Mind the Poverty Gap.

Thanks to you, our friends, clients, colleagues – and even some commuters! – we managed to raise an astonishing amount in Phil’s memory, which was donated to Emmaus Bolton for them to spend on projects either locally or further afield. The Emmaus community in Bolton is self-sufficient thanks to their own retail premises, but Phil’s fund is extra money which we’ve asked them to distribute as they see fit, as they are far better placed than we are to know exactly whose need is greatest. Phil was a great admirer of Emmaus’ work – particularly because he was always a big fan of giving people a leg up when they needed one. Though the fundraising page is now closed, you can read more about it here (www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mindthegap) and Emmaus Bolton will never turn away new donations!

The final total was £6835.00, made up of the following:

£5620 – JustGiving crowdfunding

£715 – Funeral collection

£500 – Donation from Lloyds Bank Bolton

Here’s how the money has been spent so far…

Phil’s Solidarity Fund

In administering the fund we have made a deliberate and conscious effort to ensure that grants have been made, not only to worthy causes, but also to provide long-term or legacy funding.

The grant strands are;

  • Homelessness (H)
  • Asylum seekers and refugees (A)
  • The reduction of poverty (P)

To date the following grants have been made;

City of Sanctuary (HAP)

£1000 has been ring-fenced to assist with the provision of a night shelter for failed asylum seekers in Bolton.

If the Bolton MBC or Bolton at Home provide appropriate housing the night shelter does not need the grant will be used to provide essential household items.

Destitution Project (HAP)

A grant of £500 was given. This paid for a support worker to complete the Home Office Immigration and Asylum Seekers Advisor course. This allows them to act and advise.

A small balance bought some recreational furniture for Projects delivery centre.

Bolton Community Kitchen (HP)

A grant of £650 will pay for the rental of a kitchen to provide a Monday night drop in feeding service for homeless and destitute people in Bolton for 12 months.

Bolton Mutual Aid Centre (AP)

A grant of £600 will provide for the expenses relating to the provision of English lessons for non English speaking people living in Bolton for a 12 month period.

Lend with Care (P)

£500 grant has been match funded from the Community Solidarity fund. This provides a number of micro finance loans to entrepreneurs in third world countries. As loans are repaid further loans are made. To-date 42 loans have assisted 326 entrepreneurs, 1234 family members and created 47 new jobs.  www.lendwithcare.org

We are continuing to seek further local charities or groups that meet the agreed criteria.

Tony Stephenson, Emmaus Bolton, 07/10/16

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