Barnstaple Announce Agency Giving Fund

NFU Mutual Barnstaple’s support for Everything Ellie helps families make lasting memories

NFU Mutual Agents and their staff at the Barnstaple agency recently nominated local charity Everything Ellie, to receive a donation of £6,451 from a national £2million ‘Agency Giving Fund’ launched by NFU Mutual.

In light of the national emergency our country is continuing to face, NFU Mutual, the UK’s leading rural insurer, announced this £2million fund in February 2021 to help local frontline charities.

This follows £1million of support delivered by NFU Mutual’s Agency Giving Fund in 2020, which helped charities across many sectors to keep their life-changing services going throughout the pandemic.

To ensure these donations reach all corners of the UK and are directed where they’re needed most, NFU Mutual’s Agents, with over 300 offices nationwide, nominated local charities to receive a share of the fund. The funds will be distributed over 16 weeks from the end of February, offering support as lockdown measures continue to impact our communities.

In memory of Barnstaple teenager Ellie Easton, who lost her battle with secondary Leukaemia in March 2015, aged 16, Everything Ellie provides families with children or parents undergoing treatment for long-term, life-threatening illnesses a day away at the seaside, with a fully equipped beach hut at Saunton Sands.

In 2019, the charity also opened Ellie’s Lodge, a six-person holiday lodge at Stowford Farm Meadows, near Combe Martin, providing short breaks for families with children with life-threatening illnesses, or families where a parent is terminally ill.

Justeen Easton, Ellie’s mother who set up the charity in Ellie’s memory alongside her husband and daughter, said: “Creating the charity in Ellie’s name was a way for us to feel close to her. We found that during her treatment, getting away on holiday was a huge challenge, and we all wanted to be close to home and to the hospital that she knew, so having a place that families can come and make memories together, in a place that we as a family enjoyed, was a fitting legacy.

“Our ability to fundraise has been severely impacted over the past 18 months as we rely on fundraising events, so we are extremely grateful to NFU Mutual Barnstaple for this donation.

“Feedback from those who have used the lodge has been that a way to get around Stowford Village would be helpful, so we’re planning on buying a family set of electric scooters that will be kept there. The funds will also help with the ongoing maintenance of the lodge, cleaning and laundry costs, and everything that comes with ensuring we can keep welcoming families here, as well as allowing us to purchase family tickets to local attractions for guests to use.”

Barry Llewellyn-Rees, Agent at NFU Mutual Barnstaple, said: “As a team, we have personal links with Everything Ellie and know the donation will have a significant impact on their work and the lives of families affected by long-term and life-threatening illnesses.

“COVID-19 has impacted charities hugely, in particular small charities like Everything Ellie that rely on fundraising events, and we feel extremely proud to hear how this support is going to make a difference.”