Visiting Cornwall - Charities in Cornwall  
Mevagissey harbour  Visiting Cornwall Logo - background is part of Bodmin Moor as seen from Jamaica Inn at Altarnun. The road in the picture is the main A30 through Cornwall. Eden Project near St Austell 


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  During the Covid19 pandemic most of the Cornish charities have seen a huge drop in charitable donations as well as having a greater demand on their services. If you can, please provide extra support when you can.

There are many charities that are important to the people of Cornwall. The two that are nearest to their hearts are the charities that provide so much help for so many of the population:
The RNLI who provide rescue services for the Cornish fishermen and the recreational sailors every day of the year and in all weathers, as well as assisting in cliff rescues and providing beach lifeguards.
The Cornwall Air Ambulance, which is an essential part of the emergency services in Cornwall with so many remote areas that are difficult to access quickly on the ground. This was the first air ambulance service in the UK.

Other Cornish charities include:
RNLI - The Royal National Lifeboat Institution
(Registered Charity No 209603)

Founded on 4th March 1824, the RNLI now operates from 232 lifeboat stations around the coasts of Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Ireland and the Channel Islands.
There are 14 of these lifeboat stations around Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. See our Lifeboat pages for more information about these.
The RNLI not only operate the lifeboats stations but also provide the beach lifeguards on 34 Cornish beaches.

As an independent charity the RNLI receives no funding from the UK government. They depend entirely on gifts from the public. You can make a difference by giving a donation of at least 2 or becoming an RNLI member today.
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Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust
(Registered Charity No 1133295)

When it was introduced on 1st April 1987, the Cornwall Air Ambulance was the first of it's kind in the UK. This Cornish innovation has been copied across the country and there are now 26 air ambulance helicopters in service.

Cornwall has a widely scattered population, some in very remote and isolated communities. In the summer months, the road networks become congested very easily, making the use of conventional ambulances more difficult. The Air Ambulance is not a luxury, it is an essential part of Cornish life.
The first patient, in April 1987, was a 28 year old Anne Leaney who was flown from Porthcurno beach to The Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, Truro, where doctors diagnosed a fractured spine.
The Cornwall Air Ambulance attends around 1,000 incidents every year. It is based at Newquay Cornwall Airport and can reach any part of Cornwall within 20 minutes. It can reach the Isles of Scilly within 28 minutes. Average arrival time is just 12 minutes. In the last 25 years the Cornwall Air Ambulance has completed 25,003 missions (as at 18th March 2015).

Until early January 2015 the helicopter, Helimed 181, was a Eurocopter EC-135. This had a cruising speed of 135kts and a maximum speed of 150kts. It was operated by Bond Air Services, who provided the aircraft itself, the specialist HEMS trained pilots, and the associated engineering and avionics support.
From 12th January 2015 a new contract with a new provider, Medical Aviation Services, sees Cornwall served by two air ambulance helicopters for the first time. This will provide a dedicated on-site backup for use when one aircraft is offline for routine or unscheduled maintenance.
The new helicopters are MD902 Explorers. (The same aircraft type as already used by London Air Ambulance, Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.) They have a cruising speed of around 150 mph and will be available 12 hours a day all year round as they are fully night vision equipped.
Perhaps the most significant change in terms of the service is that these new aircraft will be able to fly in the dark.
Until a recent change in aviation law, no air ambulance service in the UK has been able to fly in the dark, meaning, for example, that Cornwall Air Ambulance is currently unable to provide rescue cover during the evening rush hour in the winter.
Both helicopters will now be fully equipped for night flight, with specially adapted cockpits, additional safety features, and a powerful searchlight (equivalent to 30 million candles!). Our pilot and paramedics will wear state-of-the-art Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) goggles which will allow them to see in almost total darkness.
Running an Air Ambulance is not cheap and the Cornwall Air Ambulance is financed purely by public fundraising and donations. The current cost is an average of 33,000 per week, but varies depending on the number of emergency flights in any given week. Despite being amongst the poorest paid of the British population, the Cornish people continue to raise the necessary money to keep the service running.
The helicopter proudly carries the Cornish St Piran's flag on the tail and the legend "Funded by the People of Cornwall" on the fuselage. In honour of it's founding work it also carries a logo proclaiming "1st in the UK".

You can help to support the work of the Cornwall Air Ambulance. It will cost around 2 million to run their operations in 2015.

If you are in Cornwall you can visit one of their charity shops at:
Fore Street, Saltash
Coinagehall Street, Helston
Polmorla Walk, Wadebridge
King Street, Truro
Greenmarket, Penzance
and Trelowarren Street Camborne.
There is now a furniture, electricals, household goods and clothes superstore in Clifden Road, St Austell.

