Charles Kenyon's Country Diary: There is value in spreading our monies locally

Contracting locally is good for the community and if something goes wrong, you know who to call

Charles Kenyon
Charles Kenyon

Witnessing the pleasure that an improvement grant can give to beneficiaries is one of the nice things about leading local charities.

We have just been awarded a grant from the Almshouse Association so that we can build a final porch.

A small matter, perhaps, but it keeps the Lincolnshire weather out of the last of the three cottages. As with many other charity associations, the Almshouse Association is a very understanding and very practical organisation that is great to have in the background, offering support when required and prompting advice as necessary.

What is particularly heartening is that you deal one-to-one for your needs.

We try to add value to monies we raise. Over the past year our almshouse and church charities have recycled about £18,000 to painters, bricklayers, plumbers, cleaners, gardeners – all those who care for our buildings.

Most buildings used for charitable purposes must conform with legislation applicable to commercial activities, with all the extra rules and regulations. Keeping up with these standards is extra work and contracting that work locally is good for the community. And by not using the bigger companies, we can avoid the spectre of irrecoverable VAT.

Where skills exist, we offer beneficiaries the opportunity to self-help and reimburse them. This means we really keep the costs down, everyone has a stake in the charities and, if there is an emergency, you know exactly who to call for help.

Charles Kenyon lives near Market Rasen, retiredcolonel@oldvicarage.net

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