At Dartmouth Caring’s AGM it celebrated a year of growth and success during which its chairwoman was awarded an MBE .
In 2014-15 the charity has gone from strength to strength, recruited an extra support worker, and seen a 20 per cent increase in its services within the local community. From its small office in the town centre it provided 15,979 acts of support in the last year, including home visits and regular contact; 1:1 support; transport to medical appointments by volunteer drivers; shopping; befriending; lunch clubs; Memory Cafes; dementia support; carers’ support; young carers’ group; welfare, benefits and money advice; and health advice. Dee Nutt MBE, chair of the trustees, said: “We have had a very busy 2014-15. For a small charity we continue to have an impact on our community. “Looking after the vulnerable and elderly is very rewarding and we continue to work hard on ensuring the charity is sustainable. We have a rolling programme of bids to trusts and charitable organisations but we are one of many charities going for the same pot of money. “I appreciate all who help us either financially, or practically, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for this support. In particular we thank our volunteers without whom we couldn’t achieve all we do.” The last year saw recognition of Dartmouth Caring’s work, most notably in the New Year’s Honours List. Mrs Dee Nutt, chair since 2006, was awarded an MBE for her work in the voluntary sector. Alison Stocks, the charity’s manager and coordinator, said: “This was a fantastic recognition of Dee’s work. We all felt very proud and Dee kindly gave everyone credit in the charity for its provision to our community.”
Other awards to the charity in 2014-15 included a Small is Beautiful award at the inaugural South West Impact Awards, organised by South West Forum; a Blue Shield award for the Team Carers Category at a ceremony hosted by Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care; and the Dartmouth Lloyds Bank Community Fund Award. Alison added: “Life continues to be busy for the charity, which is now 27 years old since it first started.. “In 2014-15, Dartmouth Caring staff and volunteers, including our joint bridge worker role with the NHS, provided 2567 home visits and 3954 follow up contacts to vulnerable adults; 31043 miles of subsidised volunteer driver transport and at least 9900 hours of volunteer time, approximately 190 hours a week. “We remain as official partners of the Citizens Advice Bureau and also the Department of Work and Pensions. We continue to be trained and up-to-date on welfare and benefit needs.”
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP is a supporter of Dartmouth Caring. She said: “Since becoming an MP I have been extraordinarily impressed by the work of Dartmouth Caring. This inspirational charity, whose volunteers work alongside health and social care, transforms people’s lives, helping them to remain independent in their own homes. “Dartmouth Caring truly lives up to its name with its personal and local approach.” Dartmouth Caring volunteer Muriel Costain said: “Dartmouth Caring is a fantastic charity with many strings to its bow of help and support, the scope of which people don’t realise until they have been involved with it in some way or other. I feel very fortunate to be part of the organisation and a great team.”
The charity is in need of volunteers for various roles please contact the office for further details, volunteer drivers are reimbursed 45p per mile.