Voting for AFC Bournemouth’s special 12 Days Of Christmas campaign is now open.
The Cherries Community Fund, set up by the club, has provided financial assistance to projects that help to develop young people and vulnerable groups, or those that promote sport and a healthy lifestyle in the area of Dorset.
The Fund is financed from the proceeds of the popular Cherries Community Draw - prior to Covid - and any other donations the club receives.
The latest scheme involving the fund is the new 12 Days of Christmas project, that will give 12 organisations based in Dorset a £1,000 contribution.
In what has been a challenging year for everyone, supporters will be able to vote for the dozen charities to receive an even share of the £12,000 total available.
Charities can now apply for a share of that funding, with 22 charities now shortlisted after a huge application process.
Supporters can now register their vote here and if a charity accumulates enough votes to go into the top 12 they will receive part of the funding.
The deadline for voting closes on 9th December at 12pm, and here’s a little bit about each nominated charity and how they would use the funds:
The HealthBus Trust
The HealthBus provides a mobile health facility that travels to areas where people sleep rough, providing basic health care, a GP service and access to addiction and mental health support services.
"We would use funding to provide homeless people with a thermos flask, hot soup/roll & a hot drink, at our Thursday clinics in the centre of Bournemouth, throughout December, January, February and March."
Dorset Cancer Care Foundation
DCCF offer non-refundable financial grants to those affected by cancer who are financially struggling.
"We would use the funding to give families money and food vouchers to help with buying shopping and paying their bills during the Christmas period and winter months to help alleviate the stress of cancer and COVID-19."
Mosaic - Supporting Bereaved Children
Mosaic support bereaved children and young people and their families.
They hold a series of activity days across the county to introduce families to others who have had a similar experience to them to help reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness which often follows a death.
"This funding would allow us to purchase Christmas gifts for the children that we work with. Any remaining funds would be used to provide counselling and support for bereaved children."
Forest Holme Hospice Charity
Forest Holme Hospice Charity helps to enhance the lives of adults who are facing a life limiting or terminal illness. They support specialist palliative care teams with funding to provide care for patients and their families whenever, and wherever, they are needed.
"We would buy presents and treats of chocolates and crackers to try and make this Christmas as special as possible. Whilst also supporting the dedicated hospice staff who care for patients and families all year round."
Diverse Abilities support over 1600 individuals and their families every year. They enable these individuals to reach their full potential by providing a lifetime of sustainable support and educational services.
"Over Christmas, our services will remain unchanged.
"We would be able to run all ten of our Project My Time Christmas sessions for children with disabilities aged 8–18. Children will benefit from supported time with their peers and it will also give their families valuable respite."
The Crumbs Project
Crumbs work with adults with a range of disabilities to gain skills and qualifications.
"We would produce Christmas support boxes for all our trainees who are all on low incomes and benefits.
"We like to also like produce some Thank You boxes with lots of Christmas items for all our volunteers who have supported the charity through what has been an exceedingly difficult year."
RJVN8 Mental Health
RJVN8 are a suicide prevention service that operate 24/7 365 days a year. They cover addiction, PTSD, ADHD, Behavioral disorders, anxiety, depression, bipolar, trauma, suicidal thoughts.
"We are going to send councilors in full PPE to our suffering isolated and remote elderly with Mental Health Challenges. We will send out a councilors on Christmas day to visit as many lonely and isolated people as possible with a small hamper some tea and coffee and most of all their time to speak and engage with them."
MYTIME Young Carers
MYTIME work to level the playing field for young carers and young adult carers of ages 5-25 by providing them with the support, opportunities and friendship that every child deserves.
"This year we're holding an online Christmas party for all 550 young carers in Dorset. We aim to reward and thank young carers for their work, help relieve the stress that many young carers experience and unite the young carers of Dorset and to prove to them that they are not alone. Even better, we'll be gifting each young carer a Christmas jumper to wear to the event!"
Essential Drug & Alcohol Services (EDAS)
EDAS support young people and adults who are affected by substance misuse. They offer 1:1 counselling, group therapy, community detoxes and an education pathway to enable users to realise a healthy lifestyle.
"We would run a FitDAS Health & Well Being course throughout December. This short course leads to achievement of 2 nationally-recognised qualifications and provides the learners with skills to understand how food, nutrition, rest, exercise and sleep all play a vital role in one's physical and emotional well-being."
High Mead Farm CIC
High Mead Farm provides a nurturing environment for children in care, adults/children suffering poor mental health and adults/children with learning disabilities. We promote activities around the farm, increasing knowledge, skills, confidence health and self esteem.
"We would like to make a 2021 Calendar filled with professional pictures of our animals and the farm to give to those that attend the farm. This simple gift would mean that our community can enjoy the farm even when they are not able to attend. The animals bring much joy and therapeutic benefit for so many."
