Fund History

HdCF_blue_elephant_with_charity_no

Halesworth dementia Carers’ Fund

(The Story So Far…2012 – 2021)

 

2012: The Fund is born.

Halesworth Carers’ Fund started in a small way, in mid 2012, with two people and a bank account. The purpose initially was simply to meet the costs of the Carers Group being run in Halesworth by Alison Begley of The Alzheimer’s Society.

However, it was clear that, while there was much good work going on in Halesworth, the support available to people living with dementia and their family carers was simply not meeting the needs. A report produced in July 2013 estimated the likely number of people affected by dementia in the town and surrounding area, and quoted the experience of overstretched carers, several of whom described themselves as ‘floundering’.

Halesworth Dementia Support Project:

Together with The Alzheimer’s Society and Cutlers Hill Surgery, Halesworth Carers’ Fund decided to do something about this. In November 2012, a Carers’ Innovation Grant was applied for from Suffolk County Council to establish a dementia support project in Halesworth and the surrounding area. The application was successful.

 2013: Halesworth Carers’ Fund.

From March 2013, Halesworth Carers’ Fund organized itself into an unincorporated association, established a management committee of five people, and adopted a constitution and set of books.

The fund was fortunate in having a very active group of Committee members: Paddy Cox (Chairman), Tessa Harding (Secretary), Paddy Flegg (Publicity officer), David Prime (Treasurer) and Nikki Sawkins (Community Liaison).

The Halesworth Carers’ Fund set out the following functions.

  • As one of the trio of organisations steering the Halesworth Dementia Support Project it holds the purse strings on behalf of the project as a whole, and reports back to the givers of grants as required.
  • To raise money through grant applications and through holding having stalls at local events such as the strawberry Tea, and receives donations from local people. Their generosity is really appreciated.
  • It is a key link with the local community in the area. Through those links it can bring local views to bear on plans and decisions for future developments of the project.
  • To offer help to people living with dementia, their carers and their families for transport and respite costs. Enquiries are welcome and are treated with absolute confidence.
  • It aims to make Halesworth and the surrounding villages ‘dementia friendly’ places to be, so that people, businesses and services in the area are welcoming and understanding.

Project Launch:

The Halesworth Dementia Support Project had a very lively launch on 14th May 2013, in the Halesworth Library attended by over 40 people. The project has been the main focus of our work ever since.

A grant of £15,600 was sourced for the first financial year and £15,800 for the second. In addition, Suffolk County Council offered us £2,000 over two years to meet respite costs so that family carers could attend meetings or just have a break.

An independent evaluation was done during the year to strengthen our case for future funding and we were successful in obtaining funding for a further two years from April 2015.

 2014: Friends of HCF, The Trumpet:

During the early part of 2014, Dave and Jackie Rich, who had already contributed both energy and skills to the efforts of the Fund, joined the Committee as Co-cordinators of Friends of HCF. The initiative to recruit Friends of Halesworth Carers’ Fund was launched during 2014 to encourage more people to become involved and contribute both financially and with ideas to the work of the Fund. Please join us and become a ‘Friend’ of the Fund.

Also launched was the ‘The Trumpet’, our ‘in-house’ newsletter, with Dave and Jackie Rich as Co-Editors. This was set up to impart information to the ‘Friends of HdCF’ on past events and new events.

Logo Design:

We have been raising the profile of dementia in the area through regular publicity in local papers and attending local events, which lets people know what is going on and also helps to make thinking and talking about dementia an ordinary part of life. As part of raising our profile, Bungay High School was invited to hold a logo design competition. They did us proud and the shortlisted entries were displayed in the library window in Halesworth. From the winning entry of the elephant design by Cerys Roscoe and the runner up entry by Rianna Coote of her slogan ‘caring with dignity’, our logo was developed by Mustard Design. We aim to keep up our links with the school.

Change of Name:

In November Halesworth Carers’ Fund altered its name slightly by adding the word ‘dementia’ so is now known as Halesworth dementia  Carers’ Fund (HdCF) to reflect and distinguish its caring role.

Respite Care Service:

A Respite Care Service has now been established, providing much needed ‘time out’ for family carers. A committee takes referrals and identifies their problems and set up a formal approach to help carers.

Local Support:

We have had great support from other organisations in the town. Artlink, the Volunteer Centre, the Open Door project, Halesworth Health, the League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital and other valuable colleagues and collaborators.

We should particularly mention the CUT, who allow us to put on a film Matinee bi-monthly which have proved very popular. We have seen some remarkable films, such as “Quartet”, “Summer in February”, “About Time”, “Philomena”. As well as raising money, these Matinees are the basis of a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and many people arrive early to enjoy tea and a spot of lunch and a raffle.

 Towards a dementia friendly town:

Dementia is a demanding condition and one which often frightens people, but life can be made a lot easier if those around you are understanding and welcoming. We are working towards making Halesworth a ‘dementia friendly’ town. The Alzheimer’s Society recruits and trains Dementia Friends and local Dementia Champions.

Halesworth dementia  Carers’ Fund continues working with them and others to make Halesworth and the surrounding area – our shops, our businesses, our services, our pubs and clubs, our transport system and so on – as ‘dementia friendly’ as possible. All your ideas and suggestions are welcome.

