Hospital Saturday Fund’s journey to The SiGMA Foundation

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Hospital Saturday Fund’s journey to The SiGMA Foundation

The annex at the Dreams of Horses in Gozo, a project of the SiGMA Foundation, has been honoured with a €13,500 grant from The Hospital Saturday Fund. Dreams of Horses is distinguished by its empathetic approach to care, prioritizing assistance for those with special needs and disabilities, and offering them the chance to bond with and tend to rescued horses. The farm’s dedication to recovery benefits both humans and horses, creating a nurturing environment where individuals with special needs can experience comfort and empowerment. The current project aims to complete the construction of the facility, equipping it with state-of-the-art horse stalls and adaptable indoor spaces designed for therapeutic, educational, and care farming activities. The goal is to forge a setting that is not only safe but also enriching, enabling transformative experiences for clients in the company of horses.

Paul Jackson, CEO of the Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF), along with Mark Davis, a member of the Board of Directors, both prominent in the philanthropic community, recently visited the Dreams of Horses Farm located in Gozo. The annex of this farm is a key initiative of the SiGMA Foundation, dedicated to providing therapeutic programmes that cater to individuals facing diverse challenges. After an extensive evaluation, the HSF recognized the value and potential of the project, resulting in a grant being awarded to the SiGMA Foundation. This generous contribution is set to significantly enhance the therapeutic experiences offered at the farm, enhancing the lives of many through the unique healing power of horses.

Unwavering support for community welfare

HSF’s operations are founded on a charitable ethos, reflecting its commitment to community support and well-being. with a portion of the company’s profits funnelled back into the community. Annually, approximately €2.5 million is donated across the UK, Ireland, and Malta, supporting around 600 charities. The organization also aids individuals with medical needs, providing essential equipment like stairlifts and motorized scooters, thus maintaining the spirit of its 19th-century origins.

In the year 1873, a visionary aristocrat from Ireland established the Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF) with a noble intent: to provide medical care for the working class of Southeast England. Partnering with C. Hoare & Co., the oldest independent bank in the UK, he initiated a system where workers contributed a penny on paydays to a fund that would give them access to healthcare. This innovative approach thrived, and HSF became a cherished institution, adapting over the decades to meet changing healthcare needs.

The advent of the National Health Service in 1949 brought about significant challenges for HSF, but the organization’s trustees pivoted, creating a health plan that offered private medical insurance for everyday health costs. This plan, unique in its utility for non-critical care like dental, optical, and physiotherapy services, distinguished HSF from traditional insurers. Its success in the UK and Ireland led to an expansion into Malta, spurred by Brexit’s complexities.

In 2020, during the global pandemic, HSF launched an insurance company in Malta. Despite initial delays, the new entity has been well-received, particularly for its innovative products —a near-necessity for the Maltese market. Initially targeting corporate clients, HSF Malta aims to extend its offerings to individuals, replicating its successful model from the UK and Ireland.

Compassion and community

The SiGMA Foundation, renowned for its dedication to social responsibility, serves as the philanthropic branch of the SiGMA Group. Since its inception in 2019, the foundation has played a pivotal role in fostering positive change by endorsing initiatives that elevate marginalized communities, advance educational opportunities, and promote global well-being. Embracing a hands-on approach to philanthropy, the foundation participates in a diverse spectrum of endeavors, encompassing fundraising drives, direct humanitarian efforts, educational ventures, and vocational training.

At the heart of Gozo’s tranquil environment, the Dreams of Horses farm offers a haven for individuals grappling with physical, emotional, and social challenges, providing them with the opportunity to partake in equine-assisted activities. This form of therapy has proven effective in nurturing personal development, enhancing communicative abilities, and reshaping outlooks on life. The SiGMA Foundation’s recent financial contribution towards the development of a new facility at the farm underscores their unwavering commitment to this noble cause.

The substantial support from HSF, orchestrated by Paul Jackson and Mark Davis, promises to elevate the Dreams of Horses farm to greater prominence, broadening its scope and intensifying its positive influence on the community. This act of generosity from HSF is a clear demonstration of how focused philanthropy can instigate meaningful and enduring transformations within society.

HSF’s meticulous grant selection procedure involves a committee of trustees, independent advisors, and staff members who manage fund allocation following detailed due diligence.

As HSF progresses, it stays true to its core mission: to ease healthcare expenses for everyday people. Its evolution from a modest savings scheme to an international health plan provider stands as a powerful symbol of the lasting impact of communal support and philanthropy through times of challenge and transformation.

Stop Press: Find out more about SiGMA East Europe Summit 2024 to be held in Budapest.

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