Every year we choose a different charity whose collection tins we will have by our tills. In addition to that, amazing extra efforts (events, sales) have been made to raise funds for the year’s charity, but this depends on individual interest. Last year it was the Wiltshire Air Ambulance which had some particularly passionate local champions.
Now it’s time for a new charity, and from Sunday 16th August for a month, we will be asking customers in the shop to give us their vote. These four organisations have been nominated:
Hounds for Heroes – a national charity which provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and Emergency Services. Proposed by Bridget Baker.
Jessie May – Children’s Hospice at Home – a Bristol charity which aims to ensure that every child in our area who is not expected to reach adulthood receives nursing care at home. Proposed by Maureen White who said,
“I cannot recommend highly enough this local charity: Jessie May – Children’s Hospice at Home. They are based in Bristol, but are very much working in Bath as well. They support children with cancer, and in the worst scenario, support families for another five years. We had a speaker from Jessie May at Bath West Rotary some weeks ago. I think everyone – especially parents – would want to support this very worth-while cause. Personally, I would work hard to raise funds.”
The Genesis Trust in Bath – a local charity focused on the needy and disadvantaged of Bath and North East Somerset with a broad spectrum of activities including a soup run, workshop employment for long-term unemployed, homeless accommodation, street pastors and more. Proposed by Peter and Sue King as well as Amanda Parker. Peter says about it:
“Sue and I would like to propose the ‘Genesis Trust’ as the adopted charity for the coming year. A long-established, very worthwhile and efficient charity focused on the needy and disadvantaged of Bath and North East Somerset. It provides a broad spectrum of help for many. The Lifeline Centre located in the Abbey Vaults has been attracting up to 50 people a day in the winter. The Lunch Box is located in St Michael’s Without and has seen a 16% increase in visits this year – over 4000 meals were provided to those in need so far this year. The numbers of people visiting these centres has increased dramatically and the number of people sleeping rough in Bath has risen to 26 at the last count – 26 people who need immediate assistance. The Genesis Trust has recently embarked on an expansion programme to enhance the help to disadvantaged aided by B&NES Council who have offered the Trust premises in Walcot Street. This will enable the establishment of workshops and a vibrant shop (selling stylishly painted furniture and other goods) along with a permanent meeting room and office. The workshop will provide a pathway back into employment for many people and the other premises will incorporate the marvellous Lifeskills programme and fundraising team. Lifeskills provides interesting courses to help develop creative, vocational and practical skills. Family Matters is a new project run with B&NES Council Connecting Families Service. Genesis also provides volunteer Street Pastors who help people in distress on Friday and Saturday nights in Bath. Working every night, the Soup Run gave out over 11,000 bowls of soup last year! This service is 25 yeaers old this year. The Sunday Centre continues to cook a weekly Sunday Lunch – 2800 meals in the last year.
“The Genesis Trust provides a unique safety net for the marginalised community in Bath. Their vision is to see the hungry fed, the homeless housed and the unemployed regain their confidence. Through their nine projects and 500 community volunteers, they provide compassion and support to over 3000 people a year. It’s not a very ‘glamorous’ charity, and I know from friends who work with them that the fundraising is a hard job – it really does need our help and support, and of course it’s very local, so I’d like to vote for it.”
The Alzheimer’s Society – the national society leading the fight against dementia, proposed by Alison Orme. She says:
“My dear old Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 10 years ago. I’ve watched him turn from an intelligent and highly articulate man into a shell, in which his former self once lived. Now 95, he no longer has any idea who I am. He lives in the moment, enjoys watching the trees moving in the wind and feeling a breeze on his face but he can no longer speak or feed himself. There is nothing good to say about Alzheimer’s. It’s not a much talked about disease but for those who are living with the condition and for their families, it’s devastating. 850,00 people in the UK are affected by dementia and this figure is expected to rise to over two million by 2051. The Alzheimer’s Society are dedicated to defeating dementia through research. They fund research into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, to improve treatment for people today, and search for a cure for tomorrow. They run Support Groups for those who are affected and have also recently launched a scheme called Become a Dementia Friend – an initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia.”