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The annual expenditure in the financial year 2016/17 was £16,481.

£4,950 of this was spent on Coop supermarket vouchers distributed at Christmas time to 16 local caring agencies for their clients in a financial crisis.

£1,207 on setting up the website and database for the survey of voluntary organisations in Dorset. 

£3,197 was spent buying sleeping bags for the homeless ( the money came from the former “Friends of the Hub” fund).

£224 was spent on administration, website and printing costs.

The remainder was spent on grants to individuals and families.

In the past, DPA has also been involved in setting up a number of local community projects to help people in need.

GRANTS

These are made to individual and families who live in the DT1 and DT2 postal areas (Dorchester and its surrounding villages).

They are made only on application from a professional person who knows the client’s circumstances and knows that the need for a grant is genuine.

The maximum grant is £200 and no more than two grants will be made for anyone.

The circumstances in which such a small amount of money makes a difference are very varied and there are no strict criteria except that paying off a debt (unless a very small one) or purchasing floor coverings are not normally covered.

The application for a grant can be received by DPA trustees by e-mail, letter or telephone – contact details available by using the e-mail at the head of this website.

LOCAL COMMUNITY PROJECTS

Second Chance Furniture in Weymouth – the first furniture recycling scheme in Dorset – was the first project initiated by DPAG (as DPA was then known). It opened in 1994, quickly became an independent charity and company. In the spring of 2018, after careful consideration and consultation, it was decided that there was no longer a need for Second Chance Furniture. The scene has changed since the early 1990s and Dorset Reclaim, which started in East Dorset after Second Chance was up and running, is a large and effective furniture recycling scheme covering the whole of Dorset. There are also now many charities with furniture stores and there are websites that enable unwanted furniture to be recycled. Second Chance had kept its prices very low for 25 years but was struggling to cover the rising costs of its accommodation and transport, so closing it while it still had funds was wise. It obtained permission from the Charity Commission to divide its remaining reserves between two local charities that have referred clients to it over many years and Dorchester Poverty Action is proud to have been involved and grateful to be one of these beneficiaries..

The Wyvern Credit Union was started by a group of people from DPAG but was always an independent body governed by the Financial Services Authority and has grown to cover a wide geographical area extending into Somerset.

Meal Tickets for People who are Homeless started 20 years ago and ran until 2013. It was a partnership between DPAG and the Top o’ Town Café in Dorchester, enabling people with no means of obtaining a hot meal to have one, especially at weekends.

The Hub – a daycentre in Dorchester to provide services for people who are street homeless – was set up by DPAG and opened in Dec 2002. It became an independent charity and was taken over by Bournemouth Churches Housing Association in November 2009. It flourished until about 2012 when use of it gradually decreased and closed in April 2015. The loss of it is viewed with sadness by many local people.

Made of Money was a teaching scheme to help families learn to budget and control their spending. It ran successfully for a couple of years but with an ongoing difficulty in finding groups interested or willing to learn.

Survey of West Dorset voluntary organisations that help people
The new website that has arisen from this work will be a directory of such local organisations and can be accessed from early June 2017 from :

http://whoistheretohelp.org

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