We’re delighted to announce that The Pargiter Trust Fund has reached over £250k in grant awards for the benefit of disadvantaged, elderly people across Surrey!
Sue Gardiner and Vicky Westhorp of the Trust, share just how this fund is making a difference.
We are excited that The Pargiter Trust Fund has now surpassed £250k in grant awards, with the figure standing at £254,092.20.
We first partnered with the Community Foundation for Surrey in March 2013. Initially, we set up a “Flow- through” or “Immediate Impact Fund” and then a permanent endowment through the “Community First Endowment” in 2015. In those 5 years we have awarded 80 grants, supporting a vast range of non-profit organisations, charities and voluntary groups across the 11 boroughs/districts in Surrey. During this partnership, a variety of needs have received awards to help older people overcome many problems. This can be funding activities, befriending schemes, facilities for training, hot meals and helping people stay active through sports and the arts.
Working with the Community Foundation allows us to work locally, offering us the opportunity to stay involved in the giving process and to visit projects we have supported. Using the skills and knowledge of the staff at the Foundation means our grant making can stay focused on our beneficiaries, whilst keeping our overheads low.
We have been fortunate to fund some projects focussed on tackling loneliness and improving wellbeing. This has ranged from supporting the running costs of day centres and social groups, to funding music and befriending schemes.
A brilliant example of who the Trust has helped is The Orchard Dementia Centre, in Chertsey. It was set up by a group of local volunteers and in 2017 it became Eagle Radio’s Charity of the Year. Not only does the Centre support individuals that are suffering with dementia, but it also provides support for the carers of the sufferers, who are usually their spouse or partner.
Another great example is the support that the Trust gave to Melody for the Mind in Camberley. A simple donation of £150 purchased a number of large print song books. One woman attended with her husband, who was suffering from dementia and although his conversation was very limited, he could sing all of the songs.
The Trust has supported another small project called Music in Hospitals. They performed 18 musical events last year with professional musicians, providing benefit to older people who are receiving healthcare. One recipient suffering from early stage dementia said:
“I get depressed when I can’t remember things, or seem to do things like other people can, but at concerts I can remember every single word, and I think, well, I’m not totally useless – I can remember something!”
Then there is befriending, a national initiative Good Gym with around 23 gyms across the UK. The Trust has supported Good Gym in the Woking area, linking up runners (featured in above image) with isolated elderly people. The runners make weekly visits as part of their run, the older people become the “Running Coach”. It gives the runners a purpose and commitment and they often end up doing small chores such as bringing in a daily paper. In doing this, they become a link to the outside world to housebound individuals.
More recently in 2018, we have supported Tea and Chat (Making Connections) in Tandridge. Tea and Chat sessions share a wonderful sense of community and provide a place for socially isolated older people to go. Clients attend for companionship, socialisation, access to information, the opportunity to try different activities, or to accompany a partner or friend with dementia as a carer.
What stands out in everything we fund, is how much is done by volunteers and the significant contributions they make to the community. They are very much the unsung heroes of today.