Essex Community Foundation

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Tributes paid to ECF Founder

23rd January 2018

Pioneering philanthropist, Ian Marks, who founded the leading independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), has died peacefully at his home in Margaretting, aged 85.

Tributes have been paid to Ian as a man of vision and determination who changed the landscape of local charitable giving by setting up ECF in 1996.

It was one of the first organisations of its kind in the UK and its aim was to improve the lives of people in Essex by giving support to voluntary groups and charities working at a grassroots level to help those most in need in the county.

Ian Marks CBE DL, inspired many people with his ambition to create a permanent financial resource for the voluntary sector in his home county and, even as ECF went from strength to strength, his mantra was unwavering, “There is still so much more to do.”

He was born in South Woodford and apart from his national service, worked and lived in Essex for all his life.

After graduating from Cambridge, he joined the family confectionery firm, Trebor, which relocated from Ilford to Colchester in 1979.  He rose to become its managing director and then, in 1980, its chairman. He was made a CBE in 1993 for services to the food industry.

In 1989 Trebor was sold to Cadbury and Ian went on to devote his life to philanthropy.

Ian’s wife Angela, who shared his vision of galvanising the community to tackle social issues affecting Essex, was unstinting in her support and helped make his philanthropic ambitions become a reality.

When he stepped down as chairman of ECF in 2003, Ian took on the role of president, in recognition of his achievements in establishing such an important resource for the people of Essex.

Since it was founded 21 years ago, ECF has awarded more than £31 million in grants from the charitable funds that it manages on behalf of individuals, families, companies and public agencies who want to make a difference in their local community.

Ian was a modest man who strongly believed that the success of ECF was not down to him alone.  It was thanks to those who believed in his vision and everyone involved over the past 21 years; trustees, vice presidents, staff, volunteers, donors and voluntary groups, all working together for the good of Essex.











(L to R: Lord Petre, Jennifer Tolhurst: the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Ian Marks CBE DL, Caroline Taylor chief executive of ECF and ECF's chairman Jonathan Minter DL)

ECF's chairman Jonathan Minter said: “Ian was a philanthropist who was passionate about helping to improve the lives of others less fortunate. His efforts to establish ECF led to the development of one of the leading charitable organisations in Essex.  He was our greatest champion and we will forever be grateful for his foresight and generosity and his enthusiasm for our work, which will continue to drive and inspire us to do more.”

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “Essex Community Foundation and Ian Marks will always be inextricably linked.  His vision and wise words of inspiration will live on through the continuing work of the Foundation and the charitable fund that we manage in Ian and Angela’s name.”

Lord Petre, a founding trustee of ECF and who was appointed as the foundation’s president last year, said: “Without Ian there would not be a Community Foundation in Essex. Initially, people were sceptical about the idea, but Ian’s faith and quiet persistence to engage others and gain their support, was unwavering.  Since then, many thousands of people living in communities across Essex have benefited from his vision and inspirational leadership.”

Jennifer Tolhurst, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex and Patron of ECF said, “Ian was a true Essex man and had a passion for this wonderful and diverse county.  He managed the family business was a champion for the voluntary sector and local community projects.  His charitable work extended outside of Essex, across the UK and the world.  He was a valued Deputy Lieutenant and will be greatly missed by all who had the good fortune to know him”.

Laura Warren, ECF's first chief executive, who worked with Ian Marks to set up the foundation said: “Ian started it all. Without his belief, that it is local people who have the power to bring change to their own communities, Essex would not have what it has now, a Community Foundation with funds now totalling £40 million, to support local causes in perpetuity. It was my good fortune to be appointed by Ian to spend 15 years as ECF’s founding CEO; he was an inspirational leader - visionary, demanding, enthusiastic, fun, and the most supportive Chairman one could have wanted.  He was a very special man.” 

Phone-In Funding Surgery Southend: 14 February

17th January 2018

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in Southend-on-Sea 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 a grant.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 14 February between 10am to 12 noon.

ECF grant officers, will be on hand to discuss your funding options. Please call them on 01245 356018.  There is no need to book a slot in advance.

Conversations will initially be allocated a 10 minute appointment.  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.

Grants available for Essex charities

12th January 2018

Voluntary and community organisations in Essex are invited to apply for grants from two charitable funds set up by Essex County Council.

Applications can now be made to the Essex Millennium Fund and the Essex County Council Chairman’s Fund, which are managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The Essex Millennium Fund was established as an endowed fund by members of Essex County Council to celebrate the Millennium. The funding from this is dedicated to four priority areas: carers, community support, enhancing the environment and young people.

Among the charities to receive a grant from this Fund last year, was Supporting Carers and Families Together. The Rochford based organisation was awarded £2,750 towards the annual salary of a Service Delivery Manager to work with young and adult carers.

Andy Trewern, who works for the charity, said “We have seen a surge in demand for our services over the last two years and this funding has helped us to continue supporting local carers, increase their confidence and make sure no-one feels like they are alone.”

The ECC Chairman’s Fund was established in 2007 to provide support to community groups working to enrich the lives of local people through activities exploring culture and heritage.

Clacton Victoria County History Group were awarded a grant of £3,000 from the Chairman's Fund towards their WWII history project. Roger Kennell, Chairman, said: “There are not many sources for young people, and those of all ages, to learn about the important role the volunteer soldiers of the Home Guard played in the War. This grant will help us to record this information and the defence sites they manned to make create a lasting source for local people".

The deadline to make an application to either of these Funds is Friday 26 January. To apply, please complete our General Application form, which can be accessed here

All community organisations and charities that are successful in their application will be invited to attend an Awards ceremony in April 2018.

If you have any questions, or are unsure if you should apply, please call the ECF team on 01245 356018.