Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Life-changing fund re-opens for applications

10th August 2018

A charitable fund that has already channelled £215,000 into the Braintree District is calling on community organisations to apply for grants in the latest round.

The Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund, set up by Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing in 2016, provides local voluntary organisations and charities with the opportunity to apply for funding.

Grants are available to support organisations working in the Braintree District that either help to improve health and well-being, increase aspirations and opportunities, or develop skills through training.

The Fund is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), which has a strong track record of managing funds and channelling grants to support community activity in Essex.

Last year Braintree Foyer, which provides accommodation to people aged 18-35 who are either experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, received a grant of £33,986 to help them employ a Support Manager.

Mark Watson, Projects Manager of Braintree Foyer, said: “Last year we supported 61 people, providing them with a safe place to live whilst they re-built their lives. Most of our residents come from chaotic backgrounds, many having suffered abuse, family breakdown or substance misuse. Before they come to us they may have also been sleeping on the street or sofa surfing at friends’ houses.

“As well as providing accommodation, we have also developed Braintree Discovery College to create learning opportunities for local people. We have an onsite gym and also run a music programme. All our work aims to help our young people develop a positive outlook, which is vital if they are to move on with their lives.

A panel made up of representatives from Braintree District Council and Greenfields review and agree all applications to the Fund annually. Other organisations to benefit from grants in previous years include Braintree Area Foodbank and Action for Family Carers.

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, Deputy Leader Braintree District Council, said: “As a council we are proud to be part of this fund which is making a real difference to the community. I would encourage local voluntary organisations across the Braintree District to make the most of this opportunity and apply for funding.”

Sandra Crosby, Greenfields’ Housing Director, urges local community organisations to apply for a grant: “We want to improve the lives of people living in the District in any way we can. We know that there are projects out there doing wonderful work, and we want to support and help them to grow.”

How to apply

Please note: this Fund can award grants for over £10,000 but under £40,000. This Fund can support your project for up to 3 years (i.e. £40,000 over 3 years not £40,000 each year for 3 years). To read the full guidelines, click here.

We strongly encourage you to speak with us ahead of applying. We are holding a Phone-In Funding Surgery on Thursday 12 July 10am to 12 noon to speak with potential applicants. Please call us, on the day, on 01245 356018.

The deadline is Friday 31st of August.

Funding available for Harlow community projects

10th August 2018

Harlow has been buzzing with activity over the past year, as local organisations and community groups reaped the benefit of grants awarded from two trusts dedicated to making the town a better place.

The Harlow Recreation Trust and the Harlow Education Trust, both run by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF), have distributed grants totalling almost £50,000 over the past 12 months.

Now a call is going out in Harlow for more organisations to apply for funding in the latest round of grants from the two trusts.  ECF assesses all the applications and then works with a panel of local people to consider and make decisions.  Where there is a greater number of applications than funds available, it is possible that ECF may be able to offer grants from other funds under its management.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “We know that the grants already awarded from these two trusts have made a great difference to community life in Harlow and now there is the opportunity for more voluntary organisations and local groups to benefit from the funds available.

“The Harlow Recreation Trust awards grants to support the development of recreational skills, knowledge and talent for the benefit of people living in Harlow. Funding will generally be for one year, but for exceptional projects the panel may consider awarding funds for more than one year.

“The Harlow Education Trust gives grants to support the development of skills, knowledge and talent of young people living in Harlow.”

Local organisations that have previously benefited from grants awarded from the two trusts include, the Livewire Trust, which received more than £8,000 from the Harlow Recreation Trust to expand free drama workshops for young people in Harlow.

Sam Ashford, from Livewire, said: “We believe that the arts should be available to everyone, as it is a fantastic way to build confidence, make friends, be creative, explore important issues and make our community a better place to live. We are delighted to be reaching out to more young people with a new programme of workshops, thanks to Essex Community Foundation and The Harlow Recreation Trust.”

Rainbow Services was awarded more than £5,000 from the Harlow Education Trust to extend a recycling workshop for youngsters in Harlow, aged 14 to 16, who are at risk of exclusion from school.

Action for Family Carers received £6,000 from the Harlow Recreation Trust to support a club for young carers in Harlow and Harlow Arts Council was awarded £1,500 towards the cost of The Art of the Garden Party Arts Festival this summer.

Harlow Steel Band was also given £3,000 to help with the cost of taking their music out into the community, performing for charities and organisations in the area.

Mandi Henderson, Treasurer for the Band said: “We were keen to have the opportunity to perform for charities and institutions at no cost to them. This brings the enjoyment of our music to those who might otherwise not be able to have access to it and enables our existing young band members to make a significant contribution to their community.

“It will also help us to recruit more young people who can become involved and benefit from the many positive things the band has to offer.”

ECF is now inviting applications for grants from the Harlow Education Trust and the Harlow Recreation Trust. The deadline date for sending in applications is 14 September. 

If you would like to discuss an application in advance of applying, call the ECF grants team now on 01245 356018.

Harwich community groups awarded funding boost

30th July 2018

The first grants from the Galloper Community Fund have been awarded to three Harwich community groups who will receive a total of £7,500 from the offshore wind farm.

Three Harwich community groups supporting low income families and local young people have been awarded a total of £7,500 from the first application round of the Galloper Community Fund. The three groups are:

  • We are Music, which runs the rock school in Harwich and received funds to help them keep student fees down.
  • CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), which will use the funds to provide specialist one-to-one support for young people.
  • The Ark Family Resource Centre, using the grant towards projects to support families and children.

Chris Scott of We are Music said: “The fees we charge our young musicians do not cover our operating costs but it is not practical or desirable to put them up. It’s always difficult to gain money to support our ongoing project so the grant from the Galloper Fund is great news as it will meet the shortfall for four months”.

Helen Parr, Director of CARA said: “We are delighted to have received this funding, which will help provide specialist one-to-one support for young people who have been victims of sexual violence or child sexual abuse, enabling them to work through their trauma and move forward with their lives. Young people will no longer need to travel to Colchester or Clacton to access our services as thanks to this grant we can now provide support in Harwich”.

Sally Johns Green, Centre Manager, The Ark Centre said: “The grant will enable us to continue our family and children support projects, our counselling service and help children with additional needs in our pre-school nursery. We support over 100 vulnerable families and individuals each year and receive very little funding, so this grant is particularly welcome”.

Managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF) on behalf of Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, the £50,000 fund was launched in March this year to support charitable, educational and environmental activities in and around Harwich.

ECF Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Taylor said: We are pleased to partner with Galloper for this fund and support the organisation in its ambition to contribute positively to the local community where it will have its long-term operations base.”

Since 1996 ECF has awarded more than £32 million in grants to help communities in Essex to take action and improve the lives of local people.

Galloper Operations & Maintenance Manager, Sean Chenery, said: “Our Operations & Maintenance facility will be run out of Harwich for the lifetime of the project and we aim to become a valued member of the neighbouring community. The fund is one way we can get involved, through the support of such worthwhile groups as those chosen for this first application round.”

Galloper Offshore Wind Farm is currently awaiting consent for the multi-million pound Operations & Maintenance base from Tendring District Council and the Marine Management Organisation. The Harwich base will be the hub for the wind farm’s operations and maintenance activity and will be home to a team of around 60 for the duration of the development’s expected 23-year operational lifetime.

Galloper is a 353MW offshore wind farm sited approximately 30km of the coast of Suffolk. Construction of the wind farm was completed earlier this year with all turbines generating by the end of March. The project is owned by innogy SE, Siemens Financial Services, Sumitomo Corporation and ESB and a consortium managed by Green Investment Group and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. innogy led the development and construction of Galloper Offshore Wind Farm and will operate the wind farm on behalf of the project partners.

Photo caption: We are Music band members Findlay Cox, Tom Marques and Findlay Graham, with Chris Scott from We are Music and Galloper’s Sean Chenery (second from right).

Making a mark on his community

13th July 2018

Community champion Bill Davidson's dream of transforming Parkeston began when he took on responsibility for opening and closing the area's park gates.

While he was carrying out the task Bill, 73, a parish councillor and chairman of Parkeston Residents and Welfare Park Association, started to think about how the park could be improved.
“It was in quite a bad state and first of all I set about picking up any litter,” he said.

“Then I took it a bit further and thought about other ways of making the park better. Parkeston was a small, forgotten village and there was a lot to do to make people feel more motivated and bring back community spirit.”

With the help of dedicated volunteers, local fundraising and grants from the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) Bill's dream has become a reality. The local community now has a park to be proud of and the jewel in the crown is a newly-opened Parkeston hub.

The hub, which will be used for a wide range of community activities, has been developed in Parkeston's former bowls club building in Hamilton Street.

Bill said: “The refurbishment is going really well, a lot of work has been carried out and we have lots of new equipment. The new fences are up, accessibility ramps are down, we have a store room, changing rooms and facilities for groups such as a dining club for elderly people.
“It really has been a fantastic community effort and I estimate we have had the help of around 500 volunteers, including people on the community payback scheme.”

Bill, who came to live in Parkeston seven years ago, has been a driving force behind the project and he is delighted that his original dream has come to fruition.

A football pitch has been created next-door on land donated by Tendring District Council and the weekly club that Bill instigated to give young people something positive and fun to do, is a great success.

“I like to be busy and didn't want to put my feet up during retirement. I wanted to be involved in the community and to keep active,” he said.

Residents in Parkeston and the surrounding area are now reaping the benefit and community spirit is thriving.

The hub is a focal point for the village and the park is a popular place where youngsters can have fun and people of all ages can use outdoor gym equipment. There are plans for an adult football team and paddle tennis next.

“It is great to see people becoming more active and to see village life getting back to what it should be,” said Bill. “People have come together and really have made a brilliant effort.

“We have had a lot of support, including the grants from Essex Community Foundation who have been such a help to us.”

With Parkeston going from strength to strength, Bill has been hailed as a community champion.

ECF manages 150 funds on behalf of individuals, families and businesses, helping to match their charitable wishes with the needs of the Essex voluntary sector. Among the Funds to support Parkeston Residents Association are Colne Community Builders and Milsom Charitable Fund.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “Bill's enthusiasm and dedication have been instrumental in making Parkeston a better place we are delighted to support and encourage such a worthwhile community project through our grant-making.”

If there is a project you would like to undertake to improve your community, please call the grants team on 01245 356018. We would be happy to discuss this with you. 

Budding tennis star shines at international competition

13th July 2018

An up-and-coming tennis star has been tipped for a bright future after impressing in an event which has helped the likes of Andy Murray to develop.

Shami Ndoro is currently ranked number one in the country for her age category. And the 10-year-old finished in fifth place in the 10-and-under girls category a the prestigious Smirkva Bowl.

The competition, which is held in Croatia, has attracted household names such as Murray, Dominic Thiem and Katie Swan over the years.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of Essex Community Foundation (ECF), which has helped Shami develop her talent, is full of praise for the youngster. She said: "We are delighted to have been able to support Shami so that she could compete in Croatita. We wish her continued success with her tennis and future compeitions. 

Shami, who attends the Southend-based Bournes Green Junior School, was able to compete in the Smirka Bowl thanks to a grant of £1,250 from ECF.

The grant was jointly funded from the Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund and the Annabel and Gerald Malton Charitable Fund, which are dedicated to helping young people where finance is a barrier to them achieving their sporting ambitions.

The Smirkva Bowl is the world's biggest tennis event for those aged 10 and under. More than 110 girls competed in the event, which boasted competiors from 87 countries across six continents. 

Playing on a clay court for just the second time, Shami went head-to-head with a number of competitors, who are the top ranked players in their country.

In her first international event, Shami saw off Spain and Russia's best as well as the Romanian, Russian and Serbian number two players. 

Shami predominantly trains at the Batchwood Sports and Tennis Centre in St Albans - which is one of the best centres in the country - and she also trains at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, where Southend Council have given her full use of the facilities free of charge.

Shami's coach, Mary Collins, said, "Shami is a huge talent who, with the right hard work and dedication, knows what she will achieve."

For more information about ECF and its grant funding for developing sporting individuals, please call the team on 01245 356018.

 

Credit to Southend Echo

Professional advisers compete in charity challenge

10th July 2018

The Fiducia Charity Challenge been hailed a success after the company invited seven corporate partners to take part in an evening of fun and games.

The event raised more than £2,000 to be split between Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and Suffolk Community Foundation.

Teams of six shed their business suits to show off their sporting prowess, with basketball and football challenges, before the action switched to team work and mental strength in the spaghetti tower.

The closely-fought contest ended with a competitive egg and spoon race and a space hopper relay.

Gordon Kearney, Managing Director of Fiducia, said: “As a company, we think it is very important to give something back and support local charities making such a difference in our community. The charity challenge has become a popular part of the calendar with a nice mix of fun and competition and we are delighted with how the evening went. We would like to thank all our sponsors and all the teams who helped raise a great sum of money for some very worthwhile local charities.”

The team from Ensors Accountants were crowned the 2018 champions, seeing off the challenge of local companies TSP Solicitors, Whittles, Goody Burnett, Palmer Solicitors, Marshall Hatchick and Prettys.

ECF works closely with professionals, such as solicitors and accountants, to spread the word about philanthropic opportunities for their client. By naming ECF as a beneficiary in your will, you can support a wide range of causes and, if you wish, identify specific charities to benefit from your estate. Choosing to channel your charitable giving through ECF means you can rest assured that your legacy will be managed efficiently and in line with your wishes.  

Establishing a named fund with ECF, either during your lifetime or as part of your will, is a simple process.We would be pleased to discuss this with you and your professional adviser.

To discuss this further, please call the ECF team on 01245 355947.

 

Funding available for youth projects

21st June 2018

Voluntary and community organisations working with young people in Essex are encouraged to apply for funding to support their work.

Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available from the #iwill Fund for activities which give young people the opportunity to develop their character, build skills and engage them in the community.

Projects must benefit young people aged between 10 and 20, or up to 25 for disabled young people.

This funding programme is part of a national campaign by Big Lottery Fund, Step Up to Serve and the Government Office for Civil Society – with the goal of enabling more than 60% of 10-20 year-olds across the UK to participate in social action.

Essex Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in Essex are acting as match-funders and awarding the grants locally.

Among the organisations to receive grants previously are Integration Support Services, who used their grant of £5,000 to launch a peer mentoring scheme in Harlow where 10 young volunteers, aged between 13 and 18, have been paired with young Asylum Seekers.

The group meet regularly to take part in a range of social activities including basketball tournaments, art sessions, field trips to the seaside, as well as having discussions on topics such as hate crime and bullying.

Mimoza Matoshi, Chief Executive of Integration Support Services, said: “The refugees and asylum seekers we work with have experienced lives unimaginable to most British people. Many of them have experienced trauma and have been forced to leave their homes.

“This peer-led project is an opportunity for young people who are relatively new to the area to meet with other young people, build on their language skills and make friends.”

Grants from the #iwill Fund can be awarded throughout the year and will support a wide range of projects, including, but not restricted to, skill training, anti-bullying, homelessness and to increase access to sports or the arts. 

If you are a local charity or voluntary organisation working with young people, call ECF now on 01245 356018.

To read the criteria, click here. There is also a seperate application form to complete. 

New beginnings for homeless charity

21st June 2018

An ex-soldier who suffered post-traumatic-stress, developed a drug addiction, became homeless and spent time in prison, has turned his life around with the help of the Chelmsford-based charity CHESS.

Napthali Burke, 37, who is known as Nap, says he is certain that CHESS saved his life and helped him to get on a positive path.

He is among the many people celebrating a milestone for CHESS, which has officially opened its new centre on New London Road, Chelmsford, bringing all its services under one roof.

The charity, which has been operating for 24 years, offers help and support to homeless by providing temporary accommodation, counselling and training.

Since 2001, CHESS has benefited from grants totalling nearly £90,000 awarded from the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Nap said: “When I left the Army I was a shadow of my former self and I developed what I now recognise as post-traumatic stress disorder. To avoid dealing with my emotions, I kept busy and was constantly out partying. Mixing with a bad crowd, sparked my addiction with drugs and alcohol. I was told to leave my family home and to fuel my addictions, I began to steal.”  

Nap never took more than he needed to fuel his addiction, so each time he was caught, he received a short-term prison sentence.  This meant that he was not eligible for support when he was released and as a consequence, each time he returned to living on the street.

“I eventually resigned myself to the fact that I was going to die” said Nap.  “I knew that if I had to stay on the street any longer, I would either be killed or kill myself, just to put an end to it".

Whilst serving his 19th and last sentence, this time in HM Prison Chelmsford, there was a job fair in the canteen. Nap only decided to go at the last moment, just as the stands were packing down to leave.

CHESS was there to recruit for Wingspan, their social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for ex-offenders, doing ground maintenance, minor building, painting, decorating and cleaning.

Rob Saggs, Executive Director of CHESS said, “When you speak with someone who has been homeless and are now on a positive path, all of them talk about one pivotal moment that changed their lives.

“This moment does not always come when they are offered help, but instead when they make a conscious choice to pursue change. As the job fair was ending, Nap suddenly realised that he didn’t want to miss the opportunity and almost demanded to be interviewed. It was his strength of character that is responsible for the positive path he is on now.

When Nap’s release date came about, CHESS met him at the prison gates, taking him to one of their temporary accommodations. Nap said: “Having the support of CHESS not only gave me somewhere to stay straight out of prison, but also gave me a job, which changed everything.”

Two years later, Nap is thriving thanks to the support he has received and the choices he continues to make. He is now in private accommodation, works for Wingspan and is studying two evenings a week to become a qualified electrician.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “We are pleased to support CHESS and their clients. Nap is just one example of the 113 people they gave accommodation to in the last year, and the countless more they have helped. We wish them well in their new premises and look forward to continuing our support of their vital work.”

Seeking panel members from Bradwell and Tillingham

21st June 2018

Do you live in the areas of Bradwell or Tillingham and would you like to make a difference in your local community?

If so, we are seeking two volunteers to join a panel of local people to work with us and consider all grant applications made to the Bradwell Wind Farm Community Fund.

The panel meets twice a year in Bradwell. To discuss this opportunity, please call Jill Curd on 01245 356018.

We are recruiting: Head of Development

19th June 2018

- Please note the deadline has now passed -

We are looking for a dynamic Head of Development, with passion and commitment to make a difference to the lives of local people in Essex by increasing philanthropic giving to support local charities and voluntary organisations. 

With responsibility for income generation, you will be responsible for devising and implementing a development strategy that will generate new business and new contacts.

You will have a strong track record of achievement gained at a management level in either fundraising, sales, marketing, finance or business development. In addition, you will have first class relationship-building and interpersonal skills, with the capability to be recognised as a trusted adviser across a range of sectors and communities. 

How to apply

To download the full Application Pack, click here.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 27 June 2018. If you have any queries about the position, please call Caroline Taylor or Jo Macaulay on 01245 355947.

To submit your application, please email your CV, covering letter and personal statement based on the Job Description and Person Specification stating why you think you would be ideal for the position. Your statement must not exceed 4 sides of A4. 

Please email these documents to: recruitment@essexcf.org.uk

Alternatively, you can post your application to ECF, 121 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0QT.

Annual Charity Golf Day

15th June 2018

We were pleased to be back at Chelmsford Golf Club for our annual Charity Golf Day on Thursday 14th of June.

The event was once again kindly organised by Carole Golbourn and her husband Alan to raise awareness of ECF’s work in supporting local charities.

19 teams played Chelmsford’s immaculate course and the event raised over £6,000. These funds will enable us to support local voluntary and community organisations working across Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

This year’s winners were Sound Financial Planning, closely followed by Milsom Hotels and Beresfords. All three companies have named charitable funds with ECF. 

As well as individuals, other corporates taking part included, Birketts LLP, Birkett Long, Ellisons Solicitors, LB Group Ltd, Provide, Wilkin & Sons, Scrutton Bland, Sirgan Ltd and Thompson, Smith & Puxon.

To view photos from the day, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Winners: Sound Financial – Matt Michael, Andy Hall, David Ellis, Paul Spires.

Grants available for Chelmsford charities

31st May 2018

Chelmsford based community groups, voluntary organisations and charities needing funds are being encouraged to apply for grants from Essex Community Foundation (ECF), the county's leading independent charitable trust.

Financial support, ranging from £250 up to £10,000, is on offer from ECF for organisations working to make life better for people in Essex.

Since ECF was funded 21 years ago it has awarded over £32 million in grants to a vast range of local community and voluntary organisations.

The Foundation manages 150 funds on behalf of families, individuals, companies and public agencies, helping to match their charitable wishes with the needs of the Essex voluntary sector. Each year, grants totalling around £2 million are distributed.

