Essex Community Foundation

News archive

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.