Newsletter while we are unable to meet - July 2020


19th July 2020

The DPA Trustees have just met again – this time in Wendy’s garden overlooking the water meadows. We are pleased to be able to tell you that we now have a new treasurer. His expertise is in finance and governance – the two skills we have been short of on the trustee body. He is looking forward to meeting you all when we can eventually meet together again. Meanwhile, we will arrange for him to meet with our assistant treasurers so that all three can form a strong financial team.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 5th at 7pm (preceded by a trustee meeting) and all being well, we can definitely meet then. Dorford Centre suggests they give us the coffee lounge so that we can still spread out safely. We will not hold an open meeting in October and we still hope that it may be possible to go ahead with the cream tea at Puddletown on September 20th but we will let you know.

Dorset Reclaim has re-opened and they are very busy. The Dorchester branch does not at present have its own manager but it is hoped that that will soon be remedied. We continue to work closely with them, Citizens Advice, Health Visitors, etc. As they all gradually return to more normal working, so the number of grant requests are going up, keeping the grants team busy. We bought £10 Coop vouchers at the beginning of June and still have some of those left for agencies working with clients in urgent need.

The annual accounts for the last financial year are now completed and have been independently examined and sent to the Charity Commission. Our finances are satisfactory at present but, with an expected rise in the demand for grants and the lack of any of our fund-raising events, we need to continue to keep in the public eye and encourage donations as much as we possibly can. We have written messages of appreciation to as many as possible of the people who donate regularly.

You may have seen the return of homeless people on our streets now that they are no longer housed in local guest houses, but several have used the time effectively to engage with help and advice and are now being housed. The Storehouse Church in Dorchester has decided to go ahead with the changes they were making before lockdown – putting in a shower and freezer and larger cooking and storage facilities – and the Street Homeless Outreach Team from Julian’s House are very interested in possibly working from there in future.

Dorchester Family Support and their team of volunteers continue to work to provide food for families whose children are eligible for free school meals during the summer holiday. It is now a registered charity and was formerly known as the School Holiday Lunch Club. There are 181 families registered for their help this month. Many of those will get the vouchers that the government has promised (£15 per child per week, which, though it is very welcome, is not much to feed active children) but we hope that the vouchers and some food parcels may enable them to have a better, healthier summer.

We hope you are all well and have not had too difficult a time during this long lockdown and we look forward to resuming fund-raising events when that is safe and practicable.

The Trustees


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