Charities given £130,000 lifeline pandemic funding boost

Elderly person and Young carer talking

Young people and unpaid carers will continue to receive essential support through the pandemic and beyond after Eastlight Community Homes and Braintree District Council award more than £130,000 of grants.

The Braintree District and Eastlight Community Fund is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and was created ten years ago to provide local voluntary organisations and charities with the opportunity to apply for funding annually.

Braintree Youth Project Charity and Crossroads Care are among six charities to receive a share of over £130,000 to provide much-needed support through these challenging times.

The recipients in the latest round are:

  • Action for Family Carers will receive £20,000 over two years to provide support to young carers in Braintree district.
  • Braintree Youth Project Charity will receive £30,000 over three years to help employ a member of staff to support young people.
  • Braintree, Halstead & Witham Citizens Advice are awarded £31,832 over two years for their outreach service supporting disabled people in Braintree district.
  • CARA Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse continue their work with a grant of £26,000 over the next two years, providing help and support to people living in Braintree district who have been affected by sexual violence.
  • Crossroads Braintree and Chelmsford will receive £12,000 over two years to provide respite support for unpaid adult carers
  • Crossways Church Fellowship (Revolution Youth Project) to receive £12,000 over two years to provide a youth group and activities for young people in Halstead.

Crossroads Braintree and Chelmsford has highly trained support workers who help carers to look after their loved ones in their own home.  By temporarily alleviating the caring responsibilities for the unpaid carer, it allows them time to go shopping, get some exercise or meet friends. 

Danielle Perry, Development Manager at Crossroads, said: “The practical support we provide to carers means they can re-charge their batteries, feel less stressed and improve their well-being. We also reach out to those who feel lonely or cut off from the community, due to their caring responsibilities, and we spend time with them.  We know carers who are still isolating due to COVID-19 and they also require our help with food shopping or collecting prescriptions.”

Braintree Youth Project Charity provides a safe haven for young people aged 11-18 and up to 25 with special needs, including many that are disadvantaged or socially isolated, where they are cared for, listened to and respected. They run a range of indoor and outdoor activities, aimed at building confidence and helping young people to achieve their full potential.

Graham Goodchild, from Braintree Youth Project Charity, said: “We’ve had a huge growth in our membership over the past two years as more and more young people seek a haven where they can mix, make new friends and develop their confidence. We want to give them every chance to achieve any future they want, and, during the pandemic, we’ve been hosting video calls so our young people can stay connected and still talk to their friends. We look to welcome new members as we expand into more areas in the town.”

James Green, Eastlight’s Community Investment Director, said: “We are committed to supporting communities to recover from the pandemic. Many local organisations and charities have been hit really hard and that impacts on those they provide lifeline support to. We will continue to be here to help to make a real difference to the lives of local people.”

Councillor Gabrielle Spray, Chairman of the decision-making panel, said: “Braintree District Council is proud to be a part of this fund which is more important than ever for charities during the pandemic. It is brilliant to see the great work they are doing and how they are supporting our district’s residents during this difficult time.”

Local charities and voluntary organisations working in Braintree district are encouraged to contact the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 to talk about their work and funding needs. More information can be found at: