Meet two funders helping to support our essential work

Funder Spotlight

Demand for our services has grown throughout the pandemic, and we have been able to broaden and deepen the types of help we can offer thanks to our generous supporters: people who give individually, and charitable trusts and foundations.

In this blog we will shine the spotlight on two foundations that we have had long relationships with and who continue to make our work in the city possible. We want to celebrate the great work they do and show the human aspect of a sector of fundraising that is rarely in the public eye.

Like all activities within the charity, our fundraising is guided by our values. This helps us to relate to our community and is particularly important in building long lasting relationships with funders. We are creating a city empowered to solve homelessness; we work with our community of supporters to deliver lasting change to the lives of people experiencing homelessness. This is a community that our funders are a vital part of, and without whom our work would not be possible.

The National Benevolent Society

The National Benevolent Charity have supported Caring in Bristol since February 2019, originally with our 365 Shelter, an emergency night shelter providing safe accommodation to people who would otherwise be spending a night on the streets.

Ali Russell is their Chief Executive:

National Benevolent Charity CEO – Ali Russell

Q: What is the National Benevolent Charity?
A: We provide financial support to people experiencing poverty to help them in a time of crisis. We do this by providing hardship grants to individuals and grants to organisations which can demonstrate that their beneficiaries are experiencing poverty.

Q: What are the origins of the foundation? / What inspired you to start?
A: TNBC was established over 200 years ago by Peter Herve, an artist, who persuaded the great and the good of the day to subscribe to his charity aimed at helping the “impoverished middle classes who had fallen on hard times”. In his day he was very unusual and he had to work very hard to get people to listen to him. Our beneficiaries are much broader and come from all walks of life now though!.

Q: What difference or impact do you aspire to create? / What are you looking to achieve?
A: When we provide a hardship grant to a family e.g. a cooker, the impact is immediate. They can cook fresh food. The organisations we fund are often aiming to make a more sustainable longer term impact on peoples lives e.g. by providing ongoing support.

Q: What are the most enjoyable parts of your work?
A: Sometimes just a small gift such as a mattress or a laptop can transform a very practical problem for a family, this makes it enjoyable.

Q: What do you find most difficult about what you do?
A: The need is huge and we cannot help everyone.

Q: Which values guide your work?
A: Open – we try to respond to individuals needs and circumstances
Compassionate – we never forget that people are at the heart of everything that we do
Collaborative – we know we can make a greater difference by working with others

Q: How do you feel our (CIB’s) work embodies these values?
A: CIB is perfectly placed to embody our values – as a people centred organisation they respond to the needs of individuals. During the pandemic they absolutely were open and collaborative with others to ensure that their beneficiaries were supported.

Q: What are your views of Bristol?
A: It’s a dynamic, diverse, modern city with a rich history but like any city has its areas of deprivation.

Q: Why did you choose to fund CIB? A: I met with Ben and visited the Shelter and was very impressed with what was being achieved in supporting people to gain a foothold in society

Q: What’s been your highlight or proudest moment during your relationship with Caring in Bristol?
A: Listening to how they recruited, managed and motivated the volunteers with Cheers Drive during the pandemic

The National Benevolent Charity’s impact to date

The National Benevolent Charity’s support of our 365 Shelter has helped over 130 people avoid a night on the street. By helping them avoid street homelessness and the entrenched lifestyles this can lead to, these people have often been able to return to permanent accommodation and a life beyond homelessness.

The National Benevolent Charity recently agreed to fund a wide range of service deliver for two years, helping to secure the future of our charity as we pursue our vision of creating a city empowered to solve homelessness.


The Sunrise Foundation support Project Z, our youth homelessness initiative working with vulnerable young people aged 16- 25 struggling with severe and multiple needs. It is both preventative and responsive, preventing young people from experiencing homelessness and responding to those experiencing housing insecurity, supporting them to secure and maintain suitable accommodation.

Maggie Glastonbury is their founder:

Caring in Bristol Funder
Sunrise Foundation Founder – Maggie Glastonbury

Q: What is the Sunrise Foundation?
A: It is a grant giving foundation, supporting small charities with their work delivering vital services in the community by making financial donations.

Q: What are the origins of the foundation? / What inspired you to start?
A: I had been volunteering with disabled youngsters in Peru for some years which led to me establishing a charity there and the Sunrise Foundation was originally conceived as a source of funding for the work in Peru. Very early in the process, I decided to open Sunrise funds up to other charities and the foundation developed from there.

Q: What difference or impact do you aspire to create? / What are you looking to achieve?
A: Our primary measure is that of the greatest impact upon the end-user beneficiaries – the difference the grant will make to peoples’ lives. Through a rigorous application process organisations must demonstrate how they plan to successfully deliver a project, and then in the reporting process present evidence on what has been achieved.

Q: What are the most enjoyable parts of your work? 
A: Receiving positive feedback from the charities we support. In some cases, we meet some of the individual beneficiaries and they share their very personal story of the difference the charity has made to them – I really enjoy this aspect of the work.

Q: What do you find most difficult about what you do? 
A: Deciding which applicants receive grants. We are always inundated with funding requests; we assess enquiries in competition with each other in a fair and consistent manner by way of a scoring system to facilitate the first stage evaluation process. We simply do not have enough funds to support all the applications we would like to and when this happens, we need to make some difficult decisions as the work all the charities do is important.

Q: Which values guide your work? 
A: Fairness, Equality, Respect, Dignity – Our work assists charities to help disadvantaged individuals (disadvantaged by disability, exclusion, abuse, poverty, neglect and /or dependency.)

Q: How do you feel our (CIB’s) work embodies these values? 
A: CIB is seeking to restore dignity, independence and respect to people disadvantaged by the impact of homelessness. The team is working to create life changing opportunities to restore self-respect and confidence, showing them, they are valuable members of the community who, with support, can change their personal circumstances.

Q: What are your views of Bristol? 
A: A creative city with a wide cultural base offering huge opportunities for building careers and having a varied social and recreational life. Bristol offers a lot to its residents but there are social problems which need to be addressed to ensure more equality of opportunity.

Q: Why did you choose to fund CIB? 
A: We approached CIB originally because of one of our trustees’ experience as a CaC volunteer. The resulting application effectively demonstrated their intention to offer support to help individuals keep or move into jobs and take a first step to establishing/restoring a stable life.

Q: What’s been your highlight or proudest moment during your relationship with Caring in Bristol?
A: There were many proud moments during the planning and hosting a fundraiser. During the experience, I worked closely with a member of the CIB team and 2 other charities and I found it so heartening to see how quickly we formed a very effective team with the same commitment and aspiration to help those disadvantaged individuals within our community.

The Sunrise Foundation’s impact to date

Support from the Sunrise Foundation has helped us to deliver 29 workshops that have reached over 500 people around the city, creating over 500 better educated and informed members of the community who are better equipped to support vulnerable people or those already experiencing homelessness. The ripple effect of these workshops has led to a surge in volunteer recruitment and donations directly stemming from the sessions.

Sunrise recently committed to fund Project Z for the next three years, ensuring that the project is resilient and able to support young people as Bristol emerges from the pandemic.

Header photo by Alastair Campbell
All other images by Khali Ackford


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