Essex Community Foundation

News archive

Zumbathon to raise funds for local charities

16th May 2019

A dance party with a difference is being held by Nicki Alvey to celebrate her 60th birthday and she is asking people to join her to have fun and raise money for some serious causes.

Nicki, who lives in Bishops Stortford, is holding a “Zumbathon” to mark her special birthday and to help vulnerable people in Essex.

She set up the Nicki Alvey Bazlinton Trust with the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation, (ECF) in 2015 to give grants to local charities and voluntary organisations tackling issues close to her heart.

The causes she wants to help includes support for victims of abuse, young women who want to gain an education or become more independent and activities which help older women who are isolated.

The two-hour dance session will be held on Saturday 22 June 2019 from 2pm to 4pm at 1Life Mountfitchet Romeera Leisure Centre Gym, Forest Hall Road, Stansted Mountfitchet, CM24 8TZ.

Three Zumba instructors, Isamar Martins, Paula Zumba (Lady P Zumba) and Petra Alexandra Slaba will lead the way for the 120-minute dance party.

Nicki Alvey said: “I am so proud that the first grant awarded from my fund with ECF was to the charity Southend Vineyard to support ‘The Promise Project’.

“This is a community-based drop-in service for women and girls who are being exploited through prostitution.  The scheme offers a safe place where they can have a warm meal and receive support, including making appointments at sexual health clinics, referrals to counselling and other recovery treatments for drug and alcohol abuse.

“The Zumbathon fundraiser is a fun way that people can come together to raise money for serious issues. By working with ECF, I know that every penny will go towards helping the most pressing issues in communities across the county.”

This event is for all levels of fitness and everyone is invited to take part. For more information and to donate, please visit

Teledyne e2v keeps support for local charities moving

2nd May 2019

Excitement is in the air at the Tabor Centre in Braintree following the good news that funding has been given for a new wheelchair-accessible vehicle to transport people with disabilities to and from the centre.

The grant of £1,885 for the new vehicle has come from a fund set up by the Chelmsford-based global manufacturer Teledyne e2v with the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Anthea Cooper, CEO of the Tabor Centre, which provides day care and activities for adults of all ages with physical disabilities, said : “We are delighted that we have been able to order the new 17-seater vehicle which has a tail lift, making it suitable for people who can't transfer out of their wheelchairs.

“Having reliable transport is such an invaluable part of the work we do.  Most of our members can't access public transport, as they are either in wheelchairs or have severe mobility problems. This means that they have to be picked up and taken home by our specially adapted vehicles. We also provide transport for days out and for our members who have to attend hospital appointments.

“The two vehicles we have been using are about seven years old. They were becoming very unreliable and we were facing ever-increasing repair bills. Having a new vehicle means that we can continue to bring our members in to the centre in a comfortable way. Their day starts as soon as they get on board and there is always a very happy atmosphere.

“The centre has moved on and developed so much with the support that ECF has given us over the years. We are so grateful for the latest grant they have been able to give us which came from the Teledyne e2v Foundation.”

Other recent grants from the firm's charitable fund with ECF include £3,500 to help provide extra facilities for a newly-built scout hut, which acts as a community hub on the Melbourne Estate in Chelmsford and £3,000 to support and extend a befriending scheme run by Age Concern Colchester to combat social isolation suffered by older people, who often have nobody left in their lives.

Jon Kemp, chairperson of Teledyne e2v’s charities committee, said: “We are passionate about giving back to our community and we have chosen to be strategic in our approach to charitable giving by setting up the endowed Teledyne e2v Foundation with ECF in 2006.

By working with ECF we are introduced to a wide range of local voluntary and community organisations that we otherwise would not know about. Applications are assessed by ECF and a shortlist is presented to our charities committee, made up of members of staff, so they can be involved in the decision-making process.

“It is a very rewarding partnership and we are often able to see at first hand the positive results that our grant making has had by visiting the charities and organisations who have received funding.

“We are committed to growing our fund with ECF so that each year we can build on what we have already achieved and award more grants to help local people.”

Since 2006, the Teledyne e2v Foundation has awarded grants to local charities totalling over £77,000.

Teledyne e2v is one of the largest private employers in Essex with around 850 highly skilled staff in Chelmsford as well as operations around the world. They develop technology that enables a range of applications including the diagnosis and treatment of illness, life science research and Space exploration.
For more information about Teledyne e2v, visit

If you are a community or voluntary organisation in Essex and would like to discuss your funding needs, please call the ECF team on 01245 356018.