According to the World Giving Index the UK is a charitable country. The Charities Aid Foundation index rates 140 countries against three indices: helping a stranger, volunteering time and donating money. The UK takes eleventh place behind the Netherlands in tenth position, Ireland in eight position, Canada in seventh position and the US in fifth position.
Myanmar (Burma) is in first position, 51% of residents saying that they had volunteered, 53% claimed to have helped a stranger and 91% donating to charity. The Charities Aid Foundation believes that: as Theravada Buddhism is practiced by the majority of Myanmar residents Sangha Dana – the practice of supporting Buddhist monks – may contribute to this giving lifestyle. In the UK 28% volunteered, 64% helped somebody and 58% donated money to charity. Below the UK’s position eleven on the World Giving Index, in all of the other Western countries giving was in decline during 2017 compared to 2016.
Snowdrop gives hope
In keeping with the UK’s giving nature here at MarchwoodIFA we support local Chichester-based sick children’s charity Snowdrop.
Help and care is provided by Snowdrop to sick children and their families in the home. In many cases families want to learn how to use medical equipment, such as nasal gastric tubes for feeding, and need the support of a qualified nurse. Having a sick child can also put a strain on the family’s time; medical carers are able to give parents, guardians and siblings a much-needed break. As much as 70% of Snowdrop donations go directly to sick children and to their families. Very often a family member may have to give up work to free up time to care for a sick child, which means that financial help is needed. Caring for a sick child and getting to hospital can be very costly. By way of example a return taxi fare to Great Ormond Street for a bone marrow or a kidney transplant costs over £160. Parents travel thousands of miles to take their children to hospital; Snowdrop has Family Volunteers who take families to and from appointments in their own cars to ease this burden. Snowdrop has bereavement counselors and continues to grow expertise in this area. Recently Snowdrop founder Di Levantine and counselor Phil Portway have worked with trainee-teachers from Chichester University to develop a bereavement-counseling guide for teachers. Currently bereavement is not included in the teacher-training curriculum. The Snowdrop resource is proving invaluable for schools and teachers where a pupil is diagnosed with a life threatening, or a terminal illness.
If you would like to make a donation to Snowdrop please click here.
If you would like any advice on critical or serious illness policies, many of which offer automatic children’s cover payable as a lump sum, please contact MarchwoodIFA on 01243 532 635 to arrange a consultation.
As ever we would advise you to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor about your finances. We have specialists that are able to discuss specific options with you.
To discuss Life, serious illness and income protection insurances (to protect a debt such as a mortgage or to make sure that your family is well looked after financially after the death of a parent/partner) or equity release to help you plan for income in retirement please ask to speak to Hamish Gairns.
To discuss mortgages & insurances please ask to speak to James Mayne.
To discuss retirement and investment plans with us please ask to speak to Richard Smith.
Community matters; cricket kit funding gives asylum seeker Ezaz the leading edge
At MarchwoodIFA we understand that we are a valued team within our local community, and not just from a financial ethics perspective. We get involved in community projects and social good ventures including local sport; because we cherish the discipline, respect and team building skills that sport so often brings. We also understand that increasingly, because of the squeezed budgets of schools and local authorities, access to kit, equipment and playing field areas can mean that some young people do not have the means to take part despite having the talent and the ambition.
We would like to share with you some work that we did with Ezaz, a young Afghan asylum seeker who came to the UK with his brother after the Taliban killed his father. His journey to flee his homeland started when he was about 14 years’ old, and it took him three years to make it to British shores. Walking from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then on to Iran, Ezaz often travelled without food, water or sleep. Following a route through Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Italy and then France, Ezaz was nine months in a Eurotunnel camp before boarding a lorry to the UK. He was found in Dover and given over to children’s services at Gatwick, where the county council’s leaving care department housed him with the Chichester Foyer housing centre for young people. Chichester Foyer reached out to Chichester Priory Park Cricket and hockey Club (Chichester Priory CC) as one of the few English words that Ezaz knew was “cricket”.
Happily Chichester Priory cricket club captain Jon Heaven could see that: “Ezaz had played cricket in Afghanistan and was a natural talent. He was very keen to watch others and learn.” Because of the strong links that Chichester Priory CC has with Goodwood Cricket Club Ezaz was able to get on the pitch on Sundays throughout September 2015. According to Heaven, in Ezaz first game he did well scoring six and taking two catches, this despite needing to: “adapt to the relatively slow green English wickets [which are] very different to the concrete like wickets of Afghanistan.”
Both Chichester Priory CC and Goodwood CC (captained by James Mayne) agreed to make Ezaz an honorary member. When the cricket season ended in September Ezaz enrolled at Worthing College to study English. In January Chichester Priory CC were able to start training ahead of April at Seaford College.
Though throughout last season Ezaz got by with donated kit from fellow team players, this year MarchwoodIFA team mates supported Ezaz by buying him new equipment and cricket kit. As an asylum seeker Ezaz is not allowed to take either paid, or unpaid work; so the donation was helpful to his continued cricketing success. Heaven said of Ezaz: “His cricket continues to improve, and he has produced some remarkable innings including a century against Arundel and many half centuries. We are confident he will remain part of the strong cricket community in Chichester for many years to come.”
If you would like to know more about our community work at MarchwoodIFA please contact us via the online form, or call us on: 01243 532 635, or email us on: info@marchwoodifa.