A brief history of the Tiny Tim Trust

In 1994 the Child Development Centre in Chesterfield launched The Bounce Appeal to provide specialist equipment for children with special medical needs.  Professional fund raisers were employed and after running costs were covered the money raised was used for patients attending the unit.  A Charity Shop was set up in the town centre which provided further income.  Once the stated aims had been achieved, the members of the original group decided to expand the scope of their work to include all types of ‘special need’.  They re-formed their group into the Tiny Tim Trust with the aim of supporting those children whose needs could not fully be met within the normal services provided by Health and Social Care in North Derbyshire.

The re-vamped charity was delighted to receive the patronage of His Grace the 11th Duke of Devonshire who remained a vigorous and concerned patron of its work until his death in 2009.  His place as patron was taken by the entertainer and broadcaster, Tim Brooke-Taylor OBE.

Perhaps the most important decision which was taken during this period of change was to replace our professional fundraisers with volunteers.  From this point onwards, all of the funds raised for the charity has been spent on the children.

The Trustees quickly realised that, to get anywhere near to meeting demand, they would have to substantially increase income.  This imperative led, in 1997, to the instigation of the annual golf tournament which immediately became the main source of income for the Trust.

The first event was held at the Matlock Golf Club, all subsequent events have been hosted by Chevin Golf Club in Duffield.

Not only has the golf tournament provided the main source of funds for the Trust, it has led to a much increased awareness of our activities across the whole county and particularly into South Derbyshire where, previously, awareness was very limited.

In 2010, because of a change of freeholder, increased costs, reduced income and other management difficulties, the decision was taken to close the shop in Chesterfield and concentrate all of the efforts on fundraising through events and sponsorship.

In 2012, the Matlock Water Polo Club chose the Trust to be the main beneficiary of its charity fund raising activities.

Also in 2012, the Executive Committee agreed to invite two more personalities to become patrons for the Trust.  We were delighted when the farmer and BBC presenter Simon Groom and auctioneer and BBC personality, James Lewis accepted.  All three of our patrons are strong supporters of both our fund raising and our grant making activities.

Fund raising:  Apart from golf and the events run by the Matlock Water Polo Club, our funds come from individual donations, charity stalls at public events and membership dues. 

In 2013, at the suggestion of James Lewis, the Trust took the lead in organising the World’s Longest Auction by a Solo Auctioneer.  The man in question was James himself.  Mary White took on the challenge of organising this mammoth task, ably assisted by Kat Towler, a young member of James’ Auction House, Bamfords.  Working with 9 other charities with strong links to Derbyshire the team raised 2,400 lots.  James set a potential world record of 25 hours, 26 minutes.  The Auction raised over £62,000 of which £12,000 has come to Tiny Tim.

Work goes on permanently to seek out new fund raising opportunities and up-to-date information on these can be found elsewhere on this website.

As no money is spent on overheads, all of our income goes out in grants to help children with special needs (any physical disability for example spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy), children with learning disability, children with identified emotional/behavioural problems and, of course, their families.

The Trust’s Grants Committee is responsible for disbursement of funds.  Further details of the Committee and its decisions can be found here.