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22 December 2020

Local Investment Firm makes charitable Christmas Gifts

Investment management firm, Redmayne Bentley based in Preston, Hitchin have made Christmas donations to eight charities.

Miles Beharrell, Head of Office explained the reasoning behind the initiative:
“Under normal circumstances we are cheery and enthusiastic senders of charity Christmas cards, however given the exceptional year that has been 2020, we decided this was the year to look afresh.

“This has been an incredibly tough and demanding year for many in society, and especially so charities, who have been hugely constrained in their fundraising activities due to the wretched pestilence that has befallen us all. The pressure is however even more acute, as many of these very same charities have seen increased demand for their services and resources – the stock market equivalent of falling sales and rising costs - a financial model that we normally try our best to avoid.

“This prompted me to ask my colleagues Jacqui, Lamorna, Mark and Ed for their personal views on worthy charities to whom we will be donating our normal Christmas budget and an additional meaningful contribution.”

Miles continued:
“It has been a hugely rewarding experience for us to approach this very different year, differently; and an enriching experience to learn about such amazing work done by so many others.

“We truly hope that the current light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter by the day.”

Charities selected by Miles Beharrell, Head of Office:
The Atlantic Challenge on the 12th December, three intrepid young women set off across 3000 miles of open ocean and two hour round the clock shifts in order to take on the world’s toughest row from La Gomera, Canary Islands to English Harbour, Antigua. The world record to row across the Atlantic is 29 days; the average is 60, and the longest 120. Between the two islands, Flo, Hannah and Georgie will be tested as a crew to the limits of physical and mental capabilities as this remarkable team push to be the youngest and fastest three women to ever row across the Atlantic Ocean. This amazing challenge and endeavour is raising funds for the following charitable causes. https://www.womeninsport.org/ The charity Women in Sport was founded in 1984, with the goal of giving every woman and girl in the UK the opportunity to experience the transformational rewards of sport. https://werow.co.uk/rowing-together-healthy-minds-turning-volume-discussing-mental-health (all donations to MIND) https://www.mind.org.uk A new mental health initiative for rowers and boat clubs across the UK backed by leading mental health charity MIND which aims to turn up the volume on discussing mental health.

Fishing for Schools was developed by world renowned fly fisherman Charles Jardine, who saw the potential for angling to educate and enrich learning. Since 2007, Fishing for Schools has taken young people out of the classroom and into the countryside, developing confidence and learning new skills. Fishing for Schools helps support children and young people with complex learning and physical disability needs. They also work with pupils who are experiencing barriers to learning from low aspirations to a fear of failure. Their work is also embracing the mental health sector; they are working with a number of groups within this sector and also local communities.

Charities selected by Jacqui Hartshorne, Investment Administrator:
Tibbs Dementia Foundation is a charity is very close to my heart as they have provided absolutely invaluable support to my parents over the last five years since my Mum's Alzheimer's diagnosis in the summer of 2015.  I have been along to some of their groups and events and am amazed at the wonderful work that they do and the community which they have created.  They provide a wide range of accessible and flexible groups in Bedfordshire for people in all stages of dementia, and those who support them.  They offer activities which provide cognitive and physical stimulation in a safe and supportive space - helping people with dementia to be themselves for as long as possible.  They challenge existing stereotypes of dementia which are often associated with the later stages of cognitive decline and focus on what people can still do and how they can use their skills and experiences together. They have a justgiving page to help raise funds during the Covid 19 crisis here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/TibbsCovid19.

St Elizabeth’s is a home and community for over 240 vulnerable adults and children living with profound disabilities.  Specialist care is provided for residents to live their lives to their fullest capacity. A team called Endurance Limits (www.endurancelimits.net) is taking on a challenge to row 2,700 miles across the toughest seas from Monterey, California to Honolulu, Hawaii in 2021.  This is also a World Record attempt by the team of four rowing two hours on, two hours off for 24 hours a day, for however long it takes - hopefully less than 39 days to beat the existing World Record.  The Endurance Limits ocean row challenge is aiming to raise over £100,000 for the building of a hydrotherapy pool at St Elizabeth's.  The therapeutic benefits of a hydrotherapy pool on the premises will positively change many vulnerable lives every day.  These benefits include developing motor skills, relaxing and strengthening limbs and muscles, as well as being a welcome form of pain relief.  The enjoyment of being in the water is in itself priceless.  The sponsorship page for this event is here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/endurancelimitsrow. The Story of Endurance Limits is Hadley's story.  Hadley is a 14 year old boy who suffers profound physical and learning disabilities as a result of severe epilepsy from a young age.  He now lives at St. Elizabeth’s, with specialist care 24/7.  If you have time, read the story of how the inspirational Endurance Limits team was born out of pain and struggle, and how these friends began fundraising for change: www.endurancelimits.net/hadleys-story

Charities selected by Mark Waters, Investment Administrator
GRIT is a Small Hitchin based charity. A doctor led programme that combines non-contact boxing and other activities alongside coaching and mentoring and targeted at improving mental well-being of teenagers. Smoking, drinking and drug abuse among school pupils at an all-time low. On paper, young people are healthiest they’ve ever been. But the number of girls hospitalised after self-harm has quadrupled in past 10 years – since 2010/11 – roughly around the same time as a noticeable uptrend in the use of social media and availability of mobile devices.

Support Dogs trains dogs in order to assist people with medical conditions and disabilities. Specialist areas are Autism, seizure alert for people living with epilepsy and disability assistance. Autism dogs are trained to provide safety and to facilitate a more independent life for kids with autism and their family. They are able to provide comfort for the child as well as reduce behavioural outburst as well as preventing the child bolting off and causing injury. Dogs are also trained to give advance warning of up to nearly 50 mins on an impending epileptic seizure, thereby giving the individual time to find a safe environment. No personal connection with the work they do but always been blown away by the stories of what affect these dogs can have.

Charities selected by Ed Buckley, Investment Manager:
Drapers Maylands Primary School (DMPS): I can speak on a first-hand basis about DMPS in my capacity as a Governor with privileged (and confidential) information. I’m sure that it has been the same for many schools around the country. However, the issues in schools that are also in areas where there is extreme poverty are different and much more distressing. This is because the pandemic has caused extreme hardship in many homes due to a shortage of money (hence food), and in some cases families have broken up, there has been a high level of stress endured in many homes, and in some inevitably domestic violence. When many of the DMPS pupils come to school, the teachers have gone out of their way both to teach the children, but first and foremost to create a conducive atmosphere to learning. The pandemic has made this even more complex with children being taught in bubbles, and due to their home circumstances, some children have fallen badly behind with their learning, making collective teaching more challenging. In addition, without going into specifics, the senior management team at DMPS have spent much more time than before (a good chunk of their day) dealing with parents and their problems (as opposed to their children). Obviously, teachers are one of many frontline professions (along with health, supermarket, public transport workers etc) that have performed their job unquestioningly – they have all ‘done us proud’ and in many cases reinvoke the spirit of the blitz.
 
Charities selected by Lamorna Paling, Investment Administrator:
Young Carers Crew: My teenage daughter was telling me about her new friend at school who is a young carer, and what her day to day life is like, much harder than any 16 year old should have to contend with and she still finds time and energy to balance school work. The Young Carers’ Crew which is based in Stevenage runs groups for young carers in North Herts aged 8-18 offering respite and peer support.  www.young-carers-crew.org They do lots of creative activities as well as fun games and sport but mostly it allows the kids time to just be, make friends with others and find support when needed. 
 
Local Investment Firm makes charitable Christmas Gifts
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