Essex Community Foundation

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Local Charities benefit from Council Funds

16th April 2015

Projects in Essex providing help to disadvantaged children, people with dementia, carers needing respite, people who are unemployed and children with disabilities are among those given much-needed funding in the latest round of grants from the Essex Millennium Fund and the Essex County Council’s Chairman’s Fund.

Grants totalling almost £73,000 were presented from the two funds to 26 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), give ongoing support for initiatives to enhance the lives of people living in Essex.

At the presentation event Cllr Norman Hume, Chairman of Essex County Council, paid tribute to the 10,000 voluntary organisations in Essex for the contribution they make in the county.

He told representatives of voluntary organisations attending the awards night:  “You deliver a huge amount of good work throughout Essex and without people like you Essex would not be the county that it is. The work that you do keeps us going.

“These are challenging times, but Essex County Council is still committed to supporting the voluntary sector, without which we would not achieve half of what we are able to do.

“I want to thank ECF for working with us to identify the organisations seeking support for their work which really meets the needs of people in the community.”

The Essex Millennium Fund was established as an endowed fund within Essex Community Foundation 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.
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.

Giving recognition to the impact of the funds Cllr Hume added : “It is very gratifying to know that since these two funds were established by the County Council, grants totalling over £1 million have been awarded to voluntary organisations working in all corners of Essex.  As these funds are endowed and managed by ECF, they will continue to give support to local groups in need, year on year.” 

Caroline Taylor, deputy chief executive of ECF said:  “A grant can be a lifeline for an organisation and we know that the voluntary sector needs substantial and prolonged investment in order to survive.  Grants that are accessible, flexible and independently managed are an essential part of the local funding mix for any community organisation

“Through the Millennium Fund and the Chairman’s Fund grants are awarded to benefit the people of Essex in perpetuity.“

The list of grants awarded from each Fund can be found here Essex Millennium Fund and Chairman's Fund.

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A Taste of Opportunity

14th April 2015

Enterprise, enthusiasm and education were on the menu when a group of youngsters took part in a special cookery workshop at The Pier restaurant in Harwich and found out how to turn food they had grown themselves into tasty fresh meals.

Staff at the restaurant gave up their time to pass on some of their skills to the youngsters and give them a taste of the working environment of a busy restaurant.

The workshop at The Pier, which is run by Milsom Hotels, was part of a successful project run by the Harwich-based charity Teen Talk, which runs a range of activities to help children and families.

During the session the youngsters were given hands-on experience of creating various dishes, including how to make bread, fresh tomato sauce and how to cook fresh fish.

They were also able to sample some recipes which had been made with fruit and vegetables they had grown in Teen Talk’s “edible garden,” an initiative made possible thanks to a grant from the Milsom Charitable Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Hayley Lovett from Teen Talk Harwich said: “We were able to redevelop the garden at Teen Talk to create the edible garden for the community and it now includes two large raised beds for growing fruit and vegetables.

“A team of young people and their families are responsible for maintaining the garden, choosing what they would like to grow, planning the garden, planting, growing and harvesting what is grown. The garden provides a year round activity for the community to be involved in and as the young people become more experienced in maintaining the garden, their confidence and self-esteem grows. It helps them develop skills and experience which will be very valuable in the future when they are seeking employment, such as the ability to work as part of a team, communication, problem solving and organisation skills.

“The project also links in to our cookery workshops where young people turn what they have grown in to healthy meals. We were delighted to be invited to The Pier for the special cookery workshop and it was very good of John Goff, who is head chef at the Pier, to give up his time for us. It was a great day and the youngsters learned such a lot.”

Paul Milsom, Managing Director of Milsom Hotels said: “We were very pleased to give the grant to Teen Talk to enable them to create their edible garden and as a follow on from this it was a pleasure to invite them to The Pier to give them the opportunity to find out how they can use the food they gave grown to make healthy and delicious meals.

“As a local company we support a number of charities, but we find it is particularly rewarding to have a charitable fund with ECF, through which we can give much needed support to some of the smaller, less well-known charities which make such a difference in their community.”

Paul and his wife Geraldine established their charitable fund with ECF in 2007 in memory of Paul’s father, Gerald. To date, the fund has awarded grants totalling £11,600 to support a wide range of charitable projects in the Colchester and Tendring areas including:

The Ark Family Resource Centre - £1,684 To help vulnerable parents and children in the Harwich area.
4th Dovercourt Sea Scouts Group – £1,300 To buy replacement climbing wall equipment
Essex Outward Bound Association - £1,200 for young carers to attend an outdoor activity centre.
The Frobisher School PTA - £600 to help establish and run an after-school cookery club for children attending a primary school in Jaywick.

High Sheriff of Essex 2015-2016

14th April 2015

Vincent Thompson was appointed the new High Sheriff of Essex following a formal installation ceremony held in Chelmsford on 13 April.   

He is the 835th person to be appointed to the role which has ancient origins but up-to-date aims.

Vincent, 64, who lives in Little Easton, has taken over from Nicholas Charrington DL, who has just completed his successful year of office.

Vincent who is a senior practitioner in corporate finance said: “It was a great honour to be nominated as High Sheriff and, being born and bred in the county and holding a great affection for the county in all its diversity, I was delighted to accept.

“I am particularly interested in the opportunity to work with the judiciary, the police, the emergency services and the many excellent organisations, funded and charitable, operating in the county for the greater good of the community.

“I am looking forward to working with these various organisations to help promote their work, recognise their many achievements and foster a collaborative environment to tackling our problem areas.

“I still have much to learn about Essex and that is something to which my wife, Diana, and I look forward greatly.  We would hope to make some small contribution to supporting the community and voluntary services in the excellent work that they do particularly in addressing the many needs of the disadvantaged.

“Being able to tap into the knowledge and expertise of Essex Community Foundation will be a great help in showing me where the needs lie in our large and diverse county.”

Vincent has a particular interest in the issues of the long term unemployed and the homeless derived from his work as a fund raiser for Anchor House, a home for the rehabilitation of the homeless in Canning Town.

During his year as High Sheriff, Vincent will follow in the footsteps of his predecessors by raising money for the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The High Sheriff’s Fund is used to support voluntary and community organisations working throughout Essex to help make their communities safe from crime and reduce the fear of crime. Since it came under ECF’s management in 1997 the High Sheriffs’ Fund has distributed 530 grants totalling £435,000 to voluntary and community organisations.

Vincent already has strong connections with the local community. He was born and bred in Margaretting and until recently was a Little Easton parish councillor.  He is a trustee of Brentwood Diocesan Cathedral and Choral Trust and the Gillow Trust which supports the Catholic Church in Stock.

During his year of office Vincent, will be supported in his role by his wife Diana. The couple have two children, Xanthe who has just started working and Anthony who is at university.

Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of ECF said: “We are very much looking forward to working with Vincent in his role as High Sheriff to help build on the support given to people in the county who are tackling important issues at a local level.”

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.

There have been High Sheriffs for at least 1,000 years. The original ‘Shire Reeves’ were Royal officials appointed to enforce the King’s interests in a County, in particular the collection of revenues and taxes, and the maintenance of law and order. High Sheriffs had extensive powers. They were in effect Judge, Justice of the Peace and Jury before the development of the Justices and Assizes system.

Today the High Sheriff is required to make a meaningful contribution to his or her county during their year of office.  The role involves giving active support to the Royal family, the judiciary, the police and other law-enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities and all recognised church and faith groups and includes supporting and promoting voluntary organisations within the county.