Over our 18-year history the charity has supported many organisations and it is therefore difficult to adequately mention them all here but hopefully this section will give a brief overview of the benefits.
One of the charity’s principle objectives is to help…
“Relieve sickness and suﬀering by the provision of grants and/or equipment to other health related charities, hospitals and hospices”
Some examples of how the charity has met this objective include the support given to “MedEquip4kids” who have received funding for items such as Oximeters for Ormskirk Hospital’s Children’s Ward and Premature Baby Monitors for Wigan Infirmary’s children’s wards. Over our history the charity has supported 22 hospices across the country, one example of this was the funding of the reconstruction of a driveway into St. Josephs Hospice in Thornton Liverpool so that ambulances could access the facilities easier and in Leeds £1,200 was donated to St Gemma’s Hospice to help fund daily medical supplies such as syringes, dressing and specialist drains.
Applications for funding have been received from local community groups in Trafford where two “Life for a Life” forests are located which have resulted in the purchase of defibrillators, so that life saving first aid can be administered quickly and effectively at the scene in a local community centres. Furthermore, through a partnership with 207 Field Hospital whose headquarters are in the Trafford Borough training was provided free of charge on how to use the new equipment. A further example of how life for a Life has helped support local organisations close to our memorial forest is through the purchase of a defibrillator for the Bowland Mountain Rescue Team that covers the whole of the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) where “Life for a Life” has two beautiful memorial forests located.
There are times when the support ‘Life for a Life’ donates is more than just monetary, but equates to Gifts in Kind. Over the last 10 years the grounds and gardens of Dr. Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham have been well maintained by the Charity, saving the Hospice money over this protracted period, which is intended to continue. The charity also provided materials, volunteered skills and labour to help to create a sensory garden for visitors and patients to use as an area of quiet reflection and relief.
Gift in Kind is by no means limited to just charities but is also open to community groups and other organisations which over recent years has helped us to meet our objective…
“To promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment”
This objective has led the charity to support a local residents association in Grasscroft and Greenfield to help them protect the trees within their conservation area and to work with developers and the local Council better. The Charity has also encouraged the group members to become “Tree Wardens”, through the Charity’s membership of the Tree Council, giving them knowledge such as mapping trees and protecting local habitats.
The charity also works with a newly established friends group the “Friends of Strinesdale” who look after a small country park on the North East corner of Oldham. Under the banner of the charity’s “Friends of the Forest” the group has organised habitat creation events with local schools and com- munity groups such as establishing wildflower meadows and installing new Owl boxes made by local volunteers.
‘Life for a Life’ has worked with many schools through the “Friends of Forest” scheme which are located nearby our memorial forests, engaging with them to promote respect and care for the environment. This work also helps to showcase that even though the areas maybe currently functioning as memorial woodlands it is still a resource for everyone in the community to use and enjoy.
Usually a “Friends of the Forest” event will involve active engagement with the memorial forest to improve its biodiversity or just enhance its look. Over the a 5 years period with volunteers from organisations including Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Schools and Residents associations, 1000 metres of hedgerows have been planted, 1.2 tons of Himalayan Balsam has been removed through “Balsam Bashing” events and 20 square metres of wildflower meadow has been created. Further- more, the “Friends of the Forest” volunteers planted 20 fruit trees in Wythenshawe Park to create a “Windfall Orchard” as part of the “Real Food for Wythenshawe” initiative which is designed to give local people access to locally grown produce.
On occasion the charity has been asked to help with the provision or refurbishment of memorials which are dear to the local people. In Bury, Lancashire we helped to refurbish a vandalised memorial which commemorated the lives of 3 young local Air Cadets who lost their lives in a training accident. We have also help to create a new memorial at Hartshead Moor Services in partnership with Marshalls PLC and Welcome Break Group Limited, commemorating the lives of the soldiers and their families who lost their lives in a coach bombing on the M62 heading on its way back from Catterick. At the same location the charity has also played an integral role in creating a memorial to the Royal Army Medical Corps.