Karen Ball Fund to wind up after 27 years of care

Martin Fagan National Secretary of Community Heartbeat presents a defibrillator to chairman of Oakham Rugby Club Simon Harries, watched by Keith Crellin, Juliet Burgess-Ray of the Karen Ball Fund, Rotary Club of Rutland president Mark Nicholls, Jonny Baker, Barbara Crellin, Paul Mills and Paul Dear. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-20-12-14-aw001 EMN-141222-105144001
Martin Fagan National Secretary of Community Heartbeat presents a defibrillator to chairman of Oakham Rugby Club Simon Harries, watched by Keith Crellin, Juliet Burgess-Ray of the Karen Ball Fund, Rotary Club of Rutland president Mark Nicholls, Jonny Baker, Barbara Crellin, Paul Mills and Paul Dear. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-20-12-14-aw001 EMN-141222-105144001
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A fund that has paid for more than 30 life-saving defibrillators and supported many ill people is to be wound up.

The trustees of the Karen Ball Fund decided this month to call 27 years of fundraising to a close.

The charity was set up in 1988 to provide improved facilities for the care of the terminally ill in Rutland. It was named after 21-year-old Karen, who died of cancer that year.

But after a drop in requests for help the trustees decided to pass on their remaining funds to other worthy causes.

Chairman Jim Bolton said: “Despite challenging economic times, the number of requests to the fund for help have fallen drastically.”

The trustees have decided to distribute the fund’s remaining resources to 10 charities and good causes in the area. The trustees will write to the charities and good causes individually later this month.

At the same time they have set aside some money for the short-term continuation of the defibrillator programme and the transport grant scheme run by Rutland Wellbeing Partnership.

The charity has contributed to many projects around Rutland since it was set up. It helped pay for the special care suite at Rutland Memorial Hospital in Oakham, andraised £45,000 for the Rutland palliative care suite in the Osborne Building at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

More recently the charity has spent more then £80,000 providing 35 life-saving defibrillators to towns and villages in Rutland.

Mr Bolton said it was estimated the fund had raised more than £300,00 in total since 1988.

Arrangements have been made to continue the good work of the trustees. Mr Bolton said: “The League of Friends of Rutland Hospitals have kindly agreed to oversee the Special Care Suite and its adjoining garden at the Rutland Memorial Hospital.

Mr Bolton added: “The fund in future will be administered by a small board of trustees, and will remain a registered charity monitored by the Charity Commission.

“The fund will not actively fundraise or seek sponsorship.

“The trustees would like to express their thanks and gratitude to the people of Rutland for their support and very generous contributions to the fund over the years, and we like to think that the fund has made a difference to the lives of the sick and needy of the county.”