A CHARITY set up by a grieving mother to support vulnerable people in Coventry and Warwickshire has been awarded over £1,000 after a year-long search to celebrate the region’s kindest acts.
Helen Smith, founder of Evelyn’s Gift, has been named the winner of Wright Hassall’s 175 Acts of Kindness campaign, with the charity receiving a £1,175 donation to support underprivileged and at-risk people in the region.
Evelyn’s Gift was formed by Helen after her daughter, Evelyn, passed away unexpectedly aged seven. The charity offers little acts of kindness to people of all ages suffering from poverty, illness, bereavement, disability or abuse and provides training in CPR and life-support skills.
The £1,175 donation will help the volunteer-run charity continue to offer its bereavement support group to parents in Coventry in Warwickshire. Existing funding had been due to run out in the spring.
Helen said: “Everything we do is inspired by Evelyn’s life and the charity is touching many lives through acts of kindness. Sometimes these are small things like a pack of toiletries for young people at risk of exploitation, but can make a very big difference to their lives by giving confidence and showing that someone cares.
“I am personally moved that the employees of Wright Hassall recognised the value of our work and chose us to receive the award. This news is very welcome and will help us to bring more compassion and kindness to those in need. It means that we can continue to respond to requests from social services for everything from a pair of school shoes to a child’s bed.
“Some of our projects for this year include providing art materials for Safeline to support therapy for victims of child sexual abuse, as well as care leaver home packs, bereavement support packs for children and our parents’ bereavement group which will have exhausted its existing funding this year.”
The 175 Acts of Kindness initiative was created to mark Wright Hassall’s 175th anniversary by celebrating selfless people and groups in the region throughout 2021, with monthly winners receiving £175 to support a cause of their choice.
The chosen act of kindness from each month then went into an end of year vote with Wright Hassall staff selecting the winner of the final cash donation.
Helen was nominated by the charity’s auditor, John Plumb who identified a gap in its funding.
He said: “I have audited Evelyn’s Gift charity for a number of years and when I was made aware of Wright Hassall’s 175 Acts of Kindness Award, I had no hesitation in nominating Helen.
“It is a tremendous effort that Helen and her team make for underprivileged children and adults.”
Robert Lee, corporate partner at Wright Hassall, said: “We have come across some incredible people and organisations over the last year, and it has been a privilege to be able to share some of their stories with the rest of the region.
“We hope the donation will help Helen to continue her vital work in the region, and leave a legacy of kindness following our 12-month celebration of selflessness and compassion in Coventry, Warwickshire and the Midlands.”
Donations to Evelyn’s Gift can be made via GoFundMe.