An evening at Layer Marney Tower

16th May 2022

We brought together over 100 of our fundholders and supporters at Layer Marney Tower to share an update of our work and discuss local issues that communities are facing across Essex.

It was great to be back together again, and we are so grateful to Nick and Sheila Charrington for letting us use their beautiful venue.

During the event, we highlighted two organisations where “caring” is at the heart of everything they do. They shared the challenges they face, the joy they bring to their beneficiaries and touched on how the financial support from ECF has helped to further their work. These were:

Abberton Rural Training (ART)

ART provides education and training in a wide range of Land Based Studies, including Horticulture, Woodlands, Conservation and Construction.

Getting outdoors to learn something new boosts the mental health of their beneficiaries and gives them practical skills to help them find employment. Their beneficiaries include those suffering with mental ill-health, injured service personnel and people with special educational needs. They also help people to write CVs, practice interview skills and find jobs to apply to.

We supported ART with a grant of £35,200 to help cover the running costs of their work in the Braintree District over the next two years, helping people who are unemployed or having mental health problems.

Candles – North Essex Down Syndrome Support Group (pictured)

Parents who have a child with Down Syndrome came together to set up this community group, which provides valuable support and activities for families in the same situation to enjoy together.

Sessions include dance classes, football, cycling clubs and specialist sessions such as Makaton & Speech Language Classes to improve communication. Having started in Colchester, the group has grown and now provides support to families in and around Tendring, Maldon, Braintree and Babergh.

We awarded Candles a grant of £3,841to support their running costs and expand their offering for local families.