Rufus’ Friends’ Fund
WPH CHARITABLE TRUST AWARDS £5,000 TO RUFUS’ FRIENDS’ FUND
Cash enables low-income families caring for relative with learning difficulties to take a well-earned break
The WPH Charitable Trust has awarded £5,000 to a Leamington organisation which provides short breaks and holidays for low-income Warwickshire families caring for a relative with learning difficulties.
Rufus’ Friends’ Fund was set up in memory of Rufus Hedderwick, son of Sandy and Jane Hedderwick, who died in 1990.
Although he had severe learning difficulties Rufus loved holidays and visiting new places. When he died aged 28 his family asked for donations in place of flowers, to help low income families to take their children on holiday.
Jane said: “When we first had the idea we thought it would last for just one year but it gathered momentum and now, nearly 29 years later, Rufus’ Friends’ Fund is still here.”
The organisation works closely with social services and special schools in Warwickshire to find beneficiaries. Accommodating families with a loved one with learning difficulties, it provides some form of respite for those who cannot afford a break away.
As well as children, Rufus’ Friends’ Fund also gives to families with an adult member with learning difficulties.
Edward Button, Rufus’ nephew, co-ordinates the fund alongside his grandparents, his mother Delia and his uncle Luke. He said: “The criteria for grants is wide and varied – from providing the funds for a couple of hours of childcare in the school holidays to give parents a break, through to a school trip, or a week’s holiday for the family in a specially adapted caravan, Rufus’ Friends’ Fund awards between £7,000 to £10,000 to some 30 Warwickshire families each year, with grants typically ranging from £200 to £400 each time.”
The fund operates with no paid members of staff and no regular volunteers.
Instead Edward and his family organise big fundraisers every year or every couple of years, rallying the support of family and friends as ad hoc helpers.
Their last three concerts over the past five or six years have each raised between £3,000 and £7,000. Other events in that time include a charity ball, a Chinese auction and a tea party.
Photo: Rufus with Edward
Rufus’ Friends’ Fund also takes donations.
Edward said: “Rufus’ Friends’ Fund is a passion for all of us so it is fantastic when we receive help from individuals and organisations such as the WPH Charitable Trust. This was the first time we’d made an application to the Trust following a recommendation from a family friend so to receive £5,000 was excellent news.”
Referrals to Rufus’ Friends’ Fund are via Social Services and special schools only.
For further details on Rufus’ Friends’ Fund, or to donate, log on to
The WPH Charitable Trust provides funding for groups and individuals who work to prevent, relieve and cure sickness in Coventry and Warwickshire. The Trust provides grants for medical research, buildings, equipment and other forms of medical care for residents of the region. All applications are made via the Trust’s website and are assessed on a quarterly basis.
For further details log on to our website
Alternatively, applications can be sent by post to: Secretary to the WPH Charitable Trust, c/o Blythe Liggins, Edmund House, Rugby Road, Leamington Spa, CV32 6EL.