 Dementia ‘hubs’:

The Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance aims to establish ‘dementia hubs’ across the two Counties, so that anyone affected by dementia, wherever they live, will have somewhere to turn to. Halesworth Dementia Support Project is recognised as the hub for our area. We look forward to playing a part in this initiative.

 Securing future funding:

However, the top priority for Halesworth dementia  Carers’ Fund over the next year is clearly to secure continued funding for the Halesworth Dementia Support Project beyond April 2015. We are working with The Alzheimer’s Society and others to that end. With financial help from Suffolk Community Foundation, an independent evaluation of the Halesworth Dementia Support Project has been commissioned which is being undertaken by Sarah Housden, Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care at University Campus Suffolk. This has greatly strengthened our case for future funding. Our ‘unique selling point’ is the three way partnership between Cutlers Hill surgery, The Alzheimer’s Society and ourselves: the GP practice, the specialist organisation with the appropriate expertise, and the voluntary organisation rooted in the local community. We believe that this is a cost effective model that will also be of interest to others.

2015: Securing Funding.

A successful application to the Henry Smith charity in February for funding for the project, and the generous support from the League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital, means the fund was secured for one day a week for another two years until April 2017.

As part of Halesworth Dementia Support Project, Dementia Friends training has been given to the GPs at Cutlers Hill surgery, members of the public, volunteers at Halesworth Museum and community drivers. 131 people have attended these sessions or accessed other information through the Project.

The Respite Care Service one year on, has provided much needed ‘time out’ for family carers. During our first year 2014 – 2015 we provided 423 hours of care at a cost of £5,714. As we continue to identify those in the community who need help, this year, in 2015/2016, we have provided 1130 hours of care, at a cost of £15,258.

The respite care we provide is flexible to meet the needs of individuals. Some family carers have regular weekly respite of up to 8 hours a week; others prefer to have a block of time to enable them to have a short break away from home. During this year we have provided care to 21 families in a variety of ways – regular respite, in a crisis, during transition into residential care and at the end of life.

Working with the Prestige Agency, we have established a team of paid carers who have additional training and skills in caring for those with dementia. Care options offered to the person with dementia so they too can benefit from the respite. An outing to Southwold for an ice-cream, a visit to the Men’s Shed, baking scones – this is all possible with our paid carers.

We have received a ‘Working Together Award’ from Suffolk County Council in recognition of our work with Prestige and other partners: Cutlers Hill Surgery, The Cut, The League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital.

Other activities include our very successful lunch outing in March to the Triple Plea for people with dementia and their family carers and ‘Caring with Confidence’ courses run in partnership with Suffolk Family Carers. All this is only possible with the grant support we receive, local support and fundraising in the community.

Raising awareness in the community:

HdCF has again been very busy with fundraising and events. During the year, we have held bi-monthly film matinees at the Cut, which attract a loyal audience. We have shown ‘The Second Best Marigold Hotel’, ‘A Royal Night Out’, ‘45 Years’, ‘The Lady in the Van’ and ‘Dad’s Army’. These are well advertised throughout the town with attractive posters and the popularity of the occasion is enhanced by a good quality raffle. During December, as part of our local awareness program, we again decorated a Christmas tree in St Mary’s Church and had a stall at the Triple Plea Inn’s Christmas Market. St Peter’s Church Holton raised money through soup & bread lunches every Friday during Lent and in May we had stalls at the Cratfield Dog Show, the Table Top Sale in the Old Print works and at The Triple Plea’s Busker Music afternoon.

The full colour Trumpet newsletter has been produced approximately every quarter and this is delivered to Friends of HdCF with news and pictures from earlier events.

During the year we have acquired display items, a pop-up banner, an events tent and now have for sale T-Shirts, Scarves, Caps and Ties, complete with our logo, along with badges for ‘Friends’ and ‘Caring with dignity’ logos. We place regular monthly articles in the local press and are now on Facebook, Twitter and have our own website at halesworthdementia-cf.com.

Grants and funding:

We have been the grateful beneficiaries of several grants over the course of the last year. The Respite Care service has been the beneficiary of several grants: from the League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital; from Health East Healthy Communities Fund; from Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Community Foundation Working Together Fund and finally from Suffolk County Council Carers’ Innovation Fund. The League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital has also funded an independent evaluation of the respite care service, which is currently being carried out by Dr Sarah Housden, Senior Lecturer in Nursing Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

2016: Increasing workload.

Not only has the respite we give dramatically increased in the community over the last year, but we also have increased the workload of the members of the committee. So, going into this year we are pleased to confirm that the committee members are re-standing and we have added new members.

Patrick Cox continues as President of HdCF, with Nikki Sawkins as Chair and Community Liaison Lead. Tessa Harding remains as Secretary. David Prime has stepped down as Treasurer and we are pleased to welcome Mary Pennock in his place. Patricia Flegg ensures our profile is maintained through monthly reports to the local press. Dave and Jackie Rich are tireless in fundraising, in promoting our work at local events, in recruiting Friends of HdCF and producing The Trumpet newsletter and the website. Councillor David Thomas brings important links with the Town Council and with businesses in the town. New members Jim and Teresa Fyfe bring years of experience to our respite care work and our latest member, David Blyth brings new perspectives from the arts.

January 2017: CIO

HdCF has now become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and is now a formal Charity, number 1170477. We have also updated all of our policies that govern our work.

