East Midlands Chamber's Charitable Fund

As part of the Annual Christmas Lunch held in Leicester in December 2015, the Chamber set up the East Midlands Chamber Charitable Fund as a result of charitable donations by members at this event. The fund is administered by Chamber member Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation and provides a platform for the Chamber to support charitable causes, in our case the charities in Chamber membership, while also managing all the money safely and within charitable law, claiming Gift Aid and so on.

The charitable year runs November to November, to coincide with our President’s term of office. Charities are selected from Chamber membership by the incoming President in November and announced at the Annual Christmas Lunch in December. The total amount raised by the Fund during the year is then split equally and presented at the Chamber’s Annual Christmas Lunch the following December.

At the Chamber's 2020 AGM, held virtually, it was announced that the charities nominated during 2020 would each received a share of £2,868.  They were: 

  • Chesterfield Canal Trust
  • The Mighty Creatives
  • Young Enterprise East Midlands

At the same event,  the Chamber's President, Eileen Richards MBE, announced the new beneficiaires for 2021 which are: 

Chesterfield Samaritans

As a branch of the national Samaritans organisation, we provide emotional support to those in need anywhere in the country and internationally too, but we are also closely linked to our local community in Chesterfield. Whilst our priority is providing listening services to anyone anywhere who needs us, we cherish our close relationships with the town, its people and its organisations.

Samaritans have 201 branches in the UK and approximately 20,000 volunteers. Though affiliated to the central Samaritans charity, Chesterfield Branch is a registered charity in its own right, run by a Director and leadership team, who are all trustees. We are responsible for operating our own business and raising all funds required to run the branch, so that we can provide emotional support to distressed callers, including those with suicidal thoughts. Samaritans nationally is open 24/7/365, though we staff our branch according to our resources, opening for as many shifts as we can through the week.

 

Nottinghamshire Hospice

Nottinghamshire Hospice was established in 1980 by local people who wanted to have holistic cancer care available to all those in need. Today, we continue to believe everyone has the right to a good death, whatever that means to them. Nottinghamshire Hospice is the leading, charitable provider of palliative and end of life care in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Our care is delivered in people’s homes, which is where they tell us that they want to be cared for and spend the last days of life. We do this through dedicated teams of registered nurses and palliative health care assistants who support the patient and families with compassion and all aspects of care, including symptom control, personal care, pain relief, emotional support and a range of therapies. A large part of our work is supporting Carers, helping them to cope and survive by offering respite care for their loved ones both in the home and at our wonderful Hospice. We look after Carers emotional, as well as physical needs through counselling, emotional support and offering our therapies such as a massage to relieve pain or simply to relax. Our care continues through all stages of their grief and bereavement, helping each day to be a bit better than the last. Our patients are aged 18years through to 100+, we strive to add life to days no matter who, where or what the people we have the privilege to be alongside need.

"I will always remember the kindness and gentleness the Nurse showed when she gave Alan a shave after he asked her too, what a wonderful thing to do for someone. She was with us for the last few hours and was by his side with me as Alan slipped away. She woke me at 2.00a.m to say his breathing had slowed, and I will be eternally grateful for that, as I was with my wonderful husband as he took his last breath." 

 

Help the Homeless Leicester

Help the homeless Leicester has been established since 2014, has a well-established social media following with over 17000 members and followers within the online Facebook group registered as a charity (March 2018) and have a trading arm in the form of a charity shop where our HQ is based.

Within the city of Leicester, the official figures of rough sleepers prior to the Covid19 pandemic stood consistently at over 30, however this does not include the hidden homeless, those that are not registered, or known of and those that live in hostels. The current figures indicate a growth of homelessness and rough sleeping. We currently specifically cover Leicester, inner city and its surrounding areas.

Our services are open to all of those at risk of homelessness, homeless/rough sleeping, newly accommodated and those who find themselves in any other situation that makes them vulnerable and in need of our support.

Our current experience and statistics indicate that the majority of our service users are single males in their 30’s. Each individual that the charity works with is assessed and we use our time initially to information gather and build a profile, work out the next steps and this case file is then amended and updated as required to develop an individual action plan whilst providing advocacy to further individual circumstances.

In 2014 when Help the homeless Leicester first established, we provided only nutrition and material aid, we have since developed an established well utilised weekly meal, held in the city center, as well as advocacy for individuals. Since December 2017 we have supported over 110 homeless and rough sleeping individuals into suitable and sustainable accommodation and have continued to offer our support and services to wrap the support around them required to meet their individual needs. We do not expect perfection, though optimistic we are realistic with the goals we set with our service users, each step laid out to make small steps of progression and achievement leading to the wider picture.

 

Previous Charitable Fund recipients

2016 recipients:

  • Ashgate Hospice
  • RSPCA Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Branch
  • Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People

2017 recipients:

  • LOROS Hospice
  • Maggies of Nottingham
  • Blythe House Hospice

2018 recipients:

  • Hope Against Cancer
  • Leicester and Leicestershire Animal Aid
  • Rhubarb Farm

2019 recipients: 

  • Twenty Twenty 
  • CHICKS

2020 recipients:

  • Chesterfield Canal Trust
  • The Mighty Creatives
  • Young Enterprise East Midlands

 

You can donate directly to the Chamber's Charitable Fund as follows:

 

The Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation set up personally-named local giving funds for companies and individuals, families and groups of friends. Having a fund or foundation with the Community Foundation is like having your own charitable foundation – but it’s much less expensive, and the Community Foundation manages auditing, reporting and administration.

The Community Foundation keeps abreast of local charitable, voluntary and community groups, and can even introduce you to great local causes.  You may not have heard of some of them, but their sterling work helps keep our area healthy, safe and thriving. 

The Community Foundation also delivers grants locally for other organisations, including the government and its partners, and reinvigorates dormant funds. During 2020, it launched a Coronavirus Support Fund, made up National Emergency Trust and Department of Culture Media & Sport money and donations from local companies and individuals. As at end October, it has awarded over £1m.