcoming, peaceful and safe environment for their patients, but to also provide valuable support and care for family members at the home. On average it costs £459 per person for this service, so a grant of £4,590 from ACT will enable ten people to be cared for in their own home at the end of their life by Forest Holme's Community Palliative care team. The Poole office has supported Forest Holme for over 15 years as many of the team have been supported by the centre following the loss of a loved one and are looking to continue this support into the future.

Pink Sisters & Mrs
Submitted by Janet Stanway from Autonet Insurance

Pink Sisters was set up by Janet to support those going through cancer treatment and their friends and families after her mother and daughter were both diagnosed with cancer within days of each other. Over the past few years Janet and her team of Pink Sisters have grown and this year, they've expanded to include male members, changing their name to Pink Sisters and Mr's. The group meets monthly, where possible, and provides virtual support via a number of difference groups on Facebook. Just like all other charities, Covid-19 has made things all the more challenging but Janet and her team of volunteers have supported their members and other vulnerable members of the community with food parcels, transport to treatment, prescription collections and more. On top of this and her role at Autonet, Janet and her co-founder Jax are NHS responders clocking up over 4,000 volunteering hours each. Never one to stop, Janet is always keen to look for the next way that she can help, and thanks to a £5,000 grant from ACT the Pink Sisters and Mr's will now be offering 'Chemo Comfort Packs' to their newly diagnosed members. These packs have been created following input from all their Pink Sisters members and the funding from ACT will help 40 people during their treatment.

Freespirits Day Care
Submitted by Chris Holmes from Atlanta

Freespirits Day Care is based in Abbey Hulton and provides personalised support for adults with various needs and abilities including specialist support for individuals with high (complex) support needs. The charity, of which Chris is the Chairperson, offers centre-based activities including a refurbished sensory room, IT/technology room, aromatherapy and massage room (with a trained aromatherapist on site). They also have a sensory garden with adapted equipment for people who use a wheelchair, offering increased opportunities to individuals come rain or shine. The centre provides transport in adapted vehicles for visitors from their home to the centre but the impact of Covid-19 has meant that there is more need for transport to ensure that they can protect their visitors and adhere to social distancing measures. This means limiting the number of passengers so purchasing a new van is paramount to being able to continue the support they can provide. The team have already raised a substantial amount towards the cost and a £5,000 grant from ACT takes them to their total required to purchase a new vehicle.

St Nicholas' Hospice
Submitted by Tom Scott from the Group COO Team

St Nicholas Hospice Care is a local charity providing help, advice and support to people in West Suffolk and Thetford who are living with long-term and life-threatening illnesses in the final chapters of their life. In addition to helping those in the final chapters of their life, the team also offer emotional support to patients, children, families and carers, help people to make the most of every day, advise on pain relief and other symptoms, liaise with other services which may be able to help and offer a variety of education to local professionals and carers. This cause is particularly close to the whole COO team as one of their team members experienced first-hand the incredible support given to those in palliative care and their families. Within the current economical and public health crisis, it's more important than ever that families continue to receive the care and attention during their final days. This £5,000 grant from ACT will help to provide comfort to someone in their final moments and vital support for their family too.

Great Aycliffe Cancer Support Group
Submitted by Julie Young Towergate Insurance Brokers

The Great Aycliffe Cancer Support Group was formed by Allison White after she was diagnosed with cancer and realised there was limited support for sufferers and their families in her local town of Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. The charity arranges free patient transport for its members through its use of volunteer drivers, a monthly meeting to give people the opportunity to meet others in similar situations, and get advice on topics like healthy eating and financial support. The Group also arranges day trips and social activities to get members out of their homes and provides chemotherapy support bags to make the experience more bearable. Throughout the pandemic, the group has also provided shopping deliveries to those who are shielding, made and supplied face masks and delivered Easter eggs and activity packs to those with children who weren't able to get out to buy them. As someone who has received direct support from the charity, Julie was keen to give back in whatever way she could and a grant from ACT of £5,000 will allow the charity to continue to support those in need as the pandemic remains and fundraising opportunities continue to be difficult.

Weston Hospice Family Support Team 
Submitted by Shaun Briddon Towergate Insurance Brokers

Weston Hospice care provides free expert and compassionate palliative care to people living with a life-limiting illness both at home and in the hospice. Currently, the hospice offers a monthly counselling support group for teenagers, that includes various therapeutic activities, and the team have identified a gap in service specifically in relation to primary age children, who most benefit from play and art therapies to better come to terms with their loss. Shaun is a keen supporter of the hospice, experiencing the care and support that was given to his family members. The importance of supporting younger children with their grief compelled Shaun to apply for a grant to cover the costs of materials for this project for a year and the £5,000 will be used to purchase art supplies and equipment for these sessions.

Finally, we are delighted to be able to support Castlebay Community & Eoligarry Primary Schools, Isle of Barra purchase 20 electric chanters which will enable the young pipers and chanter players to practise during these unprecedented times.

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