Christmas has come early for Bristol Children’s Charity after receiving a £2,500 donation from a local housebuilder.
The Bristol Children’s Charity was founded in the mid-1970s to help disadvantaged children under-16 in the city - although this has since been raised to 18.
Its first venture was to collect toys at Christmas for half a dozen local children’s homes. Soon after, the premature baby unit at Southmead Hospital was desperately seeking a special piece of equipment to give a young born the chance of life, for which the charity raised the £10,000 needed.
Over the past four decades, the charity has helped thousands of youngsters, sometimes with equipment, or with money to round off someone else’s fundraising.
From the outset trustees agreed every penny raised would go to the charity and that the committee would meet all the other running costs out of their own pockets. Although modified over the years, that remains a firm principle to this day.
Staff from Barratt David Wilson Homes, based at headquarters in Bradley Stoke, presented the charity with a donation to enable it to continue with its Educational Fund, buy items such as school uniforms, travel passes, tablets/laptops and stationery and fund school trips for those less fortunate.
Granville Jenkins, Chairman of the Bristol Children’s Charity, said: “With the effects of austerity, rising fuel bills and wage freezes for example, we are finding that more and more families are asking for our help. Even those who aren’t usually on our radar are now coming forward.
“The donation means the world to our Trustees – it has provided us with a real lifeline during particularly hard times where fundraising is becoming more difficult by the day.
“The charity is run by unpaid volunteers who are committed to do the best for our unfortunate children in the BS postcode areas and that will never change – I’m sure it’s one of the very good reasons why the local business community has got behind us.
“We’re finding our traditional fundraising events throughout the year are yielding less and less from the general public because families are feeling the economic squeeze. Thanks to Barratt David Wilson Homes, more of the less fortunate children in our local area will get the help they need to improve their lives which we couldn’t do without this support.”
Ethan Lindley from Stockwood is one of many children to have benefitted from the charity’s support this year. A promising computer graphics student, Ethan is a carer for his mother and brother who has cerebral palsy, autism, cerebral visual impairment, sensory issues and epilepsy.
Because of his caring responsibilities, he has been unable to find a part time job to fund a computer he vitally needed to continue with his studies so the charity stepped in and agreed to fund it for him.
Louise Ware, sales director at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West, added: “We understand how reliant charities are for funding.
“As the country’s largest housebuilder, we are committed to creating positive legacies in our local communities.
“It was a pleasure to make this donation which we know will make a huge difference to the countless children - like Ethan - the charity supports.”
Bristol Children’s Charity will hold its flagship annual fundraiser at the Marriott Royal Hotel in Bristol on December 5 - an event that helps raise anything from around £7,000 - £10,000 and generates huge awareness about its vital work in the city.