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Residents benefit from philanthropist donation

DURHAM AGED MINEWORKERS' HOMES ASSOCIATION Logo

Published by Neil Shaefer for Durham Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association in Housing and also in Communities

DAMHA Chief Executive Paul Mullis presents Mary Hall with her vouchers DAMHA Chief Executive Paul Mullis presents Mary Hall with her vouchers

A North East housing association has brought some new year cheer to its oldest residents, after delivering gift vouchers worth almost £4,500

Each year, Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) presents every resident who is aged 90 and over on 25th December with gift vouchers for £40.

The vouchers are provided by the Almshouse Association, through a Christmas fund established in 1958 by the businessmen and philanthropist Major A.E. Allnatt.

As the largest Almshouse charity in England, DAMHA this year presented 112 vouchers to its residents across the North East and is adding a further £10 voucher, increasing the total to £40.

Among the residents to receive their vouchers this year are nine people living in DAMHA’s care home in Horden.

One of the residents, 99-year-old Mary Hall said: “I don’t know what I will spend the vouchers on but it is really nice to receive them, especially at Christmas and new year when there is so much to buy.”

Paul Mullis, Chief Executive of DAMHA, said: “It is a real pleasure to be able to give out the vouchers to people who have worked very hard all their lives and deserve some recognition for the contribution they have made to society.”

The Christmas fund was initially established to “provide Christmas faire for the poor inmates of almshouses in England”. Major Allnatt, who donated the money to the Almshouse Association, insisted that the full name of each recipient was written on the gift and that the presentation of the gift should be made near to Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. He felt this personal touch would give added pleasure.

Born in 1889 Major ‘Alfred’ Allnatt took over his father's supply business and developed it into Allnatt London Properties and other businesses before World War Two, Major Allnatt became extremely wealthy during the course of his business career and became a significant contributor to charitable causes. He died in 1969.

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