If you are organising a fund raising event for Cornwall Air Ambulance, please let us know at Visiting Cornwall and we will add it to our events page.

If you are not in Cornwall you can donate on-line at
JustGiving Logo or at Virgin Money Giving Logo

You can also support them through Give As You Live when you shop on-line at thousands of online retailers - including big brands like Amazon, Argos, Tesco and iTunes. Find out how at
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Cornwall Blind Association
(Registered Charity No 1108761)

Cornwall Blind Association is an entirely Cornish charity set up in 1856 for the people of the Duchy. Initially it was to support miners who had lost their sight in mining accidents but now, over 155 years later, it aims to help improve the lives of all visually impaired people in Cornwall.
Cornwall Blind Association provides the support that blind and visually impaired people need to live fulfilling and active lives and provide services to over three thousand people a year.
Cornwall Blind Association is based at The Sight Centre, Newham Road, Truro.
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Cornwall Mobility Centre
(Registered Charity No 1096745)

The charity aims to relieve poverty and distress among people who face a mobility challenge, by providing mobility aids and training in the use of the equipment.
Since 1983 they have been providing high-quality services and equipment to people in the South-West.
They started from modest premises in Tehidy, Redruth before moving into a purpose-built facility at Treliske, near Truro, which was opened by their Royal Patron HRH the Duchess of Kent GCVO in 1994. Since then they have developed into one of the leading mobility centres in the country.

Cornwall Mobility, North Buildings, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro TR1 3LQ
Tel: 01872 254920
Visit the Cornwall Mobility website.
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Cornwall Scrapstore
(Registered Charity No 1079557)

Cornwall ScrapStore is a fantastic resource, stocking an amazing range of interesting, unusual and unique materials and products, which can be used in art, craft and play activities for all ages.
They collect this valuable 'scrap' from businesses around the County and rescue it from being dumped in local landfill sites, making it available to their members - absolutely free!

Scrapstores at Goonamarris, St Austell, PL26 7QX. Tel: 01726 821 161 and Carrick Business Centre Annexe, Penryn, TR10 8AR. Tel: 01726 821161

Visit the Cornwall Scrapstore website.
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Cornwall Search and Rescue Team
(Registered Charity No 1100708)

Cornwall SRT is a registered charity that provides a search and rescue service across inland Cornwall for missing and injured people. They deal with up to 60 incidents a year and are one of the busiest teams of their kind in Southern England.
Most of their call outs are for searches in rural countryside and the moors, working closely with the police and other local search and rescue teams to locate, stabilise and evacuate missing people.
They do not receive any central funding and all of their members are volunteers, which means that all of the 15,000 required to keep the team running each year must come from voluntary donations.
Cornwall Search and Rescue Team is based at St Dennis, near St Austell.
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Cornwall Wildlife Trust
(Registered Charity No 214929)

The Trust was founded in 1962 by a group of local naturalists who were concerned about the severe decline in wildlife happening at that time. They are passionate about all aspects of nature conservation and work only in Cornwall.

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust is based at Allet near Truro. They are financed by their membership of around 14,000, some funding from DEFRA, income from the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS) and from donations.

They have recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary.
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Enable in Cornwall
(Registered Charity No 1099874)

Enable in Cornwall Ltd is a charity that works with adults who live in the Mid, North or East of the County.
They are here to help adults with disabilities to become more independent by providing an individualised information, advice, guidance & support service.
Their qualified and client centred advisers will visit people in their homes working with them to help improve well-being and inclusion.
They offer a free, independent service, supporting people to overcome barriers and maximise their abilities.
They are very centrally placed in Victoria, Roche, St Austell which is just off the A30.
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The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies
(Registered Charity No 247283)

The first of the Old Cornwall Societies was founded in 1920 at St Ives.

The objectives of the societies are:
  • To collect, record and publish information regarding Cornish prehistory, history, topography, place-names, folk-lore, traditions, dialect, music, industries and similar subjects.
  • To protect the natural beauty of Cornwall.
  • To encourage the study and use of the Cornish Language.
  • To preserve Cornish Antiquities and relics of the past.

