Shelroy Trust

Benjamin Foundation

Originally set up by Shelia and Roy Snelling in 1988 to support individuals in Brundall, since working with Norfolk Community Foundation in 2014, the Shelroy Trust’s remit has widened to Norfolk. The Fund now supports organisations and individuals around mental and physical health, wider hardship issues, combatting loneliness and bringing people together.

In 2023, the Shelroy Trust funded 35 projects, awarding a total of over £130,000.

Wells Community Hospital received a grant to run Pandora Gold, a weekly drop-in café in collaboration with Pandora Project, supporting women over 60 living in abusive households in North Norfolk.

The weekly session at the Coastal Community Supermarket, also run by the Hospital, provided a gateway for older people to come forward and request help, and raised the profile of the work that the Pandora Project do. This led to an increase in self-referrals from an overlooked age group affected by domestic abuse.

“I didn’t recognise the person I’d become over the years. I am now back to my old self, Pandora has been a lifeline!”

– Beneficiary

The supermarket staff and volunteers received training on how to be a Domestic Abuse champion from Pandora, and a confidential system has been set up to help women access support discretely.

This collaborative partnership has supported Pandora Project to deliver their service effectively in North Norfolk at a time where their waiting list has grown to over 100 women.

Hub Community Project also received a grant to run their Fun in School Holidays (FISH) project. FISH provides an activity and free lunch each week for families of children in school years 1 to 6 who are normally in receipt of free school meals or struggling financially.

All the families attending said that the activities run by FISH were things that they couldn’t normally consider doing. The activities included a picnic and games, arts and crafts, and a group outing to ROARR! Dinosaur Park.

It gave families a focus for the week and relieved the financial pressure that parents often feel. It also reduced isolation and helped attendees to feel part of a community, building new friendships and strengthening existing ones.

“The children absolutely loved it. They got to do and try lots of new things which they were happy about and it become one of the highlights of the summer holidays. We could never afford to visit normally. To have a carefree day out was just what we all needed. I can‘t say thank you enough to the FISH team for the huge positive impact they have on my family and its clear to see this with other families too.”

– Beneficiary

Hearts of Gissing CIO also received funding from the Shelroy Trust to continue subsidising a weekly warm room café in Gissing Community Building following on from the success of the charity’s Community Hot-Spot project.

They held fortnightly café sessions where cakes, snacks, light lunches, and beverages were on offer. They also held special Christmas and New Year’s Eve sessions. These all provided a reliably warm and safe space for the people of Gissing and surrounding areas to come together, socialise, and enjoy a warm meal.

It has been especially important for social cohesion, as many of the attendees were struggling financially, elderly or living alone.

H is an older teenage boy with some physical and learning difficulties who, as a result, has found it challenging to engage in the community. He recently started volunteering at Heart of Gissing.

Since volunteering he has really come out of his shell and shown increasing social confidence as well as a committment to the work. As he serves at the tables, he is often seen chatting to the customers. The wider team are sure that this will have a very postiive effect on his future.

– Case study
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