‘…for the purpose of relieving in cases of need persons resident in the area comprising the District of Warwick and the area of the former Rural District of Southam who are sick, convalescent, disabled, handicapped or infirm by providing or paying for items, services or facilities which are calculated to alleviate the suffering or assist the recovery of such persons in such cases but are not readily available to them from other sources.’

So says the Trust Deed sealed by Order of the Charity Commissioners in 1991. South Warwickshire Welfare Trust originally arose out of a charity founded in Kenilworth in 1886. Trustees have to discharge their duties in accordance with the Application of Income above.

In 2020, the year of Covid-19, the Trust managed to continue its work by distributing nearly £8000 worth of grants.

• 36 individuals/families helped
• Ages were from 20 to over 70 years
• Grants ranged from £90 to over £800 (average grant £212)

Carpets/flooring / Debt Relief / Order fees / Cookers / Fridge-freezers / Bed/cot / Washing machines / Tumble dryers / Microwave oven
Clothes/shoes / Miscellaneous

Many of the applicants were described by the referrers as suffering from some degree of mental illness, from anxiety/depression to schizophrenia, and often from stress-related conditions arising from their difficult situations/challenges/disabilities.

A rising number of applicants had escaped from domestic violence and were setting up home in a new tenancy, often with young children. Many applicants had significant debt. The pandemic has posed additional problems for many.

The Trust operates with 8 local Trustees who bring knowledge and expertise in a wide range of required fields. Trustees meet quarterly (January, April, July and October) to review Trust finances, to verify interim action and to discuss applications for grants received from referring agencies.The Clerk receives all applications and makes arrangements for Trustees to consider each of the cases.
SWWT requires referrals be made and grants be administered through helping agencies so that the client benefits from a holistic approach to their problem. Examples include:

Citizens Advice South Warwickshire and other helping charities

Local Housing Authority and Housing Associations

Social Services and Family Information/ Children’s Centres

Mental Health Resource centres

Social Prescribers (attached to GP practices).

Applications are made on a special form. In order to satisfy the stated criteria of the Trust, Trustees need to be able to establish objectively from this that the client is ‘in need’. They must also live in Warwick District – the towns of Leamington Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash, together with surrounding parishes – or the Southam area [*see below] Consideration is then given to the item being requested, to the eligibility of the applicant and to what other help may be available:

Is the applicant sick or disabled (or is the applicant the carer/family member)?

Would having the item make a difference to the applicant’s ability to manage a disability or long-term sickness (for instance a washer/dryer for a family which has extra washing because of sickness?

Is the applicant ‘poor’ (on means-tested benefits or on a low income)?

Is there a state benefit which could be claimed instead? Trustees work to a quarterly allocation of funds according to the charity’s account balance.

*Former Rural District of Southam includes the following parishes: Avon Dassett Bishops Itchington Burton Dassett Chadshunt Chapel Ascote Chesterton Farnborough Fenny Compton Gaydon Harbury Hodnell Kingston Ladbroke Lighthorne Long Itchington Napton on the Hill
Priors Hardwick Priors Marston Radbourne Radway Ratley Shotteswell Shuckburgh Southam Stockton Stoneton Ufton Upton Warmington Watergall Wills Pasture Wormleighton

We know that there are serious problems in our area due to Covid-19. Government restrictions have hit those who are sick and poor the hardest. Grants have been down over the year but Trustees continue to meet and to make awards. SWWT is particularly keen to make a difference at this exceptional time. They would welcome your application.

SWWT has limited funds and knows there are unmet needs. It is therefore looking to fundraise and has had some success in raising
funds locally by attracting sponsorship from local businesses PB Forestry, Denfield and Automotive Solutions (our thanks to them). This area of work is ongoing. SWWT has been adopted by the Leamington Lawn Tennis & Squash Club as its Charity of the Year (thank you LLTSC) and one of the Trustees will be running an ultra-marathon in July.

Contact details for applications:

Mrs Jean Curry, Clerk to the Trustees,
South Warwickshire Welfare Trust
5 Waverley Road
e-mail jean.curry79@gmail.com