Royal London Foundation stories

Watering can

The Royal London Foundation helps members to support local organisations that make a real difference in your communities.

Watch the videos below to find out more about the kind of not-for-profit organisations we help, and the incredible work they do for vulnerable people and communities across the UK. 

Cruse Bereavement Care, West Sussex

Cruse offers free bereavement support, information and advice to anyone who has been affected by a death in West Sussex, and also works to increase public awareness of the needs of bereaved people. As one of the first organisations to receive a continuation grant from the Royal London Foundation (find out more about this in our article), we visited them to discover more about how they’ve used the funding, the great work they do and what it means to the people in their local communities.

Support, friendship and advice for the bereaved

CAPTION: The Royal London Foundation helps local not-for-profit organisations nominated by members by offering them valuable £5,000 grants.

In 2019, we launched a new initiative that means we can offer even more support to those we’ve helped before.

Our continuation grants provide an additional £10,000 to 10 of your nominated organisations, a year after they received their first one.

Cruse Bereavement Care, West Sussex, were selected to receive one of our first continuation grants, after getting a £5,000 grant in 2018.  

Offering support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies, they’re using their funding to continue the incredible work they do to help people in local communities.  

This is their story.

HELEN: Hi, I’m Helen, and I volunteer for Cruse. I’m what we call a bereavement volunteer.

The charity supports people who are bereaved, and we do that in a number of different ways, by going through their grief. Understanding what’s happening for them. Helping them understand it. Giving them tools and resources to manage that grief going forward.

An example of some of the work that I have done personally within Cruse and to show the power of it, was a gentleman I worked with who was grieving for the loss of his wife. And so whilst we were working with his grief, we were also able to go back over some of those feelings and the reasons for them, and help release him from them. He really came through that and out the other side and it was really lovely to see that he finally felt a bit freer.

MARY: My name is Mary. I’ve been with Cruse West Sussex for 10 years.

People come to Cruse for support at any time in their life, and we provide a service 24/7 365. Bereavement is such a painful situation, and so many people don’t have a support network, and that’s what we’re for.

CAPTION: Continuation grants from the Royal London Foundation are designed to help organisations with their core costs.

MARY: We were delighted to receive the continuation funding this year. It’s really enabled us to improve our reach within West Sussex. We reach on average a 1,000 clients a year. Our clients tell us that receiving counselling at the right time, enables them to be a fully functioning member of society again.

It’s incredibly important to Cruse that we have funds we can use for core costs. Funding like this is incredibly valuable and enables us to continue our service to clients.

CAPTION: Our grants are unrestricted, which means organisations like Cruse Bereavement Care can use them however they need to, from general running costs to volunteer training.Our grants are unrestricted, which means organisations like Cruse Bereavement Care can use them however they need to, from general running costs to volunteer training.

HELEN: The funding is also really important because each of the bereavement volunteers that goes out to do the work has to go through rigorous training. One of the privileges of this work is to be able to journey alongside people in whatever they are going through. Hear their stories, share their stories.

I would like to encourage people to nominate charities like Cruse for funding, because simply it allows us to do the work we are doing and to continue to do it.

CAPTION: As a Royal London member, you can nominate local not-for-profit organisations like Cruse Bereavement Care for funding.

The Foundation will reopen for nominations in early 2020.

Proud & Loud Arts, Salford

Proud & Loud is a user-led performing arts charity for people living with a disability in Salford and Manchester. They work to increase opportunities for new, emerging and skilled artists living with disabilities. We went to see them to find out more about the work they do, the people they support and how they put their funding from the Royal London Foundation to good use.

Inclusive theatre for disabled people

Your nominations for the Royal London Foundation help organisations like Proud & Loud Arts, a user-led performing arts charity, to keep doing great work in your local communities.

TOM HOGAN: When we heard we had funding from the Royal London Foundation, the email actually came to Janet. She rang me very excitedly saying we’ve definitely got our movement work now. We kind of did a little fist-pumpy thing. It was great.

