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Counting the Costs 2010 – Families with disabled children struggle to afford food and heating

Families with disabled children are going without essentials such as food and heating. This is the norm, not a temporary crisis brought on by the economic slump.

These are the findings of Counting the Costs 2010, a survey and report from Contact a Family. The survey, a repeat of one carried out in 2008, asked over 1,100 UK parents caring for a disabled child about their current financial situation.

Key findings include:

  • Almost a quarter are going without heating (23%). Up from 16% in 2008.
  • One in seven (14%) are going without food. Down from 16% in 2008.
  • More than half have borrowed money from family or friends (51%) to keep financially afloat or pay for essentials, such as food and heating. Up from 42% in 2008.
  • More than 40% have applied for a charity grant. Up from 25% in 2008.
  • Almost three quarters (73%) are going without days out and leisure time with the family. Up from 55% in 2008.

Srabani Sen, Chief Executive of Contact a Family, said: “Many families with disabled children are in financial dire straits. Everyone has been hit hard by the recession but families with disabled children were already having to cope with a harsh combination of extra living costs and the difficulty of holding down a job and caring. These financial pressures have been worsened by the economic slump and have left many at breaking point.

“In the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review we call on the Government to pay particular attention to ensuring that families with disabled children are genuinely protected.”

Many of the parents who responded to Counting the Costs 2010 don’t work (60%) due to the difficulties of juggling employment and caring. Many parents wish to return to work, but find the lack of flexible working and the cost of childcare prohibitive, with 45% reporting they pay more for childcare for their disabled child.

Counting the Costs 2010 shows that financial difficulties have a negative impact on many aspects of life and increases families’ social isolation. Almost three quarters are going without leisure and days out and 68% are going without holidays. Even basic activities, such as swimming or going to the local park that other families take for granted, are difficult and this is worsened by a lack of money.

Srabani Sen added: “Time and time again research shows that families with disabled children have an above-average risk of living in poverty. Steps must be taken to address this imbalance from the Government, from businesses and employers, from local authorities and the voluntary sector.”

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Fashion lovers raise £600 for Leicester Charity Link

Fashion lovers were treated to a Midsummer Madness fashion show by Debenhams at The Almanack, Highcross, Leicester, on what was a glorious midsummer evening. An amazing £600 was raised on the night all in aid of Leicester Charity Link.

Guests relaxed and enjoyed the show with a glass of bubbly and canapés all in the elegant surroundings of The Almanack. For shopaholics there were plenty of opportunities to indulge and purchase gorgeous jewellery and silks from Emily Jane and designer shoes from Kindred Soul. For those who needed their nails done then Thiaras Beauty was on hand.

Susan McEniff, Director of Marketing & Fundraising at Leicester Charity Link, said “I would like to thank everyone who supported our event to ensure that it was a great success. It was a fantastic evening and due to the way in which we work we will be able to convert the £600 raised into £3,000 by accessing charitable funds that are available to help individuals in need. All of that £3,000 which will go to those in desperate need in our community.”

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One Passion, One Leicester, One Stage

The City of Leicester College will be hosting an event to celebrate Leicester. The One Passion, One Leicester, One Stage event will be held at The City of Leicester College, Downing Drive, Evington, Leicester on Saturday 19th June, starting at 12pm.  Entry is free and there will be fun for all the family, including circus skills, talent show, climbing wall, sporting activities, Lemon Jelly Arts and Shimla Pink. Leicester Sound and Filbert the Fox will be entertaining the crowds and Leicester Charity Link will be raising awareness of their vital work within the community.

The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor, Councillor Colin Hall, patron of Leicester Charity Link, will be officially opening the event at 12pm. 

Mel Tomlinson, Business & Enterprise Co-ordinator of The City of Leicester College, said “The students decided they wanted to create an event that would celebrate the rich diversity of our college community. What started as a small idea in a Year 7 Enterprise Day has turned into a fantastic, fun day for the whole family and local community.”

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Business networking groups battle it out for charity in ten pin bowling challenge

Two rival Leicester networking groups have been battling for supremacy in a charity ten pin bowling challenge.

