Charitable giving is an integral part of the fabric and mission of St. Helen’s.

The role of the Charitable Giving Group (CGG) is to oversee, publicise and engage with this giving. The CGG makes recommendations to the DCC, usually after consultation with the congregation. Its present membership is Chris Brown (Chairman), Peter Penfold, Mary Anderson, Susan Scott, Lesley Legge and Tom Hardy. The group’s mission statement is:

The charitable giving group act as custodians with regard to charitable donations received from the St. Helen’s congregation by either planned giving or ad hoc collections. The group is not a fund raising organisation but rather there to ensure any monies received are diligently given to worthy causes, be they local, national or international.

The CGG welcomes suggestions from members of the congregation for future giving, funds permitting. St Helen’s has supported five charities in 2019 – three overseas: Barnabas Fund (£1,000 pa), the International Refugee Trust (£1,000 pa) and the Dorothy Springer Trust in Sierra Leone (£1,000 pa); and two local: Be Free Young Carers (£1,000 pa) and TrinityLearning (£1,000 pa).

Barnabas Fund is a UK based charity supporting persecuted Christians. It funds projects supporting persecuted Christians in 34 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe as well as encouraging prayer, raising awareness and contesting injustice. Susan Scott is the congregational representative.

The International Refugee Trust has been supporting work with refugees since 1989. It works with partners in Syria, South Sudan, Uganda and Jordan improving health care and helping people to become self-supporting. Tom Hardy does voluntary work with the Trust and is the congregational representative.

The Dorothy Springer Trust is providing employment skills for the disabled in Sierra Leone. Peter Penfold is the patron of the UK charity and visits Sierra Leone regularly. The charity is run in Freetown by Dr Abdulai (Abs) Dumbuya, who visited St Helen’s in 2015.  

Be Free YC is the only local charity providing help and support for Young Carers aged from 8 to 18 who experience unsettling life changes, and coping with the effects of an illness, disability or addiction on the person they care for. This is alongside the pressures of school and homework, and the social isolation often ensuing. BFYC is working with around 200 young carers in the Abingdon area. The Charity gives emotional support and befriending, social activities with trips out, training - such as first aid, relaxation and cookery and a discounted young carers leisure card. This all helps to overcome their isolation and mental stress and builds confidence in their abilities. Lesley Legge is the charity’s Chairman and is the congregational contact.

TrinityLearning is a Christian charity working to improve the quality of emotional and spiritual life in schools in the Abingdon area. It aims to relieve the pressures on busy schools through specially tailored activities, including practical help for school leaders and workshops for pupils and staff. By calling on a pool of 70 volunteers and liaising with other agencies, TrinityLearning keeps costs to a minimum, and provide all activities free. Mary Anderson is the congregational contact.

Further information about our charitable giving, including details of the designated charities, is available on the notice board in the church and in the newsletter and The Window from time to time. 

Sept 2019