Photo: David Barron(left) with Enda Rylands
Founder and current Chairperson of the Community Link Foundation, David Barron has announced that he will be stepping down from the Board. This comes after dedicating a huge amount of his time over the last three years for this very worthy cause.
CLF was the brainchild of David Barron, who after raising over just over £217k for Claire House Children’s Hospice, decided to set up a foundation to raise funds that directly benefit those in need in our local community.
David said, “When we started CLF, we wanted to strengthen the links within our community and offer support to individuals or groups who needed help and I feel that together we have all achieved this. Although I had experience in hosting charitable events and raising money, I didn’t have the knowledge in actually setting up a charity and all the paperwork that would be required to adhere to the Charity Commission to be granted charitable status. It was certainly challenging but with the dedication of the Board, we achieved registered charity status.”
David continued, “It’s been quite a journey for CLF and there are far too many people to thank, Board Members past and present who made valuable contributions to the foundation. Like me, all these people have given up their time for free, promoting the charity, awarding grants and have paid money out of their own pockets to attend events.”
He added, “I would like to personally thanks all previous Board Members who have selflessly donated their own time to the foundation – Glenys, Liza , Lisa , Kerry, Haydn, Lisa, Dave, David, Alison, Annie and current Board members Tracy, Enda , Cheryl, Dave, Ceri, Lisa, Joel, Lisa, Will and Wendy. Furthermore, there have been many helpers over the years, Karen, Ron, Nicola and Caroline who have been dedicated to CLF.
There are also Ambassadors to CLF who have been very supportive – Adam, Sandra, Kerry, Dave & Mark and our Patron Dan Purvis. A special mention to Southport Visiter, without their support we would not have been able to get our message out there.
When we started, we did not have any funds so I asked twenty local companies to give us £500 each as part of a sponsorship package and the generosity of these companies was astounding and they continue to support us. Six events were very quickly organised and attended by the local community which created a fund so that we could finally award grants and get the message out there.
Looking back over the last three years, certain things spring to mind – memories of my own school days, when I was invited to speak with the children at Churchtown Primary School’s assembly. The children were so welcoming. I briefed the children about the work that CLF do as it is important that we get the message across to future generations. As a result, the children were very excited and helped us raise funds by making CLF their charity of the year.
There have been many memorable events. A favourite of mine was the Glitterati event last December when Diversity came to Southport and performed to a very excited 500 guests. This event alone raised an incredible £18k.
David’s last day as Chairperson will see him making his final draw for The 600 Club.
The idea behind this was for us to raise £1500 profit a month by having 600 members each paying £5 per month with the chance of winning a £1000 prize, with five runner ups prizes of £100. We are not quite up to capacity yet, but have approximately 450 members which give us a steady profit of £750 a month. Obviously the goal is to achieve 600 members so that we can have a guaranteed income of £1500 each month. I would encourage anyone who would like to be involved with this to get in touch with CLF on email@example.com and an application can be sent out.
There have been many groups and individuals who have raised funds on behalf of CLF. From tea parties to pub quizzes, sports events and black tie evenings and many more and I would like to thank each and every one of you. Without this invaluable support, many grants could not have been awarded.
This fundraising has enabled us to pay out thousands of pounds in grants to those who need it. There are far too many to mention, however every grant awarded is special and is the most rewarding part of the role for all the Board Members. One that sticks out for me was a grant awarded to a very special young lady who suffered from cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. CLF purchased a specially made tricycle so that she could enjoy riding a bike safely with her family. Seeing the joy on her face was overwhelming and it certainly made a difference to the whole family.
Enda Rylands will be taking over as Chairperson when David steps down on 31st March. David said, “I have worked with Enda for the past two years and have witnessed his passion and commitment for CLF and also the work that he does within the community as current Chairperson of The Bid. Southport is very lucky to have such a dedicated Ambassador.”
Statement from Enda Rylands – “I was very happy when David approached me to consider taking over the position of Chairperson and for the Board to have voted me in. CLF is at the heart of the community and local people and businesses have embraced what we are trying to achieve. David’s dedication over the last three years has been incredible and I am thankful that he will remain an Ambassador for CLF.”
Enda added, “We are in a strong financial position so would invite people, groups or organisations to take a look at our website (www.clfoundation.co.uk) to see if they meet criteria and complete an application form. Likewise, we always welcome anybody who would like to raise money on behalf of CLF and would love to hear from you.
David said, “There are lots of fresh and exciting ideas within the Board. It is time for me to hand over the reins, due to the birth of my son last year and work commitments, I am struggling to dedicate the time that is required to fulfil this role. I am excited to continue as an Ambassador and will be hosting an event in the near future to raise much needed funds for CLF.
Finally, I would like to wish everyone who has been involved in CLF, a wholehearted thank you and good luck for the future.
Report Courtesy of www.clfoundation.co.uk
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