The fund started the year with good news – two grants were secured and a private donation to make up the cost of maintaining the coverage of the Alzheimer’s Society workers for another year. The League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital graciously granted us funds to maintain the respite care service.

4th AGM:

David Thomas resigned from the committee and David Blyth stepped back awhile due to other work pressures but we are pleased that Sallyanne Cockrell has joined us. The main committee now consists of seven Trustees and three committee members.

Independent Evaluation Report:

We were fortunate to get an additional grant from the League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital to allow us to commission an independent evaluation of the respite care service by Dr Sarah Housden (published in June 2017). The aim of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the Respite Care Service, identify any areas for improvement, assess the value of the ‘small and local’ nature of the service and consider the potential impact on families caring for someone with dementia should the service cease. The report concludes that the Respite Care Service was viewed very favourably by those using it and offered value for money. One person is quoted as saying: ‘I was feeling pretty isolated and desperate for this type of support before I was referred to HdCF’.

The trustees expressed their satisfaction with the Report, as it is concise, to the point and the lack of jargon was refreshing.

Rapid Growth and a Difficult Time:

The challenge that faces HDCF is its rapid growth – expenditure is now fifty thousand a year. Whilst providing excellent care, we are suffering from our own success; demand on our service has increased 300% this year. On top of that central government has reduced the funding to local government and CCG’s which meant there has been a grants ‘drought’.

There was unanimous agreement to launch a public appeal to replenish the coffers.

The appeal raised the profile of the work we do as a charity and the public and grant giving organisations responded generously. To ensure we were able to continue to provide respite care for as many families as possible, we made the decision in September to limit what we could offer to 2 hours per week. This was a difficult conversation to have with our families and some carers were naturally very upset as this was their lifeline. We had enabled them to have 5 – 8 hours a week to themselves and a well-earned break from their caring role. Now, many have an allocation of 2 hours a week, though some families prefer 4 hours a fortnight or 8 hours a month, which allows some flexibility to suit individual and family needs. For two families, the loss of the extra hours of care meant that their loved one went into residential care.

 Closing 2017:

We were pleased that Sarah Housden accepted the position of an honorary ‘Friend of HdCF’ to thank her for the very professional evaluations she has undertaken of the work of the Fund.

Local Fundraising and Events through the year:

We have had a very busy and active programme of events this year. We had an ‘awareness and games’ stall at the Halesworth Community Nursing Fund Cream Teas in June and then a Charity Gig at Chinny’s Sports Bar in November, which was a fantastic ‘do’! The Southwold Rotary Club again held a collection for us at the Co-op in December for our benefit, and we sold cakes in Lloyds Bank foyer in April to raise money and promote the fund.

Funds raised locally during the year from all events raised over £5,000 – this was from Collection Pots, Fill-a-Jar, and other activities, including several generous donations; and we had raffles at every film matinee. Laxfield Co-op chose us as one of their three charities of the year and we received just over £1631. Kelvin Bowen of Reshapes barbers had a sponsored head shave which raised £600 of which £300 was donated to us; Virginia Storey of Blyford held a Bring and Buy sale on our behalf which raised over £800. Jill Denny continues to support us by selling her popular handmade cards on our behalf throughout the year. We thank you all so much.

The Collection pots, initiated in 2016, have expanded to 18 locations. Foreign money left over from your holiday can be put in one of these pots, or call us. Fill-a-Jar for loose change has been another great success this year – take a jar home today and fill it with your odd change!

Friends of HdCF:

Greater exposure in the media has resulted in an increase in the number of ‘Friends of HdCF’ now 85. Our in-house newsletter ‘The Trumpet,’ is being sent to more Friends by email which helps to keep costs down.

Preparation for the national upgrade of Data Protection (GDPR-2018) in May meant contacting every Friend to re-affirm contact details. Our banking arrangements also changed which meant updating our Standing Order mandates.

A family carer’s recent comment says it all: ‘With this care I have been able to hang on to my own sense of self, my own independence and my energy precisely because I have been able to build on the use of carers until finally full-time care was needed. The care you give to families is truly a lifeline for us’.

2018: Into the 6th Year

Now in its sixth year, Halesworth dementia Carers’ Fund continues to provide much needed services for those living with dementia and their family carers. With a health and social care system that is creaking at the seams, the importance of our charitable work has been clearly highlighted.

We have faced some challenges during the year. Some of our hard working Trustees have succumbed to illness and disability, having given many years of loyal service. But despite these challenges we continue to move forwards with the aims of the charity. We are continually looking for ways to attract new members to our committee and would be delighted to hear from anyone who is interested.

We undertook a review of potential providers of our dementia support service to ensure due diligence, and although there are other excellent providers out there, the Trustees agreed unanimously to continue to work with the Alzheimer’s Society.

Following the AGM, Tessa Harding stepped down from her role as Secretary but continues to support us in an ambassadorial role. Dave Rich has stepped in to take up the role of Secretary. During the year, Paddy Cox, our President, also changed roles to become our Carer Representative in the community, using his skills and experience as a family carer to be a visible contact in the community.

