We are delighted to be continue our support to Improving Lives Plymouth as our Charity of the Year for 2021.
Improving Lives Plymouth
Improving Lives Plymouth is a charity that work within the city of Plymouth and the surrounding area. The charity focus is to support and inspire local people to improve their health and wellbeing. They have a hub in Mannamead specialising in providing health and wellbeing services and a city centre hub for families and veterans. The services they provide include:
• Better Futures – where they enable individuals to develop skills to live independently.
• Active For All – they support and promote inclusive physical activity in adults with disabilities and long term health conditions.
• Sensory Solutions – they make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of people with sensory loss.
• Long Term Conditions Self-Management – they empower people living with long term physical or low level mental health conditions to better manage their condition.
• Information and Advice – they run Advice Plymouth a casework and drop in service in partnership with Citizens Advice Plymouth.
• Caring For Carers – they provide support to those who care for others.
• Veterans and their Families Hub – they provide social activity, peer support and mentoring, casework, support for older carers. Working with a range of organisations in the city to shape better pathways to employment, mental wellbeing, welfare, housing advice and financial information.
In 2018/19 Improving Lives Plymouth supported over 20,000 local people by providing information, advice and practical support.
Inner City Schools
One in eight schools in the UK do not have a library and children in areas of deprivation are twice as likely to not have access to a library.
Plymouth is one of the lowest funded areas in the country and our inner-city schools are home to some very deprived children and families. They have limited opportunities to access quality reading literature and thus to develop an ability to read for pleasure. As a result their reading and writing skills, enjoyment of reading and general academic achievement suffers greatly. This has a drastic impact on their communication and comprehension skills and can limit their opportunities in later life. As Cressida Cowell has commented, ”inequality in library provision is a social mobility time bomb.”
At present it is not compulsory for schools to have a library (despite it being so for prisons). This might not be as grave a concern for children who have books at home but in some less fortunate areas of the city, many children do not have access to quality children’s books at home and as such they can only turn to school libraries, which often aren’t there or are ill-equipped at best due to a lack of funding. It has been proven that children who know how to browse and choose books, and read widely and often, benefit from a reservoir of knowledge and understanding that they will draw on as they encounter the curriculum. Michael Rosen, the popular children’s author has commented that “we urgently need libraries in all our schools for all of our children“.
We are looking to raise funds to help local schools increase their books and reading resources in a bid to bridge the inequality of access and opportunity to the children of Plymouth.
As a result of the pandemic we have made the decision to continue our support to both Improving Lives Plymouth and inner city schools.
Our Charity of the Year for 2018 was St Luke's Hospice Plymouth.
St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is an independent charity providing specialist care and support to people with progressive life-limiting illnesses in Plymouth, South West Devon and East Cornwall. They believe that everyone deserves quality end of life care, no matter where.
Last year they cared for over 3,531 people in the local community who are living with a life-limiting illness. This specialist care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists to patients and their families at home, at Derriford Hospital or at their specialist unit at Turnchapel.
They are dedicated to ensuring that everyone in their community is educated and informed when it comes to end of life care. The education team engage with the local community in an effort to train and empower individuals and organisations to work in partnership to provide excellent care in all environments and across all services.
In the Summer of 2019, the city saw Elmer’s Big Parade, an incredible fundraising campaign that saw 40 unique elephant sculptures parading around Plymouth. Each sculpture was proudly sponsored by local organisations or individuals. We proudly sponsored ‘Ellie-Mentary’ painted by the incredible Mik Richardson. After the parade, all sculptures were auctioned off with all money going to St Luke’s Hospice.
We also attended the Men’s Day Out, Midnight Walk, Tour De Moor and took part in the Make a Will Week. As well as this, we held our own events from bake sales to skydives. We are incredibly proud to announce that our staff raised £15,000 for our Charity of the Year this year.
- Simon Parford, Partner in the Medical Negligence Department, is a Director and Trustee of Headway Plymouth and the Chestnut Appeal for Men's Health, a local charity promoting awareness of and helping those who suffer from prostate, testicular and penile cancer.
- Samantha Buckthought, Head of the Wills & Trust Department, is an advisor to Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance and is on the advisory board for Veterans with Dogs.
- Vikki Martin, Head of Family Department, is a Trustee for First Light; a charity based in the South West supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
- Karen Walker, Personal Injury Department, is a Director of Headway Plymouth.
- Craig Butler, an Associate of the firm and a Solicitor in the Serious Injury team is a Chairman at Headway Plymouth.
- Helena Campbell, Medical Negligence Department, is a Chair on the Board of Trustees and Director for Veterans With Dogs, a local charity providing assistance dogs and support for veterans with PTSD. Helena is also the South West Ambassador for the Meningitis Research Foundation and is a befriender supporting families affected by meningitis during their hospital stay, their recovery or following the loss of a loved one.