Medi-SOS

Medi-SOS is a charity set up in 2017 to provide emergency grab-bags to be taken with the elderly people if they have to go to A&E. Jane Powell, the founder of the charity, explains how CIB has helped her set up the charity and obtain funding.

What did Medi-SOS need? This is a charity that started very small, in response to the problem that many older people face when taken to A&E. They arrive there without the hearing aids, glasses or dentures that help them communicate and with no medication or other information about their underlying medical condition.

The solution that Medi-SOS came up with was an emergency grab-bag designed to hold glasses, hearing-aids, dentures, medication and a specially designed tri-fold form that contains the owner’s vital information in an easy-to-read format.

At the beginning, Jane had no experience of the charity sector and no clear sense of a how to secure funding.

What support did CIB offer? Jane has received advice and support from CIB in a number of ways. She has had specific help in terms of funding advice and coaching on a 1:1 basis. She has also attended various CIB events such as the Trustee Conference which not only enabled Jane to learn about a number of useful aspects of running a charity but provided her with very valuable networking opportunities.

What difference did that support make? Jane followed up on the potential sources of funding suggested at the 1:1 advice session and secured donations from several of those sources – enough to fund production of a batch of 500 grab-bags. Jane says that her CIB funding adviser was “marvellous – a true professional full of ideas and always followed this up with comprehensive emails.”

The networking opportunities offered by CIB events produced another positive outcome. Through Jane’s newly expanded network grew, she found out that Medi-SOS could team up with the young offenders programme in Aylesbury Prison to help with the printing required for the grab-bags.

Jane says that the coaching arranged via CIB helped her find a valuable sense of focus to keep her centred on her core aims when dealing with others on behalf of Medi-SOS.

What issues is the charity facing now?    Funding continues to be a challenge. The cost of the grab-bags has risen by 20% in the last 2 years. Jane is also exploring how the bags can be redesigned to use more sustainable, recyclable materials.

With her improved sense of focus, Jane is now confident that she, and her fellow trustees, can move to a position where the charity is financially sustainable, improving where possible but staying true to its core aims.

Summing it all up: Jane says “CIB has helped me find the necessary positivity and focus to help me deliver on the core aims of the charity”.

For more information on Medi-SOS see their website. The charity is still in need of further funding to ensure the continued supply of bags to elderly people living alone.

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Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society