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news 2008

Press Release 18 October 2008

Tesco Collection Days

The two collection days on 6/7 October at Tesco, New Milton, raised £258.80 and we thank Tesco for the opportunity to to make this collection. 

 We would like to thank generous shoppers for their donations and interest in the work of this charity that provides free, confidential, impartial disability related information, advice and guidance from our base in Osborne Road, New Milton.

All the money raised will go towards running costs to keep the Service open daily from 10am to 5pm.  Clients can also contact us via our telephone Helpline on 01425 628750, or at our Ringwood and Hythe outreach offices.

Press Release 15 October 2008
Annual Public Meeting and AGM 

The New Forest Disability Information Service held their Annual Public Meeting and AGM at Bashley Village Hall recently, and put on a Powerpoint presentation to show everyone how much had been achieved in the previous 12 months and to talk of plans for the future of this much need Service. 

During the formal part of the meeting, Mrs Janet Allen was voted in as Chairman, and in her address she stated that she was proud to take the helm of such a vital charity.  Whilst looking forward to helping the Service plan for the future she wanted to thank all the volunteers for their magnificent help and to everyone that has made a financial donation, your support is appreciated. The assembled heard how the NFDIS Lottery is still very popular and how anyone joining before January will receive a free draw ticket to win a Champagne Tea for Two at the prestigious Chewton Glen Hotel, for which we thank them; please contact the office for an application form. 

Mr John Woolhouse was formerly elected as Treasurer and very warmly welcomed into this vital role.  Mr Michael Lanning and Mrs Molly Deaton remain Director/Trustees, and the resignation of Mrs Barbara Keeling from the same role was duly noted with a huge vote of thanks for all she has done for the Service over many years in many different roles, latterly as a Director/Trustee. 

The accounts were presented, showing a 2007/8 year end balance of £25,477 compared to £6,804 year end 2006/8.  Ms Mandy Robbins from PrinceCroft Willis was thanked for her very professional presentation of the accounts and PrinceCroft Willis were appointed as the charity’s accountants for the forthcoming year. 

Like many charities, the Service has felt the ‘financial squeeze of the last 18 months, but the two managers were pleased to report that through hard work and determination from all the loyal volunteers, the future looks more stable than at the start of the year.  The selling of new and good quality second hand disability equipment, at very reasonable prices, has proved very popular with clients and visitors alike, and the bric-a-brac and books on sale bring a constant flow of browsers looking for (and often finding) a bargain.  The proffered Annual Review laid out a slight increase in charitable activity during the 12 months with 1,039 individual clients bringing 2,159 enquiries to the Service.  A large part of the role of the NFDIS is to help people secure their welfare benefits rights and to this end £324,893 of new benefits were secured for clients during the previous 12 months. 

Refreshments were then served with an opportunity for everyone to meet the NFDIS Team and to chat informally. It was noted that recruitment of suitable volunteers that could spare one half day per week are being sought, and anyone interested is asked to contact the NFDIS Office on 01425 628750 for an informal chat.  Donation of sellable items are very much appreciated and may be dropped off at 6 Osborne Road, New Milton any week day between 10am and 5pm. 

Press Release 20 September 2008

Refinery reaches out to Disability Service
The Hythe branch of the New Forest Disability Information Service is now better equipped to meet the growing demands of those it serves after a donation of £1,000 from Esso and ExxonMobil Chemical at Fawley Refinery. This non-profit organisation, that provides disability related information and advice to all age groups, was finding it difficult to cope with the rising costs associated with the increase in demand for the service it provides. 

Whilst the service is only able to operate from its Hythe office on Wednesdays, it serves the community during the rest of the week on a home visit basis and through their telephone helpline. This funding has been used to continue this work and is also set to help plans of running sessions at strategic locations across the area also. The New Forest Disability Information Service is now regularly attending Blackfield Library as part of its Travelling Service. 

Cathy Gogan, Client Manager of New Forest Disability Information service said, “This contribution is very much appreciated and will be extremely beneficial in continuing to provide our clients with this service” 

Gisela Muns of ExxonMobil said, “The disability Outreach provides a much needed service to the local community. The refinery is a major part of the local community and I’m glad that we were able to help financially with the growing demands this organisation faces.”

Picture of Gisela from Esso, Cathy & Jacki from NFDIS

Press Release 13 September 2008

The Fashion Show by Traditional Trends held on Friday 12 September at
Bashley Village Hall, New Milton was a great success.  The superb show was bravely modelled by volunteers from the NFDIS and their friends - we extend a huge thank you to them for showcasing the wonderful range of fashions offered by Tracey & her team from Traditional Trends as seen below:

Jane in pink dress  Irene in brown suit  Jenny in white dress
Bernie in black and gold dress  Jane in black top and red patterned skirt  Cathy in cherise jacket and black trousers

Press Release 9 August 2008

Freemasons support local charity

The New Forest Disability Information Service, a well respected local charity, has for many years helped to serve the needs of the disabled in the New Forest area and greatly relies on the generosity of the community for it’s survival.

