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Some of our case histories - see below

Tim Davies, Solicitor - Date Posted: 06/01/2016

Tim Davies, a local solicitor in Barnstaple, has commended the Vivian Moon Foundation for the help he received towards his studies several years ago.

He said:

"I received a donation from the Vivian Moon Foundation in 2008 to assist me with my legal studies and course costs. This financial assistance and support came at a difficult time and really made a positive difference to me. I completed my studies and qualified as a solicitor and returned to North Devon in 2013. I now run a company from our Barnstaple office that acts on a national basis that presently employs 10 local people. It is my intention to make an annual donation to the Vivian Moon Foundation to allow them to offer another person the assistance I received in 2008."

NDJ 3rd February, 2005 - Date Posted: 18/04/2011

Solicitor thanks trust that helped him on his way.

A SOLICITOR has paid tribute to a North Devon trust fund that played a big part in helping him on his way to law school.

Andrew Burke, 39, who now works at Slee Blackwell, was reminded of those early days after reading in the Journal that Vivian Moon was stepping down as chairman of the foundation he created.

Mr Burke was one of the first to benefit from the foundation, that was launched in 1988 with a substantial personal donation from Mr Moon.
He wanted to put “something back” into the area by way of grants to help people further their job skills and education.

At the time Mr Burke was a labourer on a building site.

He explained: “In order to cheer my dad up I decided to become a lawyer.”
He recalled that the financial implications of going to law school were daunting.

Other than the generosity of his parents, the Vivian Moon Foundation was the only place he could turn to for help.

He applied and was awarded £400, something he has never forgotten.

He added: “My mum and dad were ordinary people and it was very difficult, so to have something like the Vivian Moon Foundation which could make a very generous donation was incredibly helpful.”
In a letter to Mr Moon he said: “The foundation’s support was fantastic and helped me to get the qualification I needed to return to the area, where I have practised as a solicitor with Slee Blackwell.

“I hope over the years that I’ve been able to help local people and put something back into the community.

“If I have, it is in no small part due to your generosity and the foundation’s hard work.”

To mark Mr Moon’s decision to step down as chairman and become president, Mr Burke has sent a letter and reimbursed the foundation for the amount he once received.

By doing so he hopes that someone else will have the chance to benefit from the support he enjoyed.

Mr Moon said the letter was “one of the best” he had ever received and it had brought a tear to his eyes.

The foundation has helped 1,106 people over the years but it is rare to get feedback from them.

Mr Moon said the new chairman, Aubrey Loze and the other governors were “absolutely thrilled” with Mr Burke’s letter and gesture.

And he added: “I agree with Mr Loze that it makes everything worthwhile.”

Dave Roderick - Date Posted: 18/04/2011

Dave Roderick is working towards a qualification to enable him to set up his own business in North Devon teaching bush craft and outdoor skills.

He is already an outdoor pursuits instructor but following a spell working in London he returned to North Devon five years ago and now has to re-qualify.

He is currently working towards his mountain leadership certificate which includes wilderness survival skills and hopes to be qualified by February.

But there is no way he could have done it as quickly without support from the Vivian Moon Foundation.

A grant of £300 from the foundation has paid for about half the costs of training and assessment.

Dave of Westward Ho! explained: "It is fair to say I would not have been able to do it in this time scale. It would have been another two or three years before I could think of doing it.

"So they have made a significant difference."

He is working towards the 'summer time' part of the mountain leadership certificate which will qualify him to take groups on any British mountain range. However, most of his work will be based on Dartmoor and Exmoor .

He explained: "I am in the process of trying to find somebody with a lot of woodland so that I can train people in basic skills."

His sessions will be open to people who enjoy the great out doors and who would benefit from knowing how to cope if things went wrong.

Quintin Early (above) described the foundation's grant aid as a real life line in helping him to become established in his own business.

A knee injury forced him to take early retirement from the Royal Marines after 22 years and to re-think his career options.

He decided to branch out on his own as a plumbing and heating engineer and embarked on re-training at college. To further help him on his way The North Devon Enterprise Agency put him in touch with a number of grant-making bodies including the Vivian Moon Foundation.

He sent in an application form and received a grant of £300 from the foundation which he used to buy books and testing equipment for his work, things he could not afford to buy on his own.

Quintin, who runs Holsworthy Plumbing and Heating, said: " As far as I was concerned the grant was a lifeline."

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