The Grail The Grail - Who we are
Reaching out: A Grant Making Scheme

In September 2013, at the Annual General Meeting of the Grail Society, members agreed to the proposal that a recent generous donation should be used to start a fund offering support to parishes or small charities to carry out projects that would further the aims of the Grail which were defined as follows:
 G  growing as Christians as part of a Eucharistic community
 R  reaching out to others of any denomination, faith or none
 A  affirming our value as human beings made in the image of God
 I  identifying our gifts - to help one person grow is to help build the world
 L  living to the full, in harmony with all creation

This scheme will ensure that the name of the Grail, with its spirit and ethos, will carry on into the future by supporting those who are now carrying on the work that Grail members are no longer able to do themselves.

To further ensure the link between the membership and the projects that the fund supports, it was agreed that applications should be sponsored by individual Grail members. The limit we set for applications was between £500 - £1000 and, in April, we were delighted to respond to four very different groups which each fulfilled the above criteria.

It was clear that even these small sums were of very real help to small local charities working in the community for whom access to funds from other sources is especially difficult in the current economic climate. We now have three more applications to consider in November, two of which are for catechetical resources for parishes with very limited resources of their own.

There has proved to be a real need for this type of support but we invite all Grail people to let us know about any projects that they feel might qualify for support.

A condition of receiving the money is that the recipient is willing to write something about themselves and their project for In Touch so that people would be able to see the sort of projects we are supporting and the first articles appear below.

We have sufficient funds to give away £5000 a year for two or three more years and, after that, we hope that those who were themselves helped and formed by the Grail will want to contribute to this way of furthering the work of the Grail. And we hope that accounts of schemes we can support will prove to be an inspiring section in future issues of In Touch

31 Jan and 31 September are the deadlines for applications. Full details for applicants, and an application form, can be obtained from:

Grant Applications, The Grail Society,
c/o The Hermitage, Cheriton Road, Winchester SO22 5HW

Judith Schmidt, Grail Society Presidential Team

Accounts of the groups to whom the Grail Society has already supported:
WHERE is a Charity that exists to provide support services for adults with a disability or health condition or who are isolated due to age, health or bereavement.

It was initially established in 1988 by a local GP in temporary premises in a local car park, providing information and advice on health issues. The Charity has now grown and extended to provide a greater range of services and assistance that better meet the needs of individuals within the funds available. It is based at the Northfield Centre in Wellington, near Taunton.

The Charity operates a successful cafe providing good home- cooked meals in a safe, friendly environment. It also operates an Active Living Centre, with courses, activities and events. The Centre is a social hub providing shelter, contact, and social interaction together with information and support in a wide range of services. The Centre is open Monday to Friday for coffee mornings and afternoon teas, and lunches are available each day.

WHERE also operates several mini buses, driven by volunteers, to collect clients from their homes and return them as necessary. The mini buses are also used for clients' trips out, and can also be available for hire to similar caring charities in the area, and they are regularly in demand. Activities at the Active Living Centre are many with a range of courses and activities every day - art, photography, computer skills, bridge, crib, whist, keep fit, fitness for health, talking therapies on psychological well-being and much more.

Both Centres can be hired by other similar schemes when not in use by the Organisation, and thus providing much needed additional income. The Charity has a board of volunteer directors, meeting regularly to ensure that the Organisation is run within the parameter of charity guidelines and to give full support to employees and volunteers. The Chief Executive oversees every day workings of the Charity and is the reference person for any day to matters.

We are always aware that the work that we undertake is often so vital to those we serve.

Barbara Ford CEO

Hand in Hand Trust

The Grail Society made a grant of £700 towards the cost of a motor bike for the nursery administrator. Philip Hayllar, Grail Partner, sponsored this application.

Josie and Roger Masters visited Peru in 1991 and saw the conditions of poverty in which families lived and decided to do something about it by creating the Hand in Hand Trust for 'The Relief of poverty and its effects on Peruvian pre-school children, in particular, through the provision of integral day care centres to enable the children to develop physically, mentally and emotionally'.

It was decided to provide nurseries for children who were left at home alone or in the care of unsuitable adults and, by 2008, we had nurseries in three areas of Peru attended by 250 children and staffed by local carers and mothers who were trained by Hand in Hand. As the original areas have become more affluent we were able to leave those we had trained to run the original nurseries and move to areas more in need of help.


