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Seriously ill girl and Derby’s homeless receive help as friends’ club gains strength

Seriously ill girl and Derby’s homeless receive help as friends’ club gains strength

More than 150 people have now joined the Derby friends’ club which gives its £1 weekly donations away to members’ nominated good causes.

So far, five donations of £500 have been made to help vulnerable people in their hour of greatest need.

These include seven-year-old Amera who received a devastating diagnosis of very rare life-limiting Niemann Pick Disease 

Her mum, Jessica, has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the disease which causes severe seizures.

Meanwhile, she tries to fill Amera’s days with positive experiences and create happy memories.

Friends of Derby 500 stepped in with a £500 donation towards furnishings for her bedroom in a new house which has been adapted by the local authority.

Jessica was so pleased with the support that she has joined the friends’ club.

She said: “We were so thankful for the money – it came at just the right time and the concept is so good that I wanted to take part from the other side too.”

Friends of Derby 500 was the brainchild of Rachel Morris, Chief Executive of Relate Derby and Southern Derbyshire.

She said: “I am delighted by the way the club has taken off. The concept of a direct-debit of £1 a week is simple and people know they won’t miss it.

“The more members we have, the more people we can help. We are aiming to have 500, so we can give away £500 a week.”

Latest to benefit is David Bulmer of Holbrook Foot Clinic who set up special treatment sessions for the homeless through Derby City Mission.

Poor circulation because of varicose veins is caused by prolonged periods of sitting or sleeping with the legs down and predisposes homeless people to swelling of the feet and legs, cellulitis, and skin ulcerations.

They can suffer terrible pains in their feet which David hopes his clinics will alleviate.

Friends of Derby 500 have given money for the set-up costs of the clinics while David gives his time for free.

He said: “I feel so sorry for the people who are out in these cold weathers and felt compelled to do what I can to help them.

“I was delighted when I received the support of Friends of Derby 500.”

Rachel said: “Only members of the club can nominate the good causes which receive donations, so if you want to put one forward, the best way is to join.”

If you wish to join the club, please email

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