NEWS FROM YOUR COMMUNITY FRIENDS - 13 SEPTEMBER 2021

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY – 13th NOVEMBER 2-5pm

CHARITY CRAFT FAIR LECHLADE MEMORIAL HALL

A whole host of festive stalls for you to enjoy. Light refreshments will be available and the very popular Friends of Fairford & Lechlade Raffle with prizes from Thyme, Bibury Trout Farm, Cotswold Wildlife Park, The Bull, Fairford Therapy and many more. A great afternoon out with FREE tattoos and a craft area for all children.

All stalls are now sold, if anyone would like to go on a cancellation list then please get in touch. We look forward to seeing you there on the 13th. For further information please contact Val Harvey voluntarycarservicelof@gmail.com or on 07540798226.

CHARITY BIKE RIDE RAISES OVER £500 FOR COMMUNITY FRIENDS

Congratulations and thank you to David Nash who has completed his Charity Bike Ride encompassing 51 local villages and hamlets during June, July and August, raising over £520 for Friends of Fairford & Lechlade Communities. David would like to thank everyone who has kindly donated to this fundraising event and very much appreciated all the support and wonderful comments. We are very grateful to David for choosing to support Community Friends for his cycle ride. The Virgin Money Giving site is still live so please visit

https//uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidNash32/1

CHARITY SHOP AND VOLUNTEER DRIVER VACANCIES

We still urgently need volunteers in these areas. If you can spare some time and are interested in helping your local community, please refer to the Vacancies Section on this website or contact us by email at fairford.lof@hotmail.co.uk

NEWS FROM YOUR COMMUNITY FRIENDS - 11 AUGUST 2021

OPEN GARDENS SUCCESS

We were very grateful to Gavin and Caroline MacErchern for their generous support in opening their beautiful garden at Langford Downs Farm for an afternoon in early August in aid of Community Friends. Tremendously lucky with the weather, over 55 people enjoyed the surroundings and tea and cake. A total of just over £700 was raised for the Charity. Our thanks to Gavin and Caroline MacErchern.

OUR FIRST FUNDRAISING EVENT IN 2021

The Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities (Community Friends) were very grateful to be asked to supply refreshments for the recent National Gardens event in Quenington where the entrance money was taken by the National Gardens Scheme and we the Community Friends, were able to receive the funds from the sale of the refreshments. The grand sum of £565 was made on the day.
Our thanks to Lucy Abel Smith who allowed us to use her gardens and to all the helpers and those who bought refreshments on the day.

Those cakes that were not consumed on the day were taken to Booth House, the Salvation Army Hostel with 50 beds in the centre of Swindon. They were very gratefully received by the residents and we believe consumed whilst watching the European Cup Final at Wembly!.

NEWS FROM YOUR COMMUNITY FRIENDS - 6 JULY 2021

NEW CHARITY SHOP OPENING HOURS

Lloyds Bank Chambers, Lechlade

Please note the Charity Shop has new opening hours and you can now drop off donations any day the shop is open, no appointment necessary.

Monday Closed All Day
Tuesday 9.30am-3.45pm
Wednesday 9.30am-3.45pm
Thursday 9.30am-3.45pm
Friday 9.30am-3.45pm
Saturday 9.30am- 1.15pm

Unfortunately, we have seen a loss of some of our previous volunteers following the pandemic. We are looking to increase our volunteers to ensure we can maintain the friendly customer service and much sought-after facility we provide through our charity shop in Lechlade. If you, or anyone you know could help, please visit the shop, call 01367 252189 or email fairford.lof@hotmail.co.uk

EDNA DAWES LUNCH CLUB

We would like all supporters of Friends of Fairford & Lechlade Communities to know that we do intend to reopen this vital Lunch Club, but we are not currently able to offer a date for that re-opening. As I am sure you will understand there is much to do to ensure that the lunch club operates within safe and secure parameters and according to Government regulations at the time. We ask for your patience in the months ahead while we look through the current environment to a time when we can plan the re-opening. Thank you.