Halesworth Dementia Support Project:

During the year, we said goodbye to Jonny Hawes and welcomed Alice Sparksman as the Dementia Support Worker, seconded to the Halesworth Dementia Support Project from the Alzheimer’s Society for two days a week and based mainly at Cutlers Hill Surgery. Since learning more about the area with the help of the team, Alice is able to signpost people to other local services such as the Volunteer Centre Community Car service and Isolation Busters. She also makes referrals to the respite care service where appropriate, which is a valuable resource and is in regular contact with practice staff at the surgery and liaises with the Community.

Grants:

The Respite Care Services would not be possible without the generosity of grant-giving Trusts, individuals, organisations and charities, although 2018-2019 has been a difficult year for grant applications as most of the large grant giving organisations have not included respite care in their criteria, although we are hopeful this criterion will open up again in the near future. If we were successful in obtaining a large grant, we could offer more respite hours which would make caring for a person with dementia more tolerable and enable them to live at home longer and delay or prevent early admission to residential care.

 Local Fund Raising and Events:

We have had a very active programme of events this year – busier than the previous year. We had three ‘firsts’: we hired the i-Chameleon pop-up-shop for a week to sell donated pre-loved goods; we had a very successful ‘Walk to Remember’ on the Millennium Green: and several people held a Chari-TEA party on our behalf. We thank all those who helped run and support these events.

Funds raised locally during the year from all events exceeded £18,000 – this was from our second Charity Dance, Collection Pots, Fill-a-Jar, and other activities. Raffles were held at every film matinee. Jill Denny continues to support us by selling her popular handcrafted cards on our behalf throughout the year.

The Film Matinees held at the Cut bi-monthly continues to attract many supporters and are a valued source of funds as well as a pleasant social occasion.

The Carers’ Day, organised with the Halesworth Volunteer Centre in April, proved to be a busy lively day, with stalls, classes and events. An estimated 95 people attended and a lot of valuable and helpful information imparted.

We have now received several donations in the name of people who have died. We are very grateful at these sad times that the families think of HdCF.

Two Trustees, Jim and Dave, give talks to local groups and organisations on the work of HdCF in the community, which both raises awareness and swells the funds.

Publicity:

We keep the Halesworth Dementia Carers’ Fund in the public eye monthly with articles in the local papers, and posters and flyers in the Town. Tracy Excell continues to put our events and information on social media via Facebook and Twitter – thank you Tracy.

We were nominated as one of six organisations for an award in the name of Dame Tamsyn Imison, which was a great thrill.

A smaller handy sized leaflet has been produced this year for convenience of keeping information to hand.

 Friends of HdCF:

Continuing exposure in the local media has again resulted in an increase in the number of Friends of HdCF, now 90.

May 2019:

We started the year with a street collection in the Thoroughfare during May and revenue from the collection pots is small but a steady earner and again we have local organisations giving us donations.

Everything has slowed down – Grants are harder to get now.

 June:

5 new referrals for help.

We are grateful for another large grant from League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital. The renting again of pop-up shop in the Thoroughfare raised £998.00 – thank you to all for your help for a successful week.

July:

We received a large donation from Heveningham Hall Trust – this to be used to pay for another year for our dementia Support Worker.

The Halesworth Town Council finance committee were given a presentation by our grant lead in pursuance of another grant.

6th AGM:

The Trustees remain committed to the purposes of the charity and for all their hard work again this year. We are all feeling a bit ragged at the edge at times, but we pull together to make things work. We continue to look for additional committee members to support us.

We as a charity are on the frontline and see the impact this disease, which isn’t curable, but progressive, sometimes over many years where there is mental decline and progressive physical decline too, has on people and their families and we have tried to do something about it. It takes passion and commitment to be involved, time giving that is worth every minute as we reflect on the difference we make to people’s lives.

We thank all our partners and grant givers, donors, friends, supporters – without your financial donations we couldn’t continue supporting up to 25 families with respite care – the “life saver” for so many – chasing grant money is a challenge in itself.

We are pleased to welcome Paddy Cox, one of our founder members and Chair back as a Trustee, now his commitments of a family carer have taken a different pathway.

The trustees of HdCF are facing challenges appertaining to our own success. Through lack of national resources, an example being the closure of our local hospital and in particular the closure of ‘the Rayner Green Resource Centre’, pressure and added demands for dementia care in the community has been placed upon our charity.

September:

 The successful ‘Walk to Remember’ of the previous year unfortunately had to be postponed as due to illness.

As Tessa Harding has stepped down from being Secretary the trustees proposed that she became a Lifetime President – which she was pleased to accept. We have increased our management strength as we welcome Bill Ellis, John Wood and Geoff Cackett to the committee.

November:

 A shed has been purchased for storage for any items collected for sale and somewhere for achieving.

A race night put on by the Triple Plea raised £500 – well done Ian & Sue.

Our film at the CUT was the best ever attended at 153. We had a very good pre-film talk, a good public awareness exercise, which was well received by the audience.

December:

 Several donations in lieu of flowers from funerals are now coming in – which we are very thankful for. The Co-op collection raised a staggering £586.

Now updating our banking to get into the ‘21st century’ – internet banking being pursued.

The in-house magazine, The Trumpet, has been sent out – mainly by email.

January 2020:

 3 new referrals for our respite care service.

A large number of local Newspapers and local magazines now receive our monthly report and PR articles.

Several smaller grants have come in to boost the respite care fund.

And then in March everything has come to a full stop – pandemic!!

