Case Studies - Charity

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Presenting a huge cheque from Thames Hospice

Thames Hospice

Thames Hospice is a charity based in Windsor. They provide expert care for people living with life-limiting illnesses in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

Thames Hospice care for the physical, social and psychological needs of their patients, not just the condition. Their highly skilled medical team works with the patient, their family and carers, to develop a complete programme of care to suit the individual’s needs. Their services include therapy, nursing and medical care, as well as practical and emotional support both in the hospice and in patients' homes.

It costs £8 million every year to keep the Hospice running and they are reliant on 70% of their income from charitable donations, which enables them to provide their services free of charge, 365 days a year, to the people who need them.

In 2008 ACT were pleased to able to help Thames Hospice with a £20K donation towards the re-location and refurbishment of their reception area. We have kept in touch with them and visited Thames Hospice in November to see their existing services and understand their need to expand to support the growing needs of our community. In January they met with our trustees to discuss their new build plans in more detail and we were delighted to award them £500,000 towards their £6M fundraising appeal as our main charitable support for 2018.

Mike Street, Chairman, said:

“ACT are delighted to have found such a project on our own doorstep. Our grant will fund the build and fit out cost of the Education and Learning Centre, a vital part of the Hospice that will provide palliative and end of life care training opportunities for healthcare professionals across the UK. Both ACT and Thames Hospice have a vision that all people living with a life limiting illness and their loved ones will be treated with dignity and have access to the best palliative end of life care possible. The new ACT Foundation Education Centre will help bring this vision closer to reality”.

The new hospice will have 28 inpatient beds in individual en-suite rooms and a new Day Centre, which will offer a wider range of therapeutic and social activities for outpatients and inpatients – doubling the Hospice’s day service provision. 

Debbie Raven, Thames Hospice Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to have the support of the ACT Foundation as Founding Lifetime Patrons of the Capital Appeal. They have been supporting the Hospice for a number of years and we look forward to continuing this strong relationship in the future. The Education Centre will allow us to support others to provide the high quality care people deserve at end of life and ensure everyone within our community experiences quality of life, to the end of life.”

The new hospice project will cost circa £18M and Thames Hospice continue with their fundraising endeavours to raise the remaining £6M they require.

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Caring MacIntyre

MacIntyre is a registered charity set up in 1966 by the parents of a severely disabled child.  The charity has, over the years, become a leader in the field of learning disability and provides services to over 1000 children, young people and adults with the most profound disabilities in our society.  Their services include provision of residential care, supported living, a residential school, a further education college and a wide range of lifelong learning activities.

MacIntyre's application to ACT was for help to fund a project to raise funds for sensory equipment required at their supported living service in Abingdon, Oxfordshire where 3 young men aged 21-24 are living with support. This service enables them to live in their own home rather than in residential care or with family and each of the young men supported there has a learning disability, autism and complex needs. They require help with everything they do, from personal care to communication and socialising.  

Lewis (pictured) is a resident.  He is 25 years old and has been with MacIntyre for several years since leaving college.  Lewis uses very few words to communicate, relying on pictures and symbols to express his needs and wants. He can find the outside world overwhelming, unpredictable, noisy and difficult to understand and when he comes home he benefits greatly from spending time in the sensory room.  The sensory room provides a calming environment he can control as the room was specifically designed around his sensory profile with music, lights and an aurora projector that he enjoys watching.  Lewis's fellow housemates also enjoy the room for the same reasons. 

ACT were pleased to be able to help with a donation towards this equipment which helps to make Lewis and his friends feel calm and safe.

For further information on MacIntyre go to

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SeeAbility - A Vision Being Realised

SeeAbility is a registered charity that seeks to promote better lives for people with sight loss and multiple disabilities.  The people they support may have a combination of complex needs in addition to sight loss such as a severe learning disability, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or physical and/or mental health difficulties. 

With a range of adapted housing and support in 21 locations across the south of England, SeeAbility also offer a range of specialist therapeutic services to their users such as rehabilitation, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy which help those affected to maintain and develop the skills they have and improve the quality of lives.

In 2004 ACT supported the building of Windmill Court in Honiton, Devon where 8 own rented, self-contained flats are home to young adults who require 24 hour support.  2009 saw a donation towards equipment at their state of the art supported living site in Horley, Surrey, Bradbury House, which today is home to 6 adults who are living independently.

SeeAbility’s latest project has been the creation of a dedicated dining area at their residential nursing home, Heather House in Tadley, Hampshire.  Heather House is home to 16 disabled young men and women aged from 16-35 who have long term, life limiting conditions.  Heather House is also the only dedicated nursing facility in the UK focusing on Juvenile Batten Disease (JBD), a cruel, rare and life limiting illness that occurs in children and adults worldwide. 

Being able to feed oneself is a huge part of maintaining personal dignity.  An individual with JBD may arrive at Heather House with a vision impairment (the initial symptom) and be able to walk and talk but in the latter stages of the disease they will be unable to sit unaided, speak or swallow their food safely.  Some of the individuals supported at Heather House have already lost their ability to eat and drink independently.

Having reviewed their existing space, SeeAbility took the decision to convert an existing commercial kitchen into a dedicated dining room.  The newly created, peaceful space will allow SeeAbility’s specialist nursing staff to support individuals during meal times in an intimate and private space making feeding their clients a more pleasurable experience for them in a safe environment.  ACT’s pledge of £10K has helped them to realise their vision and create a beautiful space (see picture top left).