Applications for funding can be made throughout the year, but voluntary organisations and charities in Chelmsford may want to contact the Foundation now.

Fran Wright and Jill Curd, ECF grants officers, are available on 01245 356018 to discuss your work and answer any questions about this funding opportunity.

“We are always happy to hear about any funding needs and we are ready to give advice and help on how to make an application,” said Fran.

“We have made applying for a grant as easy as possible and it is not a drawn-out process. ECF offers funding for a wide range of projects and issues, so we can usually match a fund, or a combination of funds, to help meet local needs.”

Jill said: “We do also consider funding core costs which we know can be a challenge for charities and local organisations to find. We can also help with specific projects, so encourage anyone interested in applying for a grant to call us now.”

Recent grants awarded by ECF include £2,704 for Kids Inspire to run free lunch clubs during the school holidays for disadvantaged children, £5,000 to Contact the Elderly to host monthly tea parties for isolated and lonely older people and £4,410 to City of Chelmsford Mencap for a project providing work experience opportunities to people with a learning disability, helping them to develop new skills.

For more information, call the grants team on 01245 356018.

Essex Dog Day: 26th August 2018

18th May 2018

More local charities are set to benefit from the ever-popular Essex Dog Day taking place at Crix, Hatfield Peverel, on Sunday 26 August.

Preparations are well underway, and hopes are high that this year's event will be record-breaking in many ways, including the amount it raises for local community organisations.

Funds raised by the Essex Dog Day are managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and will help many local charities which are providing vital support to people in need.

Ian Twinley, owner of Crix and chairman of the organising committee said: “We are setting our sights on another extremely successful Essex Dog Day. The enthusiasm shown for the event is heart-warming and it is always very popular and well supported.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our visitors once again with their four-legged friends. There will be plenty for everyone of all ages to enjoy with spectacular displays, lots of food on offer and many stalls which don’t just cater for dogs, including designer fashion and jewellery.

“There will be a wide range of classes and competitions for every kind of dog from pedigree poodles to magnificent mongrels.

“The children’s arena, sponsored by New Hall School, will return with plenty of dog show classes and activities for those aged up to 15.

“In the main arena, the ever-popular Essex Police dogs and cars will be chasing ‘criminals’.  New this year, will be the Galloping Acrobats, with their daring riders jumping on and off charging horses and the Watermill Wolves, the wolf pack that has appeared in the Game of Thrones and many other films and TV shows.”

Local charities also benefit from money raised by the Dog Day.  Ian said, “Last year, thanks to everyone involved, we raised £65,747, which brings the grand total raised in seven years to £410,000.  This year we are aiming to take that total to half a million and so that we can support even more good causes.”

Since the Crix Charitable Fund was established by Ian in 2014, all proceeds from the Dog Day and other events held at Crix are channelled through the Fund, to support local charities.  The Fund is managed by ECF who works with the Essex Dog Day committee to award grants each year to voluntary and community groups working in Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

Ian is a prominent supporter of ECF.  He said, “People come to the Dog Day from all over Essex, so it is important that we reach out to voluntary organisations working across the County so that they can benefit from the money raised.  Working with ECF helps us to do this as they have in-depth knowledge of the charitable and voluntary sector in Essex and they know where the money will make the greatest impact.

“The next Essex Dog Day will be held on Sunday 26 August. We are keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in volunteering on the day – positions range from helping with parking to serving tea and cake. You will find out how to apply on the volunteer page on www.essexdogday.com.”.

For more information about ECF, call Jo Macaulay on 01245 355947.

Among the local charities to receive grants following last year’s event were:

  • Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning: £3,000 to support a Food for Thought programme to aid the health and well-being of vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.
  • Cirdan Sailing Trust: £3,000 to buy a replacement dinghy for one of the vessels used to provide sail training opportunities for young people.
  • Witham Boys' and Girls' Brigade: £2,460 to assist with the running costs of a youth organisation providing a range of activities to engage young people in their community.
  • Wilderness Foundation UK: £1,550 support for the outdoor based TurnAround programme for vulnerable young people from mid and North Essex.
  • Talk Listen Care: £2,490 to provide counselling for vulnerable young people who are at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training) in Braintree.
  • Autism Anglia: £2,000 towards the salary of a welfare rights adviser working with autistic individuals and their families in Essex.
  • Braintree Youth Project Charity: £2,500 towards the running costs of a project supporting the development of young people through a range of activities.
  • Epping Forest Sportability Club: £3,000 to cover the coaching and running costs of a club providing sporting opportunities for young people with disabilities.

East of England Co-op tackles loneliness

18th May 2018

The East of England Co-op has awarded £70,000 to local charities and groups across the region in a bid to tackle loneliness.

Working in partnership with the Community Foundations in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, the East of England Co-op’s Tackling Loneliness Fund was promoted to local charities and organisations who bid for a share of the funding. 

Chris Matthews, Chair of the Membership and Community Engagement Committee who approved the funding, said: “The Co-op has a long and proud history of supporting communities and tackling the big issues that affect us all. Loneliness is a growing concern and we wanted to do something that would directly benefit lonely and isolated people living in the communities we serve.”

Twenty two applications were shortlisted by officers from the three Community Foundations and East of England Co-op which were approved by the MCE together with a further scheme, ‘Supporting Women and Activities Network (North Norfolk)’ and the Goodgym project in Norwich.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at Essex Community Foundation, said, “In many ways we are more connected than ever before, but people still feel lonely and isolated.  The benefit of working in partnership with community foundations across the region is that we can reach small, local charities working in the heart of their communities. The grants awarded in Essex are helping to connect people and provide a wide range of activities for all ages, helping them to socialise, enjoy life, access help and support, feel valued and contribute to their community.”

Teen Talk (Harwich) provides emotional support for young people aged 11-25 years. Covering two main areas; one-to-one support and group activities they allow young people to access their service directly. Their drop-in service provides instant access to a support worker where young people can offload their worries and concerns and be provided with strategies to help them develop their skills to overcome or manage the difficulties they face day to day. 

Teen Talk (Harwich) are using their grant of £2,500 to run a series of ‘This is Me’ courses for groups of 14-16-year olds, who are struggling with self-esteem, identity and confidence.

Hayley Lovett, Chief Executive Officer at Teen Talk (Harwich), said, “This is an informal programme that allows young people to build better relationships and be more confident through creative activities. They identify their own strengths which they develop to empower them to be more resilient. Through the course, new friendships are formed, improving the young people’s confidence, helping them to improve communication, become more aware of their unique characteristics and raise their self-worth reducing the impact of loneliness.”

To date, three courses have been completed and 11 young people have taken part in the programme.

The projects who received funding in Essex are:

Beacon House Ministries: received £2,454 to support their welcome services for socially isolated homeless people, in Colchester.
Colchester Gateway Clubs: were awarded £2,500 to increase the hours of a support and advocacy manager for adults with learning disabilities.
Crossroads Care Tendring & Colchester: received £2,500 to help with the running costs of a young carers group in Tendring.
Jaywick Community Resources Centre Association: received £1,500 to support the costs of an elderly people's lunch club.
Teen Talk (Harwich): have been awarded of £2,500 to run a series of ‘This is Me’ courses for groups of 14-16-year olds, who are struggling with self-esteem, identity and confidence.
Tendring Community Transport: were awarded £2,500 to run a dial-a-ride service. This gives isolated people without their own form of transport the opportunity to use a minibus.

If you are a community or voluntary organisation that tackles loneliness, please call the grants team on 01245 356018. We are keen to discuss your work and potential funding opportunities. 

Our 2018 Spring Receptions

17th May 2018

We were delighted to welcome 200 invited guests to this year's Spring Receptions held at Ingatestone Hall and Layer Marney Tower.

These events are an opportunity for our supporters, donors and Fundholders to come together, hear about ECF's latest work and listen to guest speakers from the voluntary sector.

This year's speakers at Ingatestone Hall were, Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford vice president of ECF, and local community organisations Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) and Maldon Men’s Shed. 

Bishop Stephen spoke about the importance of communities reaching out to one another, highlighting that this can only happen by people working together to help those in need. 

CAVS explained their befriending scheme, which matches people who feel lonely and isolated with a volunteer companion. The scheme helps many elderly and vulnerable people, but is open to anyone over the age of 18. Jennifer Ferns, a volunteer befriender, explained how she got involved with the scheme and the unexpected impact it had on her life.

Maldon Men’s Shed described how their scheme brings men together for the benefit of their health and wellbeing. Members of the Shed network choose projects and work on them at their own pace in a social environment. This community space gives them the opportunity to make new friends, share skills and learn new ones which can make a huge difference to those who find themselves isolated.

Our Layer Marney speakers were Nick Alston CBE DL, ECF Fundholder and trustee, The MAZE Group and Your Living Room.

The MAZE Group explained their work with parents who have children with additional needs. Their informative training courses give families the tools to build more positive relationships, better communicate and improve behaviour.  Debbie shared her family’s experience and how MAZE has helped her to better understand her son, Tom, who was only formally diagnosed with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) at the age of 20.

Your Living Room spoke about the long-term support that they offer to people living with this widely misunderstood condition. Philip spoke about his personal experience of hoarding and how this service has helped him to change his life.

To view more photos from both events, click here.

Big support for Little Braxted

11th May 2018

People in Little Braxted and the surrounding area are being invited to apply for grants from a fund set up to help community projects and promote educational opportunities.

The Little Braxted Community and Educational Fund was established in 2007 with proceeds from the sale of the local Victorian schoolhouse.

In 2012 the fund was transferred to the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) to ensure that it would benefit future generations in the parish of Little Braxted and Wickham Bishops.  The area benefiting from the fund has recently been extended to neighbouring villages and the surrounding rural areas.

So far, the fund has awarded a total of £60,512 in grants and one of the first was a major allocation of £35,000 towards an extension of the Great Braxted Pavilion. 

Grants have also been given to Wickham Bishops Over 60’s Club, The Braxted Neighbourhood Watch Coffee Morning, Great Braxted Parish Council to install outdoor gym equipment for local residents and Little Braxted Parish Council to run a weekly litter picking service.

Young people in the area have been awarded grants to help them achieve qualifications and funding has also been given to local youngsters with great sporting promise, including 10-year-old gymnast, Lola Brand from Little Braxted, whose long-term ambition is to reach the Olympics.

A grant of £1,500 will help pay for Lola to compete in Malta this summer, building on her recent success in an international gymnastics competition.

Lola's mum Lisa said: “We are so proud of Lola who continues to work towards her dream of one day being a professional gymnast. The grant we received from ECF and the Little Braxted Fund has made all the difference to her training, and to us.”

Caroline Taylor, ECF's chief executive said: “This fund is a fantastic financial resource for the local community and we want to encourage more applications that we can support.”

“Grants can be awarded to voluntary and community organisations for the general benefit of people in the parish of Little Braxted and surrounding areas, including scout and guide groups and can also be extended to promote educational opportunities.”

ECF works with a panel of local residents to discuss and agree all applications to the fund.

To talk to the grants team at ECF about making an application for funding call 01245 356018.

Grants available to keep fit and healthy

30th April 2018

A golden opportunity is being given to voluntary and community groups in North Essex needing funds for activities to help people of all ages to live healthier and happier lives.

Grants are being made available for such organisations from the Tinneveld Family Fund which is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The family fund was established with ECF thanks to the generosity of Joy Tinneveld and her late husband, Theo, who was born and lived in Holland.

The couple were married for 48 years and ran a farm in Elmstead, following a tradition established over many generations by Joy's family, the Harveys.

As she grew up Joy was fully involved in farming and she also developed a love of dance.  After graduating from college, she opened her own dance studio in Clacton and her business “grew like Topsy.” 

She taught in Brightlingsea, Dovercourt, Elmstead and Wivenhoe and ran keep fit classes in Colchester.  Joy also ran a riding stable for children of all abilities and became an active member of the local WI.

Recalling her romantic first meeting with Theo in 1962, Joy said: “I was travelling home after teaching a ballet class in Dovercourt and this handsome man came and sat near to me. He had missed his boat train after being held up at customs.

“We started chatting and got on well, so we decided we would write to each other.”

Theo, whose family ran a smallholding in Holland, had been on one of his regular visits to England to improve his English. He and Joy had a two-year courtship and were married in 1964 at St Peter's Church in Colchester.

“We had a very busy life together running the farm and I still had my dance studio and classes,” said Joy, who now lives in Wivenhoe.

“As well as managing the farm Theo developed an interest in stocks and shares. Finance was his passion and he became a member of Lloyds of London.

“We were very blessed in many ways and were involved in several different aspects of the community.

“I am very pleased that our fund with ECF will be doing some good in the places where we lived and worked, and I think Theo would have been very proud of that too.”

Joy and Theo's happy and successful life together has provided the means for the fund to be established with ECF in their name.

It will give ongoing support to local voluntary groups and organisations involved in activities to promote physical and mental wellbeing for people of all ages.

Apply now

ECF are now inviting applications from organisations that are providing guidance and activities related to healthy living, dance and keep fit.

To find out more about making an application call ECF's grants team on 01245 356018.

Your Data

20th April 2018

You will likely be aware of the increased focus on data protection and the way in which organisations process and use your personal information.

Much of this activity is driven by the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will come into force on 25 May.

We want to assure you that ECF has always taken your privacy and the security of your information seriously and will continue to do so.

We have used this change in regulation as an opportunity to review our approach and update our privacy policy, which you can view by clicking here.

We believe that ECF has, what is termed, a legitimate interest in staying in contact with its donors and grant recipients to keep them updated on our progress and activities. We will therefore, continue to do this. If however, at any time, you would like us to stop contacting you, we will immediately respect your request. We will only hold any data that we need to keep for legal reasons (i.e. financial transactions).

We will only send you electronic marketing (e.g. our e-mail newsletter) with your explicit consent and we will be in touch with about this in the near future.

If you have any questions about the data we hold on you or how we use it, please do not hesitate to call Steven Mackenzie via e-mail or by calling 01245 356018. 

Provide gives healthy support to local charities

19th April 2018

Dementia Adventure and the Maldon And Dengie Stroke Support & Carers' Group are among 14 local charities that are celebrating after receiving a healthy funding boost from the Provide Foundation.

Grants totalling £88,905 were awarded from the Fund which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Set up in 2012, the Provide Foundation gives support to voluntary and community organisations that are delivering projects which improve the health and well-being of local people.

Dementia Adventure based in Chelmsford and working across Essex received the top award of £20,000 tosupport their work helping people living with dementia, and their carers. 

Lucy Harding, co-founder of Dementia Adventure, said “We are ecstatic to have received this significant funding boost which will enable us to run workshops to educate and equip people who are caring for someone with dementia.  We aim to give them the information and tools to improve the quality of life for both themselves and the person they care for.

She added, “The courses will help loved ones and carers, to better understand dementia, build on their communication skills and learn the benefits of connecting with nature.”

Maldon And Dengie Stroke Support & Carers' Group received £10,000 to continue the services that they offer to people affected by Stroke, and their carers, to ensure well-being and reduce isolation.   

The Rural Community Council of Essex and Essex Central Remap, a charity which designs and makes inventive equipment for disabled people, also received grants of £5,000 each.

Peter Livingstone, chairman of Remap, said: “We are thrilled to receive this grant from the Provide Foundation.

“Restoring independence and enabling anyone, regardless of their disabilities, to live their life to the fullest is at the heart of what we do. This funding will be used to ensure people have the equipment they need, so that they can leave hospital and get back into the comfort of their own homes”.

Provide is a community interest company (CIC) which delivers a wide range of community health services across Essex and in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), Suffolk and Norfolk as well as the London borough of Waltham Forest.

Derrick Louis, Chairman of Provide said: “At Provide, we recognise that supporting local charities and voluntary organisations is a very important part of our work and helps to underpin the social and care services that we offer. 

“As a CIC organisation we happily accept our obligation to re-invest part of our surpluses back into the communities we serve. Our partnership with Essex Community Foundation means that we can effectively invest funds into voluntary organisations whose work complements our own. 
“Having established the Provide Foundation with ECF we can do this in the most efficient and effective way and we are committed to awarding grants year on year to support the voluntary sector in Essex.”

As an independent charitable trust, ECF can give Provide impartial information on the organisations involved, helping their Members and staff to make decisions, with confidence, knowing that the money will be directed to where it is needed most.

For more information about ECF and how to apply for funding, call the grants team on 01245 356018.

A full list of grants can be accessed, here

More photos from the event can be viewed here

County Council supports local charities

18th April 2018

Local voluntary and community projects which provide support to vulnerable children, day care and meals for elderly people, training for those with learning difficulties and a drama production for young people, are among those who have been awarded funding in the latest round of grants from the Essex Millennium Fund and the Essex County Council’s Chairman’s Fund.

Grants totalling £75,080 were presented from the two funds to 22 Essex-based charities and voluntary organisations at a ceremony held at Chelmsford City Racecourse.

The funds, managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF), provide support for community and voluntary organisations whose good work enhances the lives of people living in Essex.

At the presentation event Cllr John Aldridge, Chairman of Essex County Council, commended the contribution these organisations make across the county.  He said, “It has been one of the most satisfying areas of my role and a privilege to visit many charities and voluntary groups to discover more about their work.”

“I have received the warmest of welcomes and I have been most encouraged to see local people coming together with a common aim of improving the lives of others less fortunate, or making their communities a better place to live and work”.

The Essex Millennium Fund was established as an endowed fund within ECF by members of Essex County Council to celebrate the Millennium. The Chairman’s Fund was established with ECF in 2007.  The funds provide an annual income for a grants programme, awarding grants to voluntary and community groups working in the priority areas of carers, community support, enhancing the environment, young people and activities which explore culture and heritage.

Cllr Aldridge said, “Time has moved on since we established the two funds and it was felt that bringing them together under one identity would be more appropriate.

“I am pleased to announce, that going forward, although the criteria for the funds will remain the same and continue to be managed by ECF, they will be combined under one name – The Essex Fund.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF said: “The Essex Millennium Fund and the Chairman’s Charitable Fund were set up to support voluntary and community activity in Essex and together they have awarded grants totalling £1.2 million. 

“Combining them now under the one name makes perfect sense.  We will manage The Essex Fund in the same way, building on all that has been achieved and providing grants to local voluntary and community organisations to support their work, in perpetuity.”

For information about how to apply for a grant, please call the grants team on 01245 356018.

Among those to receive awards are:

  • PARC Braintree, which will recieved £3,300 from the Essex Millennium Fund to employ a mentor at a charity shop providing work experience for young people with additional needs. Emma Frearson, Shop Manager and Mentor at PARC, said, “Working in our charity shop gives young people with additional needs some valuable and practical work experience. This helps them to increase their skills and build confidence. She added “The scheme has proved to be far more popular than we expected.  This funding boost will help us to employ someone who can provide day-to-day support for the young people who work with us”.
  • Colchester Chinese Culture Society were awarded £3,000 from the Essex County Council's Chairman's Fund. Simone Xue, Chairperson of the Society, said: “The £3,000 grant from the Chairman’s Fund will help us to bring Chinese cultural puppetry workshops to young children in Colchester, Tendring and Harlow. This is a fun and unique way for the children to learn new skills and increase their understanding of different cultures and the need for mutual respect”.
  • 3rd Brentwood Scouts. Dominic Foley is a Scout Leader, he said, “We are thrilled to receive £3,000 from the Essex Millennium Fund to help us buy new camping equipment and storage racking. We sadly lost all of our previous equipment in a fire. Thanks to this grant we will be able to buy everything we need and organise family camps, so that parents can share in the great activities our young people get involved with.”
  • Trust Links. Rick Olver, Chairman said, “We are delighted to receive a grant of £4,500. This will support our therapeutic gardening project in Thundersley for adults with mental ill health. The garden gives people a safe space to come together in a supportive and welcoming environment. He added, “Being outside and being active, gardening and harvesting vegetables, improves our clients’ wellbeing and helps them to progress into training and employment.
  • Ormiston Families received £3,000. This will contribute towards their “Breaking Barriers” prison outreach service that supports children and young people affected by the imprisonment of a parent or carer. Louise Cordery, development officer, said: “The young people we work with are aged from 4 to16. For this age group, the absence of a parent is particularly impactful and as a result, their emotional, mental and educational attainment is likely to be less than their peers. We provide these young people with one-on-one counselling sessions, attend the prison for visits with them, if needed and help them to cope with their feelings

For a full list of grants awarded, click here.

To view more photos from the event, click here

Harwich Haven Authority supports grass-roots initiatives

17th April 2018

Harwich Haven Authority today announce the opening of a new £75,000 community fund that will be managed on behalf of the Authority by both the Essex and Suffolk Community Foundations.