No events could be put on and grants from some of the big local givers has been severely dented.

However, things haven’t stopped, especially on the respite care service – in fact things have got busier! With safety measures put in place, some of the care workers from the two agencies have still made their calls and our liaison committee has reached out by phone calls to all the carers. Even so, a couple of carers found they couldn’t cope and their loved ones have gone into a residential home for more care.

Jim has been tireless though out this year in obtaining grants and has been able to get some that have been given out because of the pandemic.

In April an ‘afternoon tea in a box’ and a copy of the Trumpet were delivered to the 25 families we have on our respite care list.

Then again in December, Christmas hampers were made up and delivered by our Chair to the 25 families.

These treats were very appreciated by the recipients and more help of support from the Halesworth Volunteer Centre’s shopping service and support via the Pear Tree Centre.

GM:

 We were due to have our AGM in July but this was postponed and we finally had it in November on-line by Zoom.

The constitution was reviewed and several amendments made. The updated constitution was unanimously agreed and accepted for signing as a true record.

Changes in Trustees and Committee members:

 Tessa Harding and Patricia Flegg both resigned due to ill health and the Chair welcomed four new trustees – Iris Smith, Bill Ellis, John Wood and Geoffrey Cackett.  This means that 2020- 2021 Management Committee is therefore: Teresa Fyfe (Chair), David Rich (Secretary), Iris Smith (Treasurer), Nikki Sawkins (Vice-Chair), Jim Fyfe, Jackie Rich, Mary Pennock, Sallyanne Cockrell, Bill Ellis, John Wood and Geoff Cackett.

2021:

 A new year, but no light at the end of the tunnel for getting clear of this pandemic.

Review:

We might not be able to put on events but we are reviewing all the policies and other paperwork required to run the fund. Plus updating all the archives, which are a great source of information.

A major update of the constitution to take into account internet banking and national emergencies was put before the committee and agreed and passed to the Charity Commission.

Community Liaison & Respite Care:

There had been 2 new referrals, one of these very. Respite care from First Choice has been set up and referral to Alice Sparksman has been made.
Several photographs from First Choice Agency demonstrate the high standard of work their Dementia Care Team is doing with our people with dementia during their respite sessions. The photos show examples of Art and Craft work and baking that individuals have produced.

Both Care agencies were praised for their flexibility of services during the Christmas and New Year holiday to ensure that family carers continued to receive support.

 Daniel Shaffer, from the Alzheimer’s Society has contacted us with a new Dementia Support Proposal to start from April 2021. This was discussed at length and although we accept the proposal as set out in its broadest sense, we realise that it ‘waters down’ the service we provide as it stands now and would in effect be a ‘referral’ service. It was felt that we should explore other avenues of service – possibly an Admiral Nurse.

Grants Report:

Jim has started to apply for new grants that are becoming available. If any Trustee hear about any grants that could be applied for please forward the information to him.

Friends of Report:

We have had two new friends join taking the total of people we reach out to 96.

The co-ordinators of the ‘trumpet’ are working on a new edition and ask for any information.

Events:

A ‘Singing with Friends’ event by using Zoom was a great success. Many thanks to Helen Hayes.

Another shed has been purchased for the increasing amounts of goods being stored – awaiting the time when we can start eventing again!

Publicity:

Monthly reports are being sent to the local media – these can be found on their digital services as printing as distribution is a problem under the pandemic restrictions.

A full-page advert has been compiled and sent to Halesworth Community News (which is printing and distributing) be included in their next issue.

The respite care we provide is flexible to meet the needs of individuals. Some family carers have regular weekly respite of up to 8 hours a week; others prefer to have a block of time to enable them to have a short break away from home. During this year we have provided care to 21 families in a variety of ways – regular respite, in a crisis, during transition into residential care and at the end of life.

Working with the Prestige Agency, we have established a team of paid carers who have additional training and skills in caring for those with dementia. Care options offered to the person with dementia so they too can benefit from the respite. An outing to Southwold for an ice-cream, a visit to the Men’s Shed, baking scones – this is all possible with our paid carers.

We have received a ‘Working Together Award’ from Suffolk County Council in recognition of our work with Prestige and other partners: Cutlers Hill Surgery, The Cut, The League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital.

Other activities include our very successful lunch outing in March to the Triple Plea for people with dementia and their family carers and ‘Caring with Confidence’ courses run in partnership with Suffolk Family Carers. All this is only possible with the grant support we receive, local support and fundraising in the community.

Raising awareness in the community:

HdCF has again been very busy with fundraising and events. During the year, we have held bi-monthly film matinees at the Cut, which attract a loyal audience. We have shown ‘The Second Best Marigold Hotel’, ‘A Royal Night Out’, ‘45 Years’, ‘The Lady in the Van’ and ‘Dad’s Army’. These are well advertised throughout the town with attractive posters and the popularity of the occasion is enhanced by a good quality raffle. During December, as part of our local awareness program, we again decorated a Christmas tree in St Mary’s Church and had a stall at the Triple Plea Inn’s Christmas Market. St Peter’s Church Holton raised money through soup & bread lunches every Friday during Lent and in May we had stalls at the Cratfield Dog Show, the Table Top Sale in the Old Print works and at The Triple Plea’s Busker Music afternoon.

The full colour Trumpet newsletter has been produced approximately every quarter and this is delivered to Friends of HdCF with news and pictures from earlier events.

