As we reflect on another year of Austin’s Charitable Fund we are delighted to share the news of our 2019 success and who we will be supporting throughout 2020.
As a bit of background, our charitable fund was set up in 2002 and has since raised over £130,000 for community-based and local charities including the Samaritans, Stevenage Haven, Cancer Hair Care and Tracks Autism. We’re very grateful to everyone who has helped to raise money for all of our charities.
Over £5,000 raised for the Butterfly Volunteers
Back in early March we were delighted to make a donation of £5,169 to the Butterfly Volunteers at the Lister Hospital, following a series of events throughout the year. Take a look at this video that RewindMedia kindly made explaining what the volunteers do https://player.vimeo.com/video/362540032
These wonderful, specially-trained volunteers provide companionship for end-of-life patients at the hospital and need to raise £25,000 a year to continue their work. We’d like to thank each and every one of you who helped us in raising a fifth of their annual fundraising target, hopefully taking the pressure off just a little bit!
Our Managing Director Claire Austin visited the Lister to hand over the cheque to Abdellah El Alami, General Manager for Cancer Services at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, and Butterfly Volunteer Service Coordinator Angela Fenn.
Introducing Cruse Bereavement Care – our 2020 charity of the year
We’re pleased to announce our 2020 charity of the year is Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire. If you’ve recently visited one of our branches you may have already noticed the Cruse charity boxes inside.
Cruse Bereavement Care exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone suffering bereavement caused by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss.
Cruse was established as a charity in 1959 and quickly grew across the country with local branches being set up. Each and every Cruse volunteer goes through a nationally accredited training programme in order to ensure that they practise to a consistently high standard and ensure continuous delivery of service.
Cruse Hertfordshire is run as a free service from their office in Hatfield with around 80 volunteers operating the helpline and visiting clients in their own home on a one-to-one basis.
Although volunteers provide their services free of charge, the charity needs to raise funds to pay for administrative and office costs, the telephone helpline and volunteer expenses.
Of course, these are very challenging times during the current pandemic and Cruse are currently having to transfer all of their services over to telephone support. Although they have many trained volunteers who are able to provide this service, the charity says that they will need to cover the extra costs arising from the telephone sessions.
Once their service resumes and they are able to reinstate training, the team at Cruse would like to provide their volunteers with a number of extra training opportunities, and we very much look forward to being able to support them in doing just this.
Chair, Sue Friend, said: “Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire are delighted to be chosen as Charity of the Year by Austin’s. Their recognition of the help our dedicated volunteers give to bereaved people means a great deal to our organisation.”
To find out more about the Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire, visit: www.cruse-hertfordshire.org.uk/contact
In the meantime, we’ll be posting updates about the work they do throughout the year on our website and social media channels.