Each year the Authority will make available £50,000 to support educational, environmental, maritime and community initiatives in and around Harwich, Dovercourt and Suffolk locations along the Rivers Stour and Orwell. In addition the Authority will also invest £25,000 yearly into an Essex-based endowment fund.

Established by act of Parliament in 1863, Harwich Haven Authority is the largest trust port in the East of England. As a not for profit organisation, with no shareholders, income is generated from pilotage and conservancy services that it delivers to ships visiting the Haven ports.

“As one of Harwich’s major employers we are very much at the heart of the community,” says Neil Glendinning, CEO, Harwich Haven Authority.

“Many of our employees live in and around the Haven and the Rivers Stour and Orwell - and we already support many great, grass-roots initiatives.

“We were, however, very keen to make our community giving strategy more cohesive to benefit as many groups and initiatives as we could in and around our area of jurisdiction. By drawing on the knowledge and experience of the Essex and Suffolk Community Foundations will enable us to maximise our giving programme to our stakeholders in the Haven.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF said, “We are delighted to be working with Harwich Haven Authority, a locally-based company which is taking the lead through its community giving strategy.  Working with ECF in this way will enable them to not only meet the needs of communities today, but provide a long-term financial resource to support the work of voluntary organisations tackling local issues the future.”

Suffolk Community Foundation added: ‘We are delighted to be working with Harwich Haven Authority to ensure vital funding reaches our many charities and community groups working tirelessly to tackle the hidden needs of Suffolk. On behalf of those groups we are really grateful for the ongoing commitment which will help make a real difference to so many’.

Further details about how to apply to the new Harwich Haven Authority Community funds can be found at www.hha.co.uk/communityfund. If you are a community or voluntary organisation in Harwich, please call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 to discuss your work and funding needs.

Introducing the new High Sheriff

12th April 2018

Modern-day issues are high on the agenda for Bryan Burrough in the year ahead, as he takes on an historic role, becoming the 838th High Sheriff of Essex.

Bryan, who lives in Ulting near Maldon, is looking forward to travelling all around the county as the new High Sheriff.

He will be meeting as many charities and volunteers as possible to promote and encourage the sterling work they are doing in the community to support law and order and tackle crime and social problems.

He will also be promoting the High Sheriff's Fund, which is run by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Grants are awarded by the Fund to voluntary organisations and groups to support initiatives concerned with community safety in the county.

The role of High Sheriff is a self-funding, voluntary one and Bryan is prepared for a busy year.

“It is a unique opportunity and is almost a full-time job,” he said. “Today's High Sheriffs take on a rather different role from the original High Sheriffs’, who were responsible for raising taxes.

“But I feel that the role is even more relevant in this day and age. Austerity has had a wide-reaching effect on the judicial system and many issues are now being dealt with by the voluntary sector. The High Sheriff can give these voluntary organisations recognition and encourage them to interact.”

Bryan is particularly keen to give prominence to organisations working with young men in Essex to try to steer them away from destroying their future prospects and damaging others with destructive behaviour.

“Young men like this can be on a slippery slope which leads to offending and spending time in custody,” he said.

“I believe there should be far more focus on why people turn to crime and how we can prevent them from doing so. There are many issues involved, including literacy and having positive male role models.

“There are some great organisations in the county doing very good work and I am looking forward to singing their praises. The High Sheriff can play an important role in thanking the unthanked.”

Bryan, who has lived in Essex for 22 years, retired from his career in the City in November 2017. For the past 25 years he was an investment manager specialising in investing for charities.

His family firm, James Burrough, has made gin since 1863 and he has followed in his father’s footsteps to become Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.

Although not Essex born and bred, Bryan has huge enthusiasm for the county and is relishing the prospect of seeing more of it as High Sheriff.

On many occasions he will be accompanied by his wife Philippa, an avid gardener whose family came from Maldon.

The couple have two sons Leo, who is at Edinburgh University and George, who will be going to University this year.

Bryan said: “Outside my family the loves of my life are National Hunt horse racing and Scottish Rugby.”

He has high regard for ECF which he rates as “one of the best in the country” and wants to highlight its work which aims to improve the lives of people in Essex.

“We have a fascinating and very varied county and, in the visits I have already made, I have found that people are very helpful,” he said. “My Sat Nav is ready and I want to meet as many people as I can around the county during the coming year.”

Building support for local charities

11th April 2018

Two charities providing vital support to help young people living in Colchester and Tendring are to receive grants totalling £5,296 from the Mersea Homes Charitable Fund.

The Fund, which was set up in 2010, is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and to date has awarded nearly £23,000 to support local voluntary and community organisations working in Essex.

The organisations benefiting from this latest funding boost are Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service which is receiving £2,500 to help young people who are at risk of becoming homeless and Lads Need Dads, based in Clacton, which is receiving £2,796 to continue their programme of activities for boys who do not have a positive male role model in their lives.

Stuart Cock, Managing Director of Mersea Homes, said, “We are pleased to support these two very worthwhile causes with grants from our charitable fund with ECF. As a local business we are committed to giving long-term support to voluntary organisations which are providing vital services to people in need in their communities.”

Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service (Y.E.S) works with vulnerable children and young people between the ages of 6 and 25 offering services to include crisis intervention, counselling, family meditation, young parent support and debt, housing and homelessness advice.

Jane Blomeley, chief executive of Y.E.S, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will help us to support the rising number of young people who are street homeless or at risk of this.  

“This can be a very stressful and worrying time and many of the young people we work with have additional mental health needs.  By providing tailored support, we can help them to rebuild their lives and move towards a more stable future.”

Lad’s Need Dads is based in Tendring and helps boys aged 11 to 15 who are missing a father-figure in their lives. Through a long-term open-ended male-led group mentoring programme, the boys learn to tackle life’s issues and understand their emotions whilst learning practical life-skills and engaging in outdoor activities and volunteering.

Sonia Shaljean, Managing Director of the organisation said, “This grant will be used towards the costs of our programme which was set up to equip, engage and inspire boys who do not have a positive male role model. Our work, which includes community volunteering opportunities and hands on confidence and resilience building activities like bush-craft survival, helps them to achieve their full potential and move positively into adulthood”.

In addition to the grants awarded from the Mersea Homes Charitable Fund, ECF was able to provide additional grants totalling £9,430 from other funds under its management.

ECF currently manages 150 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, companies and public agencies.  By matching the grants monies available from the various funds, local voluntary and community organisations have a greater opportunity to access the money they need to continue their work.

For more information about ECF or funding opportunities, call the team now on 01245 356018.

Supporting families in Essex

3rd April 2018

An Essex charity that provides support and practical help to vulnerable families with young children, has been awarded £35,000 from the Healthwatch Essex Fund.

Home-Start Essex will receive the grant over the next three years to launch a programme, assessing the current advice and guidance available to parents affected by antenatal mental health issues. The charity will recruit and train parents to become peer researchers, with the aim of developing an improved model to help as many people as possible.

The Fund, which is administered by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was set up in 2016 and to date has distributed over £200,000 to support the work of voluntary and community organisations working across the county.

David Sollis, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Essex said: “One of our key roles is to provide first-class signposting and information services for the public. Through this funding our aim is to reach every parent in the county affected by peri/postnatal mental health, so they can share their experiences of accessing local health and care to ultimately help shape future support services. We are proud to be supporting this critical piece of work.”

Home-Start Essex also works with families who are struggling with physical health problems, bereavement, isolation and many other issues. This support is delivered through volunteer home-visiting, peer group support, targeted programmes and counselling.

Amie Craven, Development Manager at Home-Start Essex said: “We have seen an increasing demand for our services and are delighted to receive this support from the Healthwatch Essex Fund. Caring for children, particularly if you are a new mum, is not always easy and can, at times, be very stressful. Most parents can recall days when they would have liked to chat things through with a friend or to have someone to provide that extra pair of hands. Home-Start volunteers, who are mostly parents themselves, understand that need and are available to offer help.

She added, “Empowering parents who have accessed peri/postnatal services themselves, is vital to assessing how they can be improved. No-one should feel that they are alone and appropriate information, advice and guidance needs to be accessible, meaningful and useful”.

The work of this charity compliments the Healthwatch Essex Information service, which is available to anyone who needs to access health and care services for themselves or their friends or family in Essex. Since launching, it has helped 6,000 people, averaging 220 calls a month.  

People can contact the Information Service on 0300 500 1895 or at info@healthwatchessex.org.uk or leave a review of local health or care services in the Feedback Centre at healthwatchessex.org.uk/services.

For more information about ECF and how to apply for a grant, please call 01245 356018.

£50,000 windfall for Harwich community

16th March 2018

The team behind the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm Operations & Maintenance base, have announced a £50,000 Community Investment Fund.

Applications to the fund will be administered on behalf of the Galloper project by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Each year, from 2018 until 2022, ten thousand pounds will support charitable, educational and environmental activities in Harwich. 

Galloper is the 353MW offshore wind farm currently being built by innogy approximately 30km of the coast of Suffolk. Construction is nearly complete, with over half of the offshore turbines already fully commissioned. 

The project has established a temporary Operations & Maintenance Base at Harwich International Port and awaits the outcome of a planning application for the permanent Operations & Maintenance facility which will support the wind farm for its lifetime of around twenty-three years.

Galloper Operations & Maintenance Manager, Sean Chenery, said: “The Galloper Operations & Maintenance base is already set to secure significant jobs and investment for the Harwich area as a result of its day-to-day operations over the wind farm’s lifetime, but this Community Investment Fund is a way for the wider community to benefit by supporting a range of invaluable local projects and initiatives.   

He added: “Essex Community Foundation, who will manage the fund on our behalf, has extensive experience of administering similar funds, including for some of our other projects, and we’re delighted to be working with them again. Applications are welcome now and more details will be available on the Galloper and Essex Community Fund websites.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF said: “We are delighted to be administering this Fund on behalf of innogy. This commitment to the Harwich community, through annual funding, will have a significant impact on the work of local charities and voluntary organisations.”

Local community organisations to potentially benefit include Teen Talk (Harwich), which provides information, advice and guidance to young people on issues affecting their health and wellbeing. 

Since it was founded in 1996, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) has awarded more than £31 million in grants from the charitable funds that it manages on behalf of individuals, families, companies and public agencies who want to make a difference in their local community.

For further information about the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm go to www.galloperwindfarm.com.

For more information about ECF and to apply for a grant, call the grants team on 01245 356018.

High Sheriff rewards local charities

15th March 2018

What other job is there that entitles you to go anywhere, make connections between people from all sectors, of all ages and abilities, be welcomed always and where people are willing to answer all of your questions?  I feel deeply honoured to have been appointed to the role in the county of which I am so proud.” Simon Hall MBE, High Sheriff of Essex 2017-18

Voluntary organisations and people who make a major contribution to their community and crime prevention have been given well-deserved recognition and thanks at this year’s prestigious High Sheriffs’ Awards.

An organisation that aims to improve the prospects of disadvantaged teenagers through construction skills training in Chelmsford, a handyman service for housebound and vulnerable people living in Epping Forest District and a mentoring programme in Clacton for boys who have an absent father, are among those to receive awards.

Around 170 guests attended this year’s ceremony held at Hylands House in Chelmsford where trophies, certificates and grants totalling £31,000 were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall MBE.

The grants came from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which was established to give credit to community initiatives that address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour, and is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Simon Hall, the 837th High Sheriff of Essex, has travelled to all areas of the county during his year of office.  As well as meeting many voluntary organisations, he visited the Courts and spent time with Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service. 

Simon said, “It has been a huge privilege to undertake this role, it has been tremendous fun, I have learned a lot and I hope I have done some good.”

He paid tribute to the voluntary sector in Essex, “This county is blessed with some extraordinary organisations, wonderful people and very dedicated volunteers who are committed to tackling crime and social problems and supporting law and order.

“Austerity constraints have led to greater inventiveness and a recognition that partnership and collaboration are the way forward.  When you see what is going on, you cannot doubt the intrinsic goodness of humanity. 

“Our society cannot function without the voluntary sector and it is imperative that succeeding generations engage with this agenda.”

Simon believes that this most ancient of roles, still has relevance today.  He said, “What other job is there that entitles you to go anywhere, make connections between people from all sectors, of all ages and abilities, be welcomed always and where people are willing to answer all of your questions?  I feel deeply honoured to have been appointed to the role in the county of which I am so proud.”

Since it came under ECF’s management in 1997 the High Sheriffs’ Fund has distributed grants totalling over half a million pounds to voluntary and community organisations.

“ECF has been of great value to me during my year of office.  Their knowledge of the sector is invaluable and the High Sheriffs’ Fund gives much needed support to the organisations helping to prevent crime and promoting community safety”, said Simon.  “The Awards ceremony provides the opportunity to give them the recognition that they so rightly deserve.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF, said, “We are delighted to manage the High Sheriffs’ Fund and work with successive High Sheriffs’ so that greater support can be given to the people in the county who are working hard and contributing to community safety at a local level.”

In addition to the grants awarded from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, ECF was able to leverage a further £50,000 from other funds under its management to support voluntary organisations whose work is also contributing to community safety in Essex.  

“Our ability to match funds in this way means that organisations only need to complete one application form to access the money they need to develop or continue their work”, said Caroline.

The High Sheriffs’ Award Scheme recognises community initiatives which address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour. The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year.

The High Sheriff receives no expenses and the role comes at no cost to the public purse. We are extremely grateful to Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council for generously supporting this event.

To view photos from the event, click here.

For a full list of awards presented at the event, click here.

 

(L to R: Dean Ross - London Bus Theatre Company, Jacqui Foile - Voluntary Action Epping Forest, High Sheriff of Essex Simon Hall, Vivienne Wiggens - Beacon House Ministries, Rachael Stone - First Stop and Tracey Crumpton - Essex Youthbuild)

 

 

Beacon House Ministries were delighted to win the coveted High Sheriffs’ Shield recognising the care and support provided to people who find themselves homeless in the Colchester area.  As well as a drop in café, Beacon House offers health care facilities, a laundry service, access to clean clothes and toiletries, interventions and outreach support. They also received a grant of £3,808 to help them employ a part-time co-ordinator of services aimed at changing anti-social behaviour by homeless individuals.

Vivienne Wiggins, Chief Executive of Beacon House Ministries, said, “We are honoured to receive this recognition from the High Sheriff of Essex.  Through occupational therapy and learning new skills, the likelihood of our clients contributing to anti-social behaviour and crime is reduced.”

Voluntary Action Epping Forest were delighted to be presented with the High Sheriffs’ Essex County Council Bowl recognising their local partnership and collaborative work to deliver a Home Safety project.   They also received £1,500 towards the project through which they install safety equipment into the homes of vulnerable and elderly people living in Epping Forest District. 

Jacqui Foile, CEO of Voluntary Action Epping Forest, said, “We are thrilled to win this Award and recognition from the High Sheriff.  Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure at home and in their communities. This funding boost means that more people will now be less susceptible to becoming victims of crime.”

London Bus Theatre Company, based in Hockley, were delighted to receive the High Sheriffs’ Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Shield recognising their work supporting young people. They also received a grant of £1,745 to provide free alcohol awareness drama workshops to year 6 pupils in the Southend and Canvey Island areas.

Kathy Austen, of London Bus Theatre Company, said, “We are thrilled to win this award, recognising the work London Bus Theatre Company in contributing to the reduction of anti-social behaviour. The grant will enable us to deliver additional workshops and reach out to even more young people”.

Essex Youthbuild based in Chelmsford, were delighted to be awarded the High Sheriff’s Essex Police Cup recognising their outstanding contribution to community safety by helping to improve the employment opportunities of vulnerable young people through construction skills training.  They also received a grant of £2,795 to run a series of workshops about law, democracy and the dangers of extremism and radicalisation.

Tracey Crumpton, of Essex Youthbuild, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to win this Award and receive recognition from the High Sheriff of Essex.  It will be a great boost to the young people we work with who are vulnerable and, without support, might otherwise be targeted and encouraged into criminal activities.  Our aim is to train and educate them so that they can make positive changes to their lives and have a better and brighter future.”

First Stop Centre were delighted to win the High Sheriffs’ Cup recognising their work over 36 years providing a wide range of training and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals from the Braintree area.  They also received a grant of £2,000 to run anger management and confidence building workshops for their clients.

Rachael Stone, Manager of First Stop, said, “It was such a wonderful surprise to receive this Award and recognition from the High Sheriff of Essex. We offer non-judgemental training and guidance in a supportive environment to help our clients make positive changes to their lives.”

Break times transformed at Chelmsford school

12th March 2018

Break times have been transformed for pupils at a special school in Chelmsford with the installation of a new outdoor shelter.

Pupils at Columbus School and College, which is one of the largest Special Educational Needs Schools in the country, will now be able to enjoy the outdoors for their breaks and therapy sessions whatever the weather, thanks to a grant of £4,995.

Columbus School cares for and educates children and young people from the age of three to 19 who have severe and complex needs, many with life limiting conditions and Autism. Due to their vulnerabilities, not all pupils were able to go outside every day, especially if it was raining or very sunny.

The Friends of Columbus School and College, a registered charity made up of parents, carers and supporters, applied to ECF for the projects costs. The Friends group meets regularly and raises money for projects that cannot be met from the school’s set budget.

Karen Clark, Principal of Columbus School and College, said: We are so grateful for the wonderful shelter in our Early Years’ playground.  The students have already enjoyed the benefits of this gift.  We are ecstatic to have been awarded this grant, as break times are a valuable learning and social time.  Having access to this outside space will improving their physical and emotional wellbeing and open them up to new learning opportunities.”

ECF manages 150 charitable funds and is always pleased to hear from voluntary groups and charities in Essex that are looking for funding to help them with their work. For more information or to apply for a grant, call ECF on 01245 356018.

Grants available for charities in Maldon District

1st March 2018

Voluntary organisations working in Maldon District are being encouraged to apply for grants to further their work and improve the lives of local people. 

Funding is available through the independent grantmaking trust, Essex Community Foundation, which manages a wide range of funds to support voluntary organisations and charities working at the heart of their local community.

Activities which are eligible for support include projects which help and engage young people, initiatives that aim to keep elderly people safe and connected to their community, refurbishment of and equipment for village halls and local meeting places, environmental and gardening projects, counselling and advice, as well as core running costs.

Some of the funding available will come from the community benefit funds set up with ECF to support communities affected by the on-shore wind farm developments in the Dengie Peninsula, particularly those in Southminster, Burnham-on-Crouch, Bradwell and Tillingham.

Caroline Taylor, CEO at ECF, said, "The community benefit funds are specific to particular areas, but ECF manages 150 charitable funds, all with differing criteria.  In the main, one application accesses all the funds we manage, so we would urge any local voluntary groups or charities working in the Maldon district to call us and discuss their funding needs as soon as possible."

The deadline date for the next round of applications to be received by ECF is Friday 20 April.

Among the community projects to previously receive support are: 

  • Bradwell-on-Sea Community Shop Association who were awarded £6,000 to set up a social room, further establishing the shop and Post Office as the village’s community hub.
  • Dengie Project Trust received £5,681 to buy signage for their new premises and specialist shower chairs for their disabled clients. 
  • Southminster Memorial Hall received £6,700 to install a new gas boiler and dishwasher, increasing their ability to host events. 

Brian Main, Chairman of Bradwell on Sea Community Shop Association, said: “Our community shop is the only retail outlet in the village and is a focal point for both locals and visitors.

“We are so grateful for the grant we received as it is helping us to create a new social space for the community where, no matter your age or ability, people can come together, meet old friends and hopefully make some new ones”.

For more information or to discuss an application, call ECF now on 01245 356018 or e-mail grants@essexcf.org.uk.

Essex declutters receive funding boost

27th February 2018

Your Living Room CIC, a not-for-profit decluttering service has been awarded a grant of £8,969 to expand their work and support people suffering from Hoarding Disorder.

This cash injection comes from the Yellow Car Charitable Fund, which is managed by the independent grantmaking trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Pathological or compulsive hoarding is excessively collecting and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear, to most, to hold little or no value to the point it impedes day-to-day life.

This severe cluttering builds until a home is no longer a viable place to live, can cause extreme isolation and become a danger to life. Around five percent of the UK population is affected by Hoarding Disorder and since it was recognised as a mental health condition in 2013, awareness has increased.

The decluttering service was set up in 2015 and helps clients to find the root cause of their obsessive collecting, improve well-being and re-engage them with the local community.

This funding boost will enable Your Living Room CIC to create a bespoke database, further developing the service it offers. The technology will analyse clients’ needs, track their progress and help the team ensure that support is in place for sustainable life improvements.