Ten members of Business and Bacon took on 10 members of The Regency Group in the competition staged at the Hollywood Bowl at Meridian Leisure Park in Braunstone

After two hotly contested frames, The Regency’s team emerged as victors, although Leicester-based organisation Leicester Charity Link was the ultimate winner after receiving cheques for £250 from both clubs.

Business and Bacon meets every Wednesday at the Westfield House Hotel in Blaby, while The Regency Group holds its breakfast meetings every Friday at The Regency Hotel in London Road, Leicester.

Both groups have around 25 members with marketing consultancy, legal services, engineering, office printing supplies, web design, insurance, accountancy, jewellery, recruitment and telecoms among the diverse business sectors represented.

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The Almanack hosts fashion show for Leicester Charity Link

The Almanack will be hosting a Midsummer Madness fashion show with Debenhams to raise much needed funds for Leicester Charity Link. The event will take place at The Almanack, Highcross, Leicester, at 7.30pm on Thursday 24th June.

Guests can relax and enjoy a midsummer’s evening fashion show by Debenhams with canapés and half price champagne all in the elegant surroundings of The Almanack, Highcross, Leicester. For those who fancy a spot of shopping then Emily Jane will be showcasing gorgeous jewellery and silks, Bags of Love will be showcasing fashionable handbags at affordable prices and guests can also have their nails done for just £5 by Thiaras Beauty. Tickets cost £5 and all proceeds raised will be donated to Leicester Charity Link. For tickets please contact Susan McEniff on 0116 222 2212, email or purchase tickets online at  

Susan McEniff, Director of Marketing & Fundraising at Leicester Charity Link, said “This is a fantastic opportunity to have a wonderful midsummer’s evening and raise funds to support those in desperate need in our community. I would like to thank all those involved for their support to ensure that this evening is a great success.”

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Dalycom donates telephone system worth £5,000

Dalycom, based in Mountsorrel, has donated a new NEC telephone system worth £5,000 to local charity Leicester Charity Link. The new telephone system has replaced the out-of-date system used by the charity. Hundreds of vulnerable people and children use the services of Leicester Charity Link each week and an effective phone system is essential to help those in desperate need. 

Ruth Ingman, President of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce and Non-Executive Director of Leicester Charity Link, said “This is great news and will provide a vital link to Leicester Charity Link for those in desperate need.”

Leicester Charity Link help over 5,000 vulnerable people and children each year who are experiencing poverty, hardship or crisis throughout Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. They provide everyday basic essentials to those in desperate need such as beds, cookers, clothes and, in emergencies, food.

Amanda Daly, Sales Director at Dalycom, said “After meeting with Leicester Charity Link, it was obvious how much everyone relied upon the telephone system. The new NEC telephone system will ensure that the charity can continue to support Leicestershire’s most vulnerable”.

Jim Munton, Director of Operations at Leicester Charity Link, said that “We are extremely grateful to Dalycom, our old telephone system was difficult to maintain and we simply did not have sufficient funds to replace it. Dalycom came to our rescue and offered Leicester Charity Link a brand new system for free. Many of our most vulnerable customers need help immediately, this new system enables us to handle calls effectively, improved the level of service we provide and we will also make significant cost savings now and in the future, we can’t thank Dalycom enough.”

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PKF raises £293 for Leicester Charity Link

PKF, accountants and business advisers in Leicester, donated £293 to Leicester Charity Link from money raised by staff at various internal office fundraising events.  Lynn Newey, Marketing Executive at PKF, said “From cake sales, to car washing, book sales to guessing the bonus ball, we are proud to have had the opportunity to raise money for Leicester Charity Link who help people of all ages and from all communities who are vulnerable and in genuine need.”

 Leicester Charity Link is a small local charity who relies heavily on donations from local companies to continue their vital work in our community. Susan McEniff, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Leicester Charity Link, said that “We are extremely grateful to PKF for supporting Leicester Charity Link, it is the basic items in life that make the biggest difference, such as a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear and food to eat. With the support of PKF we will be able to provide these items to hundreds of local vulnerable people and children who come to us each week in desperate need.”