Essex Community Foundation

News archive

£50,000 windfall for Harwich community

16th March 2018

The team behind the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm Operations & Maintenance base, have announced a £50,000 Community Investment Fund.

Applications to the fund will be administered on behalf of the Galloper project by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Each year, from 2018 until 2022, ten thousand pounds will support charitable, educational and environmental activities in Harwich. 

Galloper is the 353MW offshore wind farm currently being built by innogy approximately 30km of the coast of Suffolk. Construction is nearly complete, with over half of the offshore turbines already fully commissioned. 

The project has established a temporary Operations & Maintenance Base at Harwich International Port and awaits the outcome of a planning application for the permanent Operations & Maintenance facility which will support the wind farm for its lifetime of around twenty-three years.

Galloper Operations & Maintenance Manager, Sean Chenery, said: “The Galloper Operations & Maintenance base is already set to secure significant jobs and investment for the Harwich area as a result of its day-to-day operations over the wind farm’s lifetime, but this Community Investment Fund is a way for the wider community to benefit by supporting a range of invaluable local projects and initiatives.   

He added: “Essex Community Foundation, who will manage the fund on our behalf, has extensive experience of administering similar funds, including for some of our other projects, and we’re delighted to be working with them again. Applications are welcome now and more details will be available on the Galloper and Essex Community Fund websites.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF said: “We are delighted to be administering this Fund on behalf of innogy. This commitment to the Harwich community, through annual funding, will have a significant impact on the work of local charities and voluntary organisations.”

Local community organisations to potentially benefit include Teen Talk (Harwich), which provides information, advice and guidance to young people on issues affecting their health and wellbeing. 

Since it was founded in 1996, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) has awarded more than £31 million in grants from the charitable funds that it manages on behalf of individuals, families, companies and public agencies who want to make a difference in their local community.

For further information about the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm go to

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

High Sheriff rewards local charities

15th March 2018

What other job is there that entitles you to go anywhere, make connections between people from all sectors, of all ages and abilities, be welcomed always and where people are willing to answer all of your questions?  I feel deeply honoured to have been appointed to the role in the county of which I am so proud.” Simon Hall MBE, High Sheriff of Essex 2017-18

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

An organisation that aims to improve the prospects of disadvantaged teenagers through construction skills training in Chelmsford, a handyman service for housebound and vulnerable people living in Epping Forest District and a mentoring programme in Clacton for boys who have an absent father, are among those to receive awards.

Around 170 guests attended this year’s ceremony held at Hylands House in Chelmsford where trophies, certificates and grants totalling £31,000 were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall MBE.

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

Simon Hall, the 837th High Sheriff of Essex, has travelled to all areas of the county during his year of office.  As well as meeting many voluntary organisations, he visited the Courts and spent time with Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service. 

Simon said, “It has been a huge privilege to undertake this role, it has been tremendous fun, I have learned a lot and I hope I have done some good.”

He paid tribute to the voluntary sector in Essex, “This county is blessed with some extraordinary organisations, wonderful people and very dedicated volunteers who are committed to tackling crime and social problems and supporting law and order.

“Austerity constraints have led to greater inventiveness and a recognition that partnership and collaboration are the way forward.  When you see what is going on, you cannot doubt the intrinsic goodness of humanity. 

“Our society cannot function without the voluntary sector and it is imperative that succeeding generations engage with this agenda.”

Simon believes that this most ancient of roles, still has relevance today.  He said, “What other job is there that entitles you to go anywhere, make connections between people from all sectors, of all ages and abilities, be welcomed always and where people are willing to answer all of your questions?  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 grants totalling over half a million pounds to voluntary and community organisations.

“ECF has been of great value to me during my year of office.  Their knowledge of the sector is invaluable and the High Sheriffs’ Fund gives much needed support to the organisations helping to prevent crime and promoting community safety”, said Simon.  “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 and contributing to community safety at a local level.”

In addition to the grants awarded from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, ECF was able to leverage a further £50,000 from other funds under its management to support voluntary organisations whose work is also contributing to community safety in Essex.  

“Our ability to match funds in this way means that organisations only need to complete one application form to access the money they need to develop or continue their work”, said Caroline.

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. We are extremely grateful to Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council for generously supporting this event.

To view photos from the event, click here.

For a full list of awards presented at the event, click here.


(L to R: Dean Ross - London Bus Theatre Company, Jacqui Foile - Voluntary Action Epping Forest, High Sheriff of Essex Simon Hall, Vivienne Wiggens - Beacon House Ministries, Rachael Stone - First Stop and Tracey Crumpton - Essex Youthbuild)



Beacon House Ministries were delighted to win the coveted High Sheriffs’ Shield recognising the care and support provided to people who find themselves homeless in the Colchester area.  As well as a drop in café, Beacon House offers health care facilities, a laundry service, access to clean clothes and toiletries, interventions and outreach support. They also received a grant of £3,808 to help them employ a part-time co-ordinator of services aimed at changing anti-social behaviour by homeless individuals.

Vivienne Wiggins, Chief Executive of Beacon House Ministries, said, “We are honoured to receive this recognition from the High Sheriff of Essex.  Through occupational therapy and learning new skills, the likelihood of our clients contributing to anti-social behaviour and crime is reduced.”

