Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Funding available for youth projects

21st June 2018

Voluntary and community organisations working with young people in Essex are encouraged to apply for funding to support their work.

Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available from the #iwill Fund for activities which give young people the opportunity to develop their character, build skills and engage them in the community.

Projects must benefit young people aged between 10 and 20, or up to 25 for disabled young people.

This funding programme is part of a national campaign by Big Lottery Fund, Step Up to Serve and the Government Office for Civil Society – with the goal of enabling more than 60% of 10-20 year-olds across the UK to participate in social action.

Essex Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in Essex are acting as match-funders and awarding the grants locally.

Among the organisations to receive grants previously are Integration Support Services, who used their grant of £5,000 to launch a peer mentoring scheme in Harlow where 10 young volunteers, aged between 13 and 18, have been paired with young Asylum Seekers.

The group meet regularly to take part in a range of social activities including basketball tournaments, art sessions, field trips to the seaside, as well as having discussions on topics such as hate crime and bullying.

Mimoza Matoshi, Chief Executive of Integration Support Services, said: “The refugees and asylum seekers we work with have experienced lives unimaginable to most British people. Many of them have experienced trauma and have been forced to leave their homes.

“This peer-led project is an opportunity for young people who are relatively new to the area to meet with other young people, build on their language skills and make friends.”

Grants from the #iwill Fund can be awarded throughout the year and will support a wide range of projects, including, but not restricted to, skill training, anti-bullying, homelessness and to increase access to sports or the arts. 

If you are a local charity or voluntary organisation working with young people, call ECF now on 01245 356018.

To read the criteria, click here. There is also a seperate application form to complete. 

New beginnings for homeless charity

21st June 2018

An ex-soldier who suffered post-traumatic-stress, developed a drug addiction, became homeless and spent time in prison, has turned his life around with the help of the Chelmsford-based charity CHESS.

Napthali Burke, 37, who is known as Nap, says he is certain that CHESS saved his life and helped him to get on a positive path.

He is among the many people celebrating a milestone for CHESS, which has officially opened its new centre on New London Road, Chelmsford, bringing all its services under one roof.

The charity, which has been operating for 24 years, offers help and support to homeless by providing temporary accommodation, counselling and training.

Since 2001, CHESS has benefited from grants totalling nearly £90,000 awarded from the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Nap said: “When I left the Army I was a shadow of my former self and I developed what I now recognise as post-traumatic stress disorder. To avoid dealing with my emotions, I kept busy and was constantly out partying. Mixing with a bad crowd, sparked my addiction with drugs and alcohol. I was told to leave my family home and to fuel my addictions, I began to steal.”  

Nap never took more than he needed to fuel his addiction, so each time he was caught, he received a short-term prison sentence.  This meant that he was not eligible for support when he was released and as a consequence, each time he returned to living on the street.

“I eventually resigned myself to the fact that I was going to die” said Nap.  “I knew that if I had to stay on the street any longer, I would either be killed or kill myself, just to put an end to it".

Whilst serving his 19th and last sentence, this time in HM Prison Chelmsford, there was a job fair in the canteen. Nap only decided to go at the last moment, just as the stands were packing down to leave.

CHESS was there to recruit for Wingspan, their social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for ex-offenders, doing ground maintenance, minor building, painting, decorating and cleaning.

Rob Saggs, Executive Director of CHESS said, “When you speak with someone who has been homeless and are now on a positive path, all of them talk about one pivotal moment that changed their lives.

“This moment does not always come when they are offered help, but instead when they make a conscious choice to pursue change. As the job fair was ending, Nap suddenly realised that he didn’t want to miss the opportunity and almost demanded to be interviewed. It was his strength of character that is responsible for the positive path he is on now.

When Nap’s release date came about, CHESS met him at the prison gates, taking him to one of their temporary accommodations. Nap said: “Having the support of CHESS not only gave me somewhere to stay straight out of prison, but also gave me a job, which changed everything.”

Two years later, Nap is thriving thanks to the support he has received and the choices he continues to make. He is now in private accommodation, works for Wingspan and is studying two evenings a week to become a qualified electrician.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “We are pleased to support CHESS and their clients. Nap is just one example of the 113 people they gave accommodation to in the last year, and the countless more they have helped. We wish them well in their new premises and look forward to continuing our support of their vital work.”

Seeking panel members from Bradwell and Tillingham

21st June 2018

Do you live in the areas of Bradwell or Tillingham and would you like to make a difference in your local community?

If so, we are seeking two volunteers to join a panel of local people to work with us and consider all grant applications made to the Bradwell Wind Farm Community Fund.

The panel meets twice a year in Bradwell. To discuss this opportunity, please call Jill Curd on 01245 356018.

We are recruiting: Head of Development

19th June 2018

- Please note the deadline has now passed -

We are looking for a dynamic Head of Development, with passion and commitment to make a difference to the lives of local people in Essex by increasing philanthropic giving to support local charities and voluntary organisations. 

With responsibility for income generation, you will be responsible for devising and implementing a development strategy that will generate new business and new contacts.

You will have a strong track record of achievement gained at a management level in either fundraising, sales, marketing, finance or business development. In addition, you will have first class relationship-building and interpersonal skills, with the capability to be recognised as a trusted adviser across a range of sectors and communities. 

How to apply

To download the full Application Pack, click here.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 27 June 2018. If you have any queries about the position, please call Caroline Taylor or Jo Macaulay on 01245 355947.

To submit your application, please email your CV, covering letter and personal statement based on the Job Description and Person Specification stating why you think you would be ideal for the position. Your statement must not exceed 4 sides of A4. 

Please email these documents to:

Alternatively, you can post your application to ECF, 121 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0QT.

Annual Charity Golf Day

15th June 2018

We were pleased to be back at Chelmsford Golf Club for our annual Charity Golf Day on Thursday 14th of June.

The event was once again kindly organised by Carole Golbourn and her husband Alan to raise awareness of ECF’s work in supporting local charities.

19 teams played Chelmsford’s immaculate course and the event raised over £6,000. These funds will enable us to support local voluntary and community organisations working across Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

This year’s winners were Sound Financial Planning, closely followed by Milsom Hotels and Beresfords. All three companies have named charitable funds with ECF. 

As well as individuals, other corporates taking part included, Birketts LLP, Birkett Long, Ellisons Solicitors, LB Group Ltd, Provide, Wilkin & Sons, Scrutton Bland, Sirgan Ltd and Thompson, Smith & Puxon.

To view photos from the day, click here










2018 Winners: Sound Financial – Matt Michael, Andy Hall, David Ellis, Paul Spires.