Fund launched to help communities tackle the big issues

5 July 2021

The fund has previously funded support for young carers through Action for Family Carers The fund has previously funded support for young carers through Action for Family Carers

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Applications are now open for a community fund which tackles the big issues that matter to Braintree District residents.

Voluntary and community organisations are being invited to apply to the Braintree District and Eastlight Community Fund, run by Braintree District Council and Eastlight Community Homes.

For the first time, grants of between £500 and £5,000 are available for smaller scale grassroots projects that make a big impact for people in the Braintree district. Larger awards of up to £40,000 over three years continue to be available.

A panel made up of Eastlight and Braintree District Council representatives especially want to hear about schemes which address the challenges which concern Braintree residents as we emerge from the pandemic. New research by YouGov for Eastlight reveal these issues include mental health, opportunities for young people and