Historic charity fund provides early Christmas gift for Tamworth residents

Wednesday, 5th December 2018

CHRISTMAS has come early for Tamworth residents facing financial hardship thanks to the Tamworth Municipal Charities fund.

Five residents and two good causes have benefited from the latest round of grants which had £2,000 to give away to local people in need and the charities and organisations which support them.

The money will be used to purchase domestic home appliances for the residents and to help fund vital projects supporting vulnerable children and adults in the area.

Among the beneficiaries, £200 was granted to Home Start towards the cost of providing a Christmas lunch for homeless young mothers and their babies and £300 was given to the Make Lunch project which provides hot meals and fun activities to families in need during school holidays. For more information visit Make Lunch Stonydelph on Facebook.

Dawn Candy, Director of Operations at Home Start, said: “We are going to use the charity funding to purchase items to complement the Christmas lunch our staff and volunteers are cooking for the young mums who live with us here at ‘Number Eight’. This will not only be the first Christmas they have been mums, but also the first time they have lived away from family.”

Tamworth Municipal Charities is an historic fund which was set up by philanthropists in 1868 to help relieve financial hardship for people at a time when state-assistance was non-existent.

During the past 150 years, the fund, which is run by Tamworth Borough Council, has provided financial aid to those in need, typically awarding grants of between £100 and £500. Originally this took the form of cash handouts, but has also included the provision of washing machines, cookers, disabled aids, help towards the cost of visiting relatives in hospital, or respite care.

The funds are created from the authority’s returns on investments and are allocated on an annual basis, with around £2,000 being donated each year. The board of trustees consider requests for help from people in need who live in Tamworth, or from organisations which offer help and support to those in need.

Last year’s beneficiaries included the RAF Association, the Heart of Tamworth charity towards the cost of providing Christmas Day and Easter lunches for homeless or isolated people, the Friends of Spital Chapel to help fund the installation of a toilet, the Starfish Project and Tamworth’s Darby and Joan Club. Grant applications from individual residents are also encouraged.

Anica Goodwin, Tamworth Borough Council’s Executive Director Organisation and Secretary of Tamworth Municipal Charities, said: “This charity fund is a lasting legacy from the town’s ancestors and has helped hundreds of people and organisations over the years. While it’s only relatively small, the fund can make a huge difference to those in need. This year we are delighted to have been able to help five individual residents pay for desperately-needed home appliances and to assist some truly worthwhile causes which play an important role in supporting people who need that extra bit of help.”