Essex Community Foundation

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Grants for Growth

10th September 2015

The Thriving Third Sector Fund and the Community Resilience Fund both distribute resources to charities and voluntary organisations in Essex and applications are being invited for the next round of grant making.

The funds complement each other as both aim to strengthen the community in Essex. Proposals setting out new ways of working, such as partnerships and secondments, as well as developing skills in strategic thinking, negotiation, business development or marketing are welcomed by the Thriving Third Sector Fund.

The endowed fund was established with ECF by Essex County Council in 2009 with a gift of £2 million to provide a sustainable source of funding for voluntary and community organisations in Essex. Now well established, the fund gives organisations support to build their capacity and increase the services they offer to local people in need.

Caroline Taylor, deputy chief executive of ECF said: “Through the Thriving Third Sector Fund voluntary and community organisations have an exciting opportunity to address the barriers and issues that hold back their development.

“The programme offers high value grants over a number of years, giving the organisations the opportunity to develop and implement changes over a period of time, whilst having financial security.”

A panel of chief executives from the voluntary sector meet regularly to identify priorities for funding and consider applications for grants. The Hythe Community Centre Association in Colchester, Crossroads Care Uttlesford and 2nd Witham Boys’ Brigade are among the organisations to have received grants from the fund. They were all able to show how funding would not only help their organisation, but would also benefit the wider charitable sector in Essex.

The Community Resilience Fund, managed by ECF, is a partnership between public agencies including Essex County Council, The Police and Crime Commissioner of Essex, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and local district authorities.

It is designed to grow year on year to provide an annual grants programme to support voluntary organisations and projects aimed at stimulating and strengthening community-led activities across Essex so that people can help themselves and each other.

Southend Vineyard are involved in community work on the Queensway Estate in Southend, an area of high deprivation and the One Community Development Trust in Thurrock, which helps people who are out of work to move towards employment, are examples of organisations given grants by the Community Resilience Fund.

The funding means that Southend Vineyard can employ a community organiser to develop projects aimed at giving support to people on the Queensway Estate to come out of crisis and achieve a more independent and stable way of life.

The grant given to the One Community Development Trust in Thurrock is enabling the organisation to run a Step to Success programme to give support to unemployed people in the area.

Caroline Taylor said: “The two funds are a great resource for the voluntary sector in Essex as they give organisations the opportunity to explore ideas and solutions to strengthen their communities.”

If you would like to apply to either fund please click here for further information.