DPA Open Meeting - Monday 11 October 2021
Published on: 14th October 2021
16th February 2021
We are seeing a surge in the number of requests for grants now, stimulated by our circulation round all the local agencies about our new fuel grant. This is a £100 grant paid direct to the person needing it at the request of a professional who knows their circumstances. it is proving very popular and very necessary. The need for funds to meet fuel bills can become urgent and as a small organisation we are often able to respond more quickly than public bodies, but, as well as making the grant promptly, we are taking the opportunity to remind people that they may be eligible for a fuel grant from the Council, via Citizens’ Advice, if they have children at home, or if they are over 50, from government funding through Dorset Community Foundation. We have heard of some very tough situations that local people are trying to cope with at this cold and wet time of year in the midst of a strict lockdown. It is very satisfying to feel that, in a small way, and because of the tremendous generosity of local people, we are able to help. We will review the fuel grant at the end of March and see if we should continue it or perhaps re-start it next winter.
There was an appeal in the Echo for help to provide computers for the students of local schools who are home-schooling and do not have the equipment or adequate internet access. We worked with Emma Scott at the Town Council to find out what schools were still in this need. Through her research the town schools received a generous grant from the Ashley Churchill Trust so we did a little research in the DT2 schools and found that Puddletown Middle School has a significant shortage of computers for its pupils studying at home and we have therefore agreed to send them £2,000 to help out. We have also just written to the DT2 first schools to remind them that we are here and can help if their families are suffering a financial crisis.
Financially, we have still continued to receive generous donations, not as many as at Christmas but still more than usual at this time of year. We are about to spend the grant we received from Dorset Community Foundation, specifically to help people affected by Covid-19, by purchasing another £5,000-worth of Coop gift cards. We thought that £10 on each card is now hardly enough to be helpful so we are increasing that to £15.
In March we will send out an update and thank you to all the Parish Magazines whose November entry on our behalf produced such a wealth of donations. We want everyone to know the outcome of their generosity and to encourage them to continue to support the work of DPA.
Thank you all for your support and we hope that lockdown will soon be eased.
Don’t forget that at least the coffee morning is booked at the United Church on Saturday July 3rd
The trustees of DPA