£175K windfall to charity in memory of ‘Eastbourne influenza epidemic doctor’

Jill Parker from JPK, Dr Ian McNaughton, Dr David Hanratty, administrator Sharon McDavitt and Elizabeth Broome and David Tarbuck, trustee/members of The Dr Merry Memorial Fund SUS-190710-120537001
Jill Parker from JPK, Dr Ian McNaughton, Dr David Hanratty, administrator Sharon McDavitt and Elizabeth Broome and David Tarbuck, trustee/members of The Dr Merry Memorial Fund SUS-190710-120537001

A charity formed to provide a supported living centre for people with a learning disability in Eastbourne has been given a cash boost of £174,000.

It has come from the trustees of the Dr Merry Memorial Fund, which was set up in 1922 to honour the memory of Dr Merry, a GP in Eastbourne, who looked after the population during the ‘great influenza epidemic of 1918’ which caused the majority of local doctors to succumb to the disease.

The aims of the fund were to “assist during illness the gentlepeople of Eastbourne of inadequate means”.

Trustees say for some years the suitable applicants to the fund have dwindled and it has been paying out more in expenses than providing assistance.

Therefore the trustees and members approached the Charity Commission in order to transfer the assets of the fund to a suitable local charity in order the assets would be used appropriately and in keeping with the original

aims of the fund.

Fund chairperson Dr Ian McNaughton said, “The trustees and nembers of the fund as well as the Charity Commission have decided the JPK Project would be a suitable charity and we are all very pleased we are able to transfer the assets of £174,000 to this very worthy charity. JPK has agreed to install a lasting memorial to Dr Merry within is building project in Old Town’s Church Street in order that his heroic legacy will not be forgotten.”

Jill Parker, chairman to the JPK Project trustees, said, “We are thrilled and delighted with this unexpected donation and the support from the trustees when having to make the difficult decision to ‘wind up’ the Dr Merry Memorial

Fund. People with a learning disability are ‘gentle people with inadequate means’ and those in the future and many of whom that we currently support do indeed have ‘underlying health needs’.

“This wonderful legacy will be ‘restricted’ to provide supported living accommodation within our first eight apartments and communal rooms. Due to the generous support of the Dr Mery fund we now have 50 per cent of the capital required to commence building and being able to provide this much needed accommodation.”