Introduced at an early age to Heathlands Village by his father, himself a tremendous supporter of the organisation for more than 40 years, Fed Vice-Chairman David Eventhall has maintained a constant involvement of his own for more than four decades.
Here, in his own words, he describes the importance of supporting “…one of the pillars of the community”, both the satisfaction and responsibility that comes with being a supporter of crucial charities, and why finding the next generation of donors is so crucial.
“I was pretty much weaned on a regular diet of Heathlands Village as a child. Both my late grandmother and late father were involved with the organisation from the 1960s onwards, and so it’s really a part of my DNA.
Of real significance to my life today is the fact that my parents were immensely beneficent, and did their best to instill in me their generosity of spirit. They lived lives of devotion to worthy causes, believing it was so important for them to give both financially and of their time – and this is something that greatly influences me. A sense of involvement and participation in the charities we support is one of my greatest pleasures and sources of pride.
I have always viewed myself as being incredibly lucky in that I am in a position to give. Quite simply, giving is good for the soul – but more than that, it is a responsibility. I am a big believer that with wealth comes a responsibility to others and to the community. If those who are in a position to give choose not to, there will be a huge hole in the facilities and support networks which are so vital to our community.
To me, giving comes instinctively – it’s a part of who I am, but presenting that message to new donors isn’t always so simple.
One of the most worthwhile things my father did was to set up a Charitable Trust in our family name. This enabled my parents to have a framework to manage the support they pledged to a wide range of causes – and had the added benefit of educating me as a child in the importance of being charitable.
I would urge anyone who may be considering a lifelong commitment to supporting our institutions – whatever they may be – to look into the benefits of doing the same. Individuals would be doing themselves and the community a huge favour by setting up a Foundation or Trust; going through life and putting away a regular sum of money – tax free – is a very easy way of giving.
The single greatest satisfaction that comes from this giving is being exposed to the incredible work that charities and organisations carry out with your support. Whether it’s visiting Outward Bound centres and seeing children thrive, being made welcome at projects in Israel which safeguard at-risk children and mould them into exceptional young adults, or being enveloped by the all-consuming work that The Fed carries out – having your eyes opened to the often indescribable work being carried out is what delivers the greatest satisfaction. That’s the motivation – you know you are making a difference.
You walk into Heathlands Village and are immediately encased by an atmosphere of caring – it’s a job, of course, but more than that – it’s a calling. I derive a huge sense of fulfilment from being a part of this community; everyone – the carers, the office staff, the directors and trustees – every individual is hard working, dedicated and selfless.
The changes that Heathlands Village has undergone in the last 15 years reflect the changing attitudes towards caring for our older community members as well. People are living significantly longer, and the type of care we provide for them has drastically changed, too. Rather than simply ‘living’ in a care home setting, our residents thrive – they enjoy an exceptional quality of life, where every day is vibrant and meaningful.
It was in precisely that area of service provision that The Fed and Heathlands Village enjoyed such a perfect marriage when the two organisations merged in 2009. Bringing a fresh approach and a boundless understanding of social care, the staff from The Fed infused Heathlands Village with a new lease of life and sense of purpose – building on a remarkable facility that had long-since proved its critical importance to the community.
Exhibiting this importance to the next generation of donors has never been more vital, and it’s why I’m particularly delighted with the creation of The Fed’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program. Launched in 2019, annual groups of coming-of-age Jewish boys and girls will work through a year-long program, becoming familiar guests at Heathlands Village, joining our Community Services team in their efforts to combat loneliness and improve mental health among our clients, as well as gaining an insight into the impact that they themselves can have on the people we care for.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: in spending time with some of our most vulnerable clients in the community and our residents at Heathlands Village, the children are bringing smiles to faces and boosting the wellbeing of those we care for – whilst at the same learning all about the services we provide for these people. They absorb what The Fed means; it becomes a part of them at a young age.
Money cannot buy that experience.
The Fed’s reach is so incredibly broad in terms of the people we help that I can say with certainty that donors get a phenomenal ‘bang for their buck’. From babies of less than a year old, through to children with learning difficulties; vulnerable adults who need guidance and support, to older people who would be completely isolated without us; and of course, the jewel in our crown – Heathlands Village. On a daily basis, we impact the lives of thousands of people.
The organisation is brilliant. We wring the most out of every single penny that we are gifted to ensure the best provisions for those we care for. Without question we are one of the pillars of the community, and I am excited to see who will join us in sustaining and securing a Fed future for us all.“