£100,000 available to tackle the biggest issues facing Braintree district

Wethersfield Community Activities was awarded £1,500 to fund three years of hall hires for its bumps, baby and toddler group.

Community groups and charities tackling the biggest issues affecting residents in Braintree District can apply for a slice of a £100,000 fund.

The Braintree District and Eastlight Community Fund is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), and was set up by Braintree District Council and Eastlight Community Homes. The Fund has awarded more than £1 million to local causes since 2015.

This year, the fund is looking for bids, big or small, to support residents facing the major social issues that residents say are affecting them the most: the cost-of-living crisis, loneliness and social isolation, emotional health and wellbeing issues or a lack of opportunities for young people.

These issues are further being tackled through Eastlight’s All In programme, where four teams of local residents are spending a year creating a solution to each of these social issues, before making it happen.

James Green, Eastlight’s Community Investment Director, said: “Local groups and charities do brilliant work for residents in Braintree District, and these grants are here to enable them to do even more for our communities.

“I look forward to seeing the amazing ideas proposed by grassroots community groups and voluntary sector organisations.”

Organisations that can apply include charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and other non-profit organisations.

Grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available for smaller scale grassroots projects, alongside larger awards of up to £40,000 over three years.

Last year, grants ranged from £600 so Incredible Edible could create a community garden in Earls Colne to £38,400 to allow the Wilderness Foundation to provide nature-based therapy to people who have experienced grief, trauma, addiction, isolation and other issues affecting their mental health.

Cllr Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities at Braintree District Council, said: “As a council we are proud to be part of this fund which is making a real difference in the district. I encourage local voluntary organisations to make the most of this opportunity and apply for financial support.”

For more information and to apply, please visit www.essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk, email grants@essexcf.org.uk or call the ECF team on 01245 356018. The deadline to apply is 5pm on Monday 22 August.