The Royal London Foundation:
Off to a great start!

You nominated almost 60 organisations to receive funding from the Royal London Foundation this year

We relaunched the Royal London Foundation in 2017 after you told us you wanted to support smaller, local organisations, and we’ve had a fantastic response from our members so far. Because of your nominations, we’ve donated £144,000 to not-for-profit organisations around the UK.

Our latest round of nominations closed in August, and successful organisations will hear from us on the week of 18th December. Nominations will reopen again in April 2018.

Find out what types of organisations have received funding in the past, and how they are helping people in need, below.

Note:

This map features case studies from organisations that received funding from the Royal London Foundation in 2016.

Foyle Parents and Friends Association, Derry

Foyle Parents and Friends Association (FPFA) works with children, young people and adults who have various forms of disability, their siblings and their carers.

Donna Maria has attended activities at Foyle Parents and Friends for over three years after leaving school at 19. She has studied music and digital arts with her peers and had the opportunity to DJ, sing, socialise and learn valuable life skills.

The most important thing for Donna Maria is keeping in touch with her friends, as she can feel isolated at times. FPFA provides her with the opportunity to maintain those positive relationships in a creative, fun, progressive environment.

“Foyle Parents and Friends Association recognised her potential and cognitive ability, and enabled her to grow and develop respectfully,” her mother says.

West Berkshire Therapy Centre, Berkshire

The West Berkshire Therapy Centre has provided exercise and therapy to people with mobility problems since 2014.

Margaret has suffered a series of medical problems that resulted in numerous operations, incomplete recoveries and overlapping setbacks for several years. The effect was very demoralising and she stopped going out.

Then her daughter heard about the therapy centre and took her along to have a look. Margaret, who was convinced that no one could help her, has seen a great improvement in physical strength, her general outlook, confidence and social life.

“For the first time in a very long time I’m now making plans, have ordered a passport and am booking a holiday, the first I will have had in years – it’s changed my life,” she says.

JUMP Children’s Charity, Cheshire

JUMP provides visual and audio memories for children and young people that have, or are affected by, life-limiting health conditions.

Sienna is six and has a very rare genetic condition affecting the development of her major organs, meaning she stays in Alder Hey Childrens Hospital. In 2012, JUMP presented Sienna and her parents with a Christmas Memory Book, which captured some of the family’s special moments. Shortly after, in 2013, Sienna’s dad was diagnosed with cancer and JUMP gave the family a further Memory Book.

Sadly he passed away before Christmas, but Sienna’s mum kept in touch with JUMP to tell them just how much the memory books helped Sienna with grieving for her dad. Each night she looks at the photos and speaks about him positively. Sienna’s life is likely to be short, but her mum is determined that she will have the positive experiences that other children have.

Cornerstone Supported Housing and Counselling, County Durham

Cornerstone helps to support people while they heal themselves, challenging people’s opinions, and working towards a long-term goal of eliminating homelessness.

Kevin, a 38 year-old man was released from prison following a life of substance misuse and crime. Attending the Cornerstone training centre, he used his joinery skills to make a small table. The therapeutic environment aided his recovery, and after a short time, he was trusted with workshop keys and was supported to live independently.

Kevin is now drug-free and has set up his own Narcotics Anonymous meeting. He is studying towards a social care qualification, runs smaller groups for professional drug and alcohol organisations and helps children that do not attend mainstream school. He has returned to the prison, but this time as an ambassador for recovery.

Specialist Stroke Services, Derbyshire

Specialist Stroke Services supports people living with the long-term challenges associated with stroke.

Two weeks after having her first baby, Diane had a stroke at just 28-years-old. Within a year her marriage ended and Diane had to leave behind the farm and shop she had built up and move into an adapted bungalow. More devastatingly, she had to leave her one-year-old son behind.

Coming to Derbyshire Stroke Centre was the event that changed her life. She needed support with communication as she couldn’t read, write or speak. Young stroke survivors who acted as role models helped her be more optimistic, and the centre helped Diane to relearn skills. It also supported her so that she could have her son stay overnight on her own, and he now stays one night a week.

“This place has given me a purpose. I loved it from the moment I got here. I now volunteer in the gym, I’m a trustee and I’m responsible for the garden,” she says.

Coundon Care Centre Charity, Coventry

Coundon Care Centre provides a luncheon club with day care for people over 70 years of age. Ron Price, 94, has been coming to the centre since 2003 after his wife died. He was very lonely, with his only son living in South Africa.

