Charity news

Citizens Advice chair of trustees to step down after 12 years of service

The Chair of Chesterfield’s Citizens Advice Bureau has announced she is stepping down from the role next year, after dedicating 12 years of  service to the organisation.

Linda Moore said: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as chair; I’ve found it challenging, diverse, interesting & rewarding. The team is amazing, but after 12 years it’s time for a new leader with new & refreshing ideas.

“I’m sure I will find a different role in order to continue my support of this vital, local charity.”

Citizens Advice supports people across the town with free, confidential, impartial, independent advice and information for the problems they face and works to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

The Chesterfield group is now looking for someone to  join the board, possibly as vice-chair in readiness to take over at the AGM in November 2022.

They are hoping to find someone who is passionate about making a difference in the local community, excited to support a leading local advice charity, and is a natural leader.

Applications for the voluntary role close on Friday, 22nd October 2021 at 5pm. Anyone interested in taking on the role is asked to get in touch with Julie Astell via email: for an application pack.

Recently it was announced that Phoebe Sellars who works for fellow Chesterfield Champion, Bridge Help was appointed to the board as the youngest ever trustee at the age of just 22.

Phoebe explained why she decided to join the board: “I live and work in Chesterfield and feel passionately about strengthening the community that I live in, work in and love. Citizens Advice Chesterfield does such good work for so many people in my home town.”

Citizens Advice Chesterfield supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

champion of the week

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DEBP announces name change and launches new research and evaluation initiative

DEBP, formerly known as Derbyshire Edcuation Business Partnership will now be known as Direct Education Business Partnership, after a change to the organisation’s name took effect from 1st  September.

The organisation continues to work extensively in Derbyshire but also works much further afield, and the change reflects DEPB’s work in the wider education landscape.

Alongside this, DEPB will be fully established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

Clare Talati, CEO of DEBP, said: “This is an exciting move for us as we transition from being a private limited company with social aims to a fully-fledged charitable organisation.

“We want to be part of a sector whose primary purpose is to create social impact rather than profit. All Directors and staff, our greatest asset, will continue with us on this journey and we look forward to furthering our work to help young people reach their full potential.”

Alongside this, DEPB has introduced the new research and evaluation arm of the business; Insight+. This has grown from an existing project commissioned by Derby County Community Trust – as part of the Opportunity Area Inclusion Programme – to undertake a research and evaluation project capturing the educational experience of learners educated within a pupil referral unit environment.

This focusses on the inclusion/exclusion process and will help inform the City around their commitment to be a zero-exclusion centre of excellence.

Clare said, “Our core work will continue to focus on the delivery of programmes with business and educational partnerships. Insight+ will extend our work to providing research solution options, looking at best practice and new ideas, to address community needs and gaps. It will also enable us to extend our focus and use our expertise to help to advance education nationally.”

DEBP supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.


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Care continues virtually at Ashgate Hospicecare thanks to £80,000 grant

Ashgate Hospicecare is continuing to provide vital care and support to patients who are unable to visit its Day Hospice after a National Lottery Fund grant of almost £80,000 helped pay for new virtual services.

Patients and their families who are referred to the service would usually visit the charity’s main hospice in Old Brampton, Chesterfield, on a regular basis, where they could access a range of services from specialist medical support, to complementary therapies.

But there has been restricted access to the service since the pandemic began to unfold last March, with many patients shielding due to the risk posed by COVID-19.

Thanks to a generous grant of £78,606 from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, Ashgate Hospicecare has been able to roll out its innovative new Virtual Day Hospice service for patients to attend via video calls in their own homes.

The grant, which has funded staff and equipment in order to roll out the scheme, was awarded to the North Derbyshire charity in September last year, and patients accessed the virtual service shortly after.

David Lawton, aged 73, from Hayfield, High Peak, had never accessed the hospice’s services before the lockdown started, but has enjoyed making friends at the weekly coffee and quiz meetings, while testing out his art abilities at the activity sessions.

He said: “It’s nice to have friendly people to speak with, and people who are on the same level as me with regards to their ailments. We can have a laugh and a joke, doing the art and taking part in the quiz.

“There’s lots of useful information you pick up on and everyone shares their experiences. It’s all helped and given me something to do which isn’t too strenuous at this moment in time. I’ve found it to be interesting and very entertaining, and it’s stopped me from going round the bend because I’ve had something to look forward to!

“I would recommend the services of Ashgate to anyone because having it has been a big help. You can find out so much useful information with the people and services that are made available to you – always being able to ring them up and ask them about anything. It really is a great thing and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with it.”

From one-to-one support from healthcare professionals, to creative art sessions, and a weekly quiz, patients have been able to link up in virtual groups with friends from the hospice, limiting feelings of isolation and the potential impact on their mental health. The initiative aims to give patients the opportunity to access all of Ashgate’s Day Hospice services including group counselling support, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, lymphoedema care, complementary therapy and more.

The project has initially been accessible to attendees of the Day Hospice service, but it will be developed into virtual support to patients across North Derbyshire with a life-limiting illness, and their families and carers.

Hayley Wardle, Director of Quality and Patient Care, said: “Unfortunately the pandemic has meant our community patients, who would usually come along to our Day Hospice, have been unable to access our usual Day Hospice services as we seek to protect them and our patients on our Inpatient Unit from the virus.