NEWS FROM YOUR COMMUNITY FRIENDS - 14 JUNE 2021

Appointment of General Manager

We are pleased to announce that Kelly Smith has been appointed General Manager of Community Friends with effect from 7th June. After graduating from university Kelly has worked in the third sector for many years and is passionate about campaigning, increasing awareness and bettering the lives of others. Kelly lives in Southrop with her husband and young family and they both have become highly involved with village life through the village hall and the local school. She is really looking forward to meeting everybody involved with the Community Friends and to helping the local community.

Cycle Challenge

In June, July and August, David Nash from Fairford will be cycling around as many surrounding villages to the Fairford and Lechlade area to raise fund for Friends of Fairford & Lechlade Communities (Community Friends). Both David and his wife Alison have been regular volunteers for the House-to-House event, but as this has not been able to take place for a second year, David has chosen to support Community Friends for his cycle ride. He has set himself the challenge and target of visiting over 50 local villages and hamlets – and will take some pictures along the way. If you would like to donate please do so via David’s Virgin Money Giving site:

https//uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidNash32/1

Your support would be very much appreciated for David and for Community Friends.

Volunteer Drivers Needed Urgently

Our team of volunteer drivers provide a lifeline to many in our community who need to get to their medical appointments at the GPs and hospitals. With appointments opening up again we urgently need more drivers to help with this vital community service. We ask our volunteers to complete a DBS check as this service provides much needed support and assistance to many vulnerable people in the community. Car running costs are paid for. If you think you can help please contact Val Harvey on 07540 798226 or email Val at valharvey56@gmail.com

Covid-19 Community Support Fund - Remains Open For Applications

The Community Friends’ Covid-19 Support Fund established to provide financial support to local organisations, charities, volunteer groups, families and individuals who have been impacted by Covid-19 remains open for applications. To date the fund has provided grants exceeding £77,000 to local individuals, organisations and charities. Please refer to the Coronavirus Support section on this website for details of how to apply and the criteria we use to assess applications

NEWS FROM YOUR COMMUNITY FRIENDS - 8 MAY 2021

Family Funding Support for the Community - Interim Report, 8 May 2021

This fund has been created by The Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities (Community Friends) to provide financial support to families and individuals requiring assistance. It is available to those who are within our area of operations; that is Fairford, Lechlade and the surrounding villages.

The fund has been available for a number of years, but has recently started to follow the model of the Covid-19 fund, whereby The Community Support Action Group (CSAG) meets up to 3 times a week to review new applications. From the start of the new process model in May 2020, we have received 9 applications from individuals; some of these have been received via third parties, eg social workers or local charities. We continue to publicise the fund on our website, as well as through local magazine articles, email mailshots and word of mouth to ensure we are continuing to meet the needs of our local community.

The current status of applications is:
• 8 of the applications have been approved for payment, or paid, totaling £13,375
• 1 application is awaiting further information

The grants awarded have been used to provide a wide range of support for individuals and families and have included:
• Costs necessary to a person’s home to enable his discharge from a lengthy stay in hospital;
• Improving disabled access to a person’s home;
• Family support following the serious illness of a family member;
• Professional counselling;
• Support with education.

The CSAG has reviewed each application, together with supporting documentation, and in making their decision has taken into consideration individual personal circumstances and have, on numerous occasions, requested further information such as household income and expenditure, to ensure that the funding reaches the most deserving.

The grant is for residents of Fairford, Lechlade and the surrounding villages and is open to applications. For anyone who would like more information, please visit the Family Funding Support section on this website.

COVID-19- Funding Support for the Community - Interim Report, 8 May 2021

The Community Friends received a generous donation of £131,584 from The Lakes by Yoo Company and the residents of the Lake development to help those who had been impacted by the Covid-19 crises. The Charity is using this donation to provide urgent financial support to the voluntary sector agencies and individuals requiring assistance during the Covid-19 crisis. As at the 8 May 2021, the fund has provided grants exceeding £77,000 to local individuals, organisations and charities including donations of:

• Nearly £35,000 to support local families to cover rent and household bills, transport, school uniforms and counselling services;
• Over £15,000 to local charities and groups to assist with maintaining their facilities and operations during the pandemic;
• Over £18,000 to local schools for laptops and software to support home learning;
• Over £4,000 supporting local food banks and provision of hot food to local families;
• Over £3,000 to provide three months of financial cover for a mobile cancer unit.

