A charity for people with learning disabilities has raised more than £1.65million in just a weekend to enable its work to thrive.
Kisharon received a massive response to its appeal for support during its fundraising weekend, May 15-16, to ensure the charity can fund its essential services.
Its worst funding shortage is set to continue because of chronic underfunding and the cost-of-living crisis.
Kisharon collected the amount in 36 hours with the help of Charity Extra – and all donations will be doubled through generous match funding towards a £2.2 million total required.
Jewish organisation Kisharon offers children and adults with learning disabilities a rich and diverse education and employment. It has social enterprises and supported living schemes, to enable individuals “to thrive, learn, grow and feel valued in the community”.
After a very busy 36 hours, chief executive Richard Franklin said: “Everyone involved with Kisharon understands just how important the support for learning disabilities is and the need to fill the funding gap that unfairly exists for people with complex learning needs. I cannot thank all the team champions enough for their wonderful generosity and amazing spirit of support that they and the donors have shown Kisharon through this year’s match funding appeal. I’ve had the privilege to be involved with a heart-warming community of people with learning disabilities and the Kisharon family will thrive thanks to you all”.
Chronic underfunding is set to remain for social care services for the learning-disabled community, which, together with the cost-of-living crisis, means funding pressures are greater than ever.
Mr Franklin added “The success of the campaign demonstrates how our community want to ensure that every single member thrives without fear or favour and that we can retain and indeed increase on the donations that we have received during the cost-of-living crisis, at a third year of online fundraising speaks volume for the Jewish priority our Jewish community are proud to support.”
One of the 168 teams for the campaign was created by Kisharon College students.
The students had a variety of sessions at college about how Kisharon run the charity and they independently chose to fundraise. Creating their page themselves on the computer and agreeing a target, the students went to every effort to promote their page and fantastically raised over £26,000!
Aviva Braunold, College Manager said: “I am blown away. People have been so supportive and generous. We never expected to reach this point. The students set up their own page and agreed on a 10k target.
“The students’ initiative, hard work and drive is something we can all learn from. They feel so proud and have such a sense of achievement from more than doubling their goal.”
Student Shloimy joined Chief Executive, Richard Franklin at Kisharon Head Office and helped make phone calls to team leaders thanking them.
Shloimy was so inspired and said: “I would like to become the Deputy Chief Executive.”
Mr Franklin shared, “Shloimy has a fantastic telephone manner and enjoyed talking to people so much.”
Student Pini also joined head office and shared the exciting countdown as Kisharon neared its target alongside team leaders and participants.
Carolyn Rozenberg, Director of Fundraising said: “We are so grateful for the incredible commitment of our champions and their desire to support people with learning disabilities. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and thank all the donors so much. Thanks to your unbelievable generosity and dedication. The people we support will continue to learn, grow, prosper and thrive.”
Kisharon’s attention now turns to completing a set of fundraising challenges to further raise money towards the £2.2 million. Challenges included The Maccabi Fun Run, London Bridges Walk and a Golf Day. www.kisharon.org.uk/calendar/category/challenges
Donations can still be made at: www.kisharon.org.uk
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