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Struggling first aid charity receives £30k boost

Struggling first aid charity receives £30k boost

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Struggling first aid charity receives £30k boost

A first aid charity nearly brought to its knees through major funding issues will be receiving a £30,000 grant towards the recruitment of a new staff member, thanks to the Christmas lottery.

St. John Ambulance, which is Jersey's oldest first aid provider, is one of nine local organisations that will receive a share of £166,487 from the Channel Islands Lottery Funding.

The lottery profits have been distributed by the Association of Jersey Charities since 1981. The grants are allocated following an application process which, for the first time ever, took place online this year. 

St. John Ambulance’s £30,000 grant will go towards the position of a new fundraising and communications manager. 

Barry Marsden St John ambulance

Pictured: Barry Marsden, St. John Ambulance CEO.

It comes just months after Express revealed the charity was experiencing funding difficulties as a result of years of financial deficit caused by a widening gap between costs and donation

Last September, the charity’s CEO, Barry Marsden, sounded the alarm, saying that, since the charity became a independent Commandery in 2012, St. John Ambulance has never made any money and has instead consistently been in a deficit of roughly £50,000 every year.

“Unless we find money, in six years we will have ran out of money,” Mr Marsden warned, adding that the goal was to raise £226,000 through donations and sponsorships in 2020. 

“It is a challenge trying to get funds,” he told Express. “There are so many good worthy causes out there. 

“We are hoping a new fundraising and communications manager will help put us on the road to success and up our game to explain all the good work St. John Ambulance does, so that we can secure the funding and sponsorships we need for all the things we want to do.”

Just a week ago, St. John Ambulance had to suspend all training and adult carers courses as well youth groups as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. 

As many public events which St John Ambulance attends to provide first aid have been cancelled along with commercial courses, the charity is facing a loss of income this year. 

Mr Marsden said luckily St. John Ambulance are in “a better position” than some other charities thanks to their loyal customers, for whom he is “extremely grateful," who have pledged to use their services once things return to normal.

He issued a plea to all islanders, however, saying: "It’s going to be tough and nobody knows how long it is going to be. I hope the community of Jersey can remember that charities will continue long after this is all over. Please support local charities through these hard times.

"We will hopefully come out unscathed and untouched.” 

Pictured: First Tower Community Association will receive £4,000 to add flowers to the Martello Tower. (Google Maps)

Meanwhile, Autism Jersey and Silkworth Lodge will be receiving £30,000 and £27,000 grants to fund their IT infrastructure upgrade and teenager and adolescent support services respectively.

The Good Companions Club, the Art in Frame Foundation, the Jersey Eating Disorders Support Group, the Move On Youth Project, La Pouquelaye Youth Project and Jersey Recovery College complete the list of successful applicants for the grants, which range between £5,000 and £16,487.

Four other charities have been picked to receive ‘in principle’ awards - worth a total of £71,094 – if certain conditions are met.  

A further four grants were awarded from the AJC’s own ‘Small Grants Fund’, which allows a simplified application process for small charities – such as those with no paid staff.  

As part of this First Tower Community Association will receive £4,000 to add flowers to the Martello Tower. £1,500 will go towards catering costs for Fête Nouormande£3,000 will go to the Band of the Island of Jersey to fund additional instruments for the training band.

£600 will also be given to Jersey Fostercarers Association for a new laptop. 

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