If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the many bequests listed in local churches, for good works in Dartmouth, then rest assured those funds continue to form the basis for much of the charitable work that takes place today by Dartmouth United Charities.
While many of the names may be forgotten their bequests continue to provide shelter and to do good works for those in need in Dartmouth.
Now largely funded from income raised by the Dartmouth Trust’s activities, Dartmouth United Charities’ main purpose is the provision of almshouse accommodation for those in need who have lived in Dartmouth for at least 2 years. The aim is to provide convenient and comfortable accommodation in a setting which enables residents to come and go as they please.
Dartmouth United Charities currently has 19 units, all self-contained, unfurnished dwellings with bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. This accommodation is generously subsidised by the Dartmouth United Charities, thanks to the Dartmouth Trust’s annual allocation. The Residents pay a modest monthly charge which covers accommodation, gas CH, water, TV licence, buildings and contents insurance, alarm and fire protections service, upkeep of communal areas and all maintenance/repairs required. Residents must pay their own electrical, telephone and council tax charges and also keep their flats in good decorative order internally.
An additional important form of safety and security for residents is the support from the part-time warden/caretaker. Emergency call systems are also provided in all units to enable help to be summoned in an emergency. The residents enjoy warm, well maintained flats free from the worry of increasing fuel prices and maintenance matters. Residents also have access to short-stay, en-suite accommodation for visiting friends and family and the use of fully equipped laundries.
Mrs Bell, a long standing resident said, “I have lived here for over 10 years and feel very lucky to have been given a flat. It’s a happy atmosphere with the other residents and I really enjoy living here. Any maintenance matters are dealt with very quickly. I think Dartmouth United Charities are marvellous. They deserve praise.”
Dartmouth United Charities further purpose is to provide grants to individuals in need, who live in Dartmouth. These are either cash grants or payment for services to reduce their need. Funds can also be made available to organisations that provide assistance to local people.
A recent example of such funding is a grant of £20,000 to Dartmouth Caring to assist in their delivery of services for the community.
Chairman Debbie Morris said: “We have provided a variety of discreet support over the past few years for those with mental health issues; specific projects organised by local schools and sports clubs, supported youth involvement for the Dart Music Festival and assisted the work of Dartmouth Caring and Citizens Advice Bureau. This year, we have joined forces with Dartmouth Caring to provide them with resources to meet applications from the community as Dartmouth Caring are at the receiving end of genuine requests for help by local people in need.”
“Our Scheme enables us to provide such support and we have been impressed by the work of Dartmouth Caring. We are confident the grant will be used wisely to provide support to local people in need and look forward to hearing from Dartmouth Caring about their work. We will over time be reviewing any continuing demand for this kind of support”
Dee Nutt of Dartmouth Caring said: “This is a new development between Dartmouth Caring and Dartmouth United Charities and we are delighted to have their generous contribution to our ‘Community Fund’ which we can apply to assist in reducing the needs or hardship of people in the Dartmouth community. Our work continues as always but now with greater resources available for the benefit of the people of Dartmouth.”
First Published April 2011 By The Dart