The grant is for Fairford, Lechlade and the surrounding villages and is still open to applications. For anyone who would like more information, please visit the Coronavirus Support section on this website.

Appointment of Vice Chair

We are pleased to announce that Shelley Welsh has been appointed Vice Chair of Community Friends and will be taking over as Chair in September when Graham, the current Chair, retires. Shelley who lives in Fairford, has been a Trustee for over 2 years and has a keen interest in supporting the local community. She owns and runs the Fairford Therapy Centre which was opened in 2007 and is an osteopath, massage and pilates instructor.

Retirement of Celia Kennedy – Clinical Nurse Manager

Celia Kennedy our Clinical Nurse Manager has decided to retire after more than 20 years. Celia established and developed the Home Nursing Team in 2000 and the benefits that the Home Hospice service and nursing support that has been provided within our community during this time are immeasurable. To have a Home Hospice service within our local community is because of Celia’s skills, compassion, commitment, and contribution over the last 20 years. She has established a well-respected, much needed, invaluable service for those who wish to spend their last days at home with their family and carers. An outstanding achievement. We wish Celia every happiness in her retirement.

We have recruited Graham Blackburn as the new Clinical Nurse Manager and he takes on the role from the 1 May. Graham is an experienced Registered Nurse having worked at University Hospital Southampton and The Oxford University Hospitals. Graham is currently a Staff Nurse at the National Star College, Ullenwood, a role he will retain. We welcome Graham to the team and wish him every success.

House-To-House Fund Raising Event 2021

This is the second year this important fund raiser for Community Friends has been cancelled due to Covid-19. The event normally raises between £17,000 and £20,000 p.a. If you would like to donate please do so via this website or by sending a cheque made out to ‘Friends of Fairford’ and posting to Ms Andrena Miles, AMM Bookkeeping and Accountancy, 2nd Floor, 11 High Street, Fairford, GL7 4AD.
We thank you in anticipation of your support

Charity Shop

Community Friends’ Charity Shop in Lechlade has reopened.
Monday 10.00am to 1.00pm for donations by appointment only.
Please ring Nicola on 01367 252189 to make an appointment.
Tuesday through to Friday 10.00 am to 3.45pm
Saturday 10.00am to 12.45pm

LETTER SENT TO ALL MEMBERS FROM THE CHAIRMAN, GRAHAM HEWITT
21 MARCH 2021

Dear Friends,

Sustaining and developing our Charity for the future – a message from the Management Committee (Trustees) of Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities – The Trustees decide to recruit a paid professional General Manager.

The Trustees have unanimously agreed to recruit a paid professional General Manager in order to maximise the Charity’s sustainability and development for the foreseeable future. The Trustees believe that this decision will secure the best possible future for the Charity as we move forward in these uncertain and challenging times.

Reasons to appoint a General Manager

The previous Chair of 9 years and the current Chair of 8 years have led and managed the Charity, as volunteers, since Fairford Hospital lost its beds in 2007 and the Charity commenced focusing on providing services to the local community. Currently the management of operational activities and the strategy is predominantly undertaken by the Chair on behalf of the Trustees and the current Chair will retire in September 2021.

It is unusual, for a Charity of this size, for trustees to be both responsible for managing the operational activities and the strategy and this approach does not follow best practice as advised by the Charity Commission.

Over the last 13 years there has been an increasing workload arising from an expanding variety of complex tasks, roles and responsibilities. These tasks include the management of both medical and other experienced staff and volunteers to help them deliver our services to the community in the most effective way.

This increasing workload is demanding greater time commitment and the need for relevant skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to maintain good working practices and ongoing stability. In terms of the future, the Charity is only going to grow, as demand for services and support from the local community increases within an environment where public funding and the availability of public services is reduced. This will further increase the workload on a volunteer led management structure.

It is important for the Charity to grow its capacity in order to ensure its future operations can grow and cope with the increasing demand.

