Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Funding advice for Colchester and Tendring groups

24th March 2017

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in Colchester or Tendring and do you need funding?

If so, Essex Community Foundation will be holding a phone-in funding surgery to help you identify if there is support available for your work and talk you through the process of applying for grants.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 19 April between 10am to 12 noon.

Fran and Jill, ECF grant officers, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options. Please call them, on the day, on 01245 356018. 

If you cannot get through on the day, please leave a message with your name, the organisation you are calling from and a number that we can contact you on. We will return your call as soon as possible. 

Making sporting dreams come true

22nd March 2017

We would like to hear from anyone interested in helping local people to achieve their sporting potential. All donations will be matched with funding from the Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund.                                            

Rogerio Mendes, who is 13 years old and suffers from Asperger's syndrome, has a passion for everything to do with Motorsport. A recent grant is helping him to pursue his goal of becoming a professional racing driver.

Other Essex sports stars to have benefited from grants are Daniel McGauley, a powerlifter from Colchester who has Down's syndrome and Olympic gymnast Brinn Bevan.
If you are interested in helping young people to achieve their sporting potential, contact us on 01245 355947 or email

High Sheriff Rewards Local Charities

17th March 2017

Voluntary organisations and people who make a major contribution to their local communities and crime prevention have been given well deserved recognition and thanks at this year’s prestigious High Sheriffs’ Awards ceremony. 

An organisation which provides support for vulnerable young people with learning disabilities in Chelmsford, a mentoring programme in Clacton for boys who have an absent father and a Pubwatch scheme in Rayleigh are among those receiving awards.

More than 40 voluntary and community organisations were represented at this year’s ceremony held at Hylands House in Chelmsford where trophies, certificates and grants totalling £25,804 were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of Essex, Lorna Rolfe. 

"With news generally focusing on the negative it was great to hear first hand accounts of so many positive acts happening all around us." - Yasdev Rai, Lads Need Dads

The grants came from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which was established to give credit to community initiatives which address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour, and is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Lorna Rolfe, who is the 836th High Sheriff of Essex, has travelled to all areas of the county during her year of office.  As well as visiting a great many voluntary organisations, she visited the Courts and spent time with Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service. 

She said, “It has been my privilege to spend time with all the organisations that look after our well-being.  I have been warmly welcomed and have been constantly struck by their ‘can do’ approach to the many challenges they face.”

She paid tribute to the voluntary sector in Essex, “During my time as High Sheriff I have had the opportunity to meet members of the voluntary sector who tackle a wide range of issues.  I have been so impressed that accentuating the positive appears to be their everyday motto and have been amazed and humbled at what they accomplish against all the odds. 

“They really do make a difference and can dramatically change the lives of others for the better.”

Although an ancient role, Lorna believes that the High Sheriff can offer society much needed continuity and stability.  She said, “It is a unique position offering a privileged overview of the county which enables the holder to make connections between its various and complex social strands.  I feel deeply honoured to have been appointed to the role in the county of which I am so proud.”

Since it came under ECF’s management in 1997 the High Sheriffs’ Fund has distributed nearly 590 grants totalling £485,000 to voluntary and community organisations.

“ECF has been of great value to me during my year of office and the High Sheriffs’ Fund gives much needed support to the organisations helping to prevent crime and promoting community safety” said Lorna.  “The Awards ceremony provides the opportunity to give them the recognition that they so rightly deserve.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF, said, “We are delighted to manage the High Sheriffs’ Fund and work with successive High Sheriffs’ so that greater support can be given to the people in the county who are working hard to tackle community safety issues at a local level.”

The High Sheriffs’ Award Scheme recognises community initiatives which address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour. The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The High Sheriff receives no expenses and the role comes at no cost to the public purse.

To view a full list of the awards presented at this year's ceremony click here.

To view and download photos from the event click here.

To download your photo from our Flickr page:
1                     Click on the photo you want to open/download
2                     On the bottom right hand side of the screen, click on the icon of a downwards pointing arrow
3                     Choose the size of image you wish to download
4                     This will download the image to your computer (bottom left hand corner of screen)

A healthy injection of funds for local charities

9th March 2017

Community organisations working to improve people’s experiences of health and social care in Essex have received a healthy injection of funds – with eight groups receiving a share of £150,000 in grants.

The Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was established in March 2016 by Healthwatch Essex to support community organisations that provide information, advice and guidance around accessing health and care services in the county.

Healthwatch Essex provides an information service to help people access, understand, and navigate the health and social care system, as well as gathering people’s experiences to help improve local services.


Dr Tom Nutt, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, said, “There is an increasing pressure on health and care services. We know that voluntary organisations are often the place that people turn to when they don’t know where else to get the help they need. This Fund is providing financial support to organisations to help them expand their work and give local people greater knowledge about access to health and care services.”

Details of all the grants awarded are:

Action for Family Carers received £74,697 to provide information and guidance to Essex carers in conjunction with Essex Carers Support
Ark Community Resource Centre received £6,500 to help another organisation to deal with increasing referrals to its counselling service
Beacon House Ministries received £8,519 to help homeless people with mental health issues to access health and care services in Colchester
Brentwood Community Print received £28,057 to provide information and advice for people with mental health issues through the Essex Community Tree initiative
Families InFocus (Essex) received £9,927 to enhance a Family Support service for those with children who have disabilities and special needs in South Essex
First Stop Centre in Braintree received £9,960 to extend staff hours and improve the provision of information and signposting
• Harlow Stroke Support Group received £6,700 to help provide a new home outreach service for those affected by stroke
PACT for Autism based in Harlow, received £5,640 to fund a new Information Officer post and improve access to information for children and adults with autism and their families.

Rachel Ellis, Chief Executive of Families InFocus, said, “We are delighted to have received this funding which will allow us to expand our reach to families with children who have disabilities and special needs in South Essex.

“The families we work with are often close to breaking point and working with them on how to support their child, and their needs, means they will have the resilience to deal with every day issues and have positivity for the future”.

Jean Miley, Manager of Harlow Stroke Support Group, is equally thrilled and said, “This funding will allow us to expand our reach to people who are living with the aftermath of a stroke. We will be able to visit people in their own homes and offer them, and their carers, the support they need.”

If you are a community organisation who wishes to apply for a grant, click here or call 01245 356018 to discuss your application with a grants officer.

For information about Healthwatch Essex, visit

World Book Day 2017

2nd March 2017

Happy World Book Day. Today is an annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading, with events taking place not only across England but across the world.

To mark the occasion we thought we would share some of the brilliant projects in Essex that have been awarded grants to support their work in improving literacy skills, boosting confidence and developing a love of reading in young people.

Schoolreaders received £5,000 to establish a countywide literacy scheme with volunteers listening to children read in primary schools on a one on one basis.

Shakespeare for Schools received £5,500 for a project where young people transform Shakespeare’s words into their own performances. 

• Signpost received £6,500 to continue their Homework Club on Greenstead estate in Colchester.

Chelmsford Prison received £5,955 to run an educational, story telling project in the library for the children of fathers held in custody. The Storybook Dads project allowed children to hear their father’s voice on a recorded CD and gave the men the opportunity to improve their literacy skills.

We support a vast array of community organisations working across all areas, literacy skills being just one of them. If you would like to discuss how ECF can help you or your business to support local charitable causes whatever your scale of giving or area of interest, please call Jo Murphy, Head of Communications, or Steven Mackenzie, Development Officer, on 01245 355947.