In December, the Trustees of the Walberswick Common Lands Charity made their grant allocations for 2018, totalling over £48,000, which they understand is a record amount. This includes £5,000 to the various state schools attended by 25 children from the Village. The Trustees believe this is the highest number of young people supported in many years.

In 2017 our largest donation of over £11,000 was once again to the Sole Bay Care Fund, a charity run by Cathy Ryan who is Community Matron at the Sole Bay Health Centre. The Care Fund fills the gap between the in-home healthcare service provided by the NHS and the higher levels of care and support that patients and families need in rural communities such as ours. Our donation funded all in-home healthcare provided by the Care Fund to villagers during the year, including end of life care, enabling residents to see out their days in their own home. The Trustees are delighted to support such a worthy cause.

However from 1 January the NHS has changed how in-home healthcare is managed and funded in South Waveney. In part to end what it calls the ‘inequality’ caused by the high levels of service delivered by the Sole Bay Health Centre and the Care Fund when compared to the other GP practices within South Waveney.

Given the potential risk to service levels in Walberswick, the Charity invited the Walberswick Parish Council to join us in monitoring the situation. Along with Councillor Jane Sutherland-Rogers and our Trustee Rita Woodcraft, I met with the Sole Bay Practice Manager, Rigby Whittaker and Cathy Ryan to learn what this could mean for Walberswick. Even though it is early days, it appears additional support from the Care Fund will be required to fill the gap in service levels that will be left by the NHS.

The Charity will assist the Care Fund where possible, but if you are thinking of charitable giving, the Sole Bay Care Fund (charity no 1144108) is well worth your consideration. You can make an on-line donation here: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/solebaycarefund or see their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Solebay-care-Fund-Registered-Charity-number-1144108- 155955531137987/ . Alternatively you can contact Cathy Ryan c/o the Sole Bay Health Centre.

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