Your Living Room co-director Diane Boyd said: “We are very grateful to Essex Community Foundation for supporting us. We receive hundreds of referrals every year and this database will help us to track, monitor and deliver a service which will have a positive, long-lasting impact on our clients. It will also provide a vast menu of data such as demographics and support needs, as well as improving multi-agency working and delivering a saving to the public purse in the longer term.”

One person whose life has been transformed thanks to this service, is Sarah. Sarah is 50 years-old and has suffered a number of traumatic incidents in her life including domestic abuse and a violent burglary. Following changes to her circumstances, she moved to a two bedroom flat with the contents of a three-bedroom house.

Her new home was immediately over cramped and without family or friends living nearby, Sarah felt alienated. This cluttering continued to grow, until it become so severe that some rooms could no longer be entered.

Sarah knew of Your Living Room CIC and contacted them for help. The service cleared the flat, selling what they could on her behalf and donating the rest. Throughout the clean-up, Sarah was emotionally supported by the team and having now moved, which would have been impossible before, reports she is “very happy and feels more positive”. 

If you are an Essex community or voluntary organisation in need of funding to support your work, call ECF now on 01245 356018.

For more information about Your Living Room CIC, visit www.yourlivingroomcic.co.uk.

Lifeline for parents awarded vital funding

19th February 2018

A funding boost of £8,200 has been given to an “amazing” organisation which offers a lifeline to parents who have children with additional needs.

The MAZE Group CIC has been awarded the grant by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) to provide more training courses for parents in Colchester and Tendring.

The courses give vital help and guidance to parents, or carers, of children with additional needs, including those with a learning difficulty, physical disability, autism, ADHD or cerebral palsy.

Thanks to the training, called ‘the MAZE Approach’, families are able to build more positive relationships, develop communication strategies and improve behaviour.

Debbie White, from Colchester, is among the many parents who have found the 12-week long course to be life-changing.

She said: “MAZE is amazing, helping families to understand and manage their additional needs. My son Tom is now 22, but didn’t receive his diagnosis of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) until he was nearly 20.

“Having received this diagnosis, we assumed we would be signposted to other organisations that could provide advice, but nothing happened.

“In 2016, we moved to Colchester and by chance were told about MAZE. I attended their course last January and it really has made a big impact on how we manage the challenges that Tom and our family face day-to-day.

“During my time with MAZE, they helped me to understand my son's needs and how I can be more supportive to him. The skills that I learnt have not only made me a better mum, but it made me realise how lucky I am to have such a special, amazing son in my life.”

Debbie is now a mentor to other parents and enjoys volunteering with MAZE to give something back to help other families who find themselves in the position she was.

Sue Anderton, director of MAZE, welcomed the funding from ECF which will help the organisation to meet the demand for the services it provides.

She said: “When parents have a strong understanding of the additional needs their child has, they are better equipped to raise them. This understanding and the tools they learn on the programme creates happier parents, happier children and happier siblings, who enjoy a calmer more stable home life.

“MAZE continues to grow, and we are making plans for further development. We hope to increase what we can offer parents, and carers, later this year.”

As well as the training programmes, MAZE also holds social coffee mornings for parents once a month, meeting in Harwich, Clacton and Colchester. To find out more, visit themazegroup.co.uk.

ECF pooled money from two of the endowed charitable funds it manages, the Blanc Family Fund and the Diana Tinson Fund to award this vital grant to MAZE.

For more information about ECF and to find out how to make an application for funding call the team now on 01245 356018.

Tributes paid to ECF Founder

12th February 2018

Pioneering philanthropist, Ian Marks, who founded the leading independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), has died peacefully at his home in Margaretting, aged 85.

Tributes have been paid to Ian as a man of vision and determination who changed the landscape of local charitable giving by setting up ECF in 1996.

It was one of the first organisations of its kind in the UK and its aim was to improve the lives of people in Essex by giving support to voluntary groups and charities working at a grassroots level to help those most in need in the county.

Ian Marks CBE DL, inspired many people with his ambition to create a permanent financial resource for the voluntary sector in his home county and, even as ECF went from strength to strength, his mantra was unwavering, “There is still so much more to do.”

He was born in South Woodford and apart from his national service, worked and lived in Essex for all his life.

After graduating from Cambridge, he joined the family confectionery firm, Trebor, which relocated from Ilford to Colchester in 1979.  He rose to become its managing director and then, in 1980, its chairman. He was made a CBE in 1993 for services to the food industry.

In 1989 Trebor was sold to Cadbury and Ian went on to devote his life to philanthropy.

Ian’s wife Angela, who shared his vision of galvanising the community to tackle social issues affecting Essex, was unstinting in her support and helped make his philanthropic ambitions become a reality.

When he stepped down as chairman of ECF in 2003, Ian took on the role of president, in recognition of his achievements in establishing such an important resource for the people of Essex.

Since it was founded 21 years ago, ECF has awarded more than £31 million in grants from the charitable funds that it manages on behalf of individuals, families, companies and public agencies who want to make a difference in their local community.

Ian was a modest man who strongly believed that the success of ECF was not down to him alone.  It was thanks to those who believed in his vision and everyone involved over the past 21 years; trustees, vice presidents, staff, volunteers, donors and voluntary groups, all working together for the good of Essex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L to R: Lord Petre, Jennifer Tolhurst: the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Ian Marks CBE DL, Caroline Taylor chief executive of ECF and ECF's chairman Jonathan Minter DL)

ECF's chairman Jonathan Minter said: “Ian was a philanthropist who was passionate about helping to improve the lives of others less fortunate. His efforts to establish ECF led to the development of one of the leading charitable organisations in Essex.  He was our greatest champion and we will forever be grateful for his foresight and generosity and his enthusiasm for our work, which will continue to drive and inspire us to do more.”

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “Essex Community Foundation and Ian Marks will always be inextricably linked.  His vision and wise words of inspiration will live on through the continuing work of the Foundation and the charitable fund that we manage in Ian and Angela’s name.”

Lord Petre, a founding trustee of ECF and who was appointed as the foundation’s president last year, said: “Without Ian there would not be a Community Foundation in Essex. Initially, people were sceptical about the idea, but Ian’s faith and quiet persistence to engage others and gain their support, was unwavering.  Since then, many thousands of people living in communities across Essex have benefited from his vision and inspirational leadership.”

Jennifer Tolhurst, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex and Patron of ECF said, “Ian was a true Essex man and had a passion for this wonderful and diverse county.  He managed the family business was a champion for the voluntary sector and local community projects.  His charitable work extended outside of Essex, across the UK and the world.  He was a valued Deputy Lieutenant and will be greatly missed by all who had the good fortune to know him”.

Laura Warren, ECF's first chief executive, who worked with Ian Marks to set up the foundation said: “Ian started it all. Without his belief, that it is local people who have the power to bring change to their own communities, Essex would not have what it has now, a Community Foundation with funds now totalling £40 million, to support local causes in perpetuity. It was my good fortune to be appointed by Ian to spend 15 years as ECF’s founding CEO; he was an inspirational leader - visionary, demanding, enthusiastic, fun, and the most supportive Chairman one could have wanted.  He was a very special man.” 

Ann Pettifor also penned a tribute to Ian Marks CBE DL, noting the crucial part he played in building and supporting the Jubilee 2000 movement, which persuaded world leaders to cancel the debts of more than 30 low income countries.To read this in full, click here

Fenella Hardie, Holdfast Credit Union, said: "Our condolences on the death of Ian Marks. Holdfast Credit Union and in particular school children and young people in and around the Witham area and beyond have benefitted from the generosity and vision of the Foundation he established."

Wendy Clarke, My Post Office, said: "So sorry to hear of Ian Marks death as I’ve often passed on my respect and thankfulness that ECF was set up in Essex that didn’t have such a foundation. Keep up the good work in Ian’s name."

Cards and letters of condolence

Cards and letters of condolence can be sent to the family via the funeral directors, T Pennack & Sons, 1-3 Maldon Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 7DW.
E-mail: pennackandsons@btconnect.com. Tel: 01245 471157.

Charitable causes receive boost in Braintree district

12th February 2018

An accommodation centre for vulnerable young people in Braintree, therapeutic care for cancer patients, and a counselling service for victims who have suffered sexual abuse are among the latest causes to receive support from the Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund.

The Fund, which was launched by Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing in 2016, is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Grants are awarded to support the work of voluntary and community groups that help to improve the health, wellbeing and life-chances of local people living in the Braintree district.

In this latest round, four organisations have benefited from grants totalling nearly £120,000, which will be administered by ECF over the next three years:

  1. Action for Family Carers: £35,509
    To employ someone to work with local primary and secondary schools and help identify and support young carers.
  2. CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse): £33,987
    To provide a counselling and support service for people who have been victims of sexual violence and child abuse.
  3. Helen Rollason Heal Cancer Charity: £14,565
    To continue therapeutic treatments for people who are receiving treatment for cancer.
  4. Salvation Army Housing Association: £33,986
    To retain a Support Manager at the Braintree Foyer, which is an accommodation centre for young people aged 16-25 who are experiencing  homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Helen Parr, Director of CARA said: “The counselling and therapeutic support we provide helps our clients to process what has happened to them and develop strategies to cope with the complex emotions they are often experiencing.

“We have seen a growth in demand for our services in the Braintree district, and this funding means we can continue our work and increase the number of sessions we offer.”

James Clarke, CEO of Action for Family Carers, said: “Young Carers sometimes keep their caring role a secret for fear of bullying or being seen as different by their friends.  However, remaining ‘hidden’ can mean that Young Carers miss out on the help that is available to them and their family. This grant means that we can work closely with schools in the Braintree district to identify Young Carers and ensure there is appropriate support for their wellbeing and future development.”

Flip Hornby, a Greenfields tenant and Board member, and Grant Panel member, said, “The panel was very impressed by the fantastic work of the four organisations benefiting from grants this year. They are providing vital help to improve the lives of local people in need of additional support.”

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, Deputy Leader Braintree District Council, said: “As a council we are proud to be part of this fund which is making a real difference to the community. The range of organisations this year are close to many people’s hearts and I look forward to seeing the difference this money will make.”

The Fund provides voluntary and community organisations with the opportunity to apply for funding of up to £40,000, which can be awarded over a period of up to three years. In 2017, five local organisations received £95,000 in the first round of grants. The recipients were Braintree Area Foodbank, Families InFocus, Witham Town Luncheon Club, Home-Start Witham Braintree & Halstead and Relate North Essex & East Herts.

Community and voluntary organisations in need of funding can call the ECF grants team now on 01245 356018.

Support the Surviving Winter Appeal

11th February 2018

ECF is accepting donations, including unneeded Winter fuel payments, to help people in Essex stay warm and well during the colder months.

All donations will support the work of local charities and voluntary organisations that are helping elderly and vulnerable people in their communities.  

Organisations which have previously received grants include:

  • Basildon Emergency Night Shelters - £225 to open local churches up for 5 nights a week to provide beds for people who are homeless and living on the streets.
  • Braintree Area Foodbank - £1,000 to support additional demand on the foodbank during the winter months as people have to choose between heating and food.
  • Wyvern Community Transport - £1,000 to provide an additional Saturday community transport service during Winter for the elderly.

ECF has just awarded £1,000 to Streets2Homes to support their work of giving people without a home a warm and safe place during these severe weather conditions. If you are community organisation providing emergency relief during this time, and you are in need of funding, please contact us now on 01245 356018 or e-mail fran@essexcf.org.uk.

How to donate:

Cheque – Some supporters choose to send a cheque and donate an amount equivalent to their own Winter fuel allowance if they do not need it themselves, or give an alternative sum of their choice. Please make it payable to 'Essex Community Foundation' and post it to 121 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0QT.

Online – You can donate online via our Just Giving page. To access this, click here

BACS Transfer – Please call a member of the ECF team on 01245 355947 who will be happy to pass on the necessary details.  

Please don't forget to Gift Aid your donation if you can, the Gift Aid form can be accessed here

Helping to tackle food poverty in Clacton

22nd January 2018

An innovative charity making meals for vulnerable people from surplus food, has been given a boost of £8,000 thanks to staff at Colne Housing.

Clacton-on-Sea FoodCycle has been awarded £8,234 from the Essex-based housing association’s grant making scheme - Colne Community Builders, which is administered by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The money will be used to feed more people in the Tendring area, expand their outreach programme and raise awareness of food poverty.

Roger Green, Team Co-ordinator of Clacton-on-Sea FoodCycle, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this grant from the Colne Community Builders.  It’s going to make a huge difference to the 40 guests we serve each week. This money will help us to keep providing this important service and to reach more people who could benefit from a hot meal and some friendly faces”.

Sarah Cawley, of Colne Housing, said: “Colne is all about enabling people to live independently and encouraging communities to thrive. Our teams use their knowledge and expertise when considering applications so the money can make a real difference.”

She added, “We are really impressed by the work Foodcycle does for people in Tendring and believe this grant will have a great impact on people who live in that area.”

Colne Community Builders was launched five years ago and since 2015 has been administered by ECF. In the last three years, Colne has awarded more than £39,000 to Essex charities and voluntary projects that enable independent living.

FoodCycle Clacton-on-Sea has served the community since 2011. Last year, it provided more than 2,000 three-course meals using nearly three tonnes of surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

The fruit and vegetables, donated from local businesses and supermarkets, is used by a team of volunteers to create a three-course meal every Monday lunchtime at Trinity Methodist Church.
       
Guests who attend the weekly meal are elderly, have a low income or are without a home and facing mental health issues. Sitting down for a meal, which is prepared by local people, helps them to feel involved in the community.

Neil is 53-years-old and attends every week. He said: “You are able to talk to other people who might have gone through the same as you. I had a bad breakdown just over a year ago, and it’s only in the past few weeks that I’ve come out of my shell. When you’re able to start speaking to people like yourself, it makes you feel better”.

Colne Community Builders is now inviting more Essex charities to apply for grants through ECF.  Staff at Colne give a lot of consideration to the applications and vote to support the ones that will have the greatest impact in communities where Colne has residents.

Applications can be made by charities and community organisations in areas where Colne Housing operates - Babergh, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Maldon, Tendring and Uttlesford. For more information, call ECF now on 01245 356018.

Changing lives one friendship at a time

22nd January 2018

A befriending scheme which matches people who feel lonely and isolated, with a volunteer companion, has been awarded a major grant.

Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) is receiving a £60,000 funding boost, distributed over two years, from The Henry Smith Charity which is working in partnership with the local grantmaking trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The befriending scheme helps many elderly and vulnerable people. The grant means that the organisation can expand their work and train extra volunteers to support more people living in Castle Point and Rochford.

Most clients are referred by their local GP or other health agencies and the service adapts to the individual. People are matched based on common interests, location and need.

Alan, a 71-year-old man, is among those who have thrived thanks to the scheme. He has Parkinson’s disease and in the past suffered a debilitating heart attack, leaving him less active.

His GP felt that extra companionship would benefit his health and referred him to CAVS. Through the scheme, Alan was matched with a male volunteer who has helped him to build his confidence and become more physically and mentally active. He now enjoys short walks and is seeking a chess partner.

Vicky Pilton, Senior Befriending Co-ordinator at CAVS, said: “We are thrilled to have received this grant from The Henry Smith Charity. Providing people with friendship and interesting conversation on a regular basis is something so simple, but it can have a huge impact on the overall wellbeing of individuals.

If you, or someone you know in the Castle Point or Rochford area, could benefit from the befriending scheme, or if you would like to volunteer, call 01268 638416 or visit castlepointavs.org.uk.

For more information about ECF and how to apply for funding, call the grants team on 01245 356018.

Photos included are of Befriended clients and their paired volunteer. 

Phone-In Funding Surgery Southend: 14 February

22nd January 2018

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in Southend-on-Sea and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a Phone-In Funding Surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for a grant.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 14 February between 10am to 12 noon.

ECF grant officers, will be on hand to discuss your funding options. Please call them on 01245 356018.  There is no need to book a slot in advance.

Conversations will initially be allocated a 10 minute appointment.  If further information is required, we will arrange a time to call you back.  If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on.   We will return your call as soon as possible.

Grants available for Essex charities

12th January 2018

Voluntary and community organisations in Essex are invited to apply for grants from two charitable funds set up by Essex County Council.

Applications can now be made to the Essex Millennium Fund and the Essex County Council Chairman’s Fund, which are managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The Essex Millennium Fund was established as an endowed fund by members of Essex County Council to celebrate the Millennium. The funding from this is dedicated to four priority areas: carers, community support, enhancing the environment and young people.

Among the charities to receive a grant from this Fund last year, was Supporting Carers and Families Together. The Rochford based organisation was awarded £2,750 towards the annual salary of a Service Delivery Manager to work with young and adult carers.

Andy Trewern, who works for the charity, said “We have seen a surge in demand for our services over the last two years and this funding has helped us to continue supporting local carers, increase their confidence and make sure no-one feels like they are alone.”

The ECC Chairman’s Fund was established in 2007 to provide support to community groups working to enrich the lives of local people through activities exploring culture and heritage.

Clacton Victoria County History Group were awarded a grant of £3,000 from the Chairman's Fund towards their WWII history project. Roger Kennell, Chairman, said: “There are not many sources for young people, and those of all ages, to learn about the important role the volunteer soldiers of the Home Guard played in the War. This grant will help us to record this information and the defence sites they manned to make create a lasting source for local people".

The deadline to make an application to either of these Funds is Friday 26 January. To apply, please complete our General Application form, which can be accessed here

All community organisations and charities that are successful in their application will be invited to attend an Awards ceremony in April 2018.

If you have any questions, or are unsure if you should apply, please call the ECF team on 01245 356018.

New Annual Review and Survey

13th December 2017

Our latest Annual Review, grant supplement and our Annual Report and Financial Statements are now all available for you to view online. Please click here, to access these.

We would greatly appreciate your feedback and invite you to complete a short online survey, which can be accessed here.

The survey will only take a few minutes and your comments will help us to plan and shape the content of future publications.

If you would like to receive a copy of these documents by post, please e-mail Kate Cornish at kate@essexcf.org.uk.

ECF’s Charity Golf Day 2018

13th December 2017

ECF Charity Golf Day - Thursday 14 June 2018

Following the great success of previous years’ events, which have raised more than £50,000 to support local community and voluntary organisations, we are again holding a Charity Golf Day at Chelmsford Golf Club.

We are grateful to Carole Golbourn and her husband Alan for hosting the Golf Day for us. This will be our 9th Golf Day, which raises awareness about the work of ECF and provides money to support local charities and voluntary organisations.

We have many regular supporters of the day, but we are also keen to welcome new people who may wish to enter a team of 4 people (amateurs only).  It will be a stableford competition with full handicap allowance over 18 holes.

Bacon rolls & coffee will be served on arrival and following the golf there will be dinner and prize giving. As well as team prizes there will be prizes for ‘nearest the pin’ and the drive ‘nearest the line’.

Download entry form click here (word version)

Download entry form click here (pdf)

We are restricted to 22 teams so please enter early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to enter a team, donate a raffle prize, sponsor a hole or make a donation to this worthy cause, contact Jo Macaulay on 01245 355947 or e-mail jo@essexcf.org.uk.

Community fund makes a splash

13th December 2017

Voluntary organisations to receive an early Christmas present from the Essex & Suffolk Water Community Fund.

Grants totalling nearly £9,000 have been awarded from the Fund to seven charities and voluntary organisations in Essex, Suffolk and East London. The Fund is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Essex & Suffolk Water established their community Fund with ECF in 2003, to give support to a wide range of local projects and organisations now and in the future. The Fund has since awarded over 125 grants, totalling more than £95,000.

Organisations to benefit from the 2017/18 round of grants are:

  • BATIAS Independent Advocacy Service, Basildon - £1,800 to run monthly information mornings on personal safety for people with learning disabilities, helping them to live independently.
  • Melbourne Project, Chelmsford – £1,000 to support a homework club for local children and an older people’s club.
  • Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, Maldon - £1,000 towards a new permanent heritage exhibition focusing on the role of women in WWI.
  • Thurrock Mencap Society - £2,000 to run a new healthy lifestyle programme for members with special needs.
  • The ARC (Adult Resource Centre), Thurrock – £1,000 to help purchase sensory and activity equipment for a group supporting adults with special needs.
  • Palgrave and District Community Council, Suffolk – £1,500 to buy new equipment for community playing field.
  • Aanchal Women’s Aid, Redbridge - £500 for service that supports women rebuilding their lives following domestic and sexual violence.

