Essex Community Foundation

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“Providing” local charities with vital support

15th January 2020

Essex Dementia Care and St. Clare Hospice are among nine local charities receiving a healthy funding boost from the Provide Foundation.

Grants totalling £45,000 were awarded from Provide’s charitable foundation which is managed by the independent trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Set up in 2012, the Provide Foundation gives support to voluntary and community organisations that are delivering projects that improve the health and well-being of local people.

Representatives from all nine charities were invited to join members of the Provide board and staff at a tea party held at Provide’s head office in Colchester.  Certificates were presented to each charity and details of the grants and how the money would be spent were shared with those present.  

Essex Dementia Care received £4,969 towards the salary of a part-time support worker for people diagnosed with dementia.

Kelly Bleasdale, Senior Manager: “We are delighted to receive this grant to support our work caring for people with dementia. We work one-to-one with our clients and help them to live full lives and maintain as much independence as possible. Each person is treated as an individual and we use their interests and hobbies to get them out of the house and involve them in the community. By helping them to keep active and healthy, we are decreasing the likelihood of them reaching crisis point and needing to go into hospital.”

St Clare Hospice received a grant of £4,892. The funding will help them to run the ‘Compassionate Neighbours’ project in West Essex, which connects volunteers to members of the community who are socially isolated and living with a life-limiting illness, who then meet regularly as part of a mutually beneficial friendship.

Sarah Thompson, CEO of St. Clare Hospice, said: “We are extremely grateful for this support from the Provide Foundation as it will enable us to deliver training in new areas and increase the number of referrals.  We can then ensure that we match more of our volunteers with people who need support.”

Other voluntary and community organisations receiving grants from the Provide Foundation this year are:

  • Contact the Elderly: £4,916 to survey people aged 75+ in Braintree and Chelmsford about their use of technology, with the aim to get more people online so they can connect with loved ones and their communities.
  • Crossroads Braintree and Chelmsford: £5,000 to continue an early intervention scheme for carers throughout mid-Essex, helping them to access support.
  • Dementia Adventure Trust: £4,969 to deliver a programme of ‘Thinking Differently about Dementia’ events for un-paid carers looking after somebody with dementia.
  • Essex Respite and Care Association: £4,784 to help fund a part-time support worker for clients with critical mental health issues and their carers.
  • Families in Focus: £5,000 to help support Chelmsford families that have a child with special educational needs or disabilities. 
  • PARC: £3,312 to run a six-week course teaching young people with additional needs or disabilities across Mid-Essex how to how to take care of themselves, including hygiene and personal health care.
  • Sanctus Homeless Charity: £5,000 towards staff salaries for an organisation supporting and people that are homeless.

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.

Derrick Louis, Chairman of Provide said: “At Provide, we recognise that supporting local charities is a very important part of our work and helps to underpin the social and care services that we offer.  

“Our partnership with Essex Community Foundation means that we can effectively invest funds into voluntary organisations whose work complements our own.  Bringing the voluntary groups together with our team was a great opportunity to speak with them in more detail about their work and to thank them for all that they do.” 

As an independent charitable trust, ECF can give Provide impartial information on the organisations involved, helping their Members and staff to make decisions, with confidence, knowing that the money will be directed to where it is needed most.

For more information call us on 01245 356018.

New year funding boost for life-changing charities

15th January 2020

Families struggling to afford food, lonely older people and those receiving help for anxiety and depression will be able to access continued support from local charities thanks to grants awarded from the Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund.

The fund is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and was set up by Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing to provide local voluntary organisations and charities with the opportunity to apply for funding annually.

In the latest round, grants totalling £108,720 have been awarded to four organisations over the next three years that address a wide range of issues:

  • Abberton Rural Training: £35,200 to provide outdoor rural skills training to people who are unemployed or have mental health problems in the Braintree District.
  • Braintree Area Foodbank: £40,000 to employ a full-time project manager to oversee the expansion of the foodbank.
  • Families InFocus: £20,820 to support local families that have children with disabilities or special needs.
  • Witham Town Luncheon Club: £12,700 for a lunch club that provides hot meals to older people three days a week.

Jacqui Stone, CEO of Abberton Rural Training, said: “Our rural skills training helps local people that suffer with mental health problems.  It gets them outside into the open air, being active and feeling proud of what they achieve. We also provide mental health counselling, career guidance and help to move closer to employment or further education.”

