A brief history of ‘Helping Hands’ 1994 – 2005


We have now become a Company Registered by Guarantee, so are a Charitable Company. We have four Trustee/Directors: Peter Bailie, Ann Darlington, Christine Stephens & Joyce Williams. We needed a Volunteer Co-ordinator and this year we had a grant to employ someone to fill the post. This was a very exciting year for us as we won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. We had a presentation night with the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Mr Simon Boyle who presented us with a certificate and a crystal award on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. In July, the four Trustees/Directors represented ‘Helping Hands’ at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.


Along with the existing four Directors we have another 3; Verena Harris, Hester Jones & Doris Shurmer. To date we have over £100,000’s worth of equipment in our Home Comforts Lending Service. We have raised well over £500,00, and have helped hundreds of families in the Upper Rhymney Valley.
We have received over £100,000 in grants to help with various projects. We are a local charity and are able to listen to the residents and know exactly what their needs are, therefore are able to help them immediately. Something that the National Charities and NHS are unable to achieve. When someone is seriously ill they are unable to cope with the endless forms and assessments – all they want is immediate help, and that is our aim; to make the carer’s life easier and the patient’s life more comfortable.


As a result of receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Services in 2006, two directors, Doris Shurmer and Verena Harris were invited to meet the Queen @ Buckingham Palace in May. The Charity was unsuccessful in obtaining a National Lottery Grant to open another Drop in Centre and Charity Shop in New Tredegar. Christine Stephens decided, after 14 years, to stand down as Chairperson.


The renovation of our Charity Shop @ 74 High Street was completed. The organisation originated a weekly lottery draw in September


Joyce Williams resigned as Trustee/Director and Company Secretary after 15 years, but will remain as a volunteer. Wales and the West Housing Association accepted position of patrons of the charity. Social Audit completed by consultancy company Resources For Change


The Lord Lieutenant for Gwent invited three volunteers to a Diamond Jubilee church service in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.


Completed the purchase of 74 High Street. Opened Clothes Shop @ 75 High Street, Drop in Centre transferred from 92 High Street to upstairs room in 75 High Street.


Renovation of flat @ 74a High Street completed.


Reprint of Christine Stephen’s book ‘Don’t Wish Me A Happy New Year. For 20th Anniversary Millennium Chorale performed a Celebration Concert.


External walls and doors of 74 and 75 High Street repainted. Helping Hands Ebay Shop originated.