Angie Cahill, of BATIAS, said: “People with a learning disability can often be the victims of hate crime and bullying. Having this peer support group, where people will listen to you and help you to think of ways of keeping safe in the future, can mean the difference from staying home and isolated to being able to feel confident about going out in the community”.

Shirley Robinson, of Thurrock Mencap Society, said: “On the surface, running a healthy eating and fitness course for our Members may seem like a nice activity. But in reality, food awareness and being active regularly is a big problem for people with special needs, particularly for those with Down’s syndrome. This grant will help our Members to gain a healthier approach to life, whilst having fun”.

Ian Flint, CEO of the Aerodrome, said: “We are always seeking new ways to interest and inform people, of all ages, on the Air Campaign during WWI. We are delighted to receive this funding as it means we can install a new, permanent exhibition. This unique heritage attraction will focus on the roles of women in the early 20th century, and the immeasurable impact of their actions during the Great War, both at Stow Maries and other locations”.

Grant applications are considered by an employee committee and all projects supported are related to either the environment, health and wellbeing or providing community support.

Michael Page, External Communications Consultant, Essex & Suffolk Water said, “Water is one of the most important commodities in our lives and we are very aware of the essential service we offer to our customers.’’

“We also strive to make a positive contribution to the communities that we serve on a daily basis, and our long-standing partnership with Essex Community Foundation is one of the ways we endeavour to do this.

We are very proud to have awarded grants to seven fantastic organisations and I hope that this support will give them a real boost to help them continue their inspiring and much needed work.”

For information on how to apply for a grant to support your charitable work, click here or call the friendly ECF grants team on 01245 356018.

Grants awarded to six local organisations to improve information and signposting

5th December 2017

Six Essex charities are set to benefit from additional funding for their information and signposting services, thanks to the Healthwatch Essex Fund, in partnership with the Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Organisations from the community and voluntary sector were asked to bid for the funding and were awarded the grants based on how they would improve people’s experiences of health and social care in Essex through improved provision of information, advice and guidance.

The pioneering sight loss charity Support 4 Sight was awarded £8,652 to support the Eye Clinic Information Desk at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and provide an Eye Clinic Liaison Officers to help people deal positively with their condition and work towards achieving independence, restored self-confidence, emotional wellbeing, sense of identity and quality of life. They will also help develop a support system, where people can talk to others about their concerns, including opportunities for social interaction and experience-sharing with peers.

Mind in West Essex was awarded £7,000 to employ a Community Awareness and Information Officer to provide advice on mental health issues across Epping Forest. The role will ensure more information about mental health is made available via libraries, GPs, colleges and aims to improve uptake in people accessing early support for their mental health in turn leading to improved recovery.

Teen Talk (Harwich) has been given £7,000 to expand an outreach service from three to four sessions a week, providing information, advice and guidance to young people on issues affecting their health and wellbeing. The current service reaches young people who present with issues relating to sexual, physical and mental health.

St Helena Hospice will look to update their clinical literature with the £5,000 awarded to provide guidance and advice for families across north Essex. The main benefit will be widening access to hospice support through better information that is easy to understand and is more accessible to people when they need it. This project will ensure that patients, families and healthcare professionals have a better understanding of what the hospice can offer and how it can be accessed.

Citizens Advice Rochford and Rayleigh (CAB) was awarded £9,890 to provide an advice service about social care funding and payments. People will be able to make face-to-face appointments to get holistic and independent advice on a wide range of issues including debt, housing benefits, relationships and family issues.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest has been given £6,832 which will help train and mentor volunteers to reach more people in the community, especially those in deprived and isolated areas.

David Sollis, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Essex said “One of our key roles is to provide first-class signposting and information services to the public. We do this by forging close links with the voluntary and community sector which has specialist knowledge of their communities. This funding will allow them to assist people more effectively and we are really proud to be able to support them.”

The Healthwatch Essex Information service is available to anyone who needs to access health and care services for themselves or their friends or family in Essex.  Since launch, it has helped 5,000 people, averaging 220 calls a month.

People can contact the Information Service on 0300 500 1895 or at info@healthwatchessex.org.uk or leave a review of local health or care services in the Feedback Centre.

To speak with a member of the ECF team about how you can apply for grant to support your charitable work, call 01245 356018 or e-mail grants@essexcf.org.uk.

Search and explore our grants

28th November 2017

ECF is pleased to be working with 360Giving to highlight information about our grants.

During our financial year to 30 June 2017 we awarded grants totalling £2.3m. By publishing our grants data to this online platform we hope to share learning across charitable foundations.

If you would like to view the wide range of groups we have supported this year, click here.

Read our article in Essex Life

28th November 2017

ECF is delighted to be featured in the November issue of Essex Life.

The article highlights how being philanthrophic is not just for those with a multi-million pound lifestyle and is, instead, a rewarding way for many of us to make a real difference in our lifetime and beyond. To read the Essex Life article, click here.

If you would like to speak with a member of the team about how establishing an individual, family, or company named fund can benefit your charitable giving, please call 01245 355947 or e-mail Jo Macaulay on jo@essexcf.org.uk

High Sheriff Invites Applications

26th October 2017

Local voluntary and community organisations are encouraged to apply for funding from the High Sheriff of Essex Awards Scheme. 

Grants of up to £5,000 are available from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and the money will be awarded to groups who are working to make their communities safer and better places in which to live.

Projects which have received grants previously include diversionary activities for young people, educational programmes about drug and alcohol misuse, schemes which highlight the dangers of financial scams, initiatives which support victims of crime, programmes for reintegration and employability, and projects to help people deal with the stresses and strains of life.

The deadline date for applications is 1 December, so now is the time for organisations to take up the opportunity to apply for a grant to support their work.

High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall said: “The annual High Sheriffs’ Awards provide a fantastic opportunity to recognise the essential contribution that voluntary organisations make in keeping their local communities safer and better places in which to live.

“As I travel around the county visiting organisations, I am seeing first-hand the enormous contribution that they and their staff and volunteers are making. I urge organisations to recognise this opportunity and apply for funding so they can further boost their efforts.”

An independent panel of judges, chaired by the High Sheriff and including past High Sheriffs, will review the applications and the awards will be presented by the High Sheriff at a ceremony in March 2018.

The historic role of a High Sheriff is to promote law and order and it also now encompasses giving recognition and reward to those who help promote the safety and quality of life of all those that live in Essex.

Since it came under ECF’s management in 1997, the High Sheriff’s Fund has awarded 600 grants totalling nearly £500,000.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF, said, “The High Sheriffs’ Fund is a treasured financial resource to the Essex voluntary sector. ECF is delighted to manage the Fund and work with successive High Sheriffs, helping them to direct funding where it is most needed and tackle important issues at a local level.”

The closing date for grant applications from this year’s High Sheriffs’ Fund is 1 December 2017.  To apply for  funding, click here and if you have any questions please call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018.

The High Sheriffs' Awards also encourages local people to nominate an individual or a voluntary organisation to receive recognition for their outstanding work promoting crime prevention and community safety. To download the nomination form, click here.

Grants available to improve health and wellbeing in local communities

9th September 2017

Voluntary and community groups in Essex who need a funding boost for health-related projects are being offered thousands of pounds.

The money is being given by the Provide Foundation, which was established with the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in 2013.

Provide is a social enterprise and delivers a broad range of community health and care services in Essex and elsewhere.  As a social enterprise, any surpluses that the organisation makes, by working more efficiently and innovatively, are reinvested into the local communities it serves and/or are used to develop its services.

The aim of the funding programme, which offers grants of up to £5,000, is to help people to have better access to community health services by supporting voluntary and community organisations working across Essex.

Last year’s recipients received a total of £90,000 for a range of activities, including respite for carers, a healthy eating programme for young people, support for people with an acquired brain injury and an activity club for children with disabilities.

John Niland, Chief Executive of Provide said: “By working with the Essex Community Foundation, we are able to effectively offer funds to voluntary and community organisations whose work complements that of Provide.

“The wide range of projects and support that is available for local people is really impressive and contributes greatly to improving their health and well-being.  Our organisation is pleased to be able to offer grants to enable this vital work to continue and grow.”

Paul Hill, Head of Grants and Programmes at ECF, said: “This is a great opportunity for local communities to receive funding to continue to expand their health-related work.  We would encourage organisations to apply or call us to discuss their application in advance of submission if they need advice and help.

“Provide is an excellent organisation and we look forward to once again working with them and their staff, who are fully involved, in how to allocate the grants through ECF.”

  • The closing date for applications is 20 October.
  • Please contact the ECF grants team if you would like to discuss your application on 01245 356018. 
  • Decisions will be made in early January.  Full details and Provide Foundation guidelines can be found here.
  • More information about Provide is available from www.provide.org.uk

Phone-In Funding Surgery: Community Safety - 8 November

9th September 2017

Are you a voluntary organisation which is working to make your community safer and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) will be holding a Phone-in Funding Surgery to help you identify if there are grants available to support your work and talk you through the process of making an application.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 8 November between 10am to 12 noon

ECF grant officers will be on hand to discuss your funding options. Please call them, on the day, on 01245 356018. There is no need to book a slot.

If you cannot get through, please leave a voicemail with your name, what organisation you are calling from and your phone number.  Your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Tribute

9th September 2017

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Steve Packham, Chief Executive of Chelmsford City Council, who died peacefully on 24 October 2017 after a long battle with lung cancer.

Steve was a former Trustee of ECF and served on the Board for six years from October 2004 to November 2010.  He was a great advocate and supporter of the Foundation’s work and actively encouraged other Councils and public agencies to engage with us in supporting their local voluntary and community sector.
Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

“It was a privilege to work with Steve.  He will be greatly missed by all of us here at ECF and, I am sure, by his friends and colleagues at Chelmsford City Council.” Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive

Keeping the flow of support into local communities

30th August 2017

Local voluntary and community organisations are encouraged to apply for grants from the Essex & Suffolk Water Community Fund.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available from the Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF). Grant applications are considered by an employee committee and projects given support must be related to either health and well-being, community support or the environment.

The deadline date for applications is 31 October, so now is the time for organisations to take up the opportunity to apply for a grant.

Projects which have received grants previously include providing a sailing boat for a Sea Scout Group in Southend, tools and equipment for a Men’s Shed project in Rayleigh, catering equipment for use at a community club which provides hotel meals for vulnerable elderly people in Basildon and covering the costs of a physiotherapist and teacher for a disabled swimming club in Maldon.

Michael Page, External Communications Consultant at Essex & Suffolk Water said, “Water is one of the most important commodities in our lives and we are very aware of the essential service we offer to our customers.

“Our Community Fund with ECF is just one way that we endeavour to engage with and support the communities that we serve on a daily basis.”

Essex & Suffolk Water established their Fund with ECF in 2003 to give support to a wide range of local projects and organisations now and in the future.  Since then, 120 grants totalling nearly £85,000 have been awarded to voluntary groups and charities working in the Essex & Suffolk Water supply areas.

Paul Hill, Head of Grants and Programmes at ECF said, “We urge organisations to apply as these grants could give them a real boost to help them continue their much-needed work.

“The ECF grants team are always on hand so please call us to discuss any projects or applications in advance of submission.”       

The closing date for grant applications is 31 October 2017.  To apply click here or call the grants team on 01245 356018.

ECF welcomes new Patron

25th August 2017

ECF is delighted to welcome Jennifer Tolhurst, the Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, as its new Patron.

Jennifer, who has been a Vice President of ECF since 2006, takes over from Lord Petre who has been the Foundation's Patron for the past 18 years. 

Lord Petre now becomes ECF's President taking the role from our Founder, Ian Marks, CBE DL.

Ian said, "Community Foundations are all about the constantly changing needs of people and local communities. My wife Angela and I founded ECF in 1996 and we are extremely pleased at its growth and success. We are delighted that Jennifer and Lord Petre have accepted these roles and are confident that they will both be active ambassadors for ECF and the voluntary sector in Essex."

Phone-In Funding Surgery: Thurrock - 27 September

25th August 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation in Thurrock and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 27 September between 10am to 12 noon. 

ECF grant officers will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options. Please call them, on the day, on 01245 356018. 

If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on.  We will return your call as soon as possible. 

We are seeking volunteer panel members

10th August 2017

Do you live in the Bradwell and Tillingham areas and would you like to make a difference in your local community? If so, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) is seeking volunteers to join a panel of local people to consider grant applications from voluntary and community organisations in Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham.

Bradwell Wind Farm Community Fund was set up in 2013 by RWE npower renewables for the life of the wind farm, to support community projects and activities with grants of up to £10,000.

The Fund is administered by ECF, an independent charitable trust. Grant applications meeting the criteria of the Fund, are assessed by ECF and presented to a panel of local people for consideration.

To date, the Fund has awarded 28 grants totalling £122,163 to support a wide range of community projects, including the expansion of an advice outreach and home visiting services to the two villages, improving cricket facilities, setting up of an under 8's football team and supporting local scouts and guides.

ECF would like to increase the number of people on the panel and is seeking one representative from Tillingham and one from Bradwell. The panel meets twice a year at St Cedd’s School Bradwell, usually in May and again in November from 5.30pm to 7.00pm.

If you are interested and would like to know more please contact Jill Curd,at ECF, on jill@essexcf.org.uk or call 01245 356018.

Charity Times Awards 2017

1st August 2017

ECF is delighted that its Chief Executive, Caroline Taylor, has been shortlisted in the Charity Times Awards 2017 in the category which recognises the achievements of new CEO’s working in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector.

Caroline was appointed Chief Executive in January 2016 and has worked with ECF for 13 years, latterly as Deputy Chief Executive with responsibility for the Foundation’s Grants and Programmes.

Under her leadership, ECF has reached the milestones of growing the value of its endowment fund to £40 million, which will support charitable organisations and projects in Essex in perpetuity; and having awarded £30 million in grants since the Foundation was established in 1996.

Caroline said: “It’s an honour to be the Chief Executive of ECF and to work with a dedicated team of people who are committed to our mission of developing local philanthropy to support the work of the voluntary sector in Essex.”.

Winners will be announced at the Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony on Wednesday 4 October 2017.

Canvey Island awash with community spirit

28th July 2017

A tidal wave of community spirit on Canvey Island and a grant of £2,500 have transformed a beach for the benefit of local residents and visitors to enjoy.

The grant, awarded from Essex County Council’s Millennium Fund, has contributed to a scheme which has improved accessibility for wheelchair users and those with disabilities. 

The Essex Millennium Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was established as an endowed fund by Essex County Council to celebrate the Millennium. The fund distributes grants annually to voluntary and community groups working within four priority areas, carers, community support, enhancing the environment and young people.

Canvey Bay Watch was formed in October 2014, when a small group of volunteers, many of whom have lived on the island for more than 50 years, decided to restore the seafront to its former glory. 

Canvey Bay Watch volunteer Barry Campagna, said, “We were delighted to have received this grant from the Essex Millennium Fund. Three years ago the area was in such an appalling condition that people had stopped visiting.  As local residents we decided to try and clear the area and seafront.

“We started with 8 volunteers and now there are 20 of us.  Regardless of the weather, we meet every Tuesday and do whatever work is necessary to keep the area accessible and make it a nice place for people to visit”.

Paul Hill, Head of Grants and Programmes at ECF, said, “Canvey Bay Watch is a wonderful example of community spirit.  It is fantastic to see local people coming together to improve the place they live and the makeover of the Bay is truly outstanding.”.

If you are a community organisation or voluntary group in need of funding to support your work, call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018.

Nominations open for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

25th July 2017

Do you know of a volunteer group that devotes its time to helping others in your local area and deserves a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service?

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups, recognising the outstanding work they perform within their communities.

You must submit your nomination by 15 September 2017 to make sure they are considered for an award next year. For an application form, click here.

You shouldn’t be part of the group, entry is free and you can make your nomination at any time.

If you know a local volunteering group deserving of recognition for services to the local area, please consider nominating them!

Anyone aware of the group, including people who benefit from the group's activities, may make a nomination. Please don't nominate your own group if you're a volunteer or paid staff member!

The winners are announced on 2 June every year and they will receive a domed glass crystal and a certificate signed by the Queen.

Phone-In Funding Surgery: Wednesday 16 August

25th July 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation which improves information, advice and guidance in health and social care?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a Phone-In Funding Surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for a grant.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 16 August between 10am to 12 noon.  ECF grant officers will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options.

Please call them, on the day, on 01245 356018. 

If you cannot get through because the lines are busy, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a phone number that we can contact you on.   We will return your call as soon as possible. 

A healthy injection of funds for local charities

18th July 2017

Voluntary groups and local charities working to improve information, advice and guidance in health and social care, are urged to apply for new funds to support their work.

The funding is being made available through the Healthwatch Essex Fund which was established by Healthwatch Essex in 2016 and is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation. To date, grants totalling £150,000 have been awarded to support a wide range of local healthcare projects.

Healthwatch Essex provides an information service to help people access, understand, and navigate the health and social care system, as well as gathering people’s experiences to help improve local services.

Dr David Sollis, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex said, “There are some amazing charities and voluntary groups in Essex and the work they do is crucial in ensuring people get the support they need. In many cases they are the best placed organisations in the community to connect with local people and to help people in need navigate the right path to appropriate support.”

There are two levels of grants that voluntary organisations and local charities can apply for - small grants of up to £10,000 and larger grants of up to £35,000. The latter is for strategic projects which will significantly improve access to local services at a county level or develop new ways of working.

Organisations which have previously received support include, Action for Family Carers for their outreach service and Brentwood Community Print which supports people with mental ill-health.

James Clarke, Chief Executive of Action for Family Carers, said, “Not everyone who cares for someone necessarily identifies themselves as a carer so our outreach programme is vital to ensure that everyone, no matter their circumstance or disadvantage, has equal access to information and advice that will help them”.

Audrey Clark of Brentwood Community Print said, “Suffering from mental ill-health can be incredibly isolating as the stigma and discrimination that still surrounds it means people often don’t engage with help before crisis occurs. Our Community Tree initiative works to bridge this gap and help people to navigate the services available to them before they reach that point”.

Click here for the Healthwatch Essex Fund application criteria and guidelines. The deadline date for applications is 22 September 2017.

In addition, a dedicated phone-in event will be held on 16 August, from 10 am to 12 noon, where potential applicants can call ECF to ask questions and receive support in advance of starting an application.

Fighting hunger in Braintree

10th July 2017

People who are struggling to provide food for themselves and their families are receiving support from Braintree Area Foodbank following a £30,000 charitable grant.

The contribution from the Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund will enable the Foodbank to continue its work collecting and collating donated food for people in desperate need. Volunteers also provide nutritious recipe cards and make three-day emergency food supply parcels.

Since opening its doors in 2012, the Foodbank has helped more than 10,000 people in the Braintree District who are facing hardships; including unemployment and benefit issues.

The Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund, managed by Essex Community Foundation, provides voluntary and community organisations with the opportunity to apply for funding of up to £40,000 (distributed over a time period of up to three years) to support projects which help to either improve health and wellbeing, increase aspirations and opportunities, or develop skills through training. 

Maggie Drewett, Foodbank Co-ordinator, said, “We are delighted to receive this grant which will support our work; helping families and individuals in Braintree, Witham and Halstead who are struggling. Some people have to decide whether to feed themselves, feed their children or pay their bills and that is a worry the Foodbank helps to ease”.

Sandra Crosby, Greenfields’ Housing Director, feels proud that Greenfields is able to support other organisations by providing grants.  She said: “The Braintree Foodbank provides food and advice to people who are trying to make ends meet. Sadly, anyone can find themselves in a position of not being able to afford basic provisions, like food or utilities. We want to improve lives in any way we can and urge local organisations in need to apply for a grant by 31 August.”

Organisations in the Braintree District in need of funding are encouraged to contact the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 to discuss a potential application.

To read the criteria, please click hereThe deadline date for expressions of interest for the next round of grants is 31 August.

Helping people to find their voice

10th July 2017

People living in Colchester and Tendring, who have learning disabilities, mental ill-health and autism are to receive extra support to help them communicate more effectively, thanks to a grant of £2,000 awarded by Colne Community Builders.

Bright Lives Social Enterprise, which is based at the Abbots Community Centre in Colchester, is receiving the money from the grant programme run by Essex housing association Colne Housing. It will enable them to train a regional Makaton Tutor to work with the adults who attend the centre.

Makaton is a language programme designed to help those with learning disabilities to communicate.  It uses a combination of gestures, eye contact and body language to give as much information as possible in order to get across a message, ask a question or express a feeling. Around 100,000 children and adults use Makaton symbols and signs, either as their main method of communication, or as a way to support speech.

