Fit Together Donation
Many of you are aware that we have been looking at ways to ensure the long term sustainability of the walks programmes. The benefits of the programme in terms of physical and mental health, not to mention the social value, are well recognised and acknowledged by all concerned, not least of all by yourselves. However, we no longer have the much prized Lloyds Pharmacy support and the Department of Health grant was cut earlier this year. As things stand we do not have sufficient funding to support the whole programme in its current form after March 2011.
We will probably have about half the funding we need – approximately £70,000 – but that is still dependant on a substantial contribution from NHS Norfolk and that remains far from certain given the forthcoming White Paper on public health. I am confidant that the proposed new structures in health will contribute substantially in time but I have little sense of when that might be. Local Authorities are suffering significant cuts and it is unrealistic to expect them to contribute more than they do now regardless of how much they value the programme. There must be the opportunity to attract new sponsorship but it is a difficult climate at the moment and, in any event, such agreements take time to negotiate and finalise.
In September we ran a sample consultation to gauge the reaction amongst you to the introduction of a donation scheme to support the walks. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I am opting to grasp the nettle and introduce the scheme in January. The proposal is for a simple voluntary donation to be made which will go directly to supporting the costs of the walks programme. The key points of the scheme can be summarised as follows:
- Donations are totally voluntary and there is absolutely no obligation for members to make a contribution
- Any sum is welcome. An annual target donation of £26 (which equates to 50p per week) has been identified but more or less will be just as valued.
- The proposal is for an annual donation to be made in the January or for two part payments – one in January and one in July
- All cheques should be made payable to Norfolk County Council and may be sent directly, or via your Co-ordinator, to Sue Alden at Active Norfolk. Cheques should be clearly marked on the back Fit Together North Norfolk, Central, West or Breckland.
- An online payment facility is also available via the Active Norfolk website.
- We are discouraging cash donations as this is an unreasonable burden on Walk Leaders. If this causes you a problem please speak to your Co-ordinator.
- All information on donations will be kept strictly confidential
If you have any queries please talk to your Co-ordinator or feel free to phone me directly on 01603 732331
Thank you in advance for your support and I hope that together we can continue to develop this much valued programme.
Director, Active Norfolk