Every penny donated will help to keep our charity going though this difficult time. Serving our Trainees and the local community will remain a reality.
Spadework is a registered charity.
For 35 years we have been providing care, support and meaningful opportunities to adults with learning and other disabilities, known to us as our Trainees. We are currently fighting for our very survival and without your help we face the very real and scary prospect of being forced to close our doors for ever.
The past three weeks have been very difficult for us. The effects of social distancing and self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, have hit our charity hard, as they have many other charities and businesses.
What we do in the good times
Normally each weekday we open our doors at 9am to our Trainees, who are adults with learning and other disabilities for whom we provide care and support. They come to Spadework and take part in a wide range of activities, from growing plants and vegetables, to making jams and chutneys to serving in our Café and Farm Shop. They come to Spadework to learn and practise skills that will enable them to reach their full potential. The projects they do with us give them a sense of purpose and allow them to experience a safe environment.
Our Trainees also interact with the local community. As a charity we have many supporters who live in the surrounding villages and towns, like West Malling and Maidstone. Some of them know our Trainees very well.
What we are doing right now
Since March 23 our Trainees have had to stay at home following Government guidelines. The long-term effect on their mental health is yet to be realised, but we know that when restrictions are lifted our staff and volunteers will be ready to welcome them back and to help them re-build their lives.
BUT, since March our funding has taken a huge hit. We have seen a reduction in statutory funding, although we continue to provide remote services to our Trainees. The other 50 per cent of our income that is raised from our Farm Shop, Garden Centre and Café has been very badly hit. The money we raise in the spring months helps to subsidise the rest of the year, so the significance of this loss of business is multiplied several times. It will affect our cashflow for the future and we will feel the impact of this pandemic for years to come. We estimate we are missing out on £80,000 of income a month. We have also had to cancel some of our key fundraising events.
Why we need your help
Without your help, we are concerned that the monumental efforts that are currently being put in by volunteers to protect our revenue will be unable to save the charity from closure.
Not only would this have a detrimental effect on our Trainees it would also affect the local community. For the last three weeks we have been providing veg box and grocery deliveries to many local vulnerable people who are in self-isolation. We have welcomed many new visitors to our Farm Shop who are shopping for essential items. We are doing a significant amount to help staff at the local Heart of Kent Hospice, for example to enable their staff to receive regular food deliveries.
None of this will be possible for much longer if we do not receive vital funds.
We are grateful to all of the people who have shown their support for us and we know that these are challenging times for everyone. We need to be here when life gets back to normal so we can serve our Trainees and our local community.
Please help us so that we can help you in the next few weeks and months and retain the significant place we have in the heart of our community.
Whatever you can give will help us.
We look forward to happier times when we can meet up to celebrate and give thanks for our wonderful community.