CAPTION: Not-for-profit organisations are helping to change lives in your communities. The Royal London Foundation enables members to support these organisations by nominating them for a £5,000 grant.

We have supported Proud & Loud Arts, a user-led performing arts charity for people living with a disability in Salford and Manchester. This is their story.

TOM HOGAN: Proud & Loud Arts is an inclusive theatre company for adults with disabilities. It was set up 16 years ago by four young women with disabilities who were interested in exploring drama.

JAMIE BLAIR: I came across Proud & Loud about four, four and a half years ago. I was looking for a trusteeship as part of my own development. At the time they were searching for trustees and that’s really where the first step came from. It’s been fantastic to be involved with them and see the passion that they had for the charity and what they wanted it to become.

CAPTION: Chrissy, writer and producer of Proud & Loud’s latest production, Shadow Girl, reveals her inspiration behind the project.

CHRISTINA JONES: I’m the lead artist of this project, Shadow Girl. Basically, when I was at school I got bullied a lot, so I came up with that piece, Shadow Girl. It’s about myself, how people see me differently, because I wanted to be seen, not invisible.

We’re taking it into the city centre and performing it in St Anne’s Square. It’s like a street theatre piece, getting into groups, playing with the audience and stuff like that.

CAPTION: What does it mean to have this extra funding?

TOM HOGAN: The funding that Royal London has given us on this occasion has been used to improve the movement skills of our artists, and over the next 12 months we’ve employed a specialist movement worker and a specialist voice worker to come and work with our artists to increase their ability to express themselves.

Without support from grant giving trusts, companies, organisations who are willing to support people with disabilities, we simply don’t exist.

CAPTION: What does it mean to Proud & Loud artists?

JANET CHARLESWORTH: Proud & Loud help members with confidence and opportunities. I lived with my parents. I struggled to interact with people. Now I am confident. I live on my own and I have the ability to deal with problems.

KELLY HOYE: We help them to be able to express anything that they want to say, whether that be physically or verbally, because some members can’t always say what they want to say verbally so they do it physically.

TOM HOGAN: It really does reach the people and has an impact on individuals in a way that I suppose is really tangible to the individuals, particularly that we’re working with.

JAMIE BLAIR: It’s been fantastic to sort of see from the inside and also from a distance the work they’ve put together and what they want to do. I really think, as a member of Royal London, this is a fantastic opportunity to nominate their local cause, that local group that are doing great work and just need that little bit more to really achieve what they want to do.

CAPTION: Find out more about the Royal London Foundation at royallondon.com/members.

Home-Start UK, Daffodils, Breakthrough UK and Neurocare

In 2017, we paid a visit to a few of the great organisations that received grants from the Royal London Foundation to find out more about what they do and how they’d used their funding. Watch the video below to learn about the work of:

  • Home-Start UK: a local community network of volunteers helping families with young children through challenging times
  • Daffodils: a local organisation providing activities for children and young people with a mental or physical disability in Flintshire
  • Breakthrough UK: a Manchester-based disabled people's organisation, supporting disabled people to work and live independently
  • Neurocare: a charity that raises money for neurosciences and neurology in Sheffield

Helping communities across the UK

Thanks to your nominations, we’ve been able to provide funding for not-for-profit organisations across the UK. Here are a few stories of those who received support from us. 

CAPTION: In 2017, we relaunched the Royal London Foundation. Members can nominate local not-for-profit organisations to receive valuable funding. We award individual sums of £5,000 to support the incredible work of these groups.

In 2017, you nominated almost 60 organisations across the UK to receive funding. Here are a few stories of those who received funding from us…

CAPTION: Location: Newark, Organisation: Home-Start UK, Nominee: Neill

NEILL: To nominate Home-Start via Royal London was an unbelievable opportunity. All the support that’s generated by the Home-Start team in Newark is second to none to those local families who really need it the most.