“Thanks to a generous grant from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, we were able to continue offering that care for people who were shielding at home, many of whom have been experiencing extreme feelings of anxiety, loneliness and isolation.

“While I’m sad that we’ve been unable to welcome patients to access Ashgate’s Day Hospice since the first lockdown last March, I’m glad that our wonderful clinical team have been at hand to offer vital care and support to the people who need it most during these difficult times.”

To read more about how Ashgate Hospicecare has supported people living with incurable illnesses with its Virtual Hospice during the pandemic go to:

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

David Lawton celebrates his golden wedding anniversary with his family

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Designer Contracts donates over £100,000 to Ashgate Hospicecare

Designer Contracts, the UK’s largest flooring contractor, has donated more than £100,000 to Chesterfield-based Ashgate Hospicecare.

The company ran an online Christmas prize draw to raise funds for the hospice which has been hit hard by the pandemic and then added a £100,000 donation to the £4,865 raised from the competition. It is the second time Designer Contracts has stepped in to help the hospice which provides care and support for families, patients and carers across North Derbyshire.

In 2019 the company gave £100,000 to help fund the hospice’s ‘Three Bedded Bay Appeal’ which was launched to raise money for renovations to its patient bays.

This year’s Christmas prize draw involved contributors making a donation of £3 to enter, with a chance of winning one of eight prizes, including a flat screen TV, Dyson hoover and iPads.

Designer Contracts md, Peter Kelsey, said: “Charities had a really rough ride in 2020 and we wanted to help in any way we could. The hospice has struggled to raise funds as many of its initiatives were cancelled due to the pandemic so our own company fundraising and donations were money well spent for us.

“Everyone over at Ashgate works tirelessly to ensure the hospice is a peaceful and comfortable place for patients and their families so we really hope that this donation will take a little bit of the worry and pressure off the team.”

Barbara-Anne Walker, Chief Executive at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “Thank you to Designer Contracts and to everyone who took part in their Christmas prize draw. We are thrilled and astounded by their continued generosity, particularly at a time when we are losing money due to the closure of our shops and the postponement of our fundraising events.

“Every pound donated will help to make a difference to the lives of families across North Derbyshire who are living with the impacts of a life-limiting illness. Each year we must raise over £7 million to keep delivering our crucial palliative and end-of-life care services.

“That is a huge amount of money to raise and it is only possible because of the support from generous organisations like Designer Contracts.”

Designer Contracts, which was recently named as a finalist in the 2020 Lloyds Bank Business Awards, operates across 15 UK regional facilities. As well as flooring, the company provides curtains and blinds, furniture and lighting, and operates a showhome interior design services division.

Designer Contracts and Ashgate Hospicecare support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield’s BRM Solicitors supports Children’s Hospice with its ‘Make a Will’ month

A community-spirited Chesterfield law firm is waiving its fees for its bespoke Will writing service to help raise much-needed funds for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

BRM Solicitors have partnered with the charity to offer the service throughout February in return for a donation to the hospice. BRM’s ‘Make a Will’ month comes at a time when much of Bluebell Wood’s planned fundraising activity has been cancelled or postponed as a result of the latest Covid restrictions.

BRM’s suggested donation of £75 for a single will can pay for two counselling sessions for parents coming to terms with the devastation of losing a child.

For a Mirror Will, often used by couples, BRM are suggesting a £150 donation. This amount would contribute to a short break for a family at Bluebell Wood to give them some much-needed me time.

Counselling and short breaks are two incredibly important aspects of the wraparound care the charity offers, something Saki and Rudi’s families know all too well.

Saki, who was always the life and soul of the party, passed away in 2019 after a lifelong battle with a series of complex conditions. Since saying goodbye to her son, mum Sharon has relied on Bluebell Wood’s support through the dark days that followed.

“I didn’t grieve properly to start with. I struggled on for months but then I literally broke,” said Sharon, from Barnsley.

“One of Bluebell Wood’s counsellors, picked me up and put me back together again. Without them there’s a massive possibility I wouldn’t have been here today.”

Four-year-old Rudi, from Chesterfield, loves visiting Bluebell Wood for short breaks and wows staff and volunteers alike with his infectious smile and bubbly personality. Mum Daniella explains just how important a break from the pressures of caring for a child with a life-shortening condition is to her family.

“Everyone’s welcoming, understanding and has empathy for our situation,” she said.

“Nothing’s ever too much trouble. It’s a safe and comfortable place for us to go and having that support to rely on really does mean the world to us.”

To book an appointment, which can be done in person, over the phone or via video call, contact BRM on 01246 555111 or

Rob Woodhead, Head of Wills and Probate at BRM Solictors, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Bluebell Wood this year with our Make a Will month after several successful years of supporting amazing local charities.

“As well as helping to raise money for local charities, our free will months are a great way to promote the importance of making a Will and ensuring money and possessions go exactly where you want them to.

“We are hoping to raise as much money as possible to support Bluebell Wood through these challenging times, so please do get in touch if you’d like to put your affairs in order whilst supporting a good cause.”

Rachael Dawes, Individual Giving Manager at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to BRM for supporting Bluebell Wood with their Make a Will Month.

“We need to raise over £5 million each year to keep our doors open, and our ability to fundraise has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“So a gift left in someone’s Will, of any amount, will help us to continue to be there for children and families at a time when they need our support more than ever.

BRM Solicitors supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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