7 amazing local charities and the work they do

PUBLISHED: 10:07 16 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:16 16 December 2016

Eamonn Holmes, Child Bereavement UK CEO Ann Chalmers, Gary Barlow and Child Bereavement UK Founder Patron, Julia Samuel (Photo by Tim Bradley)

Eamonn Holmes, Child Bereavement UK CEO Ann Chalmers, Gary Barlow and Child Bereavement UK Founder Patron, Julia Samuel (Photo by Tim Bradley)


You can show your care at Christmas with a donation to a charity supporting those who have lost loved ones, funding research or helping people facing traumatic times

There are those people who are difficult to buy for when it comes to Christmas gifts. They insist there’s nothing they need, and the truth is… they’re probably right. And then there are the treasured family and friends for whom you cannot choose a gift, as they are no longer with us.

A donation to charity, particularly one with local roots, is the perfect choice. You may well have particular causes close to your heart or that of the person on whose behalf you are making the donation. Here we feature some of the good causes which have appeared on our pages in recent times. They and others, would very much appreciate your gift this season.

As well as accepting donations, several also sell gifts and Christmas cards, so visit their websites and help support their campaigns, day-to-day running costs and the hard work of their volunteers. It’s the easiest ‘online shopping’ you’ll do this year, with the greatest rewards.

The Child Bereavement Trust

Singer-songwriter legend Gary Barlow has become a Patron of Child Bereavement UK. His support was announced at a lunch in aid of the charity based in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, which supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

The event at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate hotel was attended by around 450 supporters of the charity where Gary was being interviewed by Eamonn Holmes.

Gary and his wife Dawn’s baby daughter, Poppy, was stillborn in August 2012 A year ago Gary performed at Banqueting House in London for the charity’s 21st birthday celebration, in the presence of its Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Gary said: “I am delighted to help to raise the profile of Child Bereavement UK, a wonderful charity that provides vital support to bereaved families. Becoming a Patron is my way of saying thank for all the help Child Bereavement UK has given us and many other families going through the pain of bereavement.”

Child Bereavement UK offers support to bereaved children, young people and their families via its national helpline and from its Buckinghamshire base as well as in Cheshire, Cumbria, Buckinghamshire, Glasgow and London.

They rely solely on public support to provide accessible bereavement support and information to thousands of families each year.


Sue Ryder

The charity provides nursing, care, support and hospices, including the one at Nettlebed. A donation at Christmas could go a long way to supporting this. For instance, £16 could pay for one hour of incredible care for someone spending Christmas in one of their hospices. A session of bereavement counselling for someone struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one would be covered by £50, while £100 could pay for a home visit by a clinical nurse specialist to help a family spend Christmas at home together.


Thames Valley Hospice

The hospice supports people living in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire with expert care to adults who have a life-limiting illness, plus of course their families and carers.

They care for the physical, social and psychological needs of patients, not just the condition. Services include free of charge nursing and medical care in the hospice at Windsor, a Community Therapy Unit in Ascot and in patients’ homes, as well as practical and emotional support.

All this costs more than £7 million each year and around four-fifths of this has to come from charitable donations, with the remainder provided via the NHS. So every penny counts. Even just £5 covers the cost of a day’s freshly cooked meals for a patient, while £24 provides an hour of physiotherapy. A donation of £110 could pay for a staff nurse to work for a day.


South Bucks Hospice

You may have just read our feature on life at South Bucks Hospice, it starts on page 72. With the development of a new hospice at High Wycombe every donation has even more importance as there are the day-to-day costs to cover while this major project progresses.

You can send a cheque made payable to South Bucks Hospice to Pusey House, 9a Amersham Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP13 6PN. Or simply text SBHN15 plus either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5, or £10 to 70070.


Alexander Devine’s Children’s Hospice

Berkshire’s Children’s Hospice Service is building the county’s very own children’s hospice at White Waltham for local families, which will be supported by a home care team.

It already funds Alexander’s Nurses who support families across Berkshire in their own homes, providing much needed respite, palliative care, emotional and practical support.

Via their website it’s possible to use BT’s MyDonate and Virgin Money Giving and you can text a donation with JustTextGiving. Simply text ADCH25 followed by the amount you wish to donate (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070. You will receive a text confirmation and Gift Aid instructions. All texts are free and up to £30 per day can be donated.

Cheques should be made payable to ‘Alexander Devine’ and sent to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, 15 Grove Park Business Estate, Waltham Road, White Waltham, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 3LW. Bank transfers to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service require sort code 40-47-37, account number 01373145.


Sebastian’s Action Trust

The trust supports families of seriously-ill children from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond by listening and responding to their unmet needs. In particular it helps families of seriously-ill children to have quality time together to relax, recharge and rebuild, never having to face life alone.

There is a purpose-built holiday home for children with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses, giving them the opportunity for a respite break with family and loved ones.

You can make a one off or monthly donation to the trust through Virgin Money Giving or a donation via text by sending HERE10 and the amount (eg £5) to 70070. Send cheques made payable to Sebastian’s Action Trust to Sebastian’s Action Trust, Unit 8, Tanners Yard, London Road, Bagshot, GU19 5HD.


Brain Tumour Research

The charity based at Shenley Wood, Milton Keynes, has grown into an umbrella organisation for various good causes, including those originally set up in memory of lost children.

It is now a national brain tumour charity with a funding strategy to support long-term, life-saving, sustainable research at UK-based Centres of Excellence. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of UK children and adults yet receive just 1% of the national spend on cancer research. Their aim is to #FundTheFight together and ultimately find a cure.


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