Day for Life grants announced
Thanks to the generosity of parishioners up and down the country, the Day for Life archbishops of England and Wales were able to distribute over £500,000 in grants in support of life over the last two years.
The annual Day for Life is dedicated to celebrating the dignity of life from conception to natural death and the annual collection taken up in parishes on the last Sunday in July each year is used to give grants to life-related activities supported by the Church.
Amongst others, grant recipients included the City Pregnancy Counselling Psychotherapy (CPCP – born out of the Life organisation) offering counselling and psychotherapy to men, women and couples who are faced with a crisis pregnancy, pregnancy loss and infertility, (£10,000); ethical stem cell research, (£50,000); the distribution to parishes of a DVD focusing on ‘Spirituality and Dementia’, (£35,000) and the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, formerly the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics (£100,000).
City Pregnancy Counselling and Psychotherapy in Central London expressed their delight at receiving the grant: “CPCP was set up in September 2008, in conjunction with the national charity LIFE. Since then it has received 1893 client contacts – these could be emails, texts, phone calls or face to face sessions – and provided 470 counselling and therapy sessions, predominantly to women either experiencing a crisis pregnancy or suffering post-abortion difficulties, but also to couples suffering infertility, ectopic pregnancies and those requiring support during a pregnancy. CPCP is lucky to benefit from the services of a team of 14 professionally qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, or those in the final stages of their training, who all give their time and expertise for free. The generous £10,000 donation from Day for Life will be put towards the day-to-day running costs, including the £400 annual fee for CPCP’s website, which is a vital way in which clients make contact with us. It will also be used to help meet the annual rent for CPCP’s premises; the central City location is essential in enabling those working full time in the City and surrounding boroughs to access its services. LIFE, the management committee and the counsellors and therapists extend their thanks to those who made this donation possible.”
Professor Neil Scolding, PhD, FRCP from the University of Bristol Institute of Clinical Neurosciences has received £25,000 for ethical stem cell research at Frenchay Hospital, he said: “We are absolutely delighted with this splendid contribution to our bone marrow stem cell research programme relating to multiple sclerosis. Not only is it an extremely substantial help in funding our work, but an inspiring expression of confidence and optimism in what we are doing. We firmly believe that bone marrow cells could have a valuable therapeutic impact in MS, and both our clinical trial work and our laboratory research are geared towards exploring, developing and maximising this effect – which we hope in the future will also apply to other neurodegenerative diseases. Our immediate aims are to plan and carry out a further larger clinical trial in MS, again using patients’ own bone marrow cells, and in parallel to expand our laboratory studies so as to understand how to optimise the use of these cells. This major donation will accelerate our work, and we are extremely grateful to the Bishops’ Conference, and to churchgoers throughout the UK, for their great generosity.”
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has also been able to appoint a Mental Health Worker as a result of Day for Life funding. The new worker will encourage, inspire and increase the availability of local spiritual and pastoral support, for individuals and families affected by mental health problems across the Catholic community in England and Wales; through identifying and promoting existing good practices; devising a small grants programme; developing and sustaining networks.
The Archbishop for Day for Life, Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “I wish to extend my thanks to the generosity of parishioners up and down the country who give so generously to the Day for Life collection each year. Your generous giving enables us to support so many worthy projects and organisations – all working in different ways to promote the dignity of life from conception to natural death.”
The Day for Life Archbishops for England and Wales are Archbishop Bernard Longley and Archbishop Peter Smith.
Day for Life 2010 aims to present the Church’s teaching on death; it will highlight the importance of the sacrament of the sick, of praying for the dead and of accompanying the dying person as they journey towards God. It will also point towards the consoling presence and support of the community of faith and all of those who ‘have gone before us marked with the sign of faith’.
This year’s Day for Life falls on Sunday 25 July 2010
The Mental Health small grants programme is making available a range of several small grants totalling £70,000. There is no minimum grant limit and it is anticipated that the majority of grants will range from a few hundred pounds to a maximum of £8,000, although two projects will be funded up to a total of £15,000 if suitable. However, smaller projects are encouraged.
Please see catholicchurch.org.uk/mentalhealth for further details and application forms. Closing date for applications is 1 Oct 2010.
Please contact Gail Sainsbury, Project Worker, for any other information about the project.