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Community, Grants

£1000 Grant Competition Employee Shortlist…

10 June 2021

Throughout May we asked the employees and homeowners at McCarthy Stone to nominate a charity for a £1000 grant from the Foundation. After receiving more than 40 nominations, we have now been able to compile a shortlist for each category. Charities nominated by our homeowners will be voted on by the Foundation’s trustee board, while the employee nominations will be decided by our teams across the country in an online vote. Winners of both categories will be announced in the second week of July.

Shortlisting was very challenging, there were some fantastic, compelling, and heartfelt submissions that we were not able to shortlist. Typically this was either due to the organisation not being aligned to our own charitable purposes, or because we prefer to focus on smaller, local organisations with lower levels of income than some of the major national charities. We are though very grateful to everyone who took part and suggested a cause to us.

To help our employees make an informed choice, we have listed below each shortlisted nomination:

  1. Buddies Dementia Cafe

Buddies is a small charity for people living with dementia and their carers. They meet twice a month to provide entertainment, advice, and friendship in a safe and secure environment, as well as organising trips and meals out. They have an annual income of just under £10k a year. The nomination for them is below:

Buddies Dementia Cafe

“Buddies is a small charity, having been established in the village of Nettleham (Lincolnshire) in 2017 with the aim of providing support to people living with dementia and their carers. Buddies quickly became an established organisation in Nettleham with numbers attending increasing to more than 40 per meeting (pre-COVID). Now, as we start to come out of lockdown and meetings commence again (in September 2021), this wonderful resource will be needed even more than before to support people who have been disproportionately impacted and whose carers benefit from the invaluable support provided. It would be lovely to see them with support from McCarthy Stone Foundation to enable them to maintain, and hopefully grow and develop, the services they offer. Thank you.”

2. Age Concern Heathfield and District 

This volunteer led charity offer minibus transport and a medical car for older adults and people living with disabilities in the Heathfield area. Their latest project is a Men’s Shed to provide men over the age of 60 an opportunity to connect, a model that has proven very successful in bringing together a group that can sometimes be challenging for charities to engage. Their services are focused on promoting independence and alleviating loneliness and their annual income is around £75k a year. Their nomination is below:

“Age Concern Heathfield and District have worked tirelessly for the local community and many of my homeowners use their services regularly, from the shopping bus to the medical cars and the Countryman’s Lunches. Everything is either subsidised or free. Most recently they made arrangements with a local taxi firm to pick up, take and wait, and then drive home anyone who needed assistance getting to and from the vaccination centres (about 10 miles away). Also, because cash was hard to come by during lockdown they shopped and ran ‘tabs’ for people who couldn’t get out to shop for themselves or draw cash out (rather like our Buddy scheme). They take people for hospital appointments etc, and one of their team stays with them and assists where required. You can also hire their minibuses and a driver for outings! Heathfield is ‘out in the sticks’ and sprawls rather a lot and many of our elderly community who aren’t as fortunate to live in one of our developments would be completely cut off and isolated without their services – for everything they do for the local elderly community I feel they really are worthy nominees for the £1000 grant!”

3. Reach Community Projects 

Reach run projects aimed at uncovering/resolving issues that clients are experiencing: Resource Centre-A drop-in centre to access Reach resources; Money Advice-Free debt advice; Foodbank-Emergency food parcels; Starter Packs-Essential bedding and kitchenware; Client Aid-Help providing essential items such as white goods; Reach into the Community-All Reach resources taken out to surrounding villages. Their annual income is around £264k and their nomination is below:

“Based in Haverhill Suffolk. the charity seeks to restoring dignity and revive hope. We believe that everyone deserves to live their lives to the full. However, poverty has a devastating effect on individual and family life. Debt, low income and homelessness can lead to mental health problems, relationship breakdown, low aspiration, marginalisation, poor health and low self-esteem The purpose of Reach is to tackle poverty in and around Haverhill, restoring people’s dignity and reviving their hope across the age groups we often find ourselves working with older people who are struggling to live on fixed low incomes.

4. The Sporting Memories Foundation 

This charity work together across generations to establish effective solutions on how to engage older people to tackle dementia, depression & loneliness. They recruit, train, manage and support volunteers to facilitate sporting memories activities across communities. Their annual income is around £187k and their nomination is below:

“Much of my life has been dominated by sports, memories from my childhood are still rich in going down the Birmingham City games and playing football day in day out outside the house, school and down the park. This charity helps support older people refresh those memories of the good old days and talk about the fond memories people have. We all the know what the power for can do for us all and I would love the £1000 to go towards this amazing charity to continue this important work to help tackle the effects of dementia, depression, and loneliness..”

You can cast your vote HERE using the online form. Only one vote per person, and you’ll need to verify your role with McCarthy Stone through an email address or by including your role and development. Voting will close on July 2nd at midday.