HACRO

Hertfordshire Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (HACRO) works from offices in St Albans and has been running for 45 years. It provides mentoring and courses that benefit people whilst in prison, and also in the community to aid the rehabilitation of ex-offenders. It works to support offenders’ families and also manages the Visitors Centre at HMP The Mount. Part of its work, particularly in prisons, has been restricted due to COVID regulations, and some moved online.

At the October 2020 Trustee meeting, the Foundation agreed a grant of £9,775 for HACRO. The funds will cover costs of running a programme called Caring Dads for men in the town of Broxbourne. This can be run either face-to-face or remotely depending on circumstances. The course will benefit fathers where allegations of domestic abuse have been made, and aims to improve parenting skills and prevent further damage to children. Around 16 men will benefit, along with their children, their children’s mother and any other partners and children the men may have now or in the future. This is because the participants’ attitudes and understanding of what behaviours are appropriate changes as they learn child-centred approaches to parenting.

www.hacro.org.uk

Medway Volunteer Centre

Medway Volunteer Centre works across the Medway area of Kent from its base in Gillingham.  It works to recruit, register and provide opportunities to people volunteering across the area, and supports organisations to enable volunteers to become involved.   Requests for volunteers are increasing all the time and it runs a training scheme for volunteers with learning and other difficulties so giving them much needed confidence.  The Centre also runs its own range of services, such as a transport service, befriending scheme, reminiscence and gardening services.  Around 900 volunteers are involved.

A grant of £5,000 has been offered at the Foundation’s October 2020 meeting.  Funding is towards the post of a new role at the Centre – the Tackling Loneliness Coordinator.  This new full-time post will work to recruit new volunteers and work directly with organisations and community groups across Medway to identify more vulnerable and isolated older people and coordinate actions to reduce loneliness for these people.

www.medwayvolunteercentre.org.uk

Parental Education Growth Support

Parental Education Growth Support (PEGS) is a relatively new organisation that works from Shrewsbury. It aims to provide therapeutic, practical and emotional support, and run effective programmes and training that raise awareness and understanding about child to parent abuse. PEGS offers one-to-one emotional and practical support to parents, carers and guardians who are living with children who display abusive, violent, or out-of-control behaviours. It runs an online weekly drop-in, and training for professionals on child to parent abuse. The organisation has completed facilitator programme training for the ‘Who’s in Charge’ programme and so far has delivered four courses that have been well received.

At the Foundation’s October 2020 meeting, Trustees confirmed a grant offer of £5,000. This will contribute towards the general running costs of PEGS. The organisation has supported more than 200 families this year, and anticipates numbers to increase quickly as the effects of the lockdown and COVID restrictions are played out.

www.pegsupport.com

Hartlepool Asylum Seeker and Refugee Group

This Group is run by volunteers and exists to provide help and support to refugees and people seeking asylum in the town of Hartlepool.  It runs a weekly drop-in support service at a church hall offering advice, friendship and a safe place to meet, with up-to 60 people attending.  Other organisations that are based out of town regularly come along to the drop-in to deliver their services to attendees – such as the Red Cross, Justice First and Open Doors.   The drop-in also includes an English class, activities and there are donated clothes, food, and household items available for those in need.  The groups additional activities include organising an Easter party and Christmas party which is always well received by children and families, delivering sports activities during the summer holidays in a local park and each year they also plan and deliver a Diversity Celebration event, which brings together families, voluntary organisations, statutory partners and invited dignitaries.  The event brings many people together, breaking down barriers and promoting cohesion.

In October 2020, the Foundation offered a grant of £1,500 towards this Group’s general running costs.  Outcomes from the work include increased access to advice and support for individuals, and reduced isolation.

Norwich International Youth Project

This charity supports around 150 young asylum seekers and refugees across Norfolk – with a large proportion aged between 18 and 25. Many of the young people arrived as Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and have little family or other support, and some young adults are in shared accommodation that has been made available for asylum seekers whilst the UK is under COVID lockdown restrictions. Support is provided with drop-in activities, groups, and English classes. The young people benefit from interaction and support from trusted adults, and through peer support and friendship with others who are in a similar position.

