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Vulnerable people in Barnet benefit from huge fundraising drive by Cllr Lisa Rutter
Some of Barnet’s most vulnerable people are feeling the benefits of a borough wide fundraising drive fronted by former mayor, Councillor Lisa Rutter.
During her time in office, from 2011-2012, the mayor worked with a committee of volunteers to raise £51,370 for charity.
The money has been split between three charities, each of which received £17,125.
The chosen charities were the nationwide Outward Bound Trust, which offers outdoor activities to school groups, The Alzheimer’s Society, which has a branch at Edgware Community Centre in Burnt Oak Broadway, and Barnet Young Carers and Siblings, based in Ballards Lane, North Finchley, which supports carers aged five to 17.
The Alzheimer’s Society is hoping to use its share of the money to open a dementia cafe.
The charity is currently considering plans to open the cafe, which would provide a safe hub for people with dementia, at the new Finchley Memorial Hospital in Granville Road.
The money received by the Outward Bound Trust will be used to take a group of the borough’s children who have little experience of the countryside to North Wales for two weeks.
They will spend the time at an adventure camp where it is hoped that they will learn new skills and increase in confidence.
Cllr Rutter was responsible for deciding how to spend the money she was giving to Barnet Young Carers and Siblings.
She asked the charity to find a family with a young carer in each of Barnet’s 21 wards.
She then went to visit each family to offer to grant them a wish.
Each one was offered £500 to put towards anything they most needed or wanted.
For example, one family went to Dorset for a long weekend and another used to money to buy essential clothing for their children.
Gary Smith, supervisor and officer at Barnet Young Carers and Siblings, said: “For the families that have benefitted this has been fantastic.
“We have really been encouraging them to work as a family to decide what they need – what they should spend the money on.
“It has provided a real boost to a lot of people.”
Cllr Rutter said: “It was very hard work but I am over the moon with the amount we have raised.
“Obviously we are in hard times and I would have loved to have raised more but, even though I am not mayor any more, I will continue to work for these charities.”
She added: “I chose charities that we close to my heart.
“I chose The Alzheimer’s Society because my mum has Alzheimer’s and I am her full time carer so I know how difficult it is.
“I know how hard it is for us adults to be carers so can you imagine how hard it is for a child?
“That is why I chose Barnet Young Carers and Siblings as well.”