We now have two nurseries in Iquitos, a city at the mouth of the Amazon in the rain forest region of Northern Peru; they are in the poorest areas of the city where the parents have very little work and mostly exist by selling fish or bananas on stalls outside their homes, or repairing shoes or furniture at the roadside. These parents have very low expectations for their children and before the arrival of the Hand in Hand nurseries the children would not even attend school let alone nursery.

At the moment Carlos is very involved in teaching the nursery staff about the importance of creative play. He works in both nurseries every day, and this is where the bike is such an asset to him since they are situated at opposite ends of the city, an hour apart even with the bike. He actually works with the children as well as training the staff and their latest project has been making paper mache masks.

Dorothy Pople, Trustee

A Sensory Garden At the heart of 'Caring For Life'

We gave £500 towards the cost of turfing the sensory garden and the application was sponsored by Sheelagh Pickles, Grail Partner

Standing on a windy hilltop in a rural part of North Leeds, is to be found the unique Christian ministry of Caring For Life, a charity whose aim is to share the love of Jesus in a very practical way - by helping those in our society who are poor, disabled, infirm or otherwise in need. Their needs are addressed through the provision of housing, therapeutic daytime activities and long-term support and friendship.

The ministry's home is based on a farm, which is home to 15 therapeutic daytime activities that are helping many of those supported by the charity to rebuild their lives. In 1999 Care in Creation conservation project was developed, designed to help vulnerable adults who may never have opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, learn to care for the environment and play a part in helping to enhance the countryside around them.

Containing three wildlife ponds, with a stream and scrape system, a fruit and nut zone, disabled accessible pathways, two wheelchair accessible bird-watching hides, hedgerows, and a wildflower bank, the area has become a popular venue for visitors, including elderly and disabled groups.

At the very heart of the Care in Creation Project are the Sensory Gardens, which have recently undergone a complete makeover. A kind grant from The Grail Society earlier this year, enabled the laying of turf to the gardens, which provides an area for people with a variety of disabilities and able bodied persons, to be able to sit and fully enjoy these beautiful gardens.

The sensory gardens are beautiful all year round, and are accessible to everyone, with pathways laid. There are sights, sounds and fragrances to attract everyone, let alone to attract a wide variety of bird, butterflies and other wildlife.

The development of the sensory gardens forms an intrinsic part of the overall therapeutic care and support of a growing number of people at Caring For Life, for whom life held no stimulation and no hope. It is a place where numerous gentle, reassuring, comforting and deeply crucial conversations have been had with people who are hurting for many different reasons; a place where we can just sit and listen to those who need to talk, and where people know they are both heard and loved. Our prayer is that many will find for themselves, the Creator who made all things, who loves them and who is the answer to all their problems.

Liz Brownnutt, Administrator Caring for Life

Learn more about Caring for Life at:

BASE 33 Youth Trust Supporting Young People

We gave a grant of £900 to Base 33 to provide an outing for very young mothers and their children. The application was supported by Judith Schmidt, Grail Partner

BASE 33 Youth Trust is a vibrant charity offering help and support to young people who are experiencing challenges due to family breakdown, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse and long term unemployment.

Based on the High Street in Witney, Oxon, the Charity provides mentoring work and a variety of projects and activities that aim to support young people to access opportunities that improve employability and encourage them to make positive choices. Working with 13-24 year olds, Base 33 has been operating for over 15 years and is now delivering services in Carterton.

The charity began as an ecumenical partnership between the town's Methodist, Congregational and Anglican churches with a mission to have an open door through which vulnerable and chaotic young people could access a friendly and non-judgemental environment.

In October 2013 the Charity was awarded the prestigious title of Oxfordshire Charity of the Year and in March 2014 became the West Oxfordshire Business Awards Charity of the Year.

Earlier this year BASE 33 received funding from The Grail Society to support their young parent project and fulfil the group's aim to be able to take their children to Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park. The group were absolutely thrilled when they heard that funding had been achieved to enable their trip.

One young parent said, 'I was so excited about taking my little boy away. I can’t remember the last time we even took him somewhere outside of Witney. We all had a great time and his little face on the rides was such a picture. I felt so happy'

Hear our prayer for:
- for those struggling to make ends meet;
- for those on low wages or inadequate benefits;
- for those caring for children with special needs;
- for those working with vulnerable adults;
- for those who bring Christ to those they meet;
- for those working to make life better for others;
Based on a prayer by Jean Mortimer
© The Grail Society 2016