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This month carehome.co.uk explores the role of the Care Professionals Benevolent Fund (CPBF), and its ongoing contribution to care sector issues.
Founded in 2009, the Care Workers Charity is committed to “caring for the carer”, offering financial advice and guidance through times of hardship.
Established in collaboration with thirteen care home providers, together with Boots UK, in its short lifetime the CPBF has been widely active in stimulating care sector charity work, inspiring fundraising projects and regional events throughout the UK.
Valuing the contribution made by both current and former care workers to the lives of society’s most vulnerable individuals, the CPBF helps carers to avoid becoming victims of circumstance themselves.
Clients and the families of service users who feel inspired to give something back to the care community are able to set up a pledge donation on the charity’s website and also via justgiving.com, while the charity can also advise on how to leave a gift in an existing will.
Chairman Robin Cheesman says: “I see my role to involve as many care operators in supporting the work of the charity in the coming year. The CPBF is there as a safety net for carers in trouble, and it is essential that the industry supports these people in their time of need. Without them the care sector would not be able to operate.
“Any care home can help by getting their homes registered or involved in an event or campaign. Be it a lunch or fete, the annual tea party or a sponsored walk, please help us to raise the profile of the charity by joining in – your involvement can really make a difference.”
CPBF Summer Ball: Being held at London’s Plaisterers’s Hall, this exquisite event of fine dining and entertainment has been organised to raise a vital contribution to the CPBF fund. Attendees will have the chance to bid for auction items that have been donated by the charity’s benefactors.
‘Let’s Do Lunch’: The charity is encouraging everyone involved in care provision to organise lunch events, a fun and simple means of fundraising that care home residents and their families can join in with. Fundraising packs are available and ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ events can be registered on the charity’s website.
Eager for care services to embrace the campaign, CPBF spokesman Shaun Turner commented: “We receive heartbreaking pleas for help on a daily basis. Sometimes all it takes is a very small change in circumstances to tip the balance and turn a manageable solution into an unmanageable one.”
Mr Turner continues: “There are lots of different types of lunches to choose from. You could organise a themed lunch at your care home with invited friend and family, a glitzy gathering in your local hotel restaurant of staff could do a ‘come dine with us’ extravaganza in their homes with their colleagues.
“As well, as charging people to attend, you could also have a raffle to help raise even more money.”
The CPBF offers a last resort to carers encountering financial difficulty when all other possible solutions have been exhausted. Applications are open to individuals with limited savings who have worked in the care profession for one continuous year of the last five, or for seven years within their lifetime.
Successful applicants receive individual grants designed to secure a quality of life, assisting where income is failing to match daily living costs, or with the purchasing of mobility vehicles. CPBF grants have also proved crucial to individuals who have suffered an illness or bereavement, enabling them to adjust to developing circumstances without facing major upheaval.
Some examples of individuals who have benefited from the CPBF’s contribution include Anita Forrester* who, after sixteen years working as a carer in Manchester, found herself unable to continue in her profession due to a number of health issues. The charity was able to offer a grant to help Ms Forrester purchase essential items of furniture, such as a cooker and washing machine, in order to achieve a better standard of daily living.
Rebecca Williams, a thirty-seven year old full-time mother from Cardiff, was the wife of forty-one year old care assistant Martin Williams who died suddenly in 2010. With two children who depended on their father’s income, Mrs Williams found that the family’s loss also meant financial hardship. With a grant from the CPBF, made in collaboration with care provider , Mrs Williams was able to give her late husband a traditional funeral that would not otherwise have been possible.
In March 2010, Kelly Braithwaite from the South West experienced speech impairment due to having been involved in a road traffic accident. Ms Braithwaite had worked in the independent care sector since 1997, but her employer did not provide sick pay. The CPBF were able to supply a crisis grant to prevent Ms Braithwaite falling into an unmanageable level of debt, until she had recovered and was able to return to her profession.
Guy Bosanko is the vice-president and founder of the CPBF, with the director of Milkwood Care Ltd, Robin Cheesman, as chair and the managing director of Hallmark Healthcare, Avnish Goyal, as treasurer.
Other trustees include carehome.co.uk director Davina Ludlow, together with chief executive officer Martin Green, the editor-in-chief of Caring Times Dr Richard Hawkins, Milkwood Care Ltd director Janet Lloyd-Leech, and head of care services at Boots UK Teresa Lynskey. While the three patrons of the charity are actresses June Whitfield CBE and Lynda Bellingham, and broadcaster and television presenter Fiona Phillips.
The charity is grateful to the efforts of founder members: , , Hallmark Care Homes Ltd, Milkwood Care Ltd, Southern Cross Healthcare, Caring Homes Group, Avery Healthcare Group, , , Titleworth Neuro Ltd, Minster Care Group, , Community Integrated Care - Southern Regional Office and Boots UK.
*The names of individuals referred to in the case studies have been changed out of respect for the privacy of grant recipients.