Michael Jones, Chief Executive of Bright Lives, said, “Being able to communicate is a vital skill which we all need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication, such as shopping, ordering food in a restaurant, sorting out problems, making friends and socialising. These activities all rely on our ability to communicate with someone.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this funding as it will help people who struggle with talking, to have a voice. This will help to relieve the frustration and isolation that are so often experienced by people with disabilities”.

Sara Thakkar, Chief Executive of Colne Housing, said: "We are a housing association which enables people to live independently and supports communities to thrive. Our grant making initiative Colne Community Builders also does just that. We are pleased to be helping Bright Lives and welcome more applications from grassroots groups which need funding".

The Colne Community Builders Fund is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF). Since the Fund was established in 2015 over £23,000 has been awarded to local charities and voluntary projects which enable independent living.

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of grants from the Fund from charities and community organisations in areas where Colne Housing operates - Babergh, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Maldon, Tendring and Uttlesford.

Please call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 for more information. The deadline for the next round of funding is 11 August.

Day centre opens new all-access garden

30th June 2017

An arts and craft day centre for people with severe physical disabilities has opened a new garden which is accessible to all of its members.

The new green space at Ferriers Barn has been specially designed to suit all of the centre’s 19 members, including wheelchair users, by means of wide paths and raised flower beds. It replaces a small vegetable patch which was inaccessible to most.

The Barn opened in 1974 and has allowed its members to develop friendships and provides respite for their families and carers, some of whom would not be able to work even part-time without it.

This revamp, which also includes a sensory sandpit, was made possible by a grant of £17,463 from the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF). The grant monies were pooled from the Mi Community Fund, Sport Relief Community Cash and the Diana Tinson Fund.

Jill Kerr-Smiley, a Trustee of Ferriers Barn, explained the difference the garden has made, “A lot of our work at the Barn is centred on teaching and encouraging our members to do things for themselves. Having this uniquely equipped garden which everyone can enjoy together is really special and gardening is another new skill to learn”.

She added, “There are a number of therapeutic benefits to having a quiet space in the open air so we encourage families and carers to join members in the garden”.

Ferriers Barn is open Monday to Friday and has spaces available for new members. For more information, visit www.ferriersbarn.com.

For more information about ECF or to apply for funding, call the grants team on 01245 356018.

New Lord-Lieutenant appointed in Essex

23rd June 2017

The next Lord-Lieutenant of Essex has been appointed by the Queen.

Jennifer Tolhurst, a current Deputy Lieutenant, will take over from Lord Petre, who will stand down on August 4 after turning 75 - the obligatory retirement age for the sovereign’s representatives.

Mrs Tolhurst lives in Danbury and is a former High Sheriff of Essex. She is also a Vice-President of Essex Community Foundation and is an assessor for the Queen’s Awards for Volunteers.

The Lord-Lieutenant is the British monarch's personal representative in the county. Lord Petre, 18th Baron of the Petre family, whose ancestral family home is at Ingatestone Hall, has been the Lord-Lieutenant of Essex for the last fifteen years. 

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive, said, "We were delighted to hear that Jenny has been appointed to this exciting position and we look forward to working with her in this new capacity".

Phone-In Funding Surgery - 12 July - Chelmsford

23rd June 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in Chelmsford district and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a Phone-In Funding Surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 12 July between 10am to 12 noon. 

ECF grant officers, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options. Please call them on 01245 356018. 

If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on. We will return your call as soon as possible.

Outdoor gym receives funding boost

21st June 2017

Parkeston residents will be able to get fit whilst regularly exercising outdoors thanks to a funding boost of £2,075 from the Milsom Charitable Fund.

This grant has allowed the Parkeston Residents and Welfare Park Association to buy and install more equipment, including an elliptical and leg press machine, at the outdoor gym on Garland Road for local residents of all ages and abilities to use.

Bill Davidson, Chairman of the Residents Association, said: “People might not want to go to a gym because they’re embarrassed or feel intimidated but they can use this outdoor gym at any time of the day and feel that they’re not being judged. We’re so grateful to have received this grant and the new equipment has already proved to be popular”.

He added, “It’s brilliant to see people from the village, some of which that don’t get out of the house often, coming out and having a go.”

The Fund was established with the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in 2007 and has since awarded over £18,000 in grants to support a wide range of local projects and voluntary organisations.

Chris Beardsmore, General Manager of The Pier at Harwich, said, “We are delighted that money from our Fund has been able to support the further development of this popular park. As a local business, we are committed to Harwich and to making the community an even better place to live and work.”

If you would like to apply for a charitable grant from ECF, please call 01245 356018 to speak with a member of the grants team.

Three Essex voluntary groups honoured by the Queen

5th June 2017

Three Essex voluntary groups who work in the community have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The three groups are:

• Razed Roof Theatre Group, Harlow
• Rayleigh Baptist Church Carers Café, Rayleigh
• Crossing Boundaries, Westcliff-on-Sea

The three groups are amongst 224 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year across the U.K. The number of awards given to groups is slightly higher this year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges and support those in need.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise the outstanding work they do in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2nd June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year range from Friends of Thetford Forest, providing access to many and varied groups to understand and enjoy the forest, to Life Cycle UK, based in Bristol, to help- people take up cycling for work or play.

The three groups mentioned above will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex later this summer.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of Essex Community Foundation which works with voluntary organisations across the county and who is also a Queen’s Award Panel Member for Essex, said:

“I am delighted that three local groups have won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services this year. Essex has a vibrant voluntary sector and the county would not be what it is without the invaluable contribution that these organisations, and thousands of others, make on a daily basis, to improve community life.

What many people don’t realise is that many groups doing voluntary work could win this award. We would urge everyone to think about the champions in their community and consider nominating them”.

Razed Roof, Harlow

Lord Petre ,“I am delighted to be presenting, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to Razed Roof, Theatre Group, Harlow.

There are few opportunities for adults with learning difficulties in Harlow but the volunteers of Razed Roof plug the gap with affection and help change the lives of learning-disabled people in the area.

Razed Roof succeeds brilliantly in uniting disabled people with energetic, lively and caring young pupils. The group has engaged with hundreds of people at various community events. Everyone is valued and personal difference is celebrated.

The mix of able and disabled, overseen by a committed group of volunteers with an age range of 16 - 82, brings light and love to a group of learning-disabled people too often segregated from, and by, society. Together the group tackles difficult topics through imaginative and appropriate performances in a safe and inclusive environment.

The assessor visited an Anti-Bullying Workshop with Year 7 (11 -12 year olds) and came away astounded at this master class in inclusion, watching pupils visibly transformed by working with people who obviously find life far more challenging than themselves.

Over 3,000 people have engaged with the work of Razed Roof, plus many more who have engaged with social media and YouTube links; 32 people regularly attend weekly sessions; 265 people have attend RAZED ROOF workshops; 1,700 have attended exhibitions and events; 1,200 people have made up the audience”.

When asked what receiving the award means to Razed Roof, the leader, Annette Lidster, said, 'The Queen's Award for Voluntary Services is a wonderful endorsement of the work being done by Razed Roof; and most importantly, recognition of all the contributions and commitment of our many fabulous volunteers and supporters. We are all feeling very proud!'

Rayleigh Baptist Church Carers Café

Lord Petre said, “I am delighted that the Rayleigh Baptist Church Carers Café has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen, as the winner of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.

Volunteers at Rayleigh Baptist Church Carers Café Ministries Team offer effective support and respite to Carers and the support it extends to the Carers and their loved ones is exceptional. Carers can access help on the telephone as well as attend three different sessions.

Carers Café takes place on the first Saturday of each month, the Carers and Cared for Coffee Morning takes place on the third Friday of each month and Share the Care, which offers one to one support by appointment, takes place every Monday morning.

The Café had small local beginnings but has grown steadily both in terms of volunteers and Carers and it has little difficulty in finding volunteers. Over time over 70 Carers and their loved ones have registered with the Cafés.

While part of the Rayleigh Baptist Church Ministry, no one is expected to embrace its faith and the only criterion is that they are a Carer. Everybody is welcome and the services are free. The group makes a significant contribution to improving the mental health of adult Carers because the Café and its satellite services combat loneliness and isolation. The Café signposts useful contacts and empowers Carers to make social connections with those who share a common factor: they Care”.

On being asked what receiving the QAVS means to the team, Georgina Biggs, the leader replied, 'Being awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is a great encouragement to the team and gives credibility to the work we do, enabling Carers to come forward with confidence.'

Crossing Boundaries

Lord Petre said:  “It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, to be presenting The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to Crossing Boundaries. 

The group is made up of church and non-church members who came together in response to a clear social need demonstrated at a ‘visioning’ meeting at Earls Hall Baptist Church Westcliff-on-Sea. 

They successfully help those in particular need to access statutory services such as their GP, social care services, mental health support, advice on money management, budgeting, access to debt support, benefits, computer support and social needs such as activities and friendships.

They provide invaluable advice and exceptional community support and continue to build strong relationships with Southend Social Care.”

 

To find out how you can nominate someone, click here

Local families to receive support

26th May 2017

Home-Start Essex has received £15,000 from the Chrysalis Fund towards their ‘Moving on up Together’ project.

This is a weekly group for parents who are socially isolated and struggle with low self-esteem and mood. A creche is provided which gives parents an opportunity for confidential group discussion.

The sessions also take an holistic approach, with a focus on art therapy, relaxation techniques, healthy eating advice and exercise.

ECF currently manages 140 named funds, all with different criteria. We are always pleased to discuss an application in advance of submission.  Please call the grants team on 01245 356018 or to apply, click here.

Mental health art group given funding boost

26th May 2017

A support group which provides art classes for people who are experiencing mental health issues has received a funding boost of £1,876.

Braintree Rethink Carers Support Group has been providing help to local people who suffer with a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or personality disorders since 2008.  New members are welcomed regularly, but some have been attending for over 8 years.

The recent funding was awarded from Arthur J. Gallagher, insurance brokers based in Feering. The Arthur J. Gallagher Community Fund was established with Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in 2007.  Since then they have awarded nearly £14,000 in grants to support a wide range of local projects and voluntary organisations.

Trina Whittaker BEM, the art group Co-ordinator said, “There are a lot of holistic benefits associated with arts and crafts. We supply all the materials and provide our members with a warm and friendly environment where they can feel relaxed and safe and be with people who understand them.  They produce some amazing pieces of work and get a real boost when they see it displayed at the exhibitions we organise.

“For some of our members this class is the only time that they will meet other people during the week so the grant we have received from the Arthur J. Gallagher Community Fund is vital as it will help towards the cost of hiring the hall.”

Lyana Corbin is new to the art group after having a relapse in her mental health.  She said, “It’s really important that I have a weekly routine and attending this group once a week will help me to do that. I wouldn’t be creative like this at home and I find it calming to focus on drawing.

“Everyone is really friendly, but if you don’t want to talk you can just paint or draw so there isn’t any pressure.”

David Anderson, Regional Managing Director at Arthur J. Gallagher said, “We are passionate about supporting local people who work hard to improve their communities and address the needs they see around them”.
          
The Braintree Rethink Art Group meets every Tuesday, either from 1pm to 4pm or noon to 2pm. For more details call trinawh@btinternet.com.

For more information about applying for a grant, please call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018.

County Council champions local causes

23rd May 2017

Local voluntary and community projects which provide support to the homeless, people with brain injuries, carers and work experience for vulnerable young people are among those who have been awarded funding in the latest round of grants from the Essex Millennium Fund and the Essex County Council’s Chairman’s Fund.

Grants totalling £62,365 were presented from the two funds to 22 Essex-based charities and voluntary organisations at a ceremony held at the Essex Record Office.

The funds, managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF), provide support for community and voluntary organisations whose good work enhances the lives of people living in Essex.

At the presentation event Cllr John Aldridge, Chairman of Essex County Council, commended the contribution these organisations make across the county. He said, “It is a privilege to be in the position where I can learn about the Essex voluntary sector and I can honestly say that my time spent visiting groups has been heart-warming.”

“I have been most encouraged to see local people coming together with a common aim of making their own community spaces a better place to live and work for all”.

The Essex Millennium Fund was established as an endowed fund within ECF by members of Essex County Council to celebrate the Millennium. The fund, which provides an annual income for a grants programme, distributes funds to voluntary and community groups working within four priority areas, carers, community support, enhancing the environment and young people. 

Supporting Carers and Families Together received £2,750 towards the annual salary of a Service Delivery Manager to work with young and adult carers in Rochford.  Andy Trewern, who works for the local charity, said “We have seen a surge in demand for our services over the last two years and we are extremely grateful for the grant we have been awarded from the Essex Millennium Fund. This funding means we can continue to support local carers, increase their confidence and make sure no-one feels like they are alone.”

The Chairman’s Fund was established with ECF in 2007 to support voluntary and community groups working to enrich the lives of people in their local communities through activities exploring culture and heritage.

Clacton VCH Group has been awarded a grant of £3,000 from the Essex County Council Chairman’s Fund towards their WWII history project.  Roger Kennell, the group’s Chairman said, “There are not many sources for young people, and those of all ages, to learn about the important role the volunteer soldiers of the Home Guard played in the War. This grant will help us to record this information and the defence sites they manned to make create a lasting source for local people. It is likely the last chance to honour the volunteers while some still survive.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF said:  “Funding is vital to community organisations and it is very gratifying to know that since these two Funds were established by the County Council, nearly £1.1 million in charitable grants has been injected into the local community and that this support will continue in perpetuity”.

For information about how to apply for a grant from ECF, please call the grants team on 01245 356018 to discuss your work.

To view a full list of grants awarded, click here

To view more photos, click here

Our 2017 Spring Receptions

5th May 2017

We were delighted to welcome 230 invited guests to this year's Spring Receptions held at Ingatestone Hall and Layer Marney Tower.

Our Chairman Jonathan Minter challenged guests to think about their giving, their experience of Essex and what kind of Essex they want the next generation to inherit? And, importantly, what more they could they do?

This year's speakers at Ingatestone Hall were, ECF Trustee and Fundholder, Peter Blanc and local charities City of Chelmsford Mencap and Southend Blind Welfare Organisation.

Peter explained how the Foundation has helped him and his wife, Sue, to see Essex from a different perspective. After visiting a number of local organisations and projects, Peter has learned how just a few hundred pounds can often make the difference between an organisation continuing its vital work or closing, leaving those who depend on its services at a loss. Peter and Sue look forward to engaging their children with ECF and the grantmaking from their Fund. In this way, they hope to increase their understanding about local issues and that not all children live in fortunate circumstances.

City of Chelmsford Mencap described the support they give to people with a learning disability. Sabine leads the Working Out Programme which helps students to increase their skills, confidence and move towards independent living. Michael, who has Down’s syndrome, explained how this programme allows him to be creative, learn to cook and meet new people.

David Hurst, Chairman of the Southend Blind Welfare Organisation (SBWO) spoke from the heart about how difficult it is to raise funds to enable them to continue supporting local people. What he had not appreciated, until he was involved with SBWO, was the importance of receiving grants for core costs. SBWO provides a range of activities and services forpeople who are blind or visually impaired, helping them to feel supported, safe and able to go on with their lives.

Our Layer Marney speakers were Fiona Ashworth, a solicitor with Colchester-based firm Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) and Sonia Shaljean, the Founder of Lads Need Dads.

Fiona explained how being charitable and creating a lasting legacy is not just for those with a multi-million pound lifestyle, but is a rewarding way for many of us to make a real difference in our lifetime and beyond. Born and raised in Essex, Fiona is passionate about her county and has been involved with ECF for over 15 years, advising clients who want to do something to give back but are not quite sure what that is. The common perception is that large sums of money are needed to make a charity legacy worthwhile and really make a difference, however even small donations add up and do a lot of good.

Sonia spoke about her experience and background of working with males of all ages and how she had identified a simple but critical gap in the provision of support for secondary school age boys whose father-figure is absent from their lives. Through an innovative male–led group mentoring Programme, Lads Need Dads supports boys age 11-15, an age when the choices they make, both conscious and unconscious, begin to form the foundation of the men they will become. By engaging the boys in self-development group work, practical life-skill training, volunteering and outdoor activities, all supported by male mentors, Lads Need Dads aims to equip and empower them to become motivated, capable, resilient and emotionally competent young men.

To view more photos from both events, click here.

To view the summary document of Ingatestone Hall, click here and for Layer Marney, click here.

Phone-In Funding Surgery - 7 June - Braintree

5th May 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in the Braintree district and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 7 June between 10am to 12 noon

Fran and Jill, ECF grant officers, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options. Please call them on 01245 356018. 

If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on.   We will return your call as soon as possible. 

Wind farm funds available for Maldon groups

24th April 2017

Community organisations in Dengie, Southminster and Burnham have another chance to apply for grants from the Middlewick Farm Community Benefit Fund to give their charitable projects a boost. 

The Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was established by Cubico Sustainable Investments Limited, a global leader in renewable energy and the owner of the onshore Middlewick wind farm development.

Over the next 20 years, voluntary and community organisations working in and around the Southminster and Burnham areas could benefit from around £750,000 in grant funding from the Fund.

A panel of local residents, supported by ECF, will review applications and make the decisions regarding grants awards. The panel is particularly interested in applications where a small amount of money can make a big difference.

David Swindin, Head of EMEA at Cubico said, “Cubico is committed to delivering clean energy to consumers through good quality, sustainable energy projects, and to sharing the benefits of these projects with communities".

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive at ECF said, “We recognise the contribution that voluntary and community groups make to their local communities and we look forward to hearing from organisations that may want to start a new project, need help with their running costs or want to expand or continue their work in the area.”

To apply, click here or to speak with a member of the ECF grant’s team in advance of applying call 01245 356018. The deadline date for the second round of applications is 9 June.

Gibberd Garden continues to blossom with local support

24th April 2017

Trustees of a Grade II listed garden gem, situated on the North Eastern edge of Harlow, are delighted to receive a grant of £8,000.

The money was donated from the John and Wenna Marks Charitable Fund which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). 

The Gibberd garden is the creation of Sir Frederick Gibberd, an uncompromising modernist architect who was the master-planner of Harlow New Town.  Sir Frederick bought the house and 15 acre site in 1957 as his home.  He made alterations to the house and gradually created the garden over many years and until his death in 1984.  Many sculptures were bought and commissioned for the garden as well as ceramic pots and architectural pieces.  The garden is said to be one of the few outstanding examples of 20th Century garden design.

Sir Frederick had wished that the garden be used for education and recreation in perpetuity and in 1995 the Gibberd Garden Trust was formed to preserve and develop the garden for public benefit.  For more than 20 years, a team of volunteers support the gardeners to maintain and preserve the area.

Derek Hayes, a Trustee and Treasurer of the Gibberd Garden, said, “We are thrilled to receive this donation which will be used to maintain this cherished piece of Harlow history for future generations  to enjoy.”

Wenna Marks has lived in Harlow for 56 years and her late husband, John, was a Trustee of the garden.  Wenna, who is now a Trustee said, “I am so pleased to be able to give help to the garden from our charitable fund with ECF.  I know how hard all of the supporters, gardeners and the volunteers work, to keep this a peaceful and beautiful place.” 

The Gibberd Garden is open from 2pm to 6pm every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until 24 September. Parts of the house, the Gibberd Rooms, are open for a small extra fee on a Sunday afternoon on a timed access. To visit, get involved or give support please look at their website www.thegibberdgarden.co.uk.

For more information about applying to ECF for a grant, call 01245 356018 to speak with a member of the grants team.

New High Sheriff of Essex is appointed

24th April 2017

At an event full of pomp and ceremony, held in the Chambers of County Hall in Chelmsford in front of the Lord Lieutenant and four senior judges, Simon Hall was appointed the 837th High Sheriff of Essex.

Simon, has lived in Great Tey, a small village in the heart of rural North Essex, since 1993.  After graduating from Cambridge with a law degree, he quickly established a career in the profession and joined an international law firm in London.

Now, for the next twelve months, he will be closer to home as he takes on a different role, that of High Sheriff, which by tradition involves upholding the Queen’s Peace as Her Majesty’s representative for Law and Order, although in more recent times, the role has evolved and now has an emphasis on promoting crime prevention and community safety.
 
Of his appointment, Simon says he is “very honoured”.  Having been a lawyer for 37 years and spending a lot of his time traveling and with London based charities, Simon is keen to learn as much as he can about Essex, although he admits that it is a large and diverse county and he wonders if one year will be enough time to learn everything that he should.
 
As well as being involved with the judiciary and all the emergency services during his year of office, Simon will also be forging links with the voluntary sector, visiting local groups and organisations.  Another part of his role will be promoting the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). The fund gives much-needed support to local organisations in Essex which tackle crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour issues.
 
