Established in 2000, the aim of Barchester’s Charitable Foundation is to help older people and adults living with a disability or mental health problems in local communities across the country. A charity provides grants to improve mobility and quality of life, and each year the Foundation distributes over £150,000 to individuals and small community groups and charities across England, Scotland and Wales.
Barchester’s Charitable Foundation has just launched a newly-designed website www.bhcfoundation.org.uk with improved functionality and navigation. The site has a new eligibility checker which will quickly guide applicants through the grant selection criteria and then, once these are met, lead on to an online form for an easy application process.
Pete Calveley, Chairman of Barchester’s Charitable Foundation explains: “We support older people and other adults with disabilities by giving grants to help people connect or reconnect with others in their local community. Every single individual or small local charity that we have helped during 2020 has faced serious challenges of isolation and loneliness during a very tough year, and we are immensely proud to have been able to help them.
“We are delighted to be launching our new website. The internet is a hugely important source of new enquiries for us, and we hope that we have created a clear and informative website for anyone looking to us for help, wishing to make a donation or wanting to get involved.”
Despite a very challenging year in 2020, Barchester’s Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce it was able to gift £166,000 in grants to provide vital help to 65 small groups and charities, and 112 individuals. Examples of the organisations and individuals the Foundation supported in 2020 are:
- Sahara, a small charity in Coventry, received funding for the purchase of six elder sympathetic chairs and a wheelchair. Sahara is planning activities in smaller gatherings moving out of lockdown for its elderly members. They worked incredibly hard to maintain regular contact in a safe manner with their elders during the lockdowns, and are now supporting their elders to come out of their homes and reintegrate into their peer groups and the wider local community.
- Co-ordin8, a small charity in Torbay, runs meaningful, educational day activities for adults with learning disabilities. These range from horticulture to cooking, art to community living skills and textile work. Their grant went towards helping students return to fitness following lockdown.
- The grants that Barchester’s Charitable Foundation awards for motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters are often life changing for the individuals who benefit, giving people back the freedom to go out again, socialise and enjoy the outdoors. Lauren, 21, from Sheffield has a number of conditions which means she is not mobile and is severely isolated. Her grant was for a wheelchair, and this has made her become more independent and impacted positively on her mental health. Lauren comments: “I feel freer because I’m not having to be stuck inside anymore staring at the same walls and I don’t have to always rely on other people taking me on outings in cars. Now I can go to the park and it happens to have very nice surroundings. Lots of green, which is good for mental health. I definitely feel like a weight has been lifted, and once everything has settled down I look forward to going to the local craft group and trying that out. It opens more up to me.”