The past year has seen our charity working on a very tight budget, which some people might also describe as a “wing and a prayer”.
We are still functioning – albeit on a shoestring budget – thanks to some small but much needed grants, donations and time given by our volunteers.
Our members should all have their membership renewal and AGM forms by now. We have deliberately kept our membership at £3 per annum, and that is because we recognise that money is tight everywhere.
Our AGM is on 15 December at 1100 hrs at our Bridge of Don office.
Big charities are able to advertise, tug at heartstrings and use marketing people to increase their presence on the “Charity High Street”. Our charity is of a type that has suffered because we are not fashionable. TV, media and newspapers have, over the last 8 years attacked the disabled, poor and those in crisis, with some success unfortunately, as “frauds and charlatans”.
When someone is in a very difficult situation, disabled, and facing the mountain of DWP paperwork, official interviews and assessments that all seem to be racked up against the person needing help, there are very few organisations to turn to for help. That reality is never more sudden than when serious illness, accident or genetics kick-in.
Our organisation is neither fashionable nor tugging at heartstrings. We do what is necessary to help people.
Disabled people in physical terms have always been discriminated against for employment, access, equal rights but nowadays it seems we are returning to an age of harsh & bitter populist ideology, which is expressed by vocal non–disabled politicians and rabble–rousers, simply means that people do question what it is that we do, and why should they give their money to us.
Local charities and organisations refer their clients to us, to save them money. Filling out forms correctly takes time and knowledge, and many organisations prefer to hive off that part of their work to us. Our books are getting filled with referrals, especially from official sources who see us as a cheap way of dealing with ‘difficult’ clients. We also get no remuneration from those sources to help us perform that function for them.
We largely help navigate DWP forms and assist claimants with their entitlements and rights. We also have areas for quiet reading, games, music, and video–gaming suitable for our clients in a non-threatening social setting, and of course tea and biscuits.
All of this requires money for utilities and that means at the moment very tight budgeting.
I recently wrote a blog piece on Gift Giving. http://www.aberdeenaction.com/off-topic-2/gift-giving/
This is a direct appeal to all our readers and those who can help us. Give what you can this winter or at any time of year, to help us through next year, because no–one knows what the future has in store.
Someday you might be phoning and asking for our help as you pore over the confusing and lengthy forms from the DWP. Help us to help all our clients, present and future, by the act of simply giving us a donation or grant.
We usually find that all those who have suddenly been subject to disease, trauma, accident, or just need that extra advice when their condition deteriorates, are grateful for a service like ours.
Nobody is exempt from life’s lottery, but we can help soften the blow by helping to navigate what are your rights and entitlements.
How you donate is up to you, but, please donate now to ensure our service continues for all disabled.
The Co-op Local Community Fund states “Every time our members shop at Co-op, 1% of what they spend on selected own-branded products and services goes to help fund community projects where they live. We also give all money raised from shopping bag sales to our causes, to help even more.
The Co-op, Scotstown Road Bridge of Don has donated the sum of £2175.61p to our charity.
We are truly grateful to the people of Bridge of Don and the surrounding area for their support.
Please continue to support us, either directly or nominate and vote for our charity in similar schemes.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.