During the year we have acquired display items, a pop-up banner, an events tent and now have for sale T-Shirts, Scarves, Caps and Ties, complete with our logo, along with badges for ‘Friends’ and ‘Caring with dignity’ logos. We place regular monthly articles in the local press and are now on Facebook, Twitter and have our own website at halesworthdementia-cf.com.

 

Grants and funding:

We have been the grateful beneficiaries of several grants over the course of the last year. The Respite Care service has been the beneficiary of several grants: from the League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital; from Health East Healthy Communities Fund; from Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Community Foundation Working Together Fund and finally from Suffolk County Council Carers’ Innovation Fund. The League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital has also funded an independent evaluation of the respite care service, which is currently being carried out by Dr Sarah Housden, Senior Lecturer in Nursing Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

 

2016: Increasing workload.

Not only has the respite we give dramatically increased in the community over the last year, but we also have increased the workload of the members of the committee. So, going into this year we are pleased to confirm that the committee members are re-standing and we have added new members.

Patrick Cox continues as President of HdCF, with Nikki Sawkins as Chair and Community Liaison Lead. Tessa Harding remains as Secretary. David Prime has stepped down as Treasurer and we are pleased to welcome Mary Pennock in his place. Patricia Flegg ensures our profile is maintained through monthly reports to the local press. Dave and Jackie Rich are tireless in fundraising, in promoting our work at local events, in recruiting Friends of HdCF and producing The Trumpet newsletter and the website. Councillor David Thomas brings important links with the Town Council and with businesses in the town. New members Jim and Teresa Fyfe bring years of experience to our respite care work and our latest member, David Blyth brings new perspectives from the arts.

 

January 2017: CIO

HdCF has now become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and is now a formal Charity, number 1170477. We have also updated all of our policies that govern our work.

The fund started the year with good news – two grants were secured and a private donation to make up the cost of maintaining the coverage of the Alzheimer’s Society workers for another year. The League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital graciously granted us funds to maintain the respite care service.

4th AGM:

David Thomas resigned from the committee and David Blyth stepped back awhile due to other work pressures but we are pleased that Sallyanne Cockrell has joined us. The main committee now consists of seven Trustees and three committee members.

Independent Evaluation Report:

We were fortunate to get an additional grant from the League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital to allow us to commission an independent evaluation of the respite care service by Dr Sarah Housden (published in June 2017). The aim of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the Respite Care Service, identify any areas for improvement, assess the value of the ‘small and local’ nature of the service and consider the potential impact on families caring for someone with dementia should the service cease. The report concludes that the Respite Care Service was viewed very favourably by those using it and offered value for money. One person is quoted as saying: ‘I was feeling pretty isolated and desperate for this type of support before I was referred to HdCF’.

The trustees expressed their satisfaction with the Report, as it is concise, to the point and the lack of jargon was refreshing.

Rapid Growth and a Difficult Time:

The challenge that faces HDCF is its rapid growth – expenditure is now fifty thousand a year. Whilst providing excellent care, we are suffering from our own success; demand on our service has increased 300% this year. On top of that central government has reduced the funding to local government and CCG’s which meant there has been a grants ‘drought’.

There was unanimous agreement to launch a public appeal to

to replenish the coffers.

The appeal raised the profile of the work we do as a charity and the public and grant giving organisations responded generously. To ensure we were able to continue to provide respite care for as many families as possible, we made the decision in September to limit what we could offer to 2 hours per week. This was a difficult conversation to have with our families and some carers were naturally very upset as this was their lifeline. We had enabled them to have 5 – 8 hours a week to themselves and a well-earned break from their caring role. Now, many have an allocation of 2 hours a week, though some families prefer 4 hours a fortnight or 8 hours a month, which allows some flexibility to suit individual and family needs. For two families, the loss of the extra hours of care meant that their loved one went into residential care.

 

Closing 2017:

We were pleased that Sarah Housden accepted the position of an honorary ‘Friend of HdCF’ to thank her for the very professional evaluations she has undertaken of the work of the Fund.

Local Fundraising and Events through the year:

We have had a very busy and active programme of events this year. We had an ‘awareness and games’ stall at the Halesworth Community Nursing Fund Cream Teas in June and then a Charity Gig at Chinny’s Sports Bar in November, which was a fantastic ‘do’! The Southwold Rotary Club again held a collection for us at the Co-op in December for our benefit, and we sold cakes in Lloyds Bank foyer in April to raise money and promote the fund.

Funds raised locally during the year from all events raised over £5,000 – this was from Collection Pots, Fill-a-Jar, and other activities, including several generous donations; and we had raffles at every film matinee. Laxfield Co-op chose us as one of their three charities of the year and we received just over £1631. Kelvin Bowen of Reshapes barbers had a sponsored head shave which raised £600 of which £300 was donated to us; Virginia Storey of Blyford held a Bring and Buy sale on our behalf which raised over £800. Jill Denny continues to support us by selling her popular handmade cards on our behalf throughout the year. We thank you all so much.

The Collection pots, initiated in 2016, have expanded to 18 locations. Foreign money left over from your holiday can be put in one of these pots, or call us. Fill-a-Jar for loose change has been another great success this year – take a jar home today and fill it with your odd change!

