Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Nationwide partners with Community Foundation’s to tackle housing issues

31st October 2018

Nationwide Building Society has partnered with Community Foundation's in the East of England to tackle housing issues at a local level.

Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000, over one or two years, are available for projects that support vulnerable people with their housing needs. 

Applicants could, for example, advise vulnerable people who are at risk of homelessness or help to meet the housing needs of women who have experienced domestic abuse. 

We can support costs of staff for project delivery, capacity building, small scale capital costs, activities and building or refurbishment works where it is essential for project delivery. 

Essex Community Foundation (ECF) is leading on the programme in the East of England, working with neighbouring community foundations in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

How to apply

Eligible applicants must be a UK registered charity, Community Land Trust or housing
co-operative. To read the full criteria and guidelines: click here.

If you are considering making an application for a grant, we encourage you to call us first on 01245 356018. A member of the ECF grants team will be happy to speak with you. 

Funding available to improve local health and well being

24th October 2018

- Please note that this funding opportunity has now closed. For further information please call the friendly grants team on 01245 356018 -

Grants of up to £5,000 are available to support charitable projects that help to improve the health and well being of people living in Essex, Southend and Thurrock. 

Provide delivers a wide range of community health services across Essex and in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), Suffolk and Norfolk as well as the London borough of Waltham Forest.

This Fund was set up with ECF in 2012 and awards grants annually to support the many voluntary and community organisations whose work complements their own.

Your application must demonstrate one of the following areas of work:

  • To help keep people out of hospital
  • To help people leave hospital more quickly
  • To help people stay healthy in their community
  • To improve health and wellbeing in the community
  • To maximise use of technology which will improve the way your service users access your services

How to apply:

We encourage you to read the criteria in advance of submitting an application. To access this, click here.

If you have any questions, please call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018. We are happy to help. 

Chelmsford supports its cultural community

4th October 2018

A grant of £8,000 has given a vital boost to a project that helps women who do not have English as their first language to integrate into their communities.

The grant has been given by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) so that free drop-in English language sessions, run entirely by volunteers, can continue to run three times a week.

The cross-cultural group ‘English for Women’, meets at the Chelmsford YMCA, on Victoria Road, and has classes to suit all abilities, including a beginners’ group for those who speak very little to no English.

Volunteers also offer a supervised play area for children, so that the women can focus on learning.

The project first began in 2015 to help three women from Afghanistan. It now teaches over 100 women from more than 30 nationalities.

Most members are from Chelmsford, but some travel from Witham, Brentwood, Billericay, Maldon and Braintree to take part.

One woman who has benefitted from the group sessions said: “I have learnt a lot of new words and that has given me more confidence. I also learnt a lot about British culture, history and law.

“I had a problem with my health and thanks to this class, I was able to explain what my problem was to my doctor”.

Susannah Owen, leader of the project, said: “Over the last few years I have seen these classes help so many women to improve their English and forge invaluable friendships.

“Learning to speak English not only helps the women to feel more confident, it also makes a considerable impact on their families' lives, helping them to integrate with the local community and be less isolated.

“Having the ability to have simple, yet important conversations with their children’s teachers and doctors is hugely empowering. Everyone should be able to participate in their community and access local services free of concern that they won’t be understood.”

English for Women welcomes all women of any culture, religion or nationality. The sessions run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday mornings during school term-time.

Can you help?

More volunteers are needed for the project. If you are a fluent in English, with a clear accent and are able to commit to one morning a week during term-time, please e-mail:

(Pictured: A group of volunteers)