LATEST 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 RECENTLY 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

LATEST 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.