Friends of HdCF:

Greater exposure in the media has resulted in an increase in the number of ‘Friends of HdCF’ now 85. Our in-house newsletter ‘The Trumpet,’ is being sent to more Friends by email which helps to keep costs down.

Preparation for the national upgrade of Data Protection (GDPR-2018) in May meant contacting every Friend to re-affirm contact details. Our banking arrangements also changed which meant updating our Standing Order mandates.

A family carer’s recent comment says it all: ‘With this care I have been able to hang on to my own sense of self, my own independence and my energy precisely because I have been able to build on the use of carers until finally full-time care was needed. The care you give to families is truly a lifeline for us’.

 

2018: Into the 6th Year

Now in its sixth year, Halesworth dementia Carers’ Fund continues to provide much needed services for those living with dementia and their family carers. With a health and social care system that is creaking at the seams, the importance of our charitable work has been clearly highlighted.

We have faced some challenges during the year. Some of our hard working Trustees have succumbed to illness and disability, having given many years of loyal service. But despite these challenges we continue to move forwards with the aims of the charity. We are continually looking for ways to attract new members to our committee and would be delighted to hear from anyone who is interested.

We undertook a review of potential providers of our dementia support service to ensure due diligence, and although there are other excellent providers out there, the Trustees agreed unanimously to continue to work with the Alzheimer’s Society.

Following the AGM, Tessa Harding stepped down from her role as Secretary but continues to support us in an ambassadorial role. Dave Rich has stepped in to take up the role of Secretary. During the year, Paddy Cox, our President, also changed roles to become our Carer Representative in the community, using his skills and experience as a family carer to be a visible contact in the community.

Halesworth Dementia Support Project:

During the year, we said goodbye to Jonny Hawes and welcomed Alice Sparksman as the Dementia Support Worker, seconded to the Halesworth Dementia Support Project from the Alzheimer’s Society for two days a week and based mainly at Cutlers Hill Surgery. Since learning more about the area with the help of the team, Alice is able to signpost people to other local services such as the Volunteer Centre Community Car service and Isolation Busters. She also makes referrals to the respite care service where appropriate, which is a valuable resource and is in regular contact with practice staff at the surgery and liaises with the Community.

Grants:

The Respite Care Services would not be possible without the generosity of grant-giving Trusts, individuals, organisations and charities, although 2018-2019 has been a difficult year for grant applications as most of the large grant giving organisations have not included respite care in their criteria, although we are hopeful this criterion will open up again in the near future. If we were successful in obtaining a large grant, we could offer more respite hours which would make caring for a person with dementia more tolerable and enable them to live at home longer and delay or prevent early admission to residential care.

 

 

Local Fund Raising and Events:

We have had a very active programme of events this year – busier than the previous year. We had three ‘firsts’: we hired the i-Chameleon pop-up-shop for a week to sell donated pre-loved goods; we had a very successful ‘Walk to Remember’ on the Millennium Green: and several people held a Chari-TEA party on our behalf. We thank all those who helped run and support these events.

Funds raised locally during the year from all events exceeded £18,000 – this was from our second Charity Dance, Collection Pots, Fill-a-Jar, and other activities. Raffles were held at every film matinee. Jill Denny continues to support us by selling her popular handcrafted cards on our behalf throughout the year.

The Film Matinees held at the Cut bi-monthly continues to attract many supporters and are a valued source of funds as well as a pleasant social occasion.

The Carers’ Day, organised with the Halesworth Volunteer Centre in April, proved to be a busy lively day, with stalls, classes and events. An estimated 95 people attended and a lot of valuable and helpful information imparted.

We have now received several donations in the name of people who have died. We are very grateful at these sad times that the families think of HdCF.

Two Trustees, Jim and Dave, give talks to local groups and organisations on the work of HdCF in the community, which both raises awareness and swells the funds.

Publicity:

We keep the Halesworth Dementia Carers’ Fund in the public eye monthly with articles in the local papers, and posters and flyers in the Town. Tracy Excell continues to put our events and information on social media via Facebook and Twitter – thank you Tracy.

We were nominated as one of six organisations for an award in the name of Dame Tamsyn Imison, which was a great thrill.

A smaller handy sized leaflet has been produced this year for convenience of keeping information to hand.

 

Friends of HdCF:

Continuing exposure in the local media has again resulted in an increase in the number of Friends of HdCF, now 90.

May 2019:

We started the year with a street collection in the Thoroughfare during May and revenue from the collection pots is small but a steady earner and again we have local organisations giving us donations.

Everything has slowed down – Grants are harder to get now.

 

June:

5 new referrals for help.

We are grateful for another large grant from League of Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital. The renting again of pop-up shop in the Thoroughfare raised £998.00 – thank you to all for your help for a successful week.

July:

We received a large donation from Heveningham Hall Trust – this to be used to pay for another year for our dementia Support Worker.

The Halesworth Town Council finance committee were given a presentation by our grant lead in pursuance of another grant.

6th AGM:

The Trustees remain committed to the purposes of the charity and for all their hard work again this year. We are all feeling a bit ragged at the edge at times, but we pull together to make things work. We continue to look for additional committee members to support us.

We as a charity are on the frontline and see the impact this disease, which isn’t curable, but progressive, sometimes over many years where there is mental decline and progressive physical decline too, has on people and their families and we have tried to do something about it. It takes passion and commitment to be involved, time giving that is worth every minute as we reflect on the difference we make to people’s lives.