Ron’s neighbour suggested that he might like to come to the centre and make new friends of his own age. To start with Ron was very reluctant, but soon came out of his shell. He made friends and joined in with all the activities, including singing and outings to the seaside.

As Ron aged his mobility was affected and a carer now helps him at home every day, but he still enjoys the minibus ride to the centre. His son pops into the centre when in England and is so grateful for the care they give, and happy that Ron is still able to enjoy his days there.

Doorstep Homeless Families Project, London

Doorstep provides homeless families living in temporary accommodation with access to services to enjoy a good quality of life.

A diabetic mother, seven months pregnant and with a six-year-old daughter, was referred to the charity for help and support. She had come from abroad, had separated from her husband, had no recourse to benefits, and was destitute and depressed. The charity provided her with food, clothing, furnishings for her room, toys for her child and help with travel fares to health appointments.

She has since given birth to another daughter and now makes full use of all the services on a daily basis, including the crèche, after-school club and the summer programme. Both the mother and her older daughter have formed supportive friendships with other adults and children in the hostel.

“Just one thanks is not enough,” she says.

The BUILD Charity, Norfolk

BUILD provides social, leisure and learning opportunities for people with sensory, physical or learning disabilities

‘Tom’, in his 30s, is learning disabled and visually impaired. He lives with his parents, who are his principal carers. Threatening incidents towards him had led to Tom becoming reclusive. He would not leave the house, and initially rejected opportunities offered through BUILD Charity as it meant mixing with other people.

Tom was persuaded to join in a gardening and farming project, a small supported drop-in where he could work at his own pace. He then joined a social club with people he felt safe with, heritage and cultural activities and a Sunday Lunch Club. He formed a personal relationship, and plans to move to supported accommodation with his partner using independent living skills acquired through the BUILD Charity's Skills for Life programme.

Due to BUILD and its volunteers, Tom’s world has expanded and he is no longer living in a high state of anxiety.

Bath City Farm, Bath

The mission at Bath City Farm is to build a caring, healthy and cohesive community through the involvement of local people.

Peter, aged 67, volunteers at the farm. Difficult events, including relationship breakdown, family estrangement and untreated bipolar disorder led Peter to self-medicate. Feeling isolated and lonely, Peter attempted suicide. Following time in psychiatric hospitals, Peter was brought to the farm and immediately felt the staff helped and understood him.

Peter feels that the fresh air and exercise is getting him fitter. He gets a great deal of satisfaction from weeding and seeing the fruits of his labour – beautifully planted flower and vegetable beds. Peter enjoys fundraising for the farm and has sold plants at all the produce markets.

“I had completely lost confidence and my life was closing in on me. The commitment I have made every week makes me feel really proud and I have claimed my confidence back,” he says.

The Open Door, Edinburgh

The Open Door aims to reduce isolation and loneliness by providing love, support, inclusion and a sense of community.

Doreen is a cheerful 88-year-old who loves to chat and sing. She struggles with preparing meals or dressing herself independently, lives alone and has no family nearby. Doreen has made many friends at The Open Door – someone telephones her every evening, which makes her feel loved and less alone. Her epilepsy, asthma, arthritis and heart failure have meant lots of time in hospital, but she has not been alone, with staff and volunteers visiting.

Doreen was unhappy with her accommodation – she shared a building with vulnerable adults with substance misuse issues and often felt frightened. The Open Door referred her to an advocacy organisation, which helped her move to a sheltered housing complex with social activities.

“I don’t know what I would do or where I would be without The Open Door. It’s my life,” she says.

4 Winds, Cardiff

4Winds is a user-led, open-access mental health resource helping people work towards recovery.

‘J’ was struggling – he was depressed, had a gambling addiction and associated problems with alcohol, managing money, looking after his physical health and maintaining a daily routine. He was socially isolated and had no contact with any family members. He had lived for 27 years in a privately rented bedsit in an overcrowded house with shared facilities and an abusive landlord.

J had negative experiences of other support services, but 4Winds opened up a whole new world for him, where he began to see hope and opportunity.

Since accessing the centre six months ago, J is moving to a supported flat, is better at budgeting and managing his health, enjoys regular socialising and is an engaging member of the centre. The opportunity to both give and receive support has increased J’s confidence and he is becoming an ‘involvement champion’ for 4Winds.

Or watch our video to find out how the local organisations we’ve helped this year are putting their funding to good use.