There are 45 Old Cornwall Societies throughout Cornwall.
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FLEET (Front Line Emergency Equipment Trust)
(Registered Charity No 1107582)

FLEET is a registered charity that was formed by Cornish Ambulance Staff in 1990 with the aim of upgrading and standardising the equipment carried on all of Cornwall’s Ambulances. With generous help from the Cornish people, businesses and organisations FLEET has raised over 1,000,000 since 1990, all of which has been put into providing vital equipment that helps save lives across the county.
FLEET is a registered charity that was formed by Cornish Ambulance Staff in 1990 with the aim of upgrading and standardising the equipment carried on all of Cornwall’s Ambulances. With generous help from the Cornish people, businesses and organisations FLEET has raised over 1,000,000 since 1990, all of which has been put into providing vital equipment that helps save lives across the county.
More recently FLEET, with the British Heart Foundation, has been instrumental in the creation and equipping of First Responders who are members of the public trained to provide critical life saving treatment including defibrillation in their local area. This has helped to reduce emergency response times by 3% and ultimately save lives.
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The Flicka Foundation Horse and Donkey Sanctuary
(Registered Charity No 1153858)

The Flicka Foundation started with Mary Berryman and her rescue and care for an elderly pony called Mickey. Back then the charity started off as 'The Golden Oldies'.

This followed with the rescue of a strawberry roan pony found in a field in the middle of an industrial estate – a small pony amongst high-rise buildings and billowing smoke. Flicka was delightful; he loved people, was very affectionate, despite his beginning, and adored lots of fuss. Sadly he developed liver cancer, after several years of teaching young children to ride; he was retired to convalesce with a condition we knew would ultimately take his life. Mary loved animals with a passion and could not bear to see or hear of anything suffering. So then The Flicka Foundation was born.
Since then we have had the privilege of many horses, ponies, sheep, pigs, cows, cats, dogs, rabbits and now donkeys - coming to us for many different reasons, each one has a story to tell. Some would tell of unthinkable cruelty, neglect, some ailing in some way and abandoned, and some just too old and require lots of TLC. We have rescued and rehabilitated well over a 250 since we began.

The sanctuary is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00. It is at Penty Noweth Farm, Trenoweth Lane, Mabe Burnthouse, Penryn TR10 8JB. Tel: 01326 373601.
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LARF Cornwall
(Registered Charity No 1139337)

This is a charity set up to assist in the treatment and care of teenagers and young people under the age of 24 within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Primarily for those undergoing cancer and leukaemia treatment.
This will be achieved by raising funds to, initially, assist Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in the introduction of providing medical facilities, equipment and support specifically designed for the age group of teenagers and young people to the age of 24. This will run alongside Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust clinical site strategy development plan.
Tel: 01872 223163
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The Merlin MS Centre
(Registered Charity No 1093691)

The Merlin Project was founded in 2001, by Derek Murphy, a retired Medical Doctor, and his wife Eileen. Derek is a former head of the Neurosciences Section of the Administrative Headquarters of the British Medical Research Council in London.
And the name? From the beginning the group recognised that some magic might be needed to help things along. One name above all is linked to magic in Cornwall, and so The Merlin Project was born.
The charity is based at The Merlin MS Centre. Bradbury House, Hewas Water, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 7JF
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The National Maritime Museum Cornwall
(Registered Charity No 1067884)

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a fully independent museum, the result of collaboration between the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the former Cornwall Maritime Museum in Falmouth.
The National Maritime Museum Greenwich had an impressive collection of small boats - some 120 craft of historical significance from Britain and overseas. For many years the Trustees of the Museum had been seeking a suitable waterfront location in which to create an imaginative and dynamic showcase for the boats, many of which can still be sailed. Falmouth, offering a waterside location, its own nautical heritage and one of the world's finest harbours represented an ideal site.
The Cornwall Maritime Museum evolved from a collection reflecting Cornwall's rich maritime history gathered over 150 years by the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. In 1981 this collection was brought together as the Falmouth Maritime Museum, later changing to the Cornwall Maritime Museum. Since then the collection has grown and prospered.
Both museums applied separately to the Heritage Lottery Fund for assistance in developing their ideas. At the Fund's suggestion the two began talks that culminated in the formation of a joint venture to create a single entity. Although owing a great deal to both sponsoring museums, the new undertaking was to be independent, with its own governing body, financially self-supporting, and most importantly with displays to reflect its location and market.
A new Charitable Trust was created to oversee the project. In addition to the HLF, funding for the National Maritime Museum Cornwall has come from the South West Regional Development Agency, the European Regional Development Fund (5b funding programme), individuals and corporate sponsors.
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Newquay Zoo
(Registered Charity No 300923)

Opened in 1969, Newquay Zoo was run by the local authority (Restormel Borough Council) until 1994, when it passed into the private ownership of Mike Thomas and Roger Martin.
In August 2003 Newquay Zoo joined forces with Paignton Zoo and is now part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, comprising Newquay Zoo, Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts, Slapton Ley and two urban nature reserves.

The zoo is open to the public from 10:00am to 5:00pm (October to March) and 9:30am to 6:00pm (April to September).

