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news 2007

Press Release: 5 November 2007

On Monday October 29 the New Forest Disability Information Service held their Annual Public Meeting and the Future of NFDIS at the Leonard Cheshire Centre in New Milton. 

Andrew Hayward-Wills opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to what he hoped would show a positive future for the New Forest Disability Information Service after what has certainly been a very difficult year. 

The Membership voted in Andrew Hayward-Hills as Chairman; there being no nominations for Treasurer or Secretary, Andrew agreed to use his business acumen to oversee the finances until such a time as a Treasurer can be found.  Trustee Barbara Keeling stayed on the Board and was joined by Janet Allen, Molly Deaton and Michael Lanning who were voted in as Trustees. 

A report upon finances was presented by Ms Mandy Robbins from accountants PrinceCroft Willis who’s services it was agreed to continue using for the future year.  Despite huge financial worries brought about by a lack of available grants to apply for and by not managing to secure a Big Lottery grant, the charity had remained open.  All paid staff were made redundant in July 2006, but most had remained at their desks on a voluntary basis and with the other volunteers had successfully helped approx 1,000 clients with over 1,800 enquiries and secured some £376,371 in new benefit awards for the clients.  A huge vote of thanks was offered to all the volunteers for all their hard work and dedication to the charity’s cause. 

Cathy Gogan and Jacki Keable spoke positively about the future for the Service with a determined drive towards at least partial self funding with training and consultation work being expanded, sales of bric-a-brac and books from the Osborne Road office being offered every day, and proposals to expand display areas for sales of new and slightly used disability equipment.  For the clients, it is planned to expand the office hours to 5 full days a week; the successful pilot of the Travelling Service that visits GP surgeries and Libraries throughout the forest is seeking funding to be developed into a regular fixture; and discussions are well underway with Leonard Cheshire and Hampshire County Council Adult Services for partnership working in the near future.  

The popular NFDIS Lottery that raises funds each month was explained as just £1 a month played by those assembled would pay the photocopying bill every month, and people were urged to get their friends and neighbours to join so that the telephone helpline bills could also be funded.  A craft fair had just brought in around £300 and more events are planned including a concert and a fashion show.  An open day is scheduled for January as more volunteers are required to train as advisors, receptionists, in shop sales or in administrative roles, anyone interested in getting involved with the charity please do contact either Cathy or 
Jacki on 01425 623485.

Press release:  25 October 2007 

A wonderful boost has been received by the New Forest Disability Information Service who have been awarded a £5,000 grant by the Henry Smith Charity to support the work that this charity provides to all its clients.  Huge thank you also goes to Hordle Parish Council who have generously awarded a grant of £60, which is truly appreciated, towards supporting clients in the parish of Hordle.  Such grants have made all the difference to the charity that has gone through a very lean patch but is pleased to report that it is very much ‘open for business’!

The range of new and slightly used disability equipment for sale has been extended and the display area has been extended and if there is something that is required that we do not have in stock we can usually order it in.  Do drop in and have a browse, we may have very small premises but there is a lot in there!

Press release:  2 October 2007 

The New Forest Disability Information Service has received support from the Co-operative Group Community Fund Scheme with a grant of £750 to help with office costs.  This will go towards running the telephones, photocopying, printing costs, travelling expenses and producing information sheets for the many clients that contact the Service every week.  All the volunteers with NFDIS send a huge thank you to the Co-operative Group for this much needed boost to funds.

The New Forest Disability Information Service gives free, impartial, confidential disability related information and advice freely to anyone and covers the New Forest and surrounding areas.  This charity has expanded its once a week table sale and now have an array of books and interesting items on sale daily, including a new display area inside, which should prove popular in the cooler months to come.

Donations of good second hand items or books may be dropped off at 6 Osborne Road, New Milton Office or you are invited to support by joining the NFDIS Lottery – for just £1 per number per month players have the chance to win cash prizes and also ensure that this much needed charity maintains its level of support that is so freely given to some 1,000 clients a year. 

The range of new and slightly used disability equipment for sale has been extended by popular demand, and now includes a GoGo battery scooter for the hard to beat price of just £995!   This display area has also been revamped and if there is something that is required that we do not have in stock we can usually order it in.  Do drop in and have a browse, we may have very small premises but there is a lot in there!

Our next event is a Craft Fair at St Thomas Hall, Lymington on Saturday 27 October, lots of local craft people will be attending with the opportunity to buy a tantalising array of high quality gifts.  The door donations and revenue from a selection of homemade refreshments will support the work of this charity.

