Fund launched to help communities tackle local issues

5th July 2021

Applications are now open for a community fund which tackles the big issues that matter to Braintree District residents.

Voluntary and community organisations are being invited to apply to the Braintree District and Eastlight Community Fund, run by Braintree District Council and Eastlight Community Homes.

For the first time, grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available for smaller scale grassroots organisations that make a big impact for people in the Braintree district. Larger awards of up to £40,000 over three years continue to be available.

A panel made up of Eastlight and Braintree District Council representatives especially want to hear about schemes which address the challenges which concern Braintree residents as we emerge from the pandemic.

Organisations that can apply for this funding include charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and other non-profit organisations.

Projects should either improve health and wellbeing, provide opportunities for young people or offer training to local people to improve their skills.

James Green, Eastlight’s Community Investment Director, said: “This fund is here to support brilliant projects that help local people with the issues they care deeply about.

“During the pandemic, we saw local community groups and smaller organisations offering a lifeline to people in Braintree district. The smaller grants we’re introducing could enable a range of organisations to continue their fantastic work.”

Last year, grants included £20,000 to Action for Family Carers to support young carers and £31,832 to Braintree, Halstead & Witham Citizens Advice to help disabled people.

Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities at Braintree District Council, said: “Braintree District Council are proud to continue partnering with Eastlight Community Homes for this fund which will make a real difference to our communities. The introduction of the smaller grants will hopefully encourage a wider range of groups to access vital funding to support those in need within our communities.”

The Fund is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), which has a strong track record of supporting community organisations to access the funding and support they need.

Andy Payne Worpole, Head of Programmes at ECF said: “This Fund is a great resource for charities and voluntary groups working in Braintree District to tap into.

“We know that a small amount of money can go a long way in helping to deliver local projects and activities and we urge organisations to contact us to discuss their ideas and funding needs.”

How to apply:

For more information on eligibility and to complete our online application form, please click here.

You are also encouraged to call the ECF grants team to discuss your idea and funding needs in advance of completing this. You can book a slot here.

The deadline to submit is 5pm on Friday 27 August.

Grant size Duration Application process Decision time frame
Small Grants £500 -£5k One year Please apply online using the ECF application form. You will have a decision by the end of September 2021. You will need to start spending your grant by November 2021.
Large Grants £10k -£40k


Min: £3,300

per year

Max: £13,300 per year

Up to three years


£40,000 over three years not £40,000 each year for three years.

As a large fund, we are using a two-stage process.   Please apply online using the ECF application form. If you are invited through to the second stage in September 2021, we will contact you with some additional questions.


Due to the two-stage application process we anticipate final panel decisions in December, and you will need to start spending your grant by January 2022.