Association of Jersey Charities - Charity Awards 2011, Judges Comments

SMALL - Shortlist:
• Caring Hands Ltd
• Driving for the Disabled
• Families in Recovery -Silkworth Lodge
• Friends of the Bridge
• Le Squez Youth Club

Introduction
The standard of entries in the Jersey Charity Awards 2011 small category was indeed exceptional and extremely varied, from Le Squez youth club, which has for over 30 years provided an exceptional and invaluable service for young people, to Silkworth Lodges ‘Families in Recovery Trust' which has an impressive 83% success rate in helping people recover from drug and alcohol dependency. The great work that Friends of the Bridge do in helping families grow and reach their potential will certainly be of long term, lasting benefit. All of these causes, along with the unique range of help Caring Hands at Jersey Sanctuary House provide for men in crisis situations, and Driving for the Disabled, are all deserving of an award and recognition.

Top Three:
1. Driving for the Disabled
2. Families in Recovery -Silkworth Lodge
3. Le Squez Youth Club

The winner: Driving for the Disabled
This entirely volunteer run charity, set up just over four years ago, has successfully provided a specially adapted car and qualified assessors to enable over 100 physically disabled people to return to driving and learn to drive.
Driving for the Disabled undertakes cognitive assessments and provides advice on specialist vehicle adaptations that enable people with a wide range of disabilities, such as Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, stroke, heart conditions, brain and spine injuries, to drive again.
Previously anyone who was, or had become disabled and wanted to learn to drive or return to driving had to go to the UK for this service, which was expensive and stressful particularly for newly disabled people. The charity works closely with Health and Social Services and now even has GPs referring clients to them.
The organisation is an associate member of the Forum of Mobility Centres UK, who appraise the service, commenting on the excellent service standards achieved.
Being able to drive is empowering and offers a disabled person a new found independence, confidence and improved self esteem. Community benefits are widespread as many clients are able to gain employment as a result, coming off income support and making a positive contribution to the economy of the island.
Developing this niche service took two years of hard work and determination with many obstacles to overcome, however they secured funding to get their first vehicle. The founder Pam Evans and her fellow Trustees are very much unsung heroes that we feel are highly deserving of the recognition of this award.

MEDIUM - Shortlist:
• Brighter Futures
• Gorey Youth Project
• Jersey Alzheimer's Association
• Milli's Child Contact Centre
• Prison! Me! No Way!!! Jersey

Introduction
The entries in the medium sized charity category were again of an excellent standard, with many long term, innovative and interesting initiatives, reflecting the diverse range of services delivered by organisations across the island. From Jersey Alzheimer's Association, who help over 1000 people with dementia, their families and carers, to Gorey Youth Project, who have within the last two years dramatically increased their membership from 15-311, providing youngsters with a service they need and more importantly want. To Milli's Child Contact Centre who provide a neutral haven for children from separated families, where they can spend time with the non resident parent and other family members in a safe friendly place.

Committed to making a long term difference to people lives, we applaud the work of Prison! Me! No Way!!! Jersey whose innovative education programme and collaborative work aims to dissuade young people from a life of crime, and the work of Brighter Futures, who are committed to improving the life chances of families, particularly those from troubled backgrounds.
It was a hard won contest with so many deserving causes that we wish all could have won an award.

Top Three:
1. Jersey Alzheimer's Association
2. Prison! Me! No Way!!! Jersey
3. Brighter Futures

The winner: Jersey Alzheimer's Association
Just over a year ago, The Jersey Alzheimer's Society was facing a take over, with all services due to be delivered from a Hampshire base, with paid UK staff and island based volunteers, the organisation had difficult choices to make.
The need for a Jersey based service was obvious and the trustees having all resigned from the UK affiliated branch, set up an island based organisation, with staff resigning from the Alzheimer's society being appointed to the new Jersey Alzheimer's Association, the charity was re-born.
Starting with a zero balance, the trustees, staff and volunteers showed great fortitude and determination in raising the funding to be able to continue to deliver the same level of service for islanders. Within 12 months of being set up they were able to take back all of the previous services provided, including running of the Saturday Club, which provides a safe, caring environment for people in all stages of dementia enable families and carers to take a break along with their Musical Memories activity, which aims to encourage social interaction and stimulate memory, with gentle exercises to help with coordination.
The charity now provides a wide range of support and services to over 1000 people in Jersey who have dementia, their carers, families and friends.
They have been successful in obtaining partial funding for an Admiral Nurse for three years and pro actively campaigned for the National Dementia Strategy which the States of Jersey signed up to in 2010.

LARGE - Shortlist:
• Autism Jersey
• Grace Trust Jersey
• Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled (JSAD)
• Jersey Women's Refuge
• Street Pastors Jersey

Introduction
Entries for this category of the award were of a very high quality indeed, and the judges again found it difficult to decide the winner as they felt all were worthy of recognition but after much debate the winner was unanimously agreed upon.
From the moving story presented by Autism Jersey who provide support and assistance to people on the island with autistic spectrum conditions, to Street Pastors Jersey whose 50 volunteers offer a unique and sometimes difficult service as they patrol the streets of St Helier every Saturday night.
Grace Trust Jersey provide a wide range of support to the poor, sick and needy in the community, Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled (JSAD) who for 25 years have encouraged and supported local people with disabilities to participate in sporting activities, to Jersey Women's Refuge who work to empower all women affected by domestic violence, all are worthy of recognition.

Top Three:
1. Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled (JSAD)
2. Women's Refuge
3. Street Pastors, Jersey

The winner: Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled
Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled has developed over the past 25 years into a very active local charity with over 70 volunteers assisting people with a wide range of disabilities, to take part in sporting activities.
The charity is well run and meets so many of its clients' needs, who obviously benefit tremendously from the work , which enables them to take part in weekly exercise such as wheelchair basketball, tennis, athletics, martial arts, swimming, bowls, gymnastics and running.
The organisation raises awareness of the everyday obstacles people with disabilities have to overcome and helps able bodied people become more aware of what it's like being disabled. They organise an outreach programme to local schools, with 539 students taking part last year, in the challenge of trying wheelchair basketball. Feedback from these sessions has been very positive with 10 young people joining the JSAD as volunteers.
The association has a business plan for each individual project and they are tasked each year with staying within budget and yet still continue to meet all goals for the clients. The "wash down" after each event has enabled to them to build upon each event to maximise outcomes.
After being in existence for 25 years and being 100% volunteer led and with the Paralympics approaching, we felt it was time to celebrate the amazing achievements of the Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled and acknowledged the tremendous efforts put in by all concerned.
The association has enabled many local sports people to compete at a national level and what has been achieved by the team of volunteers and participants is indeed a celebration of human spirit.