Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Wind farm funds available for Maldon groups

24th April 2017

Community organisations in Dengie, Southminster and Burnham have another chance to apply for grants from the Middlewick Farm Community Benefit Fund to give their charitable projects a boost. 

The Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was established by Cubico Sustainable Investments Limited, a global leader in renewable energy and the owner of the onshore Middlewick wind farm development.

Over the next 20 years, voluntary and community organisations working in and around the Southminster and Burnham areas could benefit from around £750,000 in grant funding from the Fund.

A panel of local residents, supported by ECF, will review applications and make the decisions regarding grants awards. The panel is particularly interested in applications where a small amount of money can make a big difference.

David Swindin, Head of EMEA at Cubico said, “Cubico is committed to delivering clean energy to consumers through good quality, sustainable energy projects, and to sharing the benefits of these projects with communities".

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive at ECF said, “We recognise the contribution that voluntary and community groups make to their local communities and we look forward to hearing from organisations that may want to start a new project, need help with their running costs or want to expand or continue their work in the area.”

To apply, click here or to speak with a member of the ECF grant’s team in advance of applying call 01245 356018. The deadline date for the second round of applications is 9 June.

Gibberd Garden continues to blossom with local support

24th April 2017

Trustees of a Grade II listed garden gem, situated on the North Eastern edge of Harlow, are delighted to receive a grant of £8,000.

The money was donated from the John and Wenna Marks Charitable Fund which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). 

The Gibberd garden is the creation of Sir Frederick Gibberd, an uncompromising modernist architect who was the master-planner of Harlow New Town.  Sir Frederick bought the house and 15 acre site in 1957 as his home.  He made alterations to the house and gradually created the garden over many years and until his death in 1984.  Many sculptures were bought and commissioned for the garden as well as ceramic pots and architectural pieces.  The garden is said to be one of the few outstanding examples of 20th Century garden design.

Sir Frederick had wished that the garden be used for education and recreation in perpetuity and in 1995 the Gibberd Garden Trust was formed to preserve and develop the garden for public benefit.  For more than 20 years, a team of volunteers support the gardeners to maintain and preserve the area.

Derek Hayes, a Trustee and Treasurer of the Gibberd Garden, said, “We are thrilled to receive this donation which will be used to maintain this cherished piece of Harlow history for future generations  to enjoy.”

Wenna Marks has lived in Harlow for 56 years and her late husband, John, was a Trustee of the garden.  Wenna, who is now a Trustee said, “I am so pleased to be able to give help to the garden from our charitable fund with ECF.  I know how hard all of the supporters, gardeners and the volunteers work, to keep this a peaceful and beautiful place.” 

The Gibberd Garden is open from 2pm to 6pm every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until 24 September. Parts of the house, the Gibberd Rooms, are open for a small extra fee on a Sunday afternoon on a timed access. To visit, get involved or give support please look at their website

For more information about applying to ECF for a grant, call 01245 356018 to speak with a member of the grants team.

New High Sheriff of Essex is appointed

24th April 2017

At an event full of pomp and ceremony, held in the Chambers of County Hall in Chelmsford in front of the Lord Lieutenant and four senior judges, Simon Hall was appointed the 837th High Sheriff of Essex.

Simon, has lived in Great Tey, a small village in the heart of rural North Essex, since 1993.  After graduating from Cambridge with a law degree, he quickly established a career in the profession and joined an international law firm in London.

Now, for the next twelve months, he will be closer to home as he takes on a different role, that of High Sheriff, which by tradition involves upholding the Queen’s Peace as Her Majesty’s representative for Law and Order, although in more recent times, the role has evolved and now has an emphasis on promoting crime prevention and community safety.
Of his appointment, Simon says he is “very honoured”.  Having been a lawyer for 37 years and spending a lot of his time traveling and with London based charities, Simon is keen to learn as much as he can about Essex, although he admits that it is a large and diverse county and he wonders if one year will be enough time to learn everything that he should.
As well as being involved with the judiciary and all the emergency services during his year of office, Simon will also be forging links with the voluntary sector, visiting local groups and organisations.  Another part of his role will be promoting the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). The fund gives much-needed support to local organisations in Essex which tackle crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour issues.
Simon is delighted that by working with ECF he will be able to see the voluntary sector in action at grassroots level and provide support and encouragement to volunteers and the beneficiaries of those organisations. Each High Sheriff gives recognition to voluntary groups and individuals through the annual High Sheriff’s Awards, which is organised by ECF.
“Essex is the most extraordinary county. It is actually quite a rich county, but it has got pockets of deprivation, creating big divides”.

