Essex Community Foundation

News archive

High Sheriffs Shield Winner

20th March 2014

Jake Mabey of Essex Boys and Girls Clubs is this year's winner of the prestigous High Sheriffs' Shield which recognises the contribution of young people to community safety. Jake was unable to attend the awards ceremony but in the following video he talks about how the 'Respect' project helped him to turn his life around and lead him to become a mentor for other young people.

High Sheriff Rewards Local Charities

19th March 2014

Grants totalling £24,000 and certificates were presented at the Awards ceremony which was held at Anglia Ruskin University and was compered by BBC presenter, Etholle George.

Click here to see the photos from the evening or here to download a list of grants

The event was attended by over 200 invited guests including the Lord Lieutenant, the Chief Constable, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Mayors and Chairman from every District in the county as well as representatives from all aspects of community safety and the judiciary.

The High Sheriff, Mrs Julia Abel Smith who is the 833rd High Sheriff of Essex and sixth lady to take on the role, paid tribute to the people of Essex as she came to the end of her highly successful year of office, during which she completed hundreds of engagements across the county.

“It has been the most extraordinary privilege to be High Sheriff of Essex,” she said. “I have learnt so much and met such a wide range of impressive people.  The greatest thing about the role is being able to thank the unthanked, the people who are quietly working to such good effect in the community.

“I have been particularly impressed with the young people I have met and the contribution they are making all over the county.  I loved talking to them and finding out how passionate they are about what they are doing.  In the summer I opened the Hoody Festival in Harwich where I met a group, who showed that not all young people wearing hoodies are up to mischief.
“It has been a very busy year and I have seen such wonderful work across the county. When I started my year of office I said that I wanted to visit all 12 local districts and the two unitary authorities and I asked each area to show me something they were proud of and something that was a cause for concern. I also wanted to meet the community safety officers in each area.

“I was very grateful to Andrew Clarke from Essex Community Foundation for accompanying me on these visits. It was enormously helpful to have someone there who is so knowledgeable about voluntary organisations in Essex.

“The Community Foundation has been of such value to me during my year of office.  In my travels round Essex I realised that the role of High Sheriff is very well loved and although it is such an ancient role it is still very relevant today.”

During her year of office Julia raised money for the High Sheriffs’ Fund to support voluntary organisations which are working throughout Essex to make their communities safe from crime and the fear of crime.

Since it came under Essex Community Foundation’s management in 1997, the High Sheriff’s Fund has distributed 498 grants totalling over £410,000 to voluntary and community organisations which are all working hard to support local people and address crime related issues in their area.

Projects which have received support include women’s refuges, anti-social behaviour reduction initiatives, garden maintenance schemes for elderly residents to reduce incidence of burglary, neighbourhood watch schemes and activities for children and young people.

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of ECF said, “The High Sheriffs’ Fund is a valuable financial resource to the voluntary sector in Essex and ECF is delighted to manage the Fund and work with successive High Sheriffs, helping them to increase their understanding of issues which are being tackled at a local level.”

The annual deadline date for applications to the High Sheriffs’ Fund is 1 December.  To apply Click Here.

A sporting chance

18th March 2014

Talented young people who could reach the top, but are held back by lack of money, are being given the chance of a lifetime through a new fund set up by philanthropic couple Gerald and Annabel Malton.

Grants which will make it possible for young people aged up to 25 to achieve their ambitions in areas including sport, education and music are being made available through the fund that the couple have set up with Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Gerald and Annabel, who live in Little Waltham, decided to set up the fund with specific aims to help young people who are unable to fulfil their dreams due to a shortage of money.

Annabel said: “Both of us have a strong musical background and our daughter used to be involved in athletics at quite a high level.  We realised that there are many young people in both of these areas who have great potential, but can’t move forward or compete with others because of what can be relatively small sums of money for such things as travel and equipment.

“We had got to the stage in our life when our two children were both at university and we were in a position financially to do something. The question was how to find a vehicle to do this in the most efficient way, without having to set up and run a trust ourselves.