At the October 2020 meeting, Trustees agreed funding of £4,000 per year for two years. The grant will help with the costs of rent for the spaces used for the weekly group sessions. Overall outcomes for the asylum seekers and refugees involved include improved English, improved wellbeing and resilience, and better access to opportunities and further education and employment.

www.niyp.org.uk

South West Community Chaplaincy

This charity is based in Exeter, and works across Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset. It has been working for over ten years to provide support to people leaving prison, aiming to rehabilitate and reintegrate people into their local communities.  Its work benefits around 150 men and women each year.  The main focus is through mentoring support, with 35 volunteer mentors working across the region.  People are supported whilst still in prison, and on release into the community.  Feedback from those involved shows that the support offered by this charity helps individuals make identifiable progress in their lives, in various areas such as training, employment or tackling drug/alcohol issues, and helps them to find a different path away from crime.

The Allen Lane Foundation has offered a £10,000 grant over a two-year period. Funding was agreed at the October 2020 Trustee meeting, and will contribute towards the charity’s general running costs.  Outcomes anticipated are that at least two thirds of engaged beneficiaries will achieve significant progress in their lives; and they will have improved life skills, improved lifestyles, and better ability to overcome social and practical problems.

www.southwestcc.org.uk

HUMEN

HUMEN was established three years ago with the aim of preventing men from suffering in silence and dying too young. It’s work is preventative – encouraging young men to put the same amount of effort into maintaining and improving their mental health as many do to their physical health by exercising and going to the gym.  It calls this The HUMEN Space: The Gym for Your Mind’. The work includes establishing and facilitating group meetings across different parts of the UK, where men come to talk, listen, and connect with others. During part of 2020 under COVID lockdown restrictions, groups have been meeting in The HUMEN Space Online. Around 2,000 men overall benefitted in that year alone.

At the Trustee meeting in October 2020 a grant of £4,000 per annum was agreed for a two-year period. This funding will contribute towards the costs of running group meetings for men in Manchester and Cardiff, each benefitting 20-25 men a week. Groups offer ongoing and practical support, and overall aim to improve and maintain better mental health and wellbeing.

www.wearehumen.org

Supported – The Community Eating Disorder Charity

The Linda Tremble Foundation, which has recently rebranded as Supported, aims to provide access to community based group support for people with an eating disorder and their families.  It works across different areas of Scotland through running support groups, and is based near the town of Cupar in Fife.  Supported also provides carers with training based on the New Maudsley Approach – designed to equip carers with a similar skill set to that used in a specialist inpatient setting, in order to provide in-home support to family members/friends with an eating disorder.  It also offers information, one-to-one befriending, phone and videoconference support.  Prior to the pandemic, support groups were established in Fife, Forth Valley, Glasgow and Perth and help people feel less isolated, and build their self-confidence and resilience to develop strategies that will aid their recovery.  The Foundation is currently providing access to support for over 50 people with eating disorders and 25 families.

In October 2020, a grant of £7,718 has been agreed towards Supported. This will cover costs of recruiting, training and supporting an additional 20 volunteers over the coming year, and four training sessions. Trained volunteers will deliver support by facilitating new groups, supporting existing ones, and providing one-to-one support to individuals through our Befriending Service. Overall these volunteer led services will  help to reduce isolation, improve support mechanisms for individuals with an eating disorder, and raise awareness.

www.supportedscotland.org

Our Special Friends

This charity seeks to support and enhance the companionship and bond between people and their pets. It operates from Newmarket and covers West Suffolk. The work includes practical help for vulnerable or isolated people to manage their existing pets; visits from volunteers with a pet to lonely older people who are missing animal companionship; and help with looking after pets whilst people are in hospital or unable to manage due to illness or frailty. The charity is actively supporting around 150 people at any one time. A further 100 older people benefit through volunteers and their accredited pets making visits to local care homes and dementia units when COVID restrictions are not in place.

The Allen Lane Foundation has agreed a two-year grant totalling £7,000 to Our Special Friends. This will help with general running costs. Outcomes of the work include improved mental, emotional and physical health; reduced isolation and loneliness; and an increased capacity for older people to live independently.

www.ourspecialfriends.org