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 eighteenth edition. As you will recall the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers is the Endowment Fund for which the EDP We Care Appeal raises money.
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.
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 198 carers and 1 carers group. Since we began giving grants we have to date helped 2536 individual carers. Presently our income allows us to help applicants only once every three years. We would like to be able to help more frequently and need to increase our capital with that aim in mind.
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. 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 £8,000 per annum for three years from the Sobell Foundation to purchase these motors. Similarly, we have received £2,750 through an application to the Aylsham branch of Santander Bank with which to purchase four regular and one heavy duty power pack and £2,500 from the Woodroffe Benton Foundation to purchase more motors.
We continue to receive unsolicited donations both small and large bringing the total raised to date to £1,164,081.24. Some donors make regular repeated gifts for which we are extremely grateful. This year we benefited from the will of the late Peter Barry Snow Lock with a bequest of £20,000. The EDP regularly print a “Please remember us in your will” piece on the Announcements page. Our accounts can be seen on the Charity Commission website.
During the year invitations to make presentations on portfolio management were sent to Investec, JM Finn and Barratt & Cooke. Following the presentations in November last year it was decided to continue with Barratt & Cooke.
Yet again we are to benefit from the EDP Festival of Carols. The event in St Andrews Hall on Wednesday 7th December 2016 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:
- We cannot adequately express our thanks to you enough for your help and to say just what a huge difference the (washing) machine has made to us.
- Thank you so much for my tablet. It will make it easier for me to keep going through the nights. More than the actual item it also made me feel appreciated, so once again thank you all.
- Thank you so very much for the grant for our short break. My daughter has started to make plans for us to go together to Harry Potter Warner Brother Studios and stay overnight. My eldest daughter is going to look after my husband for me.
- The power pack for Kate’s chair has made a huge difference to us and to everyone who helps to look after her (the Hamlet Centre, Sense in Dereham and the NCC Bus Driver who has asthma and found her chair difficult to push).
More unpaid care than ever (already worth £132 billion per year) is being provided by family and friends and, with our ageing population, the demand for care is set to increase dramatically. Recent research published by Carers UK has found that each day 6,000 people start caring.
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.
A personal health scare in April prompted the need to explore succession plans to the current arrangements for the charity. I received swift and excellent care from the NHS and there are minimal after effects of the stroke. I fervently wish to continue my association with We Care.
Ideally the trustees wanted me to find an individual to take on the administration of the Trust and to provide house room for the office. Despite many approaches this has not been possible.
Independent legal advice was taken before the decision was made to transfer the management of our organisation to the Norfolk Community Foundation. It will be treated as a Restricted Endowment Fund and run on the same basis as thus far. We will cease to function as trustees but will become a Panel who will meet six weekly to consider the applications.
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.