The NFDIS is also seeking to recruit volunteers who would like to help with fundraising, office/sales duties or to train to give disability related information and advice either face to face or over the telephone helpline.  Anyone interested should contact Cathy Gogan or Jacki Keable on 01425 623485 or e-mail or check out the website at:

Press release:    11 September 2007

The New Forest Disability Information Service has received local support from customers at Sainsburys at Christchurch on September 1st, raising £181.28.  The good folk at Brockenhurst Carnival on bank holiday Monday supported our Quilt Raffle £80 and cake stall with £111.  Our table sales each week are well supported and our new and used equipment sales are picking up.  We have also received a few donations from appreciative clients for which we are very grateful.  Huge thanks go to our band of willing volunteers for all their hard work in keeping the service ‘alive and kicking’. 

Our next event is at the New Forest District Council ACCESS Day on Saturday 15 September 10am-3pm at Appltree Court where we hope to see and advise a large number of people about the work of the NFDIS and what we can do for them. 

Press Release: 6 August 2007

Sway Welfare Aid Group (SWAG) have generously given a £600 cheque to the NFDIS - this money is in recognition of the advice and support given freely to Sway residents, and comes at a time when finances are short.
Such generosity has been heartwarming and the management team are delighted as they had requested a grant of £500 and were rewarded with a wonderful £600! Being given more than we asked for has been a testament to our work in the area and we are absolutely delighted!  Thank you SWAG.

Press Release: 12 July 2007

The Dibden Allottment Charity have thrown the New Forest Disability Information Service a life line by way of a £2,500 grant.  This money will ensure that the clients that benefit from our Service in the Hythe & Dibden areas will continue to receive their weekly Outreach Service at The Grove in Hythe on Wednesdays 12 - 4pm and full access to the Telephone Helpline and other range of services for many months to come.  Everyone at the NFDIS are very grateful to the Trustees of the charity for their generosity.

Press Release: 14 June 2007

ExxonMobil have once again supported the New Forest Disability Information Service by a donation of £1,000 which will ensure that  the Telephone Helpline continues and the clients in the Fawley and Waterside areas continue to receive visits from the Travelling Service.    
Everyone at the NFDIS are very grateful to ExxonMobil for their support and generosity.

Press Release: 22 May 2007

Disappointment for the New Forest Disability Information Service

 The New Forest Disability Information Service have had the very disappointing news that despite passing each stage of rigorous application process, and being told that theirs was a ‘very strong project’ the long awaited outcome from the Big Lottery was refusal.  1,200 projects were in the last round for £30m of funding available, but the 1,200 projects in total were asking for £420m! so lots of other organisations are disappointed too.

 During the last financial year (8th since opening) the NFDIS helped 999 separate people with approx 2,800 different enquiries including raising over £380,000 of new benefit awards for their clients showing that this much needed charity would be sorely missed if it were forced to reduce its services through lack of funding. 

 Everything is being done to try and secure the future of the Service, with an emphasis of finding a way of becoming more self sustaining financially; however funding is needed to bridge the time gap required to get these projects off the ground. This is where we ask for the support of the residents in the New Forest and surrounding areas to ensure that we can continue to help people living with disabilities, their carers, families and professionals to access the unique specialist information and advice that is delivered free to everyone by highly trained and passionately dedicated volunteers.

 Huge thanks go to the wonderful team at ExxonMobil who have kindly donated £1,000 to support our work on the Waterside, and to the swift support of the New Milton Town Council who have very generously granted £650 to support the work of the NFDIS in their home town where 327 different clients were helped in the last year.  The Management want to assure everyone that this money will be used most prudently and that we intend to offer a full service to all our clients for as long as possible.

 May we ask for the publics support at this difficult time? Could you please help this charity by making a donation or are you a company that would like to access our specialist training packages, or could you consider the NFDIS for sponsorship?  Please support our table sale every Wednesday morning outside the office in Osborne Road, or donate good quality saleable items. Why not join the NFDIS Lottery; for just £1 per month per number - you will have the chance of winning cash prizes of 50% of the takings and supporting the Service with the other 50% - just £1 per month can make all the difference to this worthwhile charity, the more players the higher the prizes, it is so easy to join so please pick up an application form today.  For more information please phone 01425 623485 and ask for Cathy or Jacki or e-mail or visit our website and follow the links at

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(c) JK - updated January 2011