Essex Community Foundation

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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