Rural issues, social exclusion, homelessness, education and employability skills are high on Simon’s agenda for his year in office and he is determined to use his time as a catalyst for innovation.
“I am very much looking forward to meeting people of all ages, who live and work in this exciting and diverse county, many of whom give their time to volunteer and selflessly help others. As High Sheriff I have an opportunity to give them the recognition they deserve and to bring them together with the various agencies that can work together and make a difference.”
During his year, Simon will be holding a number of events including a garden party, a fundraising lunch, and the Justice Service in Brentwood Cathedral.  He will greatly miss the support of his wife Teresa, who died in 2015, but he will have the help of his four children, grandchildren and a loyal band of friends.
The role of High Sheriff is a Royal appointment which is self-funded and does not take money from the public purse.
For the people of Essex, Simon, in his black and silver uniform, white ruffle collar and carrying his sword, will be a welcome sight as he travels around the county, making an ancient role meaningful and relevant in the modern age.
To keep up-to-date with Simon's activities throughout his year, follow him on Twitter: @Essex_HS

Phone-In Funding Surgery - 10 May - Uttlesford

24th April 2017

Voluntary and community organisations working in Uttlesford district are invited to call us on 10 May to discuss funding requirements for a project or core costs.

We would like to hear about the great work you're doing to improve the lives of local people in your community and our grants officers, Fran and Jill, will be on hand to talk with you about your work and discuss your funding options.

Please call them, on the day, between 10am and 12 noon on 01245 356018.

If you cannot get through on the day, 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.

Wind Farm generates support for local projects

24th April 2017

Voluntary and community organisations in Southminster and Burnham-on-Crouch are invited to apply for grants to support local projects and activities.

The Turncole Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund was established in 2016 as part of a long-term wind farm development programme in the area.

Essex Community Foundation, an independent charitable trust is managing the Community Benefit Fund and a panel, made up of local residents, will work with ECF to consider applications and agree grants.

The panel is particularly interested in applications which seek to enhance the quality of life of local residents, contribute to vibrant, healthy, successful and sustainable communities and encourage community activity. 

The deadline date for applications is 12 May.

Tracy Scott works for the renewable energy company, RES, and is Project Manager for the Turncole Wind Farm.  She said: “The Fund was established to ensure that community-based projects close to the wind farm see a direct financial benefit. The funding is particularly relevant to projects which contribute to the wellbeing of the local area.”
Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive at ECF, said: “We look forward to receiving applications for projects and activities in the Burnham-on-Crouch and Southminster area and supporting the panel in making decisions.”

If you would like to apply for a grant please visit our make an application page or call 01245 356018 or email if you have any questions.

Comic Relief funds available

20th April 2017

-This Fund is now closed for applications, you can however still make a general application to ECF. Please call the grants team to discuss your work before you make an application-


People living in deprived areas, or who face a range of social issues, often get vital support from smaller organisations based within their communities.

It’s these locally-based groups that truly understand the needs of the people they serve and make a huge difference to their lives. We believe that local people know what is needed in their community and are best placed to make any changes. Having lots of activities happening in an area brings vibrancy to a local community which can make it a better place to live.

We are also aware that many people are undertaking great work in their area but often struggle to get the support they need.

We therefore want to support community groups in Colchester, Tendring and North Braintree that are rooted in their local communities undertaking work that helps people of all ages feel more included in their community, builds their skills and increases their sense of achievement.


We are particularly keen to ensure we reach groups of people who often miss out. As such we accept applications from the voluntary and community sector including:

  • constituted voluntary and community groups
  • charities
  • social enterprises
  • co-operatives
  • community interest companies

For more information and to apply, click here. The extended deadline is 12 May.

What kind of Essex do you want?

7th April 2017

That was the question posed to 100 invited guests who attended our annual Spring Reception held at Ingatestone Hall.

Jonathan Minter DL, Chairman of ECF, spoke about what inspires and motivates him to give and challenged those present to consider their own giving.  He asked them to think about their experience of Essex and what kind of Essex they want their children or grandchildren to inherit and importantly, what more could they do?

Guests also heard inspirational talks from two local charities - Sabine and Michael from City of Chelmsford Mencap explained what the 'Working Out' project is and the benefits it provides to lifelong learning students and David Hurst from Southend Blind Welfare Organisation spoke about the services they provide and made clear the need for core cost funding. To hear their speeches, click here.

To view more photos from the event, click here.