Essex Community Foundation

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Life-changing fund re-opens for applications

10th August 2018

A charitable fund that has already channelled £215,000 into the Braintree District is calling on community organisations to apply for grants in the latest round.

The Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund, set up by Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing in 2016, provides local voluntary organisations and charities with the opportunity to apply for funding.

Grants are available to support organisations working in the Braintree District that either help to improve health and well-being, increase aspirations and opportunities, or develop skills through training.

The 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 community activity in Essex.

Last year Braintree Foyer, which provides accommodation to people aged 18-35 who are either experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, received a grant of £33,986 to help them employ a Support Manager.

Mark Watson, Projects Manager of Braintree Foyer, said: “Last year we supported 61 people, providing them with a safe place to live whilst they re-built their lives. Most of our residents come from chaotic backgrounds, many having suffered abuse, family breakdown or substance misuse. Before they come to us they may have also been sleeping on the street or sofa surfing at friends’ houses.

“As well as providing accommodation, we have also developed Braintree Discovery College to create learning opportunities for local people. We have an onsite gym and also run a music programme. All our work aims to help our young people develop a positive outlook, which is vital if they are to move on with their lives.

A panel made up of representatives from Braintree District Council and Greenfields review and agree all applications to the Fund annually. Other organisations to benefit from grants in previous years include Braintree Area Foodbank and Action for Family Carers.

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, Deputy Leader Braintree District Council, said: “As a council we are proud to be part of this fund which is making a real difference to the community. I would encourage local voluntary organisations across the Braintree District to make the most of this opportunity and apply for funding.”

Sandra Crosby, Greenfields’ Housing Director, urges local community organisations to apply for a grant: “We want to improve the lives of people living in the District in any way we can. We know that there are projects out there doing wonderful work, and we want to support and help them to grow.”

How to apply

Please note: this Fund can award grants for over £10,000 but under £40,000. This Fund can support your project for up to 3 years (i.e. £40,000 over 3 years not £40,000 each year for 3 years). To read the full guidelines, click here.

We strongly encourage you to speak with us ahead of applying. We are holding a Phone-In Funding Surgery on Thursday 12 July 10am to 12 noon to speak with potential applicants. Please call us, on the day, on 01245 356018.

The deadline is Friday 31st of August.

Funding available for Harlow community projects

10th August 2018

Harlow has been buzzing with activity over the past year, as local organisations and community groups reaped the benefit of grants awarded from two trusts dedicated to making the town a better place.

The Harlow Recreation Trust and the Harlow Education Trust, both run by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF), have distributed grants totalling almost £50,000 over the past 12 months.

Now a call is going out in Harlow for more organisations to apply for funding in the latest round of grants from the two trusts.  ECF assesses all the applications and then works with a panel of local people to consider and make decisions.  Where there is a greater number of applications than funds available, it is possible that ECF may be able to offer grants from other funds under its management.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “We know that the grants already awarded from these two trusts have made a great difference to community life in Harlow and now there is the opportunity for more voluntary organisations and local groups to benefit from the funds available.

“The Harlow Recreation Trust awards grants to support the development of recreational skills, knowledge and talent for the benefit of people living in Harlow. Funding will generally be for one year, but for exceptional projects the panel may consider awarding funds for more than one year.

“The Harlow Education Trust gives grants to support the development of skills, knowledge and talent of young people living in Harlow.”

Local organisations that have previously benefited from grants awarded from the two trusts include, the Livewire Trust, which received more than £8,000 from the Harlow Recreation Trust to expand free drama workshops for young people in Harlow.

Sam Ashford, from Livewire, said: “We believe that the arts should be available to everyone, as it is a fantastic way to build confidence, make friends, be creative, explore important issues and make our community a better place to live. We are delighted to be reaching out to more young people with a new programme of workshops, thanks to Essex Community Foundation and The Harlow Recreation Trust.”

Rainbow Services was awarded more than £5,000 from the Harlow Education Trust to extend a recycling workshop for youngsters in Harlow, aged 14 to 16, who are at risk of exclusion from school.

Action for Family Carers received £6,000 from the Harlow Recreation Trust to support a club for young carers in Harlow and Harlow Arts Council was awarded £1,500 towards the cost of The Art of the Garden Party Arts Festival this summer.

Harlow Steel Band was also given £3,000 to help with the cost of taking their music out into the community, performing for charities and organisations in the area.

Mandi Henderson, Treasurer for the Band said: “We were keen to have the opportunity to perform for charities and institutions at no cost to them. This brings the enjoyment of our music to those who might otherwise not be able to have access to it and enables our existing young band members to make a significant contribution to their community.

“It will also help us to recruit more young people who can become involved and benefit from the many positive things the band has to offer.”

ECF is now inviting applications for grants from the Harlow Education Trust and the Harlow Recreation Trust. The deadline date for sending in applications is 14 September. 

If you would like to discuss an application in advance of applying, call the ECF grants team now on 01245 356018.