Dorothy Lodge, Funding Co-ordinator at the Foodbank, also expressed thanks for the grant saying: “We are delighted to receive this funding.  The demand for our services is growing and this money will enable us to expand our work providing emergency food and support to people in poverty.”

Karen Dillane, from Witham Town Luncheon Club, said: “Our club provides a wonderful opportunity for older people to come together to share memories and to make new friends.  Receiving this grant means we can continue to serve healthy, hot meals, three times a week.”

Sandra Crosby, Greenfields’ Executive Director of Housing & Customer Services, said: “We’re very proud to have the opportunity to improve lives through supporting these fantastic organisations to continue their essential work. Each of them truly makes a difference to the health and wellbeing of people in our communities.”

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, of Braintree District Council and panel member, said: “It is amazing to see the difference community groups and charities are making in our District to help improve the health and wellbeing of our residents. It was truly inspiring to sit on the judging panel and see the great work being done and to be able to support them by providing funding to develop their work.”

For more information about ECF and how to apply for funding, call us on 01245 356018.

Funding boost for projects supporting women and girls

14th January 2020

Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service and HARP in Southend are among 11 local voluntary organisations to receive grants totalling £88,236.

The funds have been awarded from the Tampon Tax Community Fund which was set up by the Government with money raised through the levy on sanitary products.  The Fund is managed locally by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

This is the second round of grants awarded from the Fund in Essex to support the work of voluntary organisations that are helping women and girls experiencing issues including domestic abuse and mental health.  Supported projects aim to help develop skills and confidence, improve wellbeing or build social networks.

Jane Blomeley, CEO of Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service, said “We were delighted to receive £8,800 which will enable us to employ staff to work with young women in Tendring that are pregnant or are first time mums.

“It can be an incredibly daunting time for these young women and they may feel overwhelmed and alone.  By building relationships with them, we can support them with issues including health in pregnancy, debt, domestic abuse and social isolation.”

Dina Jobson, Fundraising Manager of Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP), said: “Women experiencing homelessness are very vulnerable and they often have complex needs.  Our grant of £10,000 will enable us to employ a female support worker to work with women staying at our hostel in Southend and help them to rebuild their lives in a safe and supportive environment.”

Also receiving grants are:

  • African Families in the UK: £7,000 to provide skill-building and confidence workshops for women that are BAME in Colchester.
  • CARA Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse: £8,621 for a charity that counsel's women and girls in Colchester and Clacton who have been affected by sexual abuse.
  • English for Women: £8,550 to help women who do not have English as their first language to integrate into their communities, in Chelmsford and Harwich.
  • Lighthouse Family Trust: £5,000 for the running costs of a charity that supports women who have been affected by pregnancy loss in mid-Essex.
  • Next Chapter: £8,100 to run support programmes for women affected by domestic abuse in North Essex.
  • Open Road: £7,748 to provide a support programme to women leaving prison and probation across the county, helping them to readjust and restart their lives.
  • Pregnancy Expectations Trauma and Loss Society (Petals): £6,967 to provide counselling for women affected by pregnancy loss in Harlow.
  • SOS Rape Crisis: £7,450 towards a counselling service for women affected by sexual violence in South Essex.
  • Southend Vineyard: £10,000 for the salary of an outreach worker to help women exit the sex industry.

Susannah Owen, English for Women’s project coordinator, said: “Since 2015, I have seen English for Women help so many women improve their English and forge invaluable friendships in our community sessions.
“Isolation as a result of language barriers, often creates insurmountable obstacles to negotiating every-day life.  But just as important is learning about local life, culture and gaining knowledge about the local area.  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 without the worry of not being understood.

“Our fantastic team of volunteers provide the opportunity to talk, listen and be supported so learners can improve their English skills, gain confidence to use those skills and be part of their community through work, volunteering or further study.  English for Women has had a hugely positive impact on the lives of those who attend our sessions, their families and the wider community."

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF, said: “This funding supports local charities that are helping women and girls to make positive choices and changes to their lives. 

“We know there is huge demand for these services and we are pleased to help local voluntary organisations working in our community, to access vital public funding which they might otherwise miss out on.”

This is the second time UK Community Foundations has been selected by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to distribute the largest share of Tampon Tax funding.  To date, a total of £6.9 million has been awarded nationally from this programme. 

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