To be asked to be the President of the Dolphin Society is an honour indeed, following as I do in the footsteps of so many eminent past Presidents over our charity’s 270 year history. However, I suspect that very few, if any of my predecessors faced the challenges presented by a year such as this past one, a year often, and very aptly described as “A Year Like No Other”. The events and consequences of the COVID pandemic have been felt by every one of us, but it has been the elderly on whom its impact has been most severely and disproportionately felt. It has left many of our older citizens feeling incredibly vulnerable, isolated and lonely, lacking confidence and facing overwhelming obstacles to reintegrate into society. It is for these reasons that my year as President and my appeal for donations to raise funds for needy older people is most particularly heartfelt.
My own family has a long and well established history in Bristol and Norh Somerset, being a family of retailers going back to Victorian times. In recent times, our name is probably more closely associated as the supplier of school uniforms to many in Bristol. I myself was brought up in Bristol, and having spent some time living in South Africa, returned to my roots some nine years ago. So Bristol is very much in my blood, and I am proud to be able to take this opportunity to give back to my community and to older people in particular.
The Dolphin Society focuses on ensuring that the elderly (and most particularly those in financial need) can live comfortably, securely and safely in their own homes. The charity aims to enhance the lifestyle of its beneficiaries by enabling them to maintain their independence for as long as possible, so improving their chances of benefiting from better physical and mental health. To achieve this, I must pay special tribute to We Care Home Improvements, our local not-for-profit organisation with whom we partner to deliver on our aims. The Dolphin Society also provides grants and support to other local charities that share our aims and objectives, and works collaboratively with a number of other funders through the Bristol Older People’s Funding Alliance to address a wide variety of other needs that the elderly face.
So should you receive an appeal for support from me (or indeed even if you don’t), I do hope that you will find it in your heart to be as generous as you are able, in the knowledge that whatever funds we receive will be spent carefully and efficiently, and will go some way towards addressing the pressing needs of the elderly.
President 2020 / 2021