Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Improving Health and Wellbeing of Local People

19th May 2015

Voluntary and community groups in Essex who need a funding boost for health-related projects are being offered thousands of pounds in the latest round of grants from the Provide Foundation.

The money is being given by the Provide Foundation, which was established with the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) by Provide.

Provide is a Community Interest Company responsible for a broad range of community health services in Essex and as a not-for-profit organisation it re-invests any surpluses back into the communities that it serves.

The aim of the grants programme is to help people to have better access to community health services by supporting voluntary and community organisations working in Essex (excluding Southend, Thurrock, Colchester and Tendring).

Applications are now being invited for grants of £5,000 and those applying will have the chance of being selected for an allocation of £20,000 for a special project which complements the work of Provide and can prove how it will reduce the pressure on health services.

John Niland, chief executive of Provide said: “Our partnership with Essex Community Foundation means that we can effectively invest funds into voluntary and community organisations whose work complements our own.

“There are many community schemes and projects making great strides to improve the health and wellbeing of local people and, through the grants from the Provide Foundation, we can help them continue and expand their work.”

Caroline Taylor, deputy chief executive of ECF said: “This is a great opportunity for local communities to receive funding for their health-related work.  Provide is an excellent organisation to work with, they are creative, innovative and their enthusiastic and well informed staff are fully involved in how to allocate the grants through ECF.”

The closing date for applications is 8 July. Please apply or contact the Grants Team if you would like to discuss your application on 01245 356018.  Decisions will be made in September.

Pooled Funds give boost to children’s club

16th May 2015

A Saturday Activity Club in Chelmsford is the highlight of the week for children with special needs and disabilities and it is flourishing thanks to the support it receives.

The club is run by the charity Families InFocus (Essex) which has had financial support from the Baker Tilly Community Fund and other funds managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Rachel Ellis, chief executive of Families InFocus said:  “The club provides a range of play activities and is set in a nice, secure and friendly environment for the children.  It is also somewhere that parents, friends, family and carers can come and either relax, talk to other parents or take part in activities with the children.

“We are very appreciative of the grants we have received through Essex Community Foundation which have meant that we are able to make our services available to families across Essex.  Funding from ECF has also has been pivotal in our ability to bring in other funds.  This has helped us develop our services, improve our infrastructure and give flexibility of access“.

A grant of £1,149 was given to the charity by ECF from the Baker Tilly Community Fund and grants from other funds managed by ECF were added to this.  The successful pooling of resources meant that Families InFocus received a total of £5,724.

Baker Tilly is the 7th largest accountancy and business advisory firm in the UK based throughout the UK.  Several Baker Tilly offices around the country, including Chelmsford, have established funds with their local community foundations. 

Staff are involved in fundraising and in deciding on where the money should be allocated, with the aim of having a lasting effect in the community and supporting some of the smaller, less well known charities.

Richard White, Managing Partner of Baker Tilly in Chelmsford said: “ Great credit must go to the staff who have raised the money to support such a fantastic charity.”

Families InFocus (Essex) is a leading independent charity providing essential support for families who have children with disabilities and special needs.  They received their first grant from Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in 2001 and this funding enabled them to expand their unique services across the county.  The charity is based in Chelmsford, but covers the Essex area and currently gives vital help to more than 800 different families each year. 

As well as the Saturday club, services provided by Families InFocus (Essex) include a specialist one-stop advice service and helpline, one-to-one support including help with claiming disability allowances, independent support for parents on educational issues, drop-ins, workshops, social and training events and opportunities for respite.

Maypole House Charitable Fund awards first grants

15th May 2015

Young people with disabilities will be able to enjoy a holiday break and people with mental health difficulties will be given more support thanks to the first grants from a new fund established with the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The grants have been awarded from The Maypole House Charitable Fund which has been set up with ECF to support the provision of respite services for children and adults with disabilities and their families and carers.

A total of £2,440 has been given to Accuro Care Services towards the cost of a holiday for disabled young people from the Saffron Walden area.  It will be the first time since 2010 that the organisation has been able to offer such a holiday. The youngsters will be able to enjoy a weekend away in a safe environment accompanied by caring staff and volunteers. This will also give the families of the young people a respite break.

In addition, a grant of £4,000 has been awarded to the Essex Respite and Care Association to help towards the cost of recruiting more staff and training new support workers. The grant will also help towards the generation of publicity for the organisation to spread the word about their work in providing care and respite for people with a mental health diagnosis and their carers across mid and west Essex.

The Maypole House Charitable Fund was set up with ECF following the transfer of money raised in the Saffron Walden area by an organisation called RESCU.

The initial aim of RESCU’s fundraising was to build a respite care centre, which would have been called Maypole House. But when it was realised that this could not be achieved RESCU took the decision to close the charity and put the money to use in a way that would honour their original objectives and build on all they had achieved.

Jill Elms from RESCU said: “We are very pleased that we have been able to establish the Maypole House Charitable Fund with ECF.  A lot of hard work went in to our original fundraising and we are very grateful for all the support we received. It was not easy to have to make the decision that building a respite care centre was no longer feasible or sustainable. 

“But being able to set up the fund with the help of ECF and having the benefit of match funding means that we have been able to stay true to the spirit of our earlier aims. Through the fund we will be able to give support now and into the future to those giving respite care to people who need it most.”

The money transferred by RESCU to ECF had the benefit of Government match funding through the Community First Scheme, meaning the value of The Maypole House Charitable Fund was substantially increased. As a result the fund will be able to distribute a larger number of grants year on year.

Grants are now available through the fund to voluntary organisations which are providing support and respite services.  To apply for a grant click here.

Bartella Family host Charity Ball

13th May 2015

Jason Bartella, an ECF trustee and managing director of the Heritage Leisure Group, is organising a ball at Pontlands Park on Saturday 5 September in aid of the Bartella Charitable Fund.

The fund, established by Jason’s family, is managed by ECF and gives support to local charities, particularly those concerned with families and children.  Since the fund was established it has awarded grants totalling nearly £200,000.

The black tie evening will start at 7.00pm with a Champagne reception, followed at 8.00pm by a delicious four course meal with half a bottle of wine and coffee. There will also be a raffle, auction and casino tables, before it’s time to dance the night away until 1.00am.

Tickets are priced at £75 each, which includes a £20 voluntary donation to the Bartella Charitable Fund which is managed by Essex Community Foundation.

Jason said, "We hope that as many people as possible will join us.  Previous events have been great fun and thanks to the support of everyone who has attended, we have been able to help many local voluntary organisations that are giving vital support to people in need." 

To book please complete the booking form and return it, with payment, to the address below.  You can secure your place with a £20 per person deposit, or you can send full payment in advance (please make cheques payable to Pontlands Park).  In order to allow us to claim Gift Aid on the donation please also complete and return a Gift Aid form.

For people wishing to stay overnight, rooms will be available at Pontlands Park at a discounted rate.  Please call 01245 476444 to receive your discounted price,