Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Essex Treasure Hunt supports ECF

30th September 2014

Around 160 metal detectorists from across the UK and abroad descended on Rivers Hall farm in Boxted, the home of ECF Chairman, Jonathan Minter DL, for a special four day event to look for treasure.

Monies raised from entry fees paid by detectorists, a raffle and grand draw, totalled around £5,000 and this was donated to ECF’s Acorn Fund to benefit local charities.

The event was organised by Kim Clarke, 55, from Great Yeldham.   Kim has been involved in metal detecting for 18 years.  He said: “Essex is a very good area for metal detecting. The land is so fertile it has been inhabited and worked through many different eras, including the iron and bronze ages, Roman times and the Saxon and Medieval periods.”

Over the four days, detectorists found a variety of items including gold coins, three Celtic staters – an early form of currency (pictured) – a Chinese coin and a Charles I rose shilling.  Other finds included two bronze-age sword tips, musket balls and belt clips.

Jonathan Minter said “I was pleased to host the event.  It was extremely well organised and there was a real buzz in the air as people were digging up such interesting items.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating event.”

Jo Murphy, Head of Communications at ECF said, “We are grateful to everyone who attended the rally which raised money for the Foundation.  It was wonderful to see so many people with detectors bringing the history of Essex to life through their amazing finds.  It is quite a moving experience to hold a Roman artefact, a coin which is 1000 years old or a bronze-age item which has lain undiscovered for centuries.”

All of the detectorists who attend Kim’s events are bound by the Treasure Act of 1996 and abide by the code of practice for metal detectorists.  They are all affiliated members of the National Council of Metal Detectorists or are a Member of the Federation of Independent Detectorists.  All ancient finds over 300 years old are recorded and put on a database with the local Finds Liaison Officer from the Colchester Museum.  The Officer operates under the portable antiquity scheme which ensures that all treasure finds are recorded and preserved for the benefit of the Nation.

To view photos of the event click here.

New Sensory Room is Opened

28th September 2014

Residents, their relatives and members of staff at a small care home in Chelmsford have celebrated a huge achievement, with the opening of a new sensory and activity room.

The project was made possible by Vibrance, a care home in Corporate Road for adults with learning disabilities thanks to support from the families of residents living there. 

Businessman, Keith Taylor, whose sister Lyndy is a resident at the home, was one of the main supporters of the project.  Keith and his wife Margaret, who live in Little Baddow, established The Taylor Family Fund in 2005 with independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). 

A grant from the fund, along with support from family, friends and business contacts, helped the project to become a reality. It has been built in the grounds of the care home and was given a joyous welcome at its official opening.

“Through my company I have been involved in repair work for the insurance industry and one of our jobs was the re-building of a sensory room at a care home in Colchester. This made me think that a sensory and activity room was just what was needed at Corporation Road,” said Keith.

He discussed the idea with Tricia McDonagh, manager at the home and the project started, with the support of ECF.  Keith researched, co-ordinated and supervised the building work for the special room, as well as giving money for the project through the ECF fund. He even created and donated some tactile paintings of butterflies for the enjoyment of one resident who is blind.

Enthusiastic backing for the sensory and activity room came from Keith’s family, friends and business contacts in the construction trade and other supporters associated with the home. Tricia made a successful application to the Vibrance Fundraising Planning Group for £1,000 for equipment and finishing touches for the project.

Keith said: “ECF’s help has been magnificent right from the start and I am so pleased with how the room has turned out. It is accessible and suitable for all the residents and is fully insulated so it can be used throughout the year, not just during the summer.”

Tricia said: “The room is a fantastic asset and all the residents have already used it and absolutely love it.  It will be used for a wide range of activities, from quiet one-to-one support sessions to film shows. It provides a stimulating environment, personal space and an area of relaxation.

We are so grateful to Keith, ECF and for all the support we have been given.”

Keith is pictured at the opening of the sensory room with his wife Margaret, sister Lyndy who is a resident at the home and two of his grandchildren, Angus and Polly.

Essex Dog Day

27th September 2014

This year's Essex Dog Day was held on 24 August at Crix in Hatfield Peveral. The day was a huge success with thousands of visitors and their well behaved pets taking advantage of the fantastic weather and the huge variety of events, stalls and displays on offer. A new world record was also set for the most dogs wearing bandanas!

The dedicated committee that organises the event has chosen to donate the proceeds to Essex Community Foundation so that they can be awarded to a diverse range of Essex based charities and voluntary groups. We are delighted to be working with them and will be distributing the monies over the coming months.

Click here to apply for a grant

Click here to see the photos of the day.

Funds available to strengthen communities

23rd September 2014

Multi-year funding is available for Essex charities to help them develop innovative projects which will contribute to a thriving third sector and make Essex a more resilient County.

The Thriving Third Sector Fund and Community Reslience Fund are strategic programmes.  Grants from these funds are not for core costs, but are an opportunity for voluntary organisations to develop new ways of working, helping them to build partnerships, share knowledge and resources.

Initially, all we need is an expression of interest.  Click here for more information about the Funds, examples of previous grants and guidelines on how to apply.

If you would like to discuss your proposal in advance of submission please call the Grants Team on 01245 356018.