Simon is delighted that by working with ECF he will be able to see the voluntary sector in action at grassroots level and provide support and encouragement to volunteers and the beneficiaries of those organisations. Each High Sheriff gives recognition to voluntary groups and individuals through the annual High Sheriff’s Awards, which is organised by ECF.
 
“Essex is the most extraordinary county. It is actually quite a rich county, but it has got pockets of deprivation, creating big divides”.

Rural issues, social exclusion, homelessness, education and employability skills are high on Simon’s agenda for his year in office and he is determined to use his time as a catalyst for innovation.
 
“I am very much looking forward to meeting people of all ages, who live and work in this exciting and diverse county, many of whom give their time to volunteer and selflessly help others. As High Sheriff I have an opportunity to give them the recognition they deserve and to bring them together with the various agencies that can work together and make a difference.”
 
During his year, Simon will be holding a number of events including a garden party, a fundraising lunch, and the Justice Service in Brentwood Cathedral.  He will greatly miss the support of his wife Teresa, who died in 2015, but he will have the help of his four children, grandchildren and a loyal band of friends.
 
The role of High Sheriff is a Royal appointment which is self-funded and does not take money from the public purse.
 
For the people of Essex, Simon, in his black and silver uniform, white ruffle collar and carrying his sword, will be a welcome sight as he travels around the county, making an ancient role meaningful and relevant in the modern age.
 
To keep up-to-date with Simon's activities throughout his year, follow him on Twitter: @Essex_HS

Phone-In Funding Surgery - 10 May - Uttlesford

24th April 2017

Voluntary and community organisations working in Uttlesford district are invited to call us on 10 May to discuss funding requirements for a project or core costs.

We would like to hear about the great work you're doing to improve the lives of local people in your community and our grants officers, Fran and Jill, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options.

Please call them, on the day, between 10am and 12 noon on 01245 356018.

If you cannot get through on the day, leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on. We will return your call as soon as possible.

Wind Farm generates support for local projects

24th April 2017

Voluntary and community organisations in Southminster and Burnham-on-Crouch are invited to apply for grants to support local projects and activities.

The Turncole Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund was established in 2016 as part of a long-term wind farm development programme in the area.

Essex Community Foundation, an independent charitable trust is managing the Community Benefit Fund and a panel, made up of local residents, will work with ECF to consider applications and agree grants.

The panel is particularly interested in applications which seek to enhance the quality of life of local residents, contribute to vibrant, healthy, successful and sustainable communities and encourage community activity. 

The deadline date for applications is 12 May.

Tracy Scott works for the renewable energy company, RES, and is Project Manager for the Turncole Wind Farm.  She said: “The Fund was established to ensure that community-based projects close to the wind farm see a direct financial benefit. The funding is particularly relevant to projects which contribute to the wellbeing of the local area.”
 
Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive at ECF, said: “We look forward to receiving applications for projects and activities in the Burnham-on-Crouch and Southminster area and supporting the panel in making decisions.”

If you would like to apply for a grant please visit our make an application page or call 01245 356018 or email grants@essexcf.org.uk if you have any questions.

Comic Relief funds available

20th April 2017

-This Fund is now closed for applications, you can however still make a general application to ECF. Please call the grants team to discuss your work before you make an application-

 

People living in deprived areas, or who face a range of social issues, often get vital support from smaller organisations based within their communities.

It’s these locally-based groups that truly understand the needs of the people they serve and make a huge difference to their lives. We believe that local people know what is needed in their community and are best placed to make any changes. Having lots of activities happening in an area brings vibrancy to a local community which can make it a better place to live.

We are also aware that many people are undertaking great work in their area but often struggle to get the support they need.

We therefore want to support community groups in Colchester, Tendring and North Braintree that are rooted in their local communities undertaking work that helps people of all ages feel more included in their community, builds their skills and increases their sense of achievement.

WHO CAN APPLY?

We are particularly keen to ensure we reach groups of people who often miss out. As such we accept applications from the voluntary and community sector including:

  • constituted voluntary and community groups
  • charities
  • social enterprises
  • co-operatives
  • community interest companies

For more information and to apply, click here. The extended deadline is 12 May.

What kind of Essex do you want?

7th April 2017

That was the question posed to 100 invited guests who attended our annual Spring Reception held at Ingatestone Hall.

Jonathan Minter DL, Chairman of ECF, spoke about what inspires and motivates him to give and challenged those present to consider their own giving.  He asked them to think about their experience of Essex and what kind of Essex they want their children or grandchildren to inherit and importantly, what more could they do?

Guests also heard inspirational talks from two local charities - Sabine and Michael from City of Chelmsford Mencap explained what the 'Working Out' project is and the benefits it provides to lifelong learning students and David Hurst from Southend Blind Welfare Organisation spoke about the services they provide and made clear the need for core cost funding. To hear their speeches, click here.

To view more photos from the event, click here.

Funding advice for Colchester and Tendring groups

24th March 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in Colchester or Tendring and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 19 April between 10am to 12 noon.

Fran and Jill, ECF grant officers, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options. Please call them, on the day, on 01245 356018. 

If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on. We will return your call as soon as possible. 

Making sporting dreams come true

22nd March 2017

We would like to hear from anyone interested in helping local people to achieve their sporting potential. All donations will be matched with funding from the Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund.                                            

Rogerio Mendes, who is 13 years old and suffers from Asperger's syndrome, has a passion for everything to do with Motorsport. A recent grant is helping him to pursue his goal of becoming a professional racing driver.

Other Essex sports stars to have benefited from grants are Daniel McGauley, a powerlifter from Colchester who has Down's syndrome and Olympic gymnast Brinn Bevan.
                                                       
If you are interested in helping young people to achieve their sporting potential, contact us on 01245 355947 or email jo@essexcf.org.uk.

High Sheriff Rewards Local Charities

17th March 2017

Voluntary organisations and people who make a major contribution to their local communities and crime prevention have been given well deserved recognition and thanks at this year’s prestigious High Sheriffs’ Awards ceremony. 

An organisation which provides support for vulnerable young people with learning disabilities in Chelmsford, a mentoring programme in Clacton for boys who have an absent father and a Pubwatch scheme in Rayleigh are among those receiving awards.

More than 40 voluntary and community organisations were represented at this year’s ceremony held at Hylands House in Chelmsford where trophies, certificates and grants totalling £25,804 were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of Essex, Lorna Rolfe. 

"With news generally focusing on the negative it was great to hear first hand accounts of so many positive acts happening all around us." - Yasdev Rai, Lads Need Dads

The grants came from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which was established to give credit to community initiatives which address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour, and is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Lorna Rolfe, who is the 836th High Sheriff of Essex, has travelled to all areas of the county during her year of office.  As well as visiting a great many voluntary organisations, she visited the Courts and spent time with Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service. 

She said, “It has been my privilege to spend time with all the organisations that look after our well-being.  I have been warmly welcomed and have been constantly struck by their ‘can do’ approach to the many challenges they face.”

She paid tribute to the voluntary sector in Essex, “During my time as High Sheriff I have had the opportunity to meet members of the voluntary sector who tackle a wide range of issues.  I have been so impressed that accentuating the positive appears to be their everyday motto and have been amazed and humbled at what they accomplish against all the odds. 

“They really do make a difference and can dramatically change the lives of others for the better.”

Although an ancient role, Lorna believes that the High Sheriff can offer society much needed continuity and stability.  She said, “It is a unique position offering a privileged overview of the county which enables the holder to make connections between its various and complex social strands.  I feel deeply honoured to have been appointed to the role in the county of which I am so proud.”

Since it came under ECF’s management in 1997 the High Sheriffs’ Fund has distributed nearly 590 grants totalling £485,000 to voluntary and community organisations.

“ECF has been of great value to me during my year of office and the High Sheriffs’ Fund gives much needed support to the organisations helping to prevent crime and promoting community safety” said Lorna.  “The Awards ceremony provides the opportunity to give them the recognition that they so rightly deserve.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF, said, “We are delighted to manage the High Sheriffs’ Fund and work with successive High Sheriffs’ so that greater support can be given to the people in the county who are working hard to tackle community safety issues at a local level.”

The High Sheriffs’ Award Scheme recognises community initiatives which address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour. The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The High Sheriff receives no expenses and the role comes at no cost to the public purse.

To view a full list of the awards presented at this year's ceremony click here.

To view and download photos from the event click here.

To download your photo from our Flickr page:
1                     Click on the photo you want to open/download
2                     On the bottom right hand side of the screen, click on the icon of a downwards pointing arrow
3                     Choose the size of image you wish to download
4                     This will download the image to your computer (bottom left hand corner of screen)

A healthy injection of funds for local charities

9th March 2017

Community organisations working to improve people’s experiences of health and social care in Essex have received a healthy injection of funds – with eight groups receiving a share of £150,000 in grants.

The Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was established in March 2016 by Healthwatch Essex to support community organisations that provide information, advice and guidance around accessing health and care services in the county.

Healthwatch Essex provides an information service to help people access, understand, and navigate the health and social care system, as well as gathering people’s experiences to help improve local services.

 

Dr Tom Nutt, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, said, “There is an increasing pressure on health and care services. We know that voluntary organisations are often the place that people turn to when they don’t know where else to get the help they need. This Fund is providing financial support to organisations to help them expand their work and give local people greater knowledge about access to health and care services.”

Details of all the grants awarded are:

Action for Family Carers received £74,697 to provide information and guidance to Essex carers in conjunction with Essex Carers Support
Ark Community Resource Centre received £6,500 to help another organisation to deal with increasing referrals to its counselling service
Beacon House Ministries received £8,519 to help homeless people with mental health issues to access health and care services in Colchester
Brentwood Community Print received £28,057 to provide information and advice for people with mental health issues through the Essex Community Tree initiative
Families InFocus (Essex) received £9,927 to enhance a Family Support service for those with children who have disabilities and special needs in South Essex
First Stop Centre in Braintree received £9,960 to extend staff hours and improve the provision of information and signposting
• Harlow Stroke Support Group received £6,700 to help provide a new home outreach service for those affected by stroke
PACT for Autism based in Harlow, received £5,640 to fund a new Information Officer post and improve access to information for children and adults with autism and their families.

Rachel Ellis, Chief Executive of Families InFocus, said, “We are delighted to have received this funding which will allow us to expand our reach to families with children who have disabilities and special needs in South Essex.

“The families we work with are often close to breaking point and working with them on how to support their child, and their needs, means they will have the resilience to deal with every day issues and have positivity for the future”.

Jean Miley, Manager of Harlow Stroke Support Group, is equally thrilled and said, “This funding will allow us to expand our reach to people who are living with the aftermath of a stroke. We will be able to visit people in their own homes and offer them, and their carers, the support they need.”

If you are a community organisation who wishes to apply for a grant, click here or call 01245 356018 to discuss your application with a grants officer.

For information about Healthwatch Essex, visit www.healthwatchessex.org.uk.

World Book Day 2017

2nd March 2017

Happy World Book Day. Today is an annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading, with events taking place not only across England but across the world.

To mark the occasion we thought we would share some of the brilliant projects in Essex that have been awarded grants to support their work in improving literacy skills, boosting confidence and developing a love of reading in young people.

Schoolreaders received £5,000 to establish a countywide literacy scheme with volunteers listening to children read in primary schools on a one on one basis.

Shakespeare for Schools received £5,500 for a project where young people transform Shakespeare’s words into their own performances. 

• Signpost received £6,500 to continue their Homework Club on Greenstead estate in Colchester.

Chelmsford Prison received £5,955 to run an educational, story telling project in the library for the children of fathers held in custody. The Storybook Dads project allowed children to hear their father’s voice on a recorded CD and gave the men the opportunity to improve their literacy skills.

We support a vast array of community organisations working across all areas, literacy skills being just one of them. If you would like to discuss how ECF can help you or your business to support local charitable causes whatever your scale of giving or area of interest, please call Jo Murphy, Head of Communications, or Steven Mackenzie, Development Officer, on 01245 355947.

Wind farm fund generates community spirit

24th February 2017

Community and voluntary organisations in Tendring are invited to apply for a share of a £12,000 wind farm fund.

The Earls Hall Farm Community Benefit Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was launched in 2013 as part of the wind farm development, to support charitable purposes benefiting the communities of St Osyth Ward, Bockings Elm Ward and Little Clacton.

The Fund, to date, has distributed grants totaling over £42,000. Community projects that have received support previously include:

1st St Osyth Scout Group received £3,500 towards the refurbishment of their Scout hut.
Point Clear and St. Osyth Horticultural Society received £650 to purchase a laptop to help produce show programmes.
Windmill Carpet Bowls Club received £2,409 to hire a hall and buy equipment for a new club for older people in Clacton.

John Gibson, Captain of Windmill Carpet Bowls Club said, “We are a new club and without this funding we wouldn’t have been able to get the equipment we needed.

“We’ve had a great response from the community so far and as anyone can take part, no matter their age or ability we really hope it gives local people a place to be active and to make friends”.

A panel of local residents, supported by ECF, will consider the applications and make the decisions regarding grant awards. The panel is particularly interested in supporting voluntary organisations needing small grants to enable them to make a big difference in their community.

Paul Hill, Head of Grants and Programmes at ECF said, “This Fund has proved to be a vital source of support and we encourage local voluntary and community organisations to take advantage of this funding opportunity and apply now“.

To find out more information and to apply click here or to discuss an application in advance of submission, call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 or email grants@essexcf.org.uk.

Funding available for youth projects in Harlow

20th February 2017

Voluntary and community organisations working with young people in Harlow are set to benefit from grants totalling £160,000 over the next two years.  

Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available from The Youth Social Action Fund for a wide range of activities which seek to engage young people in their community and increase their learning and understanding of local issues. 

Supported projects may address topics which include, but are not restricted to, social inclusion, employment, disability, bullying and homelessness or increase access to sports and the arts.  All projects must, however, benefit young people aged between 10 and 20 or up to 25 for disabled young people.

Razed Roof, the inclusive performing arts and theatre company, are an example of a community organisation which could benefit from this available funding. 

Big Lottery Fund and Department of Culture, Media & Sport are each investing £20 million seed funding over four years to create the #iwill fund.  Essex Community Foundation (ECF), in conjunction with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Essex (OPCC) are acting as match-funders and are awarding grants locally on behalf of the #iwill fund.

Paul Hill, Head of Grants and Programmes at ECF said, “We are delighted to be a part of this nationwide programme which aims to engage young people in learning about their local community, improve their understanding of local issues and help them to interact with people of different ages and cultures.

“We are grateful to the OPCC for providing match funding for this programme in Harlow.  We know there are many voluntary organisations working with young people in this area and we would encourage them to contact us as soon as possible to discuss grant funding.”

Jane Gardner, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex said “Engaging young people to become proud contributors to their local community is vital.  We look forward to working with ECF to ensure this funding makes a difference to the lives of young people living in Harlow.”

For more information and application criteria click here or call the grants team on 01245 356018. Applications will be accepted throughout the year and the first grants will be awarded in April 2017.

If you are reading this but are not a community organisation that is based in or operates in Harlow, we accept applications at any time from across Essex, Southend and Thurrock so please call the grants team to discuss your project.

 

iwill fund

• The Government and Big Lottery Fund have each invested £20 million in to the #iwill Fund which will help to transform the culture of community engagement by getting young people involved in greater volunteering opportunities.
• Full application information will be published at www.biglotteryfund.org
• Over four years the fund will be developed through investment and match funding from Trusts and Foundations, businesses and philanthropists
• This innovative fund, bringing together a coalition of investors, aims to create the conditions to embed meaningful social action into the lives of every young person.


#iwill campaign

• The #iwill campaign is being coordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve (Charity No.1154588). It was launched in 2013 after Government research into how the business, education, public and voluntary sectors could support young people to engage in social action (campaigning, fundraising and volunteering) between the ages of 10 and 20.
• HRH The Prince of Wales is Patron of Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign. To date more than 600 organisations from across UK society have pledged to support the campaign goal of enabling more than 60% of 10-20 year-olds to participate in social action.
• More information can be found at www.iwill.org.uk and @iwill_campaign

Funding available for voluntary groups in Southend

19th February 2017

Voluntary groups and charities working to enhance community life in Southend are being given a golden opportunity to apply for funds to help achieve their aims.

Grants are now available from The Southend Community Fund, which was established in 2001. The fund is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and, to date, has distributed nearly £250,000 to support local projects.

Organisations that have benefited from previous funding include Crossing Boundaries, which provides a support group for vulnerable elderly people and their carers, Just Ride Southend who used their grant to buy two wheelchair adapted bikes for an inclusive cycling scheme and Southend Blind Welfare Organisation which provides activities to support people with sight loss. 

Peter Croysdill, Chairman of the Southend Community Fund said, “This fund makes a real difference to the groups in Southend-On-Sea who are working tirelessly to make life better for people living in the community.

“A lot of wonderful projects could not have been supported without these grants and we look forward to receiving the next round of applications”.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF added: “A small amount of money can go a long way to improving the lives of many, so we encourage organisations in Southend to apply for grants to help them make a difference to the lives of local people.”

To apply, please use the general application form: here.

Maldon District Phone-In Funding Surgery

18th February 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation in the Maldon District and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 1 March between 10am to 12 noon. 

Fran and Jill, ECF grant officers, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options. Please call them on 01245 356018. 

If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on.   We will return your call as soon as possible.

Phone-In Funding Surgery for Southend groups

25th January 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in Southend and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 15 February between 10am to 12 noon

Fran and Jill, ECF grant officers, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options.

Please call them on 01245 356018

Calls typically last around 10 minutes but if further information is required we will arrange a time to call you back.  If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on.   We will return your call as soon as possible. 

 

Turning Criminals’ Assets into Community Cash

16th January 2017

A pioneering scheme which turns the proceeds of crime into a positive benefit for the community has been given an extra match funding boost of £75,000. 

Money from the sale of property and items seized by Essex Police from criminals is being recycled to encourage local giving and provide grants to voluntary and community organisations for community safety projects in the county.

The matched funding scheme was first launched in 2014 by Essex Police with an initial sum of £75,000 and is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).    The Scheme has been such a success that a further £75,000 of matched funding has now been given by Essex Police. 

The motivating incentive at the heart of the scheme offers individuals and companies the chance to make donations which will be match funded by 50 per cent from the money channelled through ECF by Essex Police.  Individuals and companies who commit to donating £25,000 or more can have the opportunity to establish their own named endowed fund with ECF. 

Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Constable of Essex said: “The Essex Police Proceeds of Crime Match Funding Scheme is a highly innovative, if not unique approach, which means that money collected from criminals is being used to help increase charitable giving across the county.  As a result endowed funds are being established and grants are being made to voluntary organisations to help make our county safer. 

“This demonstrates the commitment of Essex Police to giving support to people and local charities in Essex who are working and making our county a better and safer place to live. 

“We are delighted to be working closely with such a highly respected organisation as ECF to make the scheme work and to ensure it has a lasting impact.  It is extremely satisfying to see that it is payback time for criminals and the money will be used for the benefit of local people.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF said: “We are very pleased to be working with Essex Police on this innovative scheme helping to convert the proceeds of crime into something positive.

“There are many organisations working to improve community safety and we know that even modest grants to them will make a big difference to people’s lives. 

“We would be delighted to talk to anyone who is interested in the matched funding which is available.  It is a great opportunity for people who want to give as, with gift aid, their donations will be almost doubled.”

For more information call Jo Murphy on 01245 355947.

Five fantastic organisations receive life-enhancing grants

16th January 2017

The first round of charitable grants to improve the health, well-being and life chances of local people in the Braintree District have been awarded – providing nearly £95,000 to five organisations which transform people’s lives through the work they do.

The Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was set up in 2008 by Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing.

The charitable fund provides voluntary and community organisations with the opportunity to apply for funding of up to £40,000 (distributed over a time period of up to three years) to support projects which help to either improve health and wellbeing, increase aspirations and opportunities of young people or develop skills through training. 

The first five groups to receive grants are:

1. Braintree Area Foodbank
£30,000 towards the running costs of providing food and support to those in crisis
2. Families InFocus (Essex)
£20,500 to enable support to families of children and young people with disabilities or special needs
3. Witham Town Luncheon Club
£13,000 to help support the three-day operation of the Witham Town Luncheon Club for older people
4. Home-Start Witham Braintree & Halstead
£16,970 to provide additional support to vulnerable families to address poor mental health
5. Relate North Essex & East Herts
£13,746 to provide a Conflict Resolution Programme.