ELAINE ROSSALL: We offer the home visiting scheme, where volunteers will visit a family once a week.

STACEY BELSHAW: I was a volunteer for 2 years, which is how I met Julie. She had very little confidence. It was about 14 months, towards the end of that time it kind of tailored off because she was doing so well.

JULIE LOWERSON: Home-Start have been absolutely excellent. I think – I’m getting emotional now! Without Home-Start I would not have been where I am today.

ELANIE ROSSALL: The Royal London Foundation’s funding is hugely important to us. This pot of money will be used to help fund our next preparation course. We’ll hope to have 10 or 12 volunteers; we’ll train them then start to link them with families.

CAPTION: Location: Mold, Organisation: Daffodils, Nominee: Anita

ANITA: I nominated Daffodils because they’re a fantastic organisation that helps and supports children and young people in Flintshire.

RICHARD HAYES: Daffodils is a charity for families with a child with a disability.

WENDY HAYES: It’s just about coming together – big family friendships really. It’s amazing the response from the children. They come in and they’re so excited. We’ve got about 84 children coming today, and the adults – we’ve got about 130 people coming to the event.

ALISON JONES: My son’s 15 with ASD. Before we came to Daffodils he wouldn’t speak to people that he didn’t know, and the last Christmas party, he stood up and he sang a song in front of 164 people. It was unbelievable. He would never have done that if it wasn’t for Daffodils.

ANITA: Being able to help Daffodils, providing them with this funding, it’s a wonderful opportunity to actually get involved. It’s going to go on for activities and events for the children and young people.

CAPTION: Location: Manchester, Organisation: Breakthrough UK, Nominee: Karl

KARL: I nominated Breakthrough UK who support people who identify as having a disability… progressing them into the next stage of their life.

TRACEY BELL: The peer group that we run on a Tuesday is working really well.

JADE IMRIE: If we’ve got issues we’re having, or stuff that we have going on that we like or just sit there silently if we really want to, you don’t have to talk.

KEIRAN FAY: I can get stuff off my chest and I can see other people’s perceptions of situations that I’m in.

TRACEY BELL: The funding from the Royal London Foundation is vastly important to us. We have our Journey to Employment project, the Talent Match project for young people aged 18-24, we have our Community Connector programme, and we’re hoping to expand our peer groups. It’s about looking at that person in a holistic way, to be happy, leading fulfilling lives and to be independent.

CAPTION: Location: Sheffield, Organisation: Neurocare, Nominee: Phil

PHIL: I nominated Neurocare to help them pay for a new piece of equipment called Rosa. Great that I can help the local charity.

BEVERLEY WEBSTER: Neurocare is a charity that was set up specifically to fund research and equipment for the neurosciences unit at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

DEV BHATTACHARYYA: Rosa is a robotic surgical assistant. This technological advance allows us to operate on patients previously thought inoperable.

BEVERLEY WEBSTER: With Rosa we wanted to be the first NHS trust with this installation. We were delighted to receive the donation from Royal London Foundation. Thanks to this donation and others we have achieved our target and beyond.

CAPTION: As a member, you can nominate an organisation to receive funding from the Royal London Foundation.

ANITA: It’s definitely worthwhile for people who’ve got a private pension with Royal London to take up this opportunity for local charitable organisations.

NEILL: Do it. It really is very, very simple. The speedy organisation within Royal London and the Royal London Foundation was excellent and it really can make a difference to those local charities. It’s really important that we all play our part.

PHIL: I would recommend: just go for it. It’s a straight forward process, it doesn’t take a lot of effort and it’s worth it.

CAPTION: Because of your nominations, the Royal London Foundation donated £144,000 to community organisations in 2017. If you know a not-for-profit organisation in your local area that supports people in need, we would love to hear from you. Nominations will reopen in 2019.

Find out more about the Royal London Foundation at royallondon.com/members