2015 Report for Patrons

Report for Patrons, Norfolk MPs, Peers and Founder Appeal Committee Members.

Once again it is time to send you the annual update on the work of the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers over the last twelve months. This is the seventeenth edition. As you will recall the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers is the Endowment Fund for which the EDP We Care Appeal raises money.

We were deeply saddened early in the year by the death of John Alston CBE DL. Seventeen years ago John – then Chairman of Norfolk Health Authority – acknowledged that not enough recognition was given to unpaid carers in the county. Together with his team they conceived the idea of establishing a charity. With the support of the Eastern Daily Press it was decided that a permanent endowment trust would be a fitting way for Norfolk to mark the Millennium. And so the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers was born to give financial and practical support to unpaid carers in Norfolk for as long as it was needed.

The Trust’s objectives are to relieve the elderly, infirm, sick or disabled in Norfolk by the provision of financial and practical support to their carers. We uniquely look to offer small grants that can make a huge difference to informal carers. In this way, we hope to improve the quality of life of those who care and those they care for. We take care not to duplicate the work or obligations of existing statutory bodies. We make no retrospective grants.

We give grants where carers cannot self fund – practical equipment to help in their caring role (washing machines, tumble dryers, laptop computers); we can pay for Carers to pursue a leisure activity; or have a short break away from the 24/7 pressures of caring. When funds are available we can provide a power pack to make it easier for a frail Carer to push a loved one in their wheelchair.

The introduction of the Care Act in April has given certain absolute rights to unpaid carers. We were grateful to Harold Bodmer, Director of Adult Social Services, for attending our meeting in July to explain the Act. It means that all Carers have a legal right to an annual assessment. In future the focus will be on well-being and prevention, information and advice. Assessors would put together a support plan and identify what is available.

Our website is presently being redesigned by Naked Marketing and Big Fork. Through Norfolk Prohelp they are doing the work at a discounted fee.

Our trustees at the regular six weekly meetings distribute the investment income to applicants who meet our criteria. This year we have been able to help 178 carers. Since we began giving grants we have to date helped 2338 individual carers and 51 carers groups. Presently our income allows us to help applicants only once every three years. We would like to be in a position to help more frequently and need to increase our capital with that aim in mind.

There is a continuing demand for Power Packs for wheelchairs, carers being referred to us by the Wheelchair Services. We are the only source in Norfolk for power packs for wheelchairs for those carers who cannot afford to self fund this expensive piece of equipment. Machines returned to us when the Carer has no further use for them (no longer needed because of death or residential care necessity) are recycled by us. The demand is ever increasing because of the rising numbers of elderly Carers in Norfolk.

In the last twelve months we have submitted bids to larger grant giving bodies for the purchase of power packs and were delighted to receive £5,000 from the Flux Family Fund to purchase heavy-duty motors able to cope with those who weigh in excess of 15 stone.

We were equally pleased to receive £2,000 from the Ellerdale Trust to purchase laptop computers for young carers.

We continue to receive unsolicited donations both small and large bringing the total raised to date to £1,133,148.88.  Some donors make regular repeated gifts. Martin Philpot has over the years raised £6,884.66 and since the commencement of the Appeal Keith Skipper, a very faithful supporter, has raised £25,416.17. Our accounts can be seen on the Charity Commission website.

Generous donations in memory of John Alston were very gratefully received. Similarly the family of Mrs Rosemary Muskett, a regular donor over the years, asked for donations in her memory to be made to our charity. And colleagues, family and friends remembered Jolyon Harris in a very generous way. We were overcome to receive a substantial bequest following the death of the Reverend Peter Flather. The EDP regularly print a Please remember us in your will piece on the Announcements page.

Yet again we are to benefit from the EDP Festival of Carols. The event in St Andrews Hall on Wednesday 9th December 2015 will be, as always, a memorable evening. The continued support of the Eastern Daily Press for our charity is greatly appreciated.

These are some quotes from carers we have helped: 

  • I am most grateful to the Trust for making this equipment available to us (power pack for wife’s wheelchair. The fitment of this will greatly facilitate our combined mobility.
  • Really grateful for the tumble dryer. The towels have come up all fluffy.
  • My son and I had a wonderful break, made even better by the glorious weather. Thank you so much for enabling us to do this.
  • Thank you for your letter offering to pay for a short break from 15 to 17 August. I have been on a high all weekend!
  • I use the laptop to enable me to keep in touch with friends when I am not able to leave my Mum (single parent family). It helps me feel like a normal child and feel less alone.

Having a trustee from both Mills and Reeve and from M+A Partners is of great benefit to the charity.  We are extremely grateful to M+A Partners who each year prepare the accounts and handle the payroll for Joy Pickering.

We could not manage without our invaluable part time Administrator, Joy Pickering. Working for only six hours a week she maintains the databases, accounts and general administration. She is a remarkable administrator and we greatly value her reliability and competence.

Conscious of the need for a succession plan we are pleased to welcome Dr Paul Barnard as a trustee. Finally I want to thank our Trustees who give priority to our six weekly 8 am meetings and throughout the year provide support and encouragement to Joy Pickering and myself.

Kind regards,

Paddy Seligman 

Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers


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