Helping people to navigate their futures

14th April 2021

Three Colchester-based charities that are helping people to navigate life’s challenges and open new horizons have received vital funding from the Mersea Homes Charitable Fund.

The organisations receiving support in this latest round of grants are Beacon House Ministries, Pioneer Sailing Trust and the 9th Colchester Scout Group.

The Mersea Homes Charitable Fund was set up by the property development firm in 2010 and is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Grants are awarded annually to support a wide range of projects and to date local charities and voluntary groups have benefitted from support totalling nearly £45,000.

Stuart Cock, managing director of Mersea Homes, said: “Being a local family run business we are committed to supporting charities and community projects close to home.

“Housing is our business, and we are committed to building quality homes that we are proud of and that people love to live in.  Helping those who, for many reasons, find themselves without somewhere to live and want to rebuild their lives, is something we are pleased to support.”

Steve Brown is CEO of Beacon House Ministries who are receiving £4,000.  He said, “Thanks to support from local companies like Mersea Homes who are working with ECF, we are able to find out the root cause of individual situations.  Helping people to open up about their feelings is key to us providing the right services to help them break the cycle of homelessness and rebuild their lives.”

Stuart continued, “Living on Mersea Island, where a lot of community life is centered around sailing, we see first-hand the positive impact and benefits that water-based activities can have on lives, especially in young people.

“We are pleased to support two local charities that are using sailing as a way to break down barriers and increase their skills.

“The 9th Colchester Scout Group is receiving £1,904 to provide sailing opportunities for their members that will encourage them to challenge themselves, build their confidence and use the outdoors to improve their wellbeing.

“A further grant is given to The Pioneer Sailing Trust, based in Brightlingsea.  They are receiving £1,893 to provide organised days on board the Pioneer sailing vessel for families from Colchester and Tendring districts, accompanied by their social worker.

Felicity Lees, from Pioneer Sailing Trust, said: “We are so grateful for this funding as it will enable us to take more families out this year.  Being on the sailing vessel allows social workers time to interact with the families they are helping, build trust, encourage them to talk about their problems and work out what longer-term support they might need.   It is wonderful that our sailing vessel Pioneer can be used for such positive work.”

Stuart added, “We are very pleased to be working so effectively with the team at ECF.  Establishing and growing a long-term charitable fund with them fitted with our ethos of building lasting communities.  It also means that each year, and forever, we will give support to causes we see as a priority and those that are making such a difference to people’s lives in the area where we work.”

To apply for funding, click here.

To read how you can support your local community, click here.