Friday, 24 October 2014

Caring for the Carers

Plans are now well underway for our first event to be held especially for those who have been bereaved by an asbestos disease.  Last week, Joanne and Sarah visited the Doubletree Hotel in Lincoln and booked their hospitality suite for the 26th March.  They also met with the branch chair and secretary of the local Cruse Bereavement Care.  They will be sending some of their volunteers along to offer help and support, and to tell those attending a bit about their services.   This event will be an opportunity for people to share experiences and talk to someone else who “understands the journey”.  We hope that those attending will find companionship and moral support.  The event will be open to anyone – not just widows – children, parents or close friends will be welcome too.

This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a big development in DAST’s services.  Up until now, we have only had the resources to support those actually suffering from asbestos disease.  However it has been clear to us for sometime that loved ones need just as much support.  Stage two of our lottery bid will be submitted within the next couple of weeks.  If we are successful this will pay for a new worker to join us for 3 years to help set up a befriending scheme and a friends and relatives forum.  Keep everything crossed for our success.

Sarah has been working on this bid as part of her remit to diversify and develop our income.  New projects like this are needed to tap into funds from the Lottery and others, because they always prefer to fund new work over existing services. This is good in a way because it has made us look at what out service users need that we are not already giving them.  However, it is an uphill struggle to fund funds for our day to day work.  General running costs, such as telephone and electricity bills in particular are hard to find grant funding for.

But in this respect we have had some good news this week.  Two separate charitable trusts have donated a total of £1200 towards meeting the cost of our home visits in the county of Northamptonshire.  These visits are obviously the most expensive for us, because of the distance that Natalie has to travel to get to them and the time that they take.   So we must say a big thank you to the Maud Elkington Charitable Trust and the Earl Fitzwilliam Charitable Trust for giving us much needed support in their area.

Do you know of any funds or foundations in your area?  Let us know.

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