Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Helping to tackle food poverty in Clacton

22nd January 2018

An innovative charity making meals for vulnerable people from surplus food, has been given a boost of £8,000 thanks to staff at Colne Housing.

Clacton-on-Sea FoodCycle has been awarded £8,234 from the Essex-based housing association’s grant making scheme - Colne Community Builders, which is administered by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The money will be used to feed more people in the Tendring area, expand their outreach programme and raise awareness of food poverty.

Roger Green, Team Co-ordinator of Clacton-on-Sea FoodCycle, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this grant from the Colne Community Builders.  It’s going to make a huge difference to the 40 guests we serve each week. This money will help us to keep providing this important service and to reach more people who could benefit from a hot meal and some friendly faces”.

Sarah Cawley, of Colne Housing, said: “Colne is all about enabling people to live independently and encouraging communities to thrive. Our teams use their knowledge and expertise when considering applications so the money can make a real difference.”

She added, “We are really impressed by the work Foodcycle does for people in Tendring and believe this grant will have a great impact on people who live in that area.”

Colne Community Builders was launched five years ago and since 2015 has been administered by ECF. In the last three years, Colne has awarded more than £39,000 to Essex charities and voluntary projects that enable independent living.

FoodCycle Clacton-on-Sea has served the community since 2011. Last year, it provided more than 2,000 three-course meals using nearly three tonnes of surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

The fruit and vegetables, donated from local businesses and supermarkets, is used by a team of volunteers to create a three-course meal every Monday lunchtime at Trinity Methodist Church.
Guests who attend the weekly meal are elderly, have a low income or are without a home and facing mental health issues. Sitting down for a meal, which is prepared by local people, helps them to feel involved in the community.

Neil is 53-years-old and attends every week. He said: “You are able to talk to other people who might have gone through the same as you. I had a bad breakdown just over a year ago, and it’s only in the past few weeks that I’ve come out of my shell. When you’re able to start speaking to people like yourself, it makes you feel better”.

Colne Community Builders is now inviting more Essex charities to apply for grants through ECF.  Staff at Colne give a lot of consideration to the applications and vote to support the ones that will have the greatest impact in communities where Colne has residents.

Applications can be made by charities and community organisations in areas where Colne Housing operates - Babergh, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Maldon, Tendring and Uttlesford. For more information, call ECF now on 01245 356018.

Changing lives one friendship at a time

22nd January 2018

A befriending scheme which matches people who feel lonely and isolated, with a volunteer companion, has been awarded a major grant.

Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) is receiving a £60,000 funding boost, distributed over two years, from The Henry Smith Charity which is working in partnership with the local grantmaking trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The befriending scheme helps many elderly and vulnerable people. The grant means that the organisation can expand their work and train extra volunteers to support more people living in Castle Point and Rochford.

Most clients are referred by their local GP or other health agencies and the service adapts to the individual. People are matched based on common interests, location and need.

Alan, a 71-year-old man, is among those who have thrived thanks to the scheme. He has Parkinson’s disease and in the past suffered a debilitating heart attack, leaving him less active.

His GP felt that extra companionship would benefit his health and referred him to CAVS. Through the scheme, Alan was matched with a male volunteer who has helped him to build his confidence and become more physically and mentally active. He now enjoys short walks and is seeking a chess partner.

Vicky Pilton, Senior Befriending Co-ordinator at CAVS, said: “We are thrilled to have received this grant from The Henry Smith Charity. Providing people with friendship and interesting conversation on a regular basis is something so simple, but it can have a huge impact on the overall wellbeing of individuals.

If you, or someone you know in the Castle Point or Rochford area, could benefit from the befriending scheme, or if you would like to volunteer, call 01268 638416 or visit

For more information about ECF and how to apply for funding, call the grants team on 01245 356018.

Photos included are of Befriended clients and their paired volunteer. 

Phone-In Funding Surgery Southend: 14 February

22nd January 2018

Are you a voluntary or community organisation operating in Southend-on-Sea 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 a grant.

This phone-in event will be held on Wednesday 14 February between 10am to 12 noon.

ECF grant officers, will be on hand to discuss your funding options. Please call them on 01245 356018.  There is no need to book a slot in advance.

Conversations will initially be allocated a 10 minute appointment.  If further information is required, we will arrange a time to call you back.  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.

Grants available for Essex charities

12th January 2018

Voluntary and community organisations in Essex are invited to apply for grants from two charitable funds set up by Essex County Council.

Applications can now be made to the Essex Millennium Fund and the Essex County Council Chairman’s Fund, which are managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The Essex Millennium Fund was established as an endowed fund by members of Essex County Council to celebrate the Millennium. The funding from this is dedicated to four priority areas: carers, community support, enhancing the environment and young people.

Among the charities to receive a grant from this Fund last year, was Supporting Carers and Families Together. The Rochford based organisation was awarded £2,750 towards the annual salary of a Service Delivery Manager to work with young and adult carers.

Andy Trewern, who works for the charity, said “We have seen a surge in demand for our services over the last two years and this funding has helped us to continue supporting local carers, increase their confidence and make sure no-one feels like they are alone.”

The ECC Chairman’s Fund was established in 2007 to provide support to community groups working to enrich the lives of local people through activities exploring culture and heritage.

Clacton Victoria County History Group were awarded a grant of £3,000 from the Chairman's Fund towards their WWII history project. Roger Kennell, Chairman, said: “There are not many sources for young people, and those of all ages, to learn about the important role the volunteer soldiers of the Home Guard played in the War. This grant will help us to record this information and the defence sites they manned to make create a lasting source for local people".

The deadline to make an application to either of these Funds is Friday 26 January. To apply, please complete our General Application form, which can be accessed here

All community organisations and charities that are successful in their application will be invited to attend an Awards ceremony in April 2018.

If you have any questions, or are unsure if you should apply, please call the ECF team on 01245 356018.