Hope Housing Training & Support
Hope provide safe housing for vulnerable homeless adults, most with multiple complex issues. They support users helping them to remain abstinent, make positive life choices and live independently through training, counselling, support groups and health and wellbeing activities.
"We would provide food parcels and Christmas presents to each of our 13 houses. This would include ingredients for a roast turkey dinner along with a present for each resident to spread Christmas cheer!"
Faithworks Wessex help those in crisis struggling with poverty and isolation at key transition points in life. They help people out of crisis and into hope through supporting and walking alongside them through their journey.
"We would use the grant for our Staysafe project which provides a safe church venue for ex-rough sleepers and those in Emergency Accommodation, giving them somewhere to go for purpose & activity during daytime hours. We will have prepared meals and activities that will give these people a joyful experience."
Pathways for all people
Pathways for all People serve those who struggle with social exclusion resulting from addiction, criminality, mental health and abuse. We offer accommodation and support to those in need.
"We would use the grant towards the cost of our common household supplies and food that are needed with a focus on something special for the Christmas season that all residents can enjoy and share."
Grounded Community’s vision is a world where our urban communities have access to locally grown, nutritious food. Their mission is to educate, share and grow, so we can reconnect members of our community with nature, with food and with each other.
"We would like to give a little extra within our Feed Our Community boxes this Christmas. We would add a small voucher or some great locally produced goods for those families in need. We are also planning an event early next year for our volunteers to say thanks for the hard work they have put in."
PramaLife enable older people and carers to lead independent and fulfilling lives. PramaLife offer a range of activities leading to increased personal independence, self-sufficiency and dignity. They also provide Telephone Befriending groups to ensure older people are not socially isolated during these difficult times.
"We would use the funds to provide a Christmas meal, using a local caterer, to over 80 isolated older people at home and ask them to join our telephone befriending groups."
Helpful Hounds Assistance Dogs
Helpful Hounds Assistance Dogs help to positively change the lives of families that are dealing with Autism, Down's Syndrome, diagnosed emotional issues and physical disablement with an assistance/ therapy dog. They also embed assistance dogs within local special needs schools.
"We would purchase a new puppy for a family within Dorset, which, with the permission of AFCB, we would name "Cherry". After all, a Helpful Hound Assistance Dog is for life and not only at Christmas!"
Body positive support over 600 disadvantaged people who are living with or affected by HIV or AIDS in Dorset They provide education, peer support, prevention, testing and treatment.
"We have created a Christmas support package focused around sports and exercise to boost morale as part of our rehabilitation program. We would purchase sports kit, tracksuit bottoms, trainers and t-shirts for our users so that they can get involved without barriers, such as homelessness, impacting upon their opportunity."
Bournemouth Churches Housing Association
BCHA are a specialist housing and social care support provider; helping homeless, vulnerable and other people access the right housing, health, learning and work opportunities.
"We will use the funds to provide a real Christmas tree and personalised gifts for each of the people living at our accommodation centre in Bournemouth. Even the Christmas dinner that we usually provide will be socially distanced this year, so a small, personal gift under a real Christmas tree for each person living at our accommodation centre will give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the spirit of Christmas."
Lewis-Manning Hospice Care
For 28 years Lewis-Manning Hospice Care has been providing extraordinary care in the local community to patients, and their families, facing a life-limiting illness.
"We would use it to fund the delivery of our ‘Box of Tricks’ initiative. Delivered to users doors by our staff and volunteers, festive themed activities including: a challenge to encourage mobility; festive quizzes to challenge the mind as well as treats and games, will have the overriding goal of improving our patients’ physical and mental agility and will reassure them that they have not been forgotten."
Home-Start South East Dorset
Home-Start support vulnerable families with young children through crisis, helping parents to be the best they can be for their children. Our volunteers offer one to one support with mental health, post-natal depression, domestic abuse, isolation, anxiety, bereavement, disability and illness.
"We are hoping to give each family a gift of 'Christmas in a bag'. Toys, food, crackers, anything to bring the Christmas spirit to their home at what can be a very difficult time for many."
Sexual Trauma & Recovery Services (STARS)
STARS offer one to one support, for anyone of any age or gender who has experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives.
"We would like to spend the money on gifts for all our amazing staff and volunteers, many of which are our counsellors and telephone support line listeners. During lockdown we doubled the amount of time our support line was available and we have had more referrals into our service this year than ever before."
Citygate are a local church operating a Community Hub six days a week that provide emergency food and support to local people in crisis.
"We would use the funding for our Christmas Hamper Appeal which will feed 700 people for three days as well as give them all they need to celebrate Christmas as a family. The hampers include a whole chicken, crackers, Christmas pudding and even a £10 toy voucher. The money would support the purchase of produce and operational costs."