The appointment of a General Manager, reporting to the Trustees, will lead to a stronger position and a sustainable management model for the future that will be better able to deal with increasing demand for services and funding pressures. It will strengthen good governance, providing a structure where the trustees would be responsible for strategy, performance and direction with the delivery of operational activities and funding provision being delegated to a General Manager.

The Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities was established 30 years ago with the original name of The League of Friends of Fairford Hospital. Whichever name you may recognise, there is a common agreement that the services provided by your local charity during this time have been tremendous. As a charity, we continue to support the care and wellbeing of thousands of people who live in Fairford, Lechlade and the surrounding villages.

This will continue. We will not be changing our ethos of ensuring that the wellbeing of the people we serve is at the heart of all our decisions and actions. We greatly value the trust and respect that has been built up over the years within the community and our aim is to continue this over the next 30 years.

Over the next few months, a recruitment campaign will be undertaken and we intend to appoint someone in the summer.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to a further 30 years of wonderful association with the local community.

Kind regards and best wishes,

Graham Hewitt

Chair

Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities

PRESS RELEASE REGARDING CORONVRUS SUPPORT 12 MARCH 2021

At the beginning of the first lockdown last year, the Friends of Fairford & Lechlade Communities (FFLC) received a generous donation of £131,584 from The Lakes by YOO – the 800 acre private estate between Fairford and Lechlade. The Lakes had raised this magnificent sum from donations by residents and The Lakes by YOO company to help those who had been impacted by the Covid-19 crises.

FFLC, a local charity and formerly known as The League of Friends of Fairford Hospital, are using this generous donation to provide urgent financial support to those in need in Fairford, Lechlade and surrounding villages during the Covid-19 crisis.

Graham Hewitt, Chair of FFLC said: “It is an outstanding achievement and we are absolutely amazed at the level of support being provided. It shows there is a tremendous level of care and concern for our local community.”

Lechlade Community Library was one of the recipients and said: “This is fabulous news for Lechlade Community Library, so a BIG thank you to all that have made this possible.” One of the individual recipients exclaimed: “I am at a loss for words with your kindness. I would like to thank you on behalf of my wife, my family and myself from the depths of our hearts for the kind hand extended to us in this manner. We were not expecting this. We are touched beyond words.”

To date, the Trustees of the fund have provided grants exceeding £64,000 to local individuals, organisations and charities including donations of:

• Over £32,000 to support local families to cover rent and household bills, transport, school uniforms and counselling services;

• Over £15,000 to local charities and groups to assist with maintaining their facilities and operations during the pandemic;

• Over £9,000 to local schools for laptops and software to support home learning;

• Over £4,000 supporting local food banks and provision of hot food to local families;

• Over £3,000 to provide three months of financial cover for a mobile cancer unit.

The grant is specifically for our local area of Fairford, Lechlade and the surrounding villages and is still open for applications. To find out more information about the grant and how to apply, please visit the Coronavirus Support section on this website.

CHANGES TO ARRANGING VOLUNTARY PATIENT TRANSPORT

The process for requesting a driver for transport to and from appointments has changed. Please see the 'Voluntary Car Service' section on this website for details.

HOUSE-TO-HOUSE FUND RAISING EVENT 2021

This is the second year this important fund raiser for Community Friends has been cancelled due to Covid-19. The event normally raises between £17,000 and £20,000 p.a. If you would like to donate please do so via the link on the Home Page on this website or by sending a cheque made payable to ‘Friends of Fairford’ and posting to Ms Andrena Miles, AMM Bookkeeping and Accountancy, 2nd Floor, 11 High Street, Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4AD.

We thank you in anticipation of your support.

CHARITY SHOP

In line with Government Restrictions, the Charity Shop in Lechlade is closed until further notice.

COVID-19 COMMUNITY FUNDING SUPPORT – REMAINS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

The Community Friends’ Covid-19 Support Fund established to provide financial support to local organisations, charities, volunteer groups, families and individuals who have been impacted by Covid-19 remains open for applications. To date from 68 applications grants of approximately £64,591 have been made providing financial support to 43 different charities, organisations, families and individuals within our area of benefit. Please refer to the 'Coronavirus Support' section on this website for details of how to apply and the criteria we use to assess applications.