We thank all our partners and grant givers, donors, friends, supporters – without your financial donations we couldn’t continue supporting up to 25 families with respite care – the “life saver” for so many – chasing grant money is a challenge in itself.

We are pleased to welcome Paddy Cox, one of our founder members and Chair back as a Trustee, now his commitments of a family carer have taken a different pathway.

The trustees of HdCF are facing challenges appertaining to our own success. Through lack of national resources, an example being the closure of our local hospital and in particular the closure of ‘the Rayner Green Resource Centre’, pressure and added demands for dementia care in the community has been placed upon our charity.

September:

 

The successful ‘Walk to Remember’ of the previous year unfortunately had to be postponed as due to illness.

As Tessa Harding has stepped down from being Secretary the trustees proposed that she became a Lifetime President – which she was pleased to accept. We have increased our management strength as we welcome Bill Ellis, John Wood and Geoff Cackett to the committee.

November:

 

A shed has been purchased for storage for any items collected for sale and somewhere for achieving.

A race night put on by the Triple Plea raised £500 – well done Ian & Sue.

Our film at the CUT was the best ever attended at 153. We had a very good pre-film talk, a good public awareness exercise, which was well received by the audience.

December:

 

Several donations in lieu of flowers from funerals are now coming in – which we are very thankful for. The Co-op collection raised a staggering £586.

Now updating our banking to get into the ‘21st century’ – internet banking being pursued.

The in-house magazine, The Trumpet, has been sent out – mainly by email.

January 2020:

 

3 new referrals for our respite care service.

A large number of local Newspapers and local magazines now receive our monthly report and PR articles.

Several smaller grants have come in to boost the respite care fund.

And then in March everything has come to a full stop – pandemic!!

No events could be put on and grants from some of the big local givers has been severely dented.

However, things haven’t stopped, especially on the respite care service – in fact things have got busier! With safety measures put in place, some of the care workers from the two agencies have still made their calls and our liaison committee has reached out by phone calls to all the carers. Even so, a couple of carers found they couldn’t cope and their loved ones have gone into a residential home for more care.

Jim has been tireless though out this year in obtaining grants and has been able to get some that have been given out because of the pandemic.

In April an ‘afternoon tea in a box’ and a copy of the Trumpet were delivered to the 25 families we have on our respite care list.

Then again in December, Christmas hampers were made up and delivered by our Chair to the 25 families.

These treats were very appreciated by the recipients and more help of support from the Halesworth Volunteer Centre’s shopping service and support via the Pear Tree Centre.

AGM:

 

We were due to have our AGM in July but this was postponed and we finally had it in November on-line by Zoom.

The constitution was reviewed and several amendments made. The updated constitution was unanimously agreed and accepted for signing as a true record.

Changes in Trustees and Committee members:

 

Tessa Harding and Patricia Flegg both resigned due to ill health and the Chair welcomed four new trustees – Iris Smith, Bill Ellis, John Wood and Geoffrey Cackett.  This means that 2020- 2021 Management Committee is therefore: Teresa Fyfe (Chair), David Rich (Secretary), Iris Smith (Treasurer), Nikki Sawkins (Vice-Chair), Jim Fyfe, Jackie Rich, Mary Pennock, Sallyanne Cockrell, Bill Ellis, John Wood and Geoff Cackett.

2021:

 

A new year, but no light at the end of the tunnel for getting clear of this pandemic.

Review:

We might not be able to put on events but we are reviewing all the policies and other paperwork required to run the fund. Plus updating all the archives, which are a great source of information.

A major update of the constitution to take into account internet banking and national emergencies was put before the committee and agreed and passed to the Charity Commission.

Community Liaison & Respite Care:

There had been 2 new referrals, one of these very. Respite care from First Choice has been set up and referral to Alice Sparksman has been made.

Several photographs from First Choice Agency demonstrate the high standard of work their Dementia Care Team is doing with our people with dementia during their respite sessions. The photos show examples of Art and Craft work and baking that individuals have produced.

Both Care agencies were praised for their flexibility of services during the Christmas and New Year holiday to ensure that family carers continued to receive support.

 

Daniel Shaffer, from the Alzheimer’s Society has contacted us with a new Dementia Support Proposal to start from April 2021. This was discussed at length and although we accept the proposal as set out in its broadest sense, we realise that it ‘waters down’ the service we provide as it stands now and would in effect be a ‘referral’ service. It was felt that we should explore other avenues of service – possibly an Admiral Nurse.

Grants Report:

Jim has started to apply for new grants that are becoming available. If any Trustee hear about any grants that could be applied for please forward the information to him.

Friends of Report:

We have had two new friends join taking the total of people we reach out to 96.

The co-ordinators of the ‘trumpet’ are working on a new edition and ask for any information.

Events:

A ‘Singing with Friends’ event by using Zoom was a great success. Many thanks to Helen Hayes.

Another shed has been purchased for the increasing amounts of goods being stored – awaiting the time when we can start eventing again!

Publicity:

Monthly reports are being sent to the local media – these can be found on their digital services as printing as distribution is a problem under the pandemic restrictions.

A full-page advert has been compiled and sent to Halesworth Community News (which is printing and distributing) be included in their next issue.