Funds are raised by admission charges, multiple zoo membership (45 a year), adoption of animals (30 a year), a day working with the keepers (95), feed the meerkats (1 per pot), lemur feeding (45 for 2 people - includes admission), penguin experience (45 for 2 people - includes admission), junior keeper - age 8 to 14 (65 - includes admission of child and adult) and hiring out corporate facilities.
(Prices correct as at February 2012 - visit the zoo website for up-to-date prices)
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Sabre Trust
(Registered Charity No 1105489)

The Sabre Trust is a small charity working on a big issue: Education.
Their mission is to give young Ghanaians the best possible start to their education, enabling them to achieve their full academic potential and contribute to Ghana's future economic development.
Sabre’s operations are focussed on the early primary sector in Ghana, where the challenges and needs are significant. In collaboration with Arup and Davis Langdon, Sabre is pioneering a new concept for early years education in Ghana through its “Building Better Schools” programme.
Sabre’s Sustainable Kindergarten Project demonstrates how global design expertise and local knowledge can combine to change the lives of this and future generations. Providing a comfortable and stimulating learning environment, the school is designed to be easily and affordably replicated throughout Ghana and in other African countries.
Sabre Trust is based at 10 The Old Carriage Works, Great Western Village, Lostwithiel. PL22 0EN
Tel: 0203 239 9476
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(Registered Charity No 777524785)

Founded in Helston in 2001 by Tom Henderson OBE in response to the Gujarat earthquake.
Each Shelterbox box contains a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while families are displaced or homeless. The exact contents are tailored to the nature and location of the disaster.
ShelterBox Response Teams distribute the boxes in the disaster area, working with local organisations and international aid agencies. Often ShelterBox is the first outside aid agency on the ground and they aim to get the first shipment of boxes dispatched to a disaster area within 2–3 days.

ShelterBox relies on donations to make their work possible. About half of the funds come direct from the UK public, the rest is raised by international affiliates in their branches in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Luxemburg, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States, along with a branch associated with the Scouts. The main support comes from Rotary International.

Since 2007 HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has been the charity’s President and Royal Patron.
The international headquarters of Shelterbox is still in Helston.

To make a donation to Shelterbox please go to their website.
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(Registered Charity No 1026475)

This charity was founded in 1982 by a group of parents of autistic children because there was no clear provision for the children as they became adults other than old-fashioned institutionalisation in long stay hospitals.
As Devon & Cornwall Autistic Community Trust, the organisation grew rapidly, acquiring new homes in Cornwall and service users from across the UK.
In 2000 the organisation rebranded itself as Spectrum and has continued to expand. The most recent developments are domiciliary care and supported living.
They provide residential care for both adults and children, education and domiciliary care services for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, similar conditions and challenging behaviours.
Spectrum, whose head office is based at Penryn, runs 24 residential homes for approximately 100 children and adults with autistic spectrum disorders.
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Logo of the Cornwall based charity Surf Action Surf Action
(Registered Charity No 1140191)

Founded by Gulf War Veteran Rich Emerson, Surf Action was established in Cornwall in 2009 and is now a registered Charity.
An award winning and pioneering project, Surf Action is dedicated to serving the needs of military veterans (including TAs and reservists) and their families, especially those affected by PTSD and physical injuries or those struggling to re-adjust to civilian life. By making use of the beautiful Cornish coastal environment and offering holistic support which takes into account the practical, social and psychological difficulties veterans can experience we do not seek to replicate the valuable work carried out by existing military organisations and charities but to complement, signpost to and work with them to fill the gaps identified by the veterans who come to us.
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Westcountry Rivers Trust
(Registered Charity No 1045806)

Established in 1995 by a group of friends who were passionate conservationists and cared deeply about the rivers in the westcountry where they lived.
Their objective is to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of the rivers, streams, watercourses and water impoundments in the Westcountry and to advance the education of the public in the management of water.

The headquarters of the Trust is at Stoke Climsland between Callington and Launceston.
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White River Cat Rescue
(Registered Charity No 1117031)

Founded in 2005 by Rowena Sharps, Kathy Fox and Alison Tyley, White River Cat Rescue is based in St Austell.
They are financed by donations, membership, raffles, a stall at Cornish Market World and at car boots in Par and St Blazey. They are also pleased to accept donations of cat food, cat litter and other similar items.
Find out more at their website

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World Parrot Trust
(Registered Charity No 800944)

The World Parrot Trust was originally founded in 1989 by its creator, Mike Reynolds, at Paradise Park, Hayle.
As a leader in parrot conservation and welfare, the World Parrot Trust works with parrot enthusiasts, researchers, local communities and government leaders to encourage effective solutions that protect parrots. In recent years they have achieved remarkable and positive results in their efforts for parrot conservation and welfare; work made possible by the generous support of members and donors.
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