Karen Dillane, from Witham Town Luncheon Club said, “Isolation can be a real problem for the elderly so we are thrilled to receive this funding boost because it means the club can continue to provide not only hot, nutritious meals three times a week but also a friendly place for pensioners to socialise.”

Pat Kent, the Family Support Adviser with Families InFocus for Braintree District said “Having children who have disabilities or special needs can put strain on a family. Support for the parents is important. Our Drop In sessions offer professional and peer support where knowledge can be shared, isolation can be reduced and parents are given ‘me time pampering’ with our alternative therapist enabling parents to relax and restore a sense of balance thus enhancing family life”.

Cllr Wendy Schmitt, Chair of the Fund Panel for the first year, is looking forward to seeing the groups benefit from the grants given:

“I’m really pleased with the range of organisations we’ve been able to help via this first round of funding from people in crisis, to families of children and young people with disabilities and families experiencing mental ill health. It shows that funds like this one really can help us to promote resilient communities and I’m hugely looking forward to seeing the impact of the funding on the projects and how it will help and support residents to live well in our district.”

The Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), which has a strong track record of managing funds and channelling grants to support voluntary and community activity in Essex. Since the fund was established more than £1million has been distributed to local voluntary and community organisations working to improve the lives of people in the Braintree District. 

Organisations in need of funding can contact the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 to discuss a potential application.

More photographs of some of the groups who have recieved funding can be viewed here

Championing Community Causes

12th January 2017

A high-profile champion of community causes, Jason Bartella, has become a vice-president of the leading independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Jason, who is managing director of the Heritage Leisure Group, has been a trustee with ECF for the maximum term of eight years and, as one of the organisation's most enthusiastic ambassadors, is delighted that he and his family will continue their connection with the organisation which has become an important part of their lives.

Giving something back to the community has become a real focus for Jason and his family because of their close involvement with ECF, which has enabled them to channel their charitable giving to local causes close to their hearts in Essex, with a particular focus on those in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas, where their businesses are based.

Over the past 13 years more than £200,000 has been given in grants from the Bartella Charitable Fund, which is managed by ECF and the fund will continue to give support to local charities and voluntary organisations, including those working with children and disadvantaged families.

Jason, his wife Lisa and their three daughters have been able to see at first hand the impact the Bartella Charitable Fund is making and their personal involvement with the charities they support has added an extra dimension to their lives.

Jason said: “It has been very rewarding, not only to see the good that the grants can do, but also to become involved as a trustee of ECF for the past eight years.  It's given me an insight I wouldn't have had otherwise.”

Lisa said: “I think it has changed us as a family and has given all of us greater involvement in the community and personal links to some of the charities we support.”

Jason and Lisa are especially pleased that their children have become interested in charity work. The girls have been along to cookery classes held by the Sisters who run The Melbourne Project, which helps disadvantaged families and volunteered to help the Sisters on Christmas Day.  The project has been given ongoing support from the Bartella Charitable Fund.

“It is good to see this has become part of our children's lives and, as the next generation, they can carry this ethos forward,” said Jason. 

Jonathan Minter, chairman of ECF said: “Jason was invited to become a trustee in 2008 and fully committed himself to the role. Over time he has become one of ECF's greatest supporters and ambassadors.   He has been passionate about his involvement with ECF as a trustee and through the Bartella Charitable Fund. 

“Jason will be greatly missed on ECF’s board, but we are delighted that he has agreed to become a vice-president.  I know that he will continue to be a wonderful ambassador for ECF and encourage others to get involved.”

Two new trustees, Russell Edey and Dr Tom Nutt have also been welcomed by ECF after being elected to the board at the foundation's recent AGM.

Southminster and Burnham residents invited to join Fund Panel

12th January 2017

People living in Southminster and Burnham-on-Crouch are being invited to join a Community Benefit Fund Panel which will make decisions on the distribution of a Community Benefit Fund linked to Turncole Wind Farm worth £35,000 per year.

The Community Benefit Fund will provide investment for local social, environmental and educational projects that will benefit people living and working near the wind farm. Further information on how groups can apply for funding will be available in the spring. 

Essex Community Foundation (ECF), an independent charitable trust, with over 20 years’ experience of managing local funding and grant programmes, will administer the fund.

Tracy Scott, RES’ Project Manager for Turncole Wind Farm, said: “The Community Benefit Fund was established to ensure that community-based projects close to the wind farm see a direct financial benefit. The funding is particularly relevant to projects which contribute to the wellbeing of the local area and we hope to see a diverse Fund Panel which will decide who receives grants.”
 
Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive at ECF, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Aviva Investors, owner of Turncole Wind Farm and Renewable Energy Systems as developer, constructor and asset manager to ensure that local voluntary and community organisations benefit from this charitable fund.

“We also look forward to hearing from residents who would like to become a panel member, drawing on their community knowledge so that funding can be channelled to where it is needed most.”

Local residents who are interested in joining the panel can contact ECF on 01245 356018 or e-mail grants@essexcf.org.uk. The deadline date for applications is 28 February.

Grants available for Essex charities

4th January 2017

Charities and voluntary organisations working in Essex are invited to apply for grants from two charitable funds set up by Essex County Council. 

Applications can be made now to the Essex Millennium Fund and the ECC Chairman’s Fund, which are managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) which distributes grants on behalf of donors who want their giving to remain local.

Cllr John Aldridge, Chairman of Essex County Council said, “I never cease to be amazed at the diversity of charitable activity that we have in Essex and the commitment and dedication of the people involved. 

These funds were set up to support voluntary and community organisations in the county and improve the quality of life of local people both now and in the future. If your organisation needs funding I would urge you to contact ECF to discuss an application.” 

The Funds have distributed nearly £1.1 million since being established.

Projects which have received support previously include a Youth Project on Canvey Island which offers guidance to young people experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties, an alcohol rehabilitation centre in Chelmsford that supports people in their early days of recovery and a telephone help-line in Uttlesford providing advice for parents with disabled children.

The Essex Millennium Fund awards grants to voluntary organisations in four priority areas: carers, community support, enhancing the environment and young people.

The ECC Chairman’s Fund, which was established in 2007, supports projects which enrich the lives of young people in their local communities through activities exploring arts, culture and heritage.

The deadline to make an application to either fund is Friday 3 February.

Funding advice for groups in Basildon and Brentwood

4th January 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation working in Basildon or Brentwood and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 18 January between 10am and 12 noon. 

The ECF grants team will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options.

Please call us on 01245 356018

Conversations will initially be allocated a 10 minute appointments.  If further information is required we will arrange a time to call you back. If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on.

We will return your call as soon as possible. 

Grants flow into local community

15th December 2016

Seven voluntary organisations will get an early Christmas gift as they receive news of a funding boost from the Essex & Suffolk Water Community Fund.

A charity founded and managed by women, working with ethnic minority women and their families is among the voluntary organisations to receive support.

In the latest round of allocations from the fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation, a total of £7,403 has been awarded to charities and voluntary organisations in Essex, Suffolk and East London.

One of the charities to receive support from the fund is the Somali Women’s Association, which provides free information, advice and support and user led wellness café for all women and their families from communities who live, work or study in the Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. Over the last 20 years more than 7,000 women have received support, help, training and advice from the Association.

Zahra Ibrahim from the Barking & Dagenham Somali Women’s Association said, “We have been given funding of £1,363, to purchase three PCs and software for an ICT hub within our Community Wellness Café supporting women in East London.
“This is a fantastic boost for our facility and will help us to help others make informed choices, maintain good health and achieve their potential, regardless of their health, education and social circumstance.”

The North East Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau which has been supporting the community in Lowestoft for the last 50 years has been awarded a grant of £1,395.

Janet John from North East Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau said, “We are very pleased and thankful for the contribution towards the development of a Training Suite and Financial Capability Training for volunteers at the Bureau.’’

Fresh Start New Beginnings which began in 2013 to provide a therapeutic service to child victims of sexual abuse, that is tailored to their unique individual needs, was awarded a grant of £1,000.

Diana Porter from Fresh Start said, “Our charity aims to help such children and young people overcome their trauma and confusion by helping them understand what has happened to them, giving them tools to overcome difficulties and teaching them to identify their strengths and potential.’’

The grant will help provide therapeutic items like new anatomical dolls, play sand, modelling clay, and other materials that are suitable for small children to express their feelings and to help them tell staff about their traumas during support sessions in Suffolk.

Other organisations to benefit from grants are:

• Hullbridge Senior Citizens Welfare Council - £500 towards work required to improve the water supply at a community centre
• 3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scout Group - £2,500 towards the purchase of a new sailing boat .
•Eye Opportunity Group - £245 towards summer holiday activities for  families with pre-school children who have additional needs
•Dial Lowestoft & Waveney - £400 to fund the equipment of a charity supporting disabled people in Lowestoft & Waveney

Essex & Suffolk Water established their Community Fund with Essex Community Foundation in 2003 to give support to a wide range of local projects and organisations now and in the future.

Grant applications are considered by an employee committee and projects given support must be related to either the environment, health and well-being or community support.

Sarah Pinkerton, Head of External Communications at Essex & Suffolk Water said, “Water is one of the most important commodities in our lives and we are very aware of the essential service we offer to our customers.

“Working and serving our communities on a daily basis, we strive to make a positive contribution and our long standing partnership with  Essex Community Foundation is one of the ways we endeavour to this. The grants are supporting seven amazing organisations in our region and I hope that this funding  will give them a real boost to help them continue their fantastic and much needed work.”

About Essex & Suffolk Water

Essex & Suffolk Water is part of Northumbrian Water Group (NWG). NWG contains Northumbrian Water, which serves 2.7 million people in the north with water and sewerage services, and Essex & Suffolk Water, which provides 1.8 million people in the south with water services.

NWG is the only water company in the world to be included in the World’s Most Ethical Company® list. It is also just one of four UK-based companies and 130 companies worldwide recognised in the 2016 list by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.

The company was also awarded its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2014 for sustainable development. The award is accredited for five years and highlighted the water company’s commitment to sustainable development through enlarging Abberton Reservoir to secure waters supplies for the future.

Surviving Winter Appeal

12th December 2016

There may not be snow on the ground, but the winter months, with shorter days and dark evenings can leave many elderly and vulnerable people, feeling lonely and isolated in their homes. 

Essex Community Foundation (ECF) is once again running its Surviving Winter Appeal to support voluntary and community organisations that help older and vulnerable people stay warm and well and feel less isolated during the winter months.

The appeal is part of a national campaign run by Community Foundations across the country each year. 

As the winter progresses and donations are received, grants will be distributed by ECF.  Voluntary organisations that support to vulnerable and elderly people are being invited to apply for funding to help them increase their services or continue providing support and activities during the winter months.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive said: “There may not be snow on the ground yet, but the winter months can leave many elderly and vulnerable people feeling lonely and isolated in their homes.

“It is at times like these that voluntary and community organisations really come into their own, providing vital help, support and social activities and a warm and welcoming environment, which ensures that elderly and vulnerable people keep warm and well during the winter months.”

ECF is an independent charity which promotes philanthropy and distributes grants from the funds it manages.  Since ECF launched its first Surviving Winter Appeal in the winter of 2010/11 almost £100,000 has been raised thanks to the generous support of local people and this money has been distributed locally to voluntary and community organisations.

As a result, more than 2,500 vulnerable and elderly people have been given the extra support they need to help see them through the winter.

The Surviving Winter Appeal began as a way for generous pensioners to donate their Winter Fuel payments to those in need.  It is now open to anyone who wants to help support elderly and vulnerable people during the winter.

To Give:

• Send a cheque to Essex Community Foundation, 121 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0QT

• Transfer via BACS - call 01245 355947 for details.

• Donate online, here

New Annual Review Available

12th December 2016

Our latest Annual Review, grant supplement and our Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 are now all available for you to view online.

To view the documents, please click here.

If you are inspired by what you have read and what Essex Community Foundation is doing in helping people who want to give locally and charities that are seeking funding, please tell others about us.

If you would like to receive a copy of these documents by post, please e-mail Kate Cornish at kate@essexcf.org.uk.

ECF Members elect new trustees

12th December 2016

We're delighted to welcome Russell Edey and Tom Nutt as two new trustees to the Foundation. Russell Edey and Tom Nutt were put forward for election by members to the Board and voted in at our 2016 AGM.

Please find more information below.


Mr Russell Edey

Russell Edey was raised and educated in South Africa.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

He worked in finance for Anglo America Corporation of South Africa in Johannesburg and Melbourne, Australia.  He then worked in Australia for a leading investment bank before joining N.M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd in London, where he became a Managing Director, Head of Corporate Finance, and finally non-executive Deputy Chairman. 

He has been a non-executive director of a number of quoted and unquoted companies including Paris Orleans S.A., AngloGold Ashanti (Chairman) and Old Mutual.  He has served on and chaired Audit and Remuneration Committees.

He is currently Chair of Avocet Mining Plc, and a non-executive director of BlackRock World Mining Trust and Genesis Emerging Markets Fund.

Russell has been a founding trustee of The British Lung Foundation, a trustee of The New Shakespeare Company and The Marks Hall Trust and on the Council of Anglia Polytechnic University.

He and his wife, Celia, have lived in Coggeshall, Essex since 1978.

 

Dr Tom Nutt

Tom Nutt is Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, an award-winning charity that seeks to improve NHS and social care services through undertaking research and public engagement around people’s experience of care.

Healthwatch Essex also provides an Information Service to help people access and understand the NHS and care services within the county.

Previously, Tom held a number of policy-related roles at Essex County Council, including Head of Voluntary Sector Relations. Prior to that, Tom was an academic historian based at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he lectured and published on aspects of British socio economic and demographic history, including the history of the family and the history of social welfare.

Applications invited for grants to help people get back to work

2nd December 2016

People who have mental health problems will have the chance to rebuild their lives and get back into employment thanks to grants given by the Coombewood Amenity Fund.

Voluntary and community organisations helping people who are recovering from mental health problems to find work in the South of Essex are being invited to apply to the fund which is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The Coombewood Amenity Fund supports organisations giving practical help to people who want to improve their chances of returning to work. Since it was established in 2003, 20 voluntary and community organisations have received grants with the amount awarded now totalling over £115,000.

Previous grants from the fund include the Growing Together project run by Trust Links. The organisation was awarded £6,000 towards the cost of employing a Training and Employment Support Worker to help adults with mental health problems.  This offered them a chance to work in the organisation’s Therapeutic Garden as a way of improving their health, confidence and social skills.

Brentwood Community Print have received a grant of £9,700 from the fund, allowing them to set up a peer mentoring project to help new people joining the community interest company to build up their confidence and skills. They work together to produce high quality print at competitive prices, providing a valuable service to the community as well as allowing people to move forward with their recovery. 

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF, said “This fund is a vital source for organisations who are helping those with mental health problems regain employment and we are delighted that it has already benefited so many people.

“We would like to hear from organisations working in Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend and Thurrock. Grants can be awarded to fund training, to improve educational skills and personal development, and to build confidence with the aim of helping people get back to work”.

To apply, click here. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2017. 

For any support with your application, please call the grants team on 01245 356018.

ECF appoints new Head of Programmes

2nd December 2016

Essex Community Foundation (ECF) has appointed Paul Hill as its new Head of Grants and Programmes.

ECF is a leading independent charitable trust which manages funds on behalf of a wide range of donors and distributes around £2.5 million in grants annually to Essex-based community and voluntary organisations. 

Paul’s new role will involve leading the Foundation’s grantmaking and programmes.  He will also be working with the public, private and voluntary sector to highlight the needs in Essex and increase ECF’s profile as one of the county’s leading independent funding organisations. 

Paul, who was previously Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, has been a champion of community-led services for many years. He has headed strategic collaborative forums and has recently steered the combination of seven charities in Essex.
Paul has also volunteered for a number of charities to improve the health, safety and welfare for Essex residents over the past 20 years.

He said, “I am thrilled to have joined Essex Community Foundation and look forward to working alongside the voluntary sector in Essex and helping the Foundation to develop its grantmaking and programmes work”.

ECF currently manages 133 named charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, companies and public agencies and has grown its endowment fund to £32 million.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive at ECF said, “I am delighted that Paul has joined the team.  His passion for Essex and its needs, his expertise and strategic skills make him the ideal person to lead on our grantmaking“.

If you would like to get in touch with Paul, please call 01245 356018 or email paul@essexcf.org.uk.

Funding Phone-In Surgery

2nd December 2016

Are you a voluntary or community organisation working in Harlow or Epping Forest and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 14 December between 10am and 12 noon

Please call us on 01245 356018.

Members of the ECF grants team, Fran and Jill, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options.

Conversations will initially be allocated a 10 minute appointments.  If further information is required we will arrange a time to call you back. If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on.   We will return your call as soon as possible. 

Modern-day philanthropy: Fiducia Guest Article

28th November 2016

ECF wrote a guest article for Fiducia and you can read a copy below:


Modern-day wealth distribution may seem a far cry from the philanthropy of the past, with the spotlight often put on extremely rich individuals able to give away millions to global causes, but in this contributed article, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) talks about philanthropy today in the region.

Philanthropy is alive and well and is making a major difference in local communities, thanks to the people who put the money they can afford to give to good work, through the network of Community Foundations right across the UK.

Essex Community Foundation (ECF) was established 20 years ago and is a shining example of how such an organisation can provide a sound base to make giving to causes locally a real pleasure.

ECF is an independent charitable trust dedicated to managing funds on behalf of families, individuals and companies who want to make a positive contribution in the places where they live and work and want the money they give to be visibly used in an effective and efficient way.

Grants are distributed by ECF to local charities and voluntary organisations in Essex, matching the interests and aims of the fund-holders who can see at first-hand how their money is making life better for people in need in their community.

A grand total of £32 million of endowed funds are now under ECF’s management, and in the last 20 years more than £28 million had been given in grants to a huge range of charities and organisations.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “As one of the UK’s leading accredited community foundations we have unique expertise and local knowledge to help individuals, families, companies and public agencies to channel their giving to where it is needed most and support the local causes and charities they care about.”

“People who want to be philanthropic can have the joy of giving, during their lifetime or though leaving a legacy, without the burden of setting up a charity themselves, or having the daunting task of trying to evaluate where their money will be used effectively and responsibly, in a tax-efficient way. Setting up a fund through ECF is very straightforward and our administration fees are kept at a very reasonable level. Anyone who does not want to set up a fund themselves can make donations through our general Acorn Fund which distributes grants as needs arise in Essex.”

She adds: “The feedback we receive makes it clear that giving locally makes people feel more involved. We want to help more donors make their giving more effective and for charity and community groups to have the support that ECF can give.”

Someone who has experienced the very positive benefits of establishing a family fund with ECF is Jason Bartella, managing director of the Heritage Leisure Group, a highly successful company which runs prestigious hotels including Pontlands Park in Chelmsford.

Jason, who lives in Essex with his wife Lisa and their children, is a 21st century philanthropist with a passion for supporting causes close to his heart, particularly those giving help to children and disadvantaged families.

The family’s fund has awarded more than £230,000 in grants to voluntary and community groups throughout Essex and their endowed fund with ECF has grown over time, with a current overall value of £330,000.

Jason openly acknowledges that he and his family are in a privileged position, but is emphatic that being able to give locally through the fund that his family established with ECF in 2003, is one of the most rewarding areas of his life.

He said: “From the start, we said that we wanted the money from our fund to be spent in the Chelmsford area, where our main businesses are based. But working with ECF has given us a wider view and we are now happy to go further afield if ECF presents us with a project which feels right.

“It is good to know that the money we give goes directly to the charities we want to support, with only a minimal amount taken for administration. The money in our fund can, through ECF’s pooled investment approach, achieve a much better return and the good it does will go on in perpetuity. Through ECF we can have a close connection to the organisations we support and can see the positive outcome of the money we give.”

To find out more about how you can establish a named family fund, click here or call Jo Murphy on 01245 355947 or e-mail jo@essexcf.org.uk.

Short-stay homeless shelter launches in Braintree

23rd November 2016

ECF volunteer Andrew attended the formal opening of Hope House Essex in Braintree. 

Hope House will provide temporary accommodation for homeless single adults and give them the opportunity of progress towards a more settled way of life.

The home anticipates accepting its first clients in three weeks and will provide rooms to four individuals at a time.  

ECF awarded £10,000 from the Diana Tinson Fund towards the cost of the property and look forward to seeing it thrive. You can find out more about them by visiting their website.

Other guests included the High Sheriff Lorna Rolfe and Cllr John Aldridge amongst a number of Hope House trustees and volunteers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out how you can give to local charitable causes, whatever your level of giving or area of interest, click here.