Essex Community Foundation

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Funding available for Harlow community projects

31st August 2018

Harlow has been buzzing with activity over the past year, as local organisations and community groups reaped the benefit of grants awarded from two trusts dedicated to making the town a better place.

The Harlow Recreation Trust and the Harlow Education Trust, both run by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF), have distributed grants totalling almost £50,000 over the past 12 months.

Now a call is going out in Harlow for more organisations to apply for funding in the latest round of grants from the two trusts.  ECF assesses all the applications and then works with a panel of local people to consider and make decisions.  Where there is a greater number of applications than funds available, it is possible that ECF may be able to offer grants from other funds under its management.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “We know that the grants already awarded from these two trusts have made a great difference to community life in Harlow and now there is the opportunity for more voluntary organisations and local groups to benefit from the funds available.

“The Harlow Recreation Trust awards grants to support the development of recreational skills, knowledge and talent for the benefit of people living in Harlow. Funding will generally be for one year, but for exceptional projects the panel may consider awarding funds for more than one year.

“The Harlow Education Trust gives grants to support the development of skills, knowledge and talent of young people living in Harlow.”

Local organisations that have previously benefited from grants awarded from the two trusts include, the Livewire Trust, which received more than £8,000 from the Harlow Recreation Trust to expand free drama workshops for young people in Harlow.

Sam Ashford, from Livewire, said: “We believe that the arts should be available to everyone, as it is a fantastic way to build confidence, make friends, be creative, explore important issues and make our community a better place to live. We are delighted to be reaching out to more young people with a new programme of workshops, thanks to Essex Community Foundation and The Harlow Recreation Trust.”

Rainbow Services was awarded more than £5,000 from the Harlow Education Trust to extend a recycling workshop for youngsters in Harlow, aged 14 to 16, who are at risk of exclusion from school.

Action for Family Carers received £6,000 from the Harlow Recreation Trust to support a club for young carers in Harlow and Harlow Arts Council was awarded £1,500 towards the cost of The Art of the Garden Party Arts Festival this summer.

Harlow Steel Band was also given £3,000 to help with the cost of taking their music out into the community, performing for charities and organisations in the area.

Mandi Henderson, Treasurer for the Band said: “We were keen to have the opportunity to perform for charities and institutions at no cost to them. This brings the enjoyment of our music to those who might otherwise not be able to have access to it and enables our existing young band members to make a significant contribution to their community.

“It will also help us to recruit more young people who can become involved and benefit from the many positive things the band has to offer.”

ECF is now inviting applications for grants from the Harlow Education Trust and the Harlow Recreation Trust. Click here to applyThe deadline date for sending in applications is Friday 21 September. 

If you would like to discuss an application in advance of applying, call the ECF grants team now on 01245 356018.

Revitalising dormant and inactive Trusts

31st August 2018

A new initiative to revitalise dormant and inactive Trusts has been announced in the Government’s latest Civil Society Strategy, and it will provide a huge boost to local communities by distributing funds to good causes.

There are many charitable Trust funds in England and Wales that are inactive. Some Trusts, particularly those set up many years ago with generous bequests, are now financially quite small and may have outdated or restricted criteria. This can make them challenging for trustees to manage and to ensure they have a meaningful impact.

Collectively these Trusts total a significant amount which could make a huge difference to improving the lives of local people.

Having idenitified this substantial resource for good, The Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission are working with UK Community Foundations to transfer up to £20 million of dormant and inactive Trusts to community foundations across the UK. Nationally, it is expected that the 'Revitalising Trusts' initiative will provide an extra £1 million in grant funding to local charities and voluntary groups every year.

The Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society have chosen to work with community foundations, including Essex Community Foundation (ECF), based on their expertise and experience in supporting communities and their track record of distributing funds in the spirit of a Trust’s original objectives.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Civil Society, said: "This initiative will make a real difference to people and communities across the country. By working with UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission, we will honour the original aims of these now-inactive charitable trusts by redistributing funds to help those that need it most."

When transferring an exisiting Trust to ECF's management, trustees can stay involved as advisors if they wish, recommending future grants while handing over the legal and administrative responsibility of managing the Trust to the Foundation.

To discuss whether transferring a Trust may be of benefit, please contact Steven Mackenzie on 01245 355947 or e-mail for more information.


Examples of exisiting Trusts transferred to ECF:

The Kay Jenkins Trust:
This Trust supports voluntary groups and individuals who live in the Parishes of Great and Little Leighs who are struggling with financial difficulties. ECF works with a panel of local residents to discuss and agree applications.

The Trust was established to commemorate two 19th century rectors of St Mary's Church in Great Leighs: the Reverend Clarke Jenkins who came to Great Leighs in 1823 and the Reverend William Kay who became rector in 1866. 

During his time at Great Leighs, Kay restored the chancel, installed the pulpit and rebuilt the rectory and in 1882 he built almshouses on Boreham Road.  The sale of these almshouses in 1974, combined with the legacies of other family members, formed the Kay Jenkins Trust.

Previous grant recipients include a lunch club for the elderly, financial support for vulnerable people to supplement their heating bills, travel costs to hospitals for treatments and educational support for families in need.

William Julien Courtauld Medical Fund
William Julien Courtauld, born in 1870, inherited his family’s ethic of sharing personal good fortune with the community. He bequeathed a charitable fund to help those in need of medical support in his home district of Braintree.

As a Baronet, county councillor and High Sheriff, he appeared to be an austere and reserved man, but his acts of generosity included building of the William Julien Courtauld Hospital in Braintree, Braintree Town Hall and a large part of County Hall in Chelmsford.

The William Julien Courtauld Medical Fund distributes grants to voluntary organisations needing medical equipment, such as hoists or wheelchairs.

One grant recipient, is the Tabor Centre in Braintree. The centre provides daytime care for severely disabled adults, away from their homes and in a social environment. Members take part in activities which help to maintain their independence and keep healthy, including educational and IT classes, drama and craft workshops and gym and relaxation sessions. A funding boost of £3,345 from William Julien Courtauld Medical Fund helped them to buy specially adapted Motor-Med exercise bikes.