Community groups receive essential funding to boost work

Members from Happy Hill in Braintree are stood behind a huge cardboard cheque that says £875 has been awarded to them.

Residents across the Braintree and Colchester districts have voted to support local community groups with vital funding.

The All In Alliance groups for Braintree, Witham, Halstead and Colchester, formed by Eastlight Community Homes, have been working alongside local residents to support community projects who make our towns and villages a better place.

Following their Spring Alliance meetings, 12 shortlisted charities pitched to residents in order to win their votes and receive their share of a £12,000 funding pot.

In Braintree, homeless charity, Hope House, were voted by residents to receive £1,250 to pay for weekly community meals offered to those in need. Happy Hill, who provide support for young people aged 3-25 with complex needs, received £875 to support their 1-2-1 support workers. Braintree East ‘Pride in our Patch’ community group received £875 to fund a trolley and gardening equipment to maintain pathways and community spaces in the town.

Withams’s SP Healthcare received the top grant of £1,250 to fund new adaptive and sensory fitness equipment for their fitness and healthcare sessions for disabled and underprivileged members of the community. Charity-run Witham Valley Nursery will receive £1,000 for outside protective screening to make the space usable throughout the year, whilst mental health charity, Heads2Minds, were awarded £750 to provide sessions across the town on neurodiversity and addiction.

Sunnydays Baby and Toddler Group in Halstead were voted to receive £1,250 to cover the cost of insurance and first aid training for their volunteers, whilst Frederick Douglas Performing Arts, were granted £1,000 for new soft mats and tap boards to allow for more styles of learning. Non-profit charity Earls Colne Millennium Green will receive £750 to provide a new gate to make their open eco wild space more accessible for residents.

For Colchester, CMA Debt Centre was awarded £1,250 to fund training sessions on budgeting skills, including managing energy costs and cooking on a budget. Age Well East will receive £875 to help train specialist advisors for answering calls and emails from residents who need support surrounding dementia, bereavement and community involvement.The final grant of £875 was awarded to Singing Mamas, a support group for perinatal mothers. The group plan to use the grant to set up a group in Colchester and cover the costs of refreshments after singing where members can receive 1-1 support.

Lauren Brimson, Eastlight’s Community Empowerment Co-ordinator, said:

“It’s a great joy to see residents supporting nine organisations with our community grants. Being able to support these groups is very important to us and we’re delighted that the grants will help them to continue their much-needed work.”