2 Lakeside Business Park
Caravan (National Grocers Benevolent Fund)
Caravan currently assists around 1,500 former grocery industry workers whom for various reasons have fallen on hard times. Each of our beneficiaries receives an annual sum of �778 which is paid quarterly. For those in the industry who have worked for some time but perhaps not quite long enough to qualify for our ongoing support, or who do not qualify within our financial parameters, we are sometimes able to provide one-off grants, which have amounted to over �17,000 in 2006. These can make an enormous difference to many beneficiaries, particularly those who are householders and struggling to maintain their homes with dwindling funds to do so. Typically these grants are used to install walk-in showers, double glazing, replace boilers, fit security measures or undertake roof repairs. In addition, we have assisted with more personal requests, such as help with council tax arrears and utility debts.As well as this financial assistance, we also help our beneficiaries in other, practical ways. When someone applies for our help welfare assessor visits them in their home, and makes a detailed assessment of their needs. Not only does the assessor look into their financial situation, he or she also checks that the applicant is in possession of all the essentials of modern day living. For example, we ensure that all our beneficiaries have safe fully functioning domestic appliances such as a washing machine, cooker, fridge, telephone and television. Other household equipment provided over the last year has also included vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens and beds... Beneficiaries with mobility difficulties can be provided with electrically powered wheelchairs and scooters, stairlifts and recliner chairs. And for particularly frail or vulnerable beneficiaries who live alone, we are able to provide Telephone Response Systems, which enable them to feel more confident in their own homes.