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Thank you to everyone who has donated to the AFIA fund this year, and especially to those branches who have referred applications to me, or advised someone else to do so. At the beginning of the year, there was £6,564 -76 in the fund, out of which we have awarded grants to the value of £5,180 – 84. So far, donations received for next year’s grants comes to £2,942 – 49. While I appreciate that members are being asked for donations by Mary Sumner House more and more, please remember that this is our own diocesan project and enables us to help families in need.

We have made 13 grants this year – an elderly couple in poor health were enabled to have a holiday while their home was being altered to provide disability facilities; a family with three children with special needs had a caravan holiday; a refuge received an annual pass to Beamish museum, which will enable many families to have a day out; a young woman received a grant towards travel costs to Ukraine for youth leadership training;  a youth group in a deprived area were enabled to go to a Christian youth camp; one child went on a school trip which her parents could not afford – the referring agent told how the mother had broken down in tears on receiving the news; a foster family were helped with holiday club costs; 3 children from a family with complex and troubled needs went on a Christian camp; a family comprising mother and 4 children, one with special needs, who had escaped a violent father,  had a caravan holiday; 2 young adults, one a refugee, the other with mental health issues, went on a Christian retreat; a school in a deprived area received a grant towards educational visits; a mother with 3 children in a refuge, because of domestic violence, had a caravan holiday, and a thank you message gave the information that they had a wonderful time doing lots of swimming;  a family, whose father had died, causing the eldest child to develop mental health problems, went on a camping holiday.

  Fortunately, it is the end of the holiday season, as there are no funds to make further grants this year, but I look forward to helping more families next year.

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