05:00PM, Monday 03 January 2022
Every year, the Louis Baylis Trust supports many charities across the Royal Borough – and this year is no exception, with COVID-19 still very much affecting fundraising.
“Events have been cancelled and a lot of charities have struggled,” said trustee Peter Sands.
“Our income isn’t what it used to be but we will distribute everything we can.”
The largest donation this funding round is £13,500 to Citizens Advice East Berkshire (CAEB).
The Louis Baylis Trust is its biggest independent funder.
CAEB supported around 4,750 people from Windsor and Maidenhead in the past year, helping people to write off debt, or manage finances. It saved clients around £2.1m overall last year.
Swan Lifeline is one of the smaller beneficiaries this year.
The rescue centre will use its £1,500 donation to resurface its swan pens.
The charity has struggled not being able to hold its usual bazaars to raise money. These also let people see the facilities it has for its 180 swans, raising awareness.
Next year, Swan Lifeline will begin on a project with Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) getting vulnerable students to come and help make a new ‘in between pen’ for cygnets aged six to eight weeks.
Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS) is planning to use its funding from the Trust (£2,000) for seated exercises for people with dementia.
“The sessions get people out and about and into a friendly group,” said Nysa Harris, the director of operations at ADS.
“Secondly, it gives them a place for formal exercise, to stretch their body safely. It’s guided, controlled, static movements.
“People with dementia can be very sedentary and wouldn’t be able to take part in a regular aerobics or yoga class.”
Carers – many of whom are older people themselves – can also benefit from the classes.
Re:Charge R&R (Restore & Revive) works with families in the Maidenhead to provide help with parenting, stress and difficulties with home life.
Pre COVID it was running three family drop-ins around Maidenhead, and one for vulnerable adults. It began supporting people via Zoom and WhatsApp when face-to-face groups closed.
Trustee Sarah France says the WhatsApp group has proved ‘invaluable’.
“There are some people who find getting themselves out of bed, showered and out the house is too much,” she said.
As such, it has continued the WhatsApp group, even after bringing back face-to-face groups.
Louis Baylis trust funding (£3,000) is unrestricted and helps with its core costs, such as paying staff.
“Without this money, there would be no Re:Charge,” said Sarah.
“Three out of four of our staff used to be clients. They have lived it and they are in the best place to help.”
These staff create a consistent presence and allow
clients, who are often using the service for years, to feel safe and understood.
To learn more about the Louis Baylis Trust, visit baylis-trust.org.uk