Following this summer’s glittering “Celebrating Local Philanthropy” event at Oakham Castle, two Rutland-based philanthropic projects have gathered pace – the Rutland Food bank, and the Adopted Children’s Fund.
The event was hosted by Dr Laurence Howard, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, and Mrs. Trish Ruddle, the High Sheriff of Rutland, with Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation.
There were speakers from some of Rutland ‘s most exiting philanthropic initiatives and the Community Foundation shared the news that it can currently match some local philanthropic donations £1 for every £2.
Since the event, The Adopted Children’s Fund, which was set up by Rutland resident Judith Gilboy with the Community Foundation, using the match, has completed purchase on a house for use by young people leaving care.
“Learning to live independently, and finding a job and a social life, can be a real challenge for young people who, through no fault of their own, haven’t got Mum and Dad to help them find their feet,” says Judith. “The house will be ready later in the autumn to take the first young people, supported by Rutland County Council social workers to help them get ready for adult life.”
The Adopted Children’s Fund has also helped train teachers to support traumatised children, and rescued a local grant pot for young people which had lost funding. In addition, it has joined forces with John Lewis to provide a supported shopping experience for young people leaving care, to purchase interview suits and other items to help them into adult life.
“Working with the Community foundation is very satisfying,” said Judith. “The Fund can make a real difference in the areas I care about, and the match scheme is what Americans call a no-brainer. It’s literally free money.”
The Rutland Food Bank, which also addressed the 100 distinguished guests, has redoubled its call for help.
“The evening was really good,” says Suzanne Johnson, who has been working to set up the Rutland Food Bank in her spare time. “I think many people have been unaware that in Rutland there are people struggling to feed themselves and their families in the current climate. It isn’t their fault if a breadwinner has lost a job, but people can feel ashamed to ask for help.”
The Rutland Food Bank has worked with GPs, schools, social services and others, and is now two weeks from opening. It is calling for volunteers, particularly for transporting food and sorting it in the warehouse in Langham.
People can donate food at any of the distribution centres : Jules One Stop Mon and Fri 10am to 12pm; Drop Inn Centre at Congregational church hall, Wed 2.30 – 4.00pm, or Uppingham Parish church Fri 10am to 12pm, or make contact via the website: www.rutland.foodbank.org.uk .
“Though so much is done by volunteers, we also need some funds – not large amounts, but on-going support. If anyone, or any group of people, was able to set up their own invested named fund to help support the food bank, using the match, that would help ensure our sustainability long term,” says Suzanne. “Of course, we also welcome direct donations. We currently need around £2,500.”
The Community Foundation offers a invested named fund model, where the donor family or company names and directs the fund themselves – rather like their own charity but at a fraction of the cost and legwork. They work for donors to enable them to support local needs of their choice, at the level of their choice, and in their preferred geographical areas. Donors are as hand-offs or involved, as public or as private as they wish to be.
“We all care for the health and wellbeing of our local area,” says Trish Ruddle. “The Community Foundation’s approach to helping people achieve this is unique, and extremely cost effective.”