Essex Community Foundation

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Our 2018 Spring Receptions

17th May 2018

We were delighted to welcome 200 invited guests to this year's Spring Receptions held at Ingatestone Hall and Layer Marney Tower.

These events are an opportunity for our supporters, donors and Fundholders to come together, hear about ECF's latest work and listen to guest speakers from the voluntary sector.

This year's speakers at Ingatestone Hall were, Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford vice president of ECF, and local community organisations Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) and Maldon Men’s Shed. 

Bishop Stephen spoke about the importance of communities reaching out to one another, highlighting that this can only happen by people working together to help those in need. 

CAVS explained their befriending scheme, which matches people who feel lonely and isolated with a volunteer companion. The scheme helps many elderly and vulnerable people, but is open to anyone over the age of 18. Jennifer Ferns, a volunteer befriender, explained how she got involved with the scheme and the unexpected impact it had on her life.

Maldon Men’s Shed described how their scheme brings men together for the benefit of their health and wellbeing. Members of the Shed network choose projects and work on them at their own pace in a social environment. This community space gives them the opportunity to make new friends, share skills and learn new ones which can make a huge difference to those who find themselves isolated.

Our Layer Marney speakers were Nick Alston CBE DL, ECF Fundholder and trustee, The MAZE Group and Your Living Room.

The MAZE Group explained their work with parents who have children with additional needs. Their informative training courses give families the tools to build more positive relationships, better communicate and improve behaviour.  Debbie shared her family’s experience and how MAZE has helped her to better understand her son, Tom, who was only formally diagnosed with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) at the age of 20.

Your Living Room spoke about the long-term support that they offer to people living with this widely misunderstood condition. Philip spoke about his personal experience of hoarding and how this service has helped him to change his life.

To view more photos from both events, click here.