Voluntary Action Epping Forest were delighted to be presented with the High Sheriffs’ Essex County Council Bowl recognising their local partnership and collaborative work to deliver a Home Safety project.   They also received £1,500 towards the project through which they install safety equipment into the homes of vulnerable and elderly people living in Epping Forest District. 

Jacqui Foile, CEO of Voluntary Action Epping Forest, said, “We are thrilled to win this Award and recognition from the High Sheriff.  Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure at home and in their communities. This funding boost means that more people will now be less susceptible to becoming victims of crime.”

London Bus Theatre Company, based in Hockley, were delighted to receive the High Sheriffs’ Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Shield recognising their work supporting young people. They also received a grant of £1,745 to provide free alcohol awareness drama workshops to year 6 pupils in the Southend and Canvey Island areas.

Kathy Austen, of London Bus Theatre Company, said, “We are thrilled to win this award, recognising the work London Bus Theatre Company in contributing to the reduction of anti-social behaviour. The grant will enable us to deliver additional workshops and reach out to even more young people”.

Essex Youthbuild based in Chelmsford, were delighted to be awarded the High Sheriff’s Essex Police Cup recognising their outstanding contribution to community safety by helping to improve the employment opportunities of vulnerable young people through construction skills training.  They also received a grant of £2,795 to run a series of workshops about law, democracy and the dangers of extremism and radicalisation.

Tracey Crumpton, of Essex Youthbuild, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to win this Award and receive recognition from the High Sheriff of Essex.  It will be a great boost to the young people we work with who are vulnerable and, without support, might otherwise be targeted and encouraged into criminal activities.  Our aim is to train and educate them so that they can make positive changes to their lives and have a better and brighter future.”

First Stop Centre were delighted to win the High Sheriffs’ Cup recognising their work over 36 years providing a wide range of training and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals from the Braintree area.  They also received a grant of £2,000 to run anger management and confidence building workshops for their clients.

Rachael Stone, Manager of First Stop, said, “It was such a wonderful surprise to receive this Award and recognition from the High Sheriff of Essex. We offer non-judgemental training and guidance in a supportive environment to help our clients make positive changes to their lives.”

Break times transformed at Chelmsford school

12th March 2018

Break times have been transformed for pupils at a special school in Chelmsford with the installation of a new outdoor shelter.

Pupils at Columbus School and College, which is one of the largest Special Educational Needs Schools in the country, will now be able to enjoy the outdoors for their breaks and therapy sessions whatever the weather, thanks to a grant of £4,995.

Columbus School cares for and educates children and young people from the age of three to 19 who have severe and complex needs, many with life limiting conditions and Autism. Due to their vulnerabilities, not all pupils were able to go outside every day, especially if it was raining or very sunny.

The Friends of Columbus School and College, a registered charity made up of parents, carers and supporters, applied to ECF for the projects costs. The Friends group meets regularly and raises money for projects that cannot be met from the school’s set budget.

Karen Clark, Principal of Columbus School and College, said: We are so grateful for the wonderful shelter in our Early Years’ playground.  The students have already enjoyed the benefits of this gift.  We are ecstatic to have been awarded this grant, as break times are a valuable learning and social time.  Having access to this outside space will improving their physical and emotional wellbeing and open them up to new learning opportunities.”

ECF manages 150 charitable funds and is always pleased to hear from voluntary groups and charities in Essex that are looking for funding to help them with their work. For more information or to apply for a grant, call ECF on 01245 356018.

Grants available for charities in Maldon District

1st March 2018

Voluntary organisations working in Maldon District are being encouraged to apply for grants to further their work and improve the lives of local people. 

Funding is available through the independent grantmaking trust, Essex Community Foundation, which manages a wide range of funds to support voluntary organisations and charities working at the heart of their local community.

Activities which are eligible for support include projects which help and engage young people, initiatives that aim to keep elderly people safe and connected to their community, refurbishment of and equipment for village halls and local meeting places, environmental and gardening projects, counselling and advice, as well as core running costs.

Some of the funding available will come from the community benefit funds set up with ECF to support communities affected by the on-shore wind farm developments in the Dengie Peninsula, particularly those in Southminster, Burnham-on-Crouch, Bradwell and Tillingham.

Caroline Taylor, CEO at ECF, said, "The community benefit funds are specific to particular areas, but ECF manages 150 charitable funds, all with differing criteria.  In the main, one application accesses all the funds we manage, so we would urge any local voluntary groups or charities working in the Maldon district to call us and discuss their funding needs as soon as possible."

The deadline date for the next round of applications to be received by ECF is Friday 20 April.

Among the community projects to previously receive support are: 

  • Bradwell-on-Sea Community Shop Association who were awarded £6,000 to set up a social room, further establishing the shop and Post Office as the village’s community hub.
  • Dengie Project Trust received £5,681 to buy signage for their new premises and specialist shower chairs for their disabled clients. 
  • Southminster Memorial Hall received £6,700 to install a new gas boiler and dishwasher, increasing their ability to host events. 

Brian Main, Chairman of Bradwell on Sea Community Shop Association, said: “Our community shop is the only retail outlet in the village and is a focal point for both locals and visitors.

“We are so grateful for the grant we received as it is helping us to create a new social space for the community where, no matter your age or ability, people can come together, meet old friends and hopefully make some new ones”.

For more information or to discuss an application, call ECF now on 01245 356018 or e-mail