The members of Barton Court Masonic Lodge, based in New Milton, are always  pleased to assist local charities and Richard Daley, their Charity Steward, recently presented NFDIS Client Manager, Cathy Gogan assisted by Jacki Keable, Business Manager and Dennis Forfit, Benefits Advisor with a cheque for £500.

Barton Court Masonic Lodge cheque presentation

Press Release 22 July 2008

Another Raffle Success.

The Annual Bashley Flower Show and Fete took place on Saturday 19 July, and once again the New Forest Disability Information Service ran their ever popular raffle.  20 prizes were on display, and ticket sales were very good.  A band of children helped to draw the tickets, which is becoming a regular feature of this event, and became ever bolder in their clarity and volume of voice over the public address system!

The grand sum of £135 was raised - with thanks extended to our supporters from the Team at NFDIS.

Press Release 24 June 2008

Concert Raffle Success

The Curtain Up Theatre Club of Christchurch held a wonderful concert at The Regent Centre in Christchurch and generously allowed a team from the New Forst Disability Information Service to run a raffle.  Patrons were most kind in purchasing tickets, tempted by over twenty lovely prizes that had been donated.  

The wonderful sum of £174 was raised to help the charity NFDIS to continue to help others.

Press Release 20 May 2008

Quiz Night in Aid of NFDIS

Around 64 people took part in a most enjoyable Quiz Evening at St Mary Magdalene Church Hall, New Milton, on 17 May.  A superb Ploughman's Supper was served and all the teams had a wonderful time.  £318 was raised during the evening, including a raffle, and huge thanks were offered to a loyal supporter for all the hard work in organising the whole event.  The team from NFDIS gallantly took the 'Booby Prize' of last place and each received a washing up brush to 'brush up on their knowledge'!  

It is hoped to hold another quiz in the not too distant future - watch our diary page for details.

Press Release 5 February 2008
New Forest
Disability Information Service is 10 years old!

The New Forest Disability Information Service was formed 10 years ago and first opened its doors to clients a year later.  Starting as a very small charity with two part-time staff and an empty filing cabinet there was certainly a lot to do!

First task was to recruit some more volunteers, and then to start training everyone in providing a Service to be proud of. 

The exciting day came when we launched the Service in February 1999, and we sat expectantly waiting for the Helpline telephone to ring – and it did just half an hour into our very first shift we had our first client. That first year we handled 471 clients and we were on our way.

The Service grew, expanded, and gained reputation as a quality service that clients could depend upon.  More volunteers were trained and others took on more complex roles.  By 2001 we opened an Outreach Office in Hythe each Wednesday and then in 2002 one in Ringwood on Mondays – both are still valuable services for clients on the east and west sides of the forest today. We increased the number of days we were open at the Leonard Cheshire Resource Centre to five afternoons a week and then the time came when we needed to be open all day.  Three years ago premises were obtained in Osborne Road and the Service finally had its own home. 

Over the years client’s enquiries have become more complex - especially in welfare benefits, and skilled Advisors have often represented clients at tribunals over the years.

Tribute must be paid to the dedicated team for their loyalty, especially when in 2006 redundancies were made as a Big Lottery grant came to the end of its three year run at the same time as another big application failed to secure much needed funding.  Many stayed and are still at their posts today, for which we, and our clients, are very grateful.  A truly testing 18 Months when the Service almost ran on ‘fresh air’ has, by commitment and local support, been weathered and it is hoped that the future may be a little brighter. 

Regular visitors to the popular Wednesday table sales at Osborne Road will have noted that alterations are being made to the premises to allow new display shelving for second hand books and bric-a-brac and the range of disability equipment is currently being expanded to offer off the shelf purchases of all those vital items.  The NFDIS Lottery is played by 100 loyal people each month and anyone wishing to support this charity is asked to join in, just £1 a month can win players a cash prize and gain much needed funds to pay the bills so that we may continue to help others.

We are celebrating surviving this ‘drought’ and our 9th Birthday by having an Open Day on Saturday 16 February from 10am – 3pm when we invite you to come and have coffee/tea, have a look at our new sales area, hopefully buy a few bargains, join our Lottery and learn about Volunteering with the NFDIS.  We will have volunteers on hand for you to chat to – if you have a spare half day a week why not offer yourself as a volunteer, it is very satisfying and training is provided.  Call in or telephone Cathy or Jacki on 01425 623485 or visit our website

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(c) JK - updated January 2011