Rufus’ Friends’ Fund gets major cash boost to provide holidays for low income Warwickshire families caring for a relative with learning difficulties - The Leamington Observer

Rufus’ Friends’ Fund gets major cash boost to provide holidays for low income Warwickshire families caring for a relative with learning difficulties

Leamington Editorial 26th Feb, 2019   0

AN ORGANISATION which provides short breaks and holidays for low-income Warwickshire families caring for a relative with learning difficulties has received a major cash boost.

The WPH Charitable Trust has awarded £5,000 to the Leamington-based Rufus’ Friends’ Fund set up in memory of Rufus Hedderwick who died in 1990.

Although he had severe learning difficulties Rufus loved holidays and visiting new places. When he died aged 28 his mum and dad, Sandy and Jane Hedderwick, asked for donations in place of flowers, to help low income families to take their children on holiday.

Jane said: “When we first had the idea we thought it would last for just one year but it gathered momentum and now, nearly 29 years later, Rufus’ Friends’ Fund is still here.”

The organisation works closely with social services and special schools in Warwickshire to find beneficiaries. Accommodating families with a loved one with learning difficulties, it provides some form of respite for those who cannot afford a break away.

As well as children, Rufus’ Friends’ Fund also gives to families with an adult member with learning difficulties.

Rufus’ nephew Edward Button co-ordinates the fund alongside his grandparents, his mother Delia and his uncle Luke.

He said: “The criteria for grants is wide and varied – from providing the funds for a couple of hours of childcare in the school holidays to give parents a break, through to a school trip, or a week’s holiday for the family in a specially adapted caravan, Rufus’

Friends’ Fund awards between £7,000 to £10,000 to some 30 Warwickshire families each year, with grants typically ranging from £200 to £400 each time.”

The fund operates with no paid members of staff and no regular volunteers.

Instead Edward and his family organise big fund-raisers every couple of years, rallying the support of family and friends as helpers.

Their last three concerts over the past five or six years have each raised between £3,000 and £7,000. Other events have included a charity ball, a Chinese auction and a tea party.

Rufus’ Friends’ Fund also takes donations.

Edward added: “Rufus’ Friends’ Fund is a passion for all of us so it is fantastic when we receive help from individuals and organisations such as the WPH Charitable Trust.

“This was the first time we’d made an application to the trust following a recommendation from a family friend so to receive £5,000 was excellent news.”

Referrals to Rufus’ Friends’ Fund are via Social Services and special schools only.

Visit for further details or to donate.

The WPH Charitable Trust provides funding for individuals, groups and organisations which work to prevent, relieve and cure sickness in Coventry and Warwickshire. The trust provides grants for medical research, buildings, equipment and other forms of medical care for residents of the region.

Visit for further information.



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