PHILANTHROPY IN ACTION: OFFER TRAINING & WORK OPPORTUNITIES
The North Devon and Somerset Relief Fund was set up in 1952 with over £1.25 million raised by the public following the Lynton and Lynmouth flood disaster, where after a day of torrential rain 34 people lost their lives. Hundreds of people were left homeless, those with houses were without water, gas or electricity. Boats in the harbour were washed out to sea and four main road bridges were swept away.
Hundreds of grants were awarded to help local people rebuild their communities with new social and recreational facilities, as well as supporting environmental measures to prevent further flooding. In 2008, the trustees of the original fund decided to transfer the remaining assets to Devon and Somerset Community Foundations so that it could continue to support educational, social and environmental projects for disadvantaged local people with small grants forever.
Jigsaw Furniture Project
Having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life, helping to build confidence and raise aspirations, but many people are unable to access the opportunities to help them learn new skills. A lack of qualifications in an already competitive work market can lead to limited employment prospects, often having a negative effect on wellbeing.
Jigsaw is a furniture restoration project offering a working environment with structure, support and meaningful occupation for vulnerable and isolated people. The North Devon Relief Fund gave a grant of £853 to support volunteers by providing the opportunity to upskill and gain qualifications helping to secure paid employment, as well as improving their wellbeing and life prospects.
“I do not know where I would be if it was not for Jigsaw, as I have depression. Jigsaw is somewhere I can come and forget. I owe them a big thank you for all that they have done for me.”