“Gerald did some research and found out about ECF which has the infrastructure to get the money out there to people who need it. We are both very much involved in the community and wanted the fund to benefit people in Essex.”

The couple were married in 1987 and have lived in the county for all of their married life. Their strong wish to help the community comes from their own background. Gerald, who works in the residential development industry, was born in Grays. He moved with his parents to Shenfield and later attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford. He and Annabel first met at university, after which Gerald returned to live in Essex.

Annabel came to Essex to take up her first teaching post in Southend following post-graduate teacher training in London. She later taught at Boreham Primary School and at a pre-school group in Great Baddow.

Both Annabel and Gerald are keen amateur musicians, singing in a number of choirs. They are both involved in two mid-Essex choirs; Annabel is currently chairman of the Stondon Singers and Gerald is current chairman of the Waltham Singers.

Annabel said: “Young people do need someone to believe in them and we hope that the grants from our fund will help give them the incentive to reach their potential."

£2,000 grant gets Oliver one step closer to his dream

A 15-year-old triathlete, Oliver Swallow from Halstead, was the first to receive a grant from the Annabel and Gerald Malton Charitable Fund.

He is pursuing his dream of reaching the elite level of his sport and a £2,000 grant has enabled him to buy equipment for his specialist bike.

Oliver had to have financial backing to help achieve his ambition of joining Great Britain’s Elite Triathletes, so he made an application to ECF for funding.   His need was perfectly matched by resources from the fund established by Annabel and Gerald.

Oliver has been competing as a triathlete since the age of nine. The support of his parents, practically, emotionally and financially, has enabled him to compete nationally and internationally, with the aim of qualifying for the Olympic Games in 2020.

Now, thanks to the grant from the Annabel and Gerald Malton Charitable Fund, Oliver can make more progress towards his dream becoming a reality.

Leaving a Legacy

17th March 2014

Jean Davey (nee Usher) was born at Great Bradfords Farm in Braintree in 1927.  She spent many of her childhood years there and, later in life, returned to the farmhouse to share it with her husband Peter.

Jean’s parents were dairy farmers and in 1948 went in to business with the Magnus family from Chelmsford to set up the dairy company Magnus & Usher Limited.  Jean worked for the company from the 50s until the business was sold to Dairy Crest in the late 1980.  She also worked with her husband running the Braintree division of the business known as Usher & Sons Limited.

Jean met her husband Peter while working at Courtaulds in Bocking and took over the running of the family business when her parents retired.  Jean and Peter were excellent ballroom dancers and ran dance classes for the milkmen they employed in the small social club that belonged to the business.  Sadly Jean’s dancing was curtailed by the onset of multiple sclerosis whilst she was in her 20s and she lived with the illness for over 50 years.  One of Jean’s other passions was her dogs and Jean and Peter made loving homes for many different dogs during their married life.

Jean and Peter had a bungalow built in the gardens of Great Bradfords Farm and made that their permanent home.  Sadly Peter was by this time in poor health and died very soon afterwards.  Jean lived in the bungalow until her death in November 2012.

Following the building of the bungalow, Jean and Peter decided that they wished to gift the old farmhouse and adjoining land to Abbeyfields for a Sheltered housing complex.  After extensive refurbishment and building work, this was opened in 2007 and now provides 34 units of assisted sheltered housing.  This was one of the many generous bequests made by Jean and Peter during their lifetime.

Jean and Peter were a very devoted couple and despite being very private, they were extremely generous to family, friends and both local and national charities. When Jean sadly passed away in 2012 she kindly divided her residual estate between 12 different charities.  Most were national organisations, but she was also interested in supporting local charities and by leaving a bequest to ECF, voluntary and community organisations in Essex will continue to receive support in her name, in perpetutity.

The Fund also benefited from matched funding from the Government’s Community First programme which enhanced the value of the Fund by 50%. ECF makes it easier for you to leave a legacy to your local community.

Birketts Solicitors endorse ECF

ECF Fundholder Birketts Solicitors has highlighted the importance of leaving a will and the tax incentives you will receive when leaving a legacy in their recent newsletter.