A Life Less Lonely in Berkshire
Following a year of raising vital funds to tackle loneliness and isolation, projects across Berkshire are given a £190,000 boost from the Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF).

 

Monday 30th January saw seven charitable organisations pitch their worthy projects, scooping over £80,000 in the Foundation’s first grant giving community event. BBC Radio Berkshire’s Sports Presenter Ady Williams hosted the event at Norden Farm in Maidenhead. BCF was delighted to award a further £110,000 to many more vital projects in Berkshire, including befriending services and support for children with disabilities.

 

Ady Williams commented at the end of the event “It was a huge honour to be part of such an inspirational evening. The presentations by the groups were all extremely professional and at times very moving. An absolute pleasure to have been involved”.

 

Ady Williams hosting the BCF event.Photo by David Cattanach

Aik Saath, a Queen’s Award winning charity in Slough, was granted £10,000 for its outreach project which will be aimed at isolated young people, tackling the barriers they face engaging with others.

Sal and Rob from Aik Saath

Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS), which covers Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough and Langley, received £14,400 towards its ever increasing befriending service, particularly aimed at reaching those isolated with additional issues such as language and cultural barriers.

David from ADS


David Jannetta, Voluntary Chairman & Managing Director at ADS, said:

“I am absolutely delighted at our wonderful award of £14,400, which will ensure that the delivery of our befriending service will assist in reducing Loneliness and Isolation for many local People with Dementia and their Carers. On their behalf THANK YOU.”

A grant of £14,236 was awarded to ASD Family Help to continue its successful ‘3 Frogs West Berkshire’ project, offering a variety of social activities for lonely young people with special needs and providing respite for families and carers.

 

Loraine Fraser & Briony Vaughan from ASD Family Help

Citizens Advice Maidenhead and Windsor(CAM&W) is partnering with RBWM Libraries Service to reach 1,000 isolated people in the Borough with the free of charge ‘Advice Amongst the Books’ service, which will focus on the elderly, the housebound, young families and carers with the £12,100 grant received.

Christine O'Hare & Jane Daynes from (CAM&W)

BCF awarded £9,602 to DrugFAM for its Berkshire wide, 7 day a week helpline which supports families, friends and carers affected by someone else’s addiction to drugs or alcohol including those bereaved by addiction.

BCF_Norden_Farm-52

The three drop-in centres in Maidenhead run by Re:Charge R&R were given a boost of £10,000 for a new Family & Child Support Worker to focus on supporting vulnerable people who are homeless or are recovering from addictions.

Georgie Grafham from Re:charge R&R

The final grant of £10,000 was awarded to Readibus in Reading, to follow up its successful ‘Loneliness Buster’ initiative; offering 600 supported ‘Friendship Trips’ over the course of the year.  The trips aimed at people who are lonely or who have no one to go out with, will encourage users to support one another and build natural relationships.

Dr Sophie Bowlby with Peter Absolon from ReadiBus

All seven groups presented their projects to the five panel members; BCF Trustees Lady Catherine Stevenson and Susie Tremlett, BCF Vice Presidents Jane Wates and Harry Henderson along with Martin Trepte, Editor and Director of Baylis Media Ltd. Grants were then announced by BCF President Mr James Puxley, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire.

Panel members Lady Catherine Stevenson, Susie Tremlett, Jane Wates, Harry Henderson & Martin Trepte

Gerry Lejeune OBE, Chief Executive at BCF was thrilled with the grants the Foundation was able to award:

“It was a truly inspiring evening seeing and hearing from the groups first-hand about their vital projects that help so many people from every age group and so many different backgrounds. We were delighted to support them and award such a significant amount of money. However, despite this, we received an unprecedented amount of applications totalling £500,000 which shows just how big the issue of loneliness is across Berkshire; and how we must continue to work as hard as we can to help even more charities through our grant making in 2017 and beyond.”

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Berkshire Community Foundation will continue taking donations for its Loneliness and Isolation Fund, ‘A Life Less Lonely’ and would be delighted to award further grants to vital projects across Berkshire. If you would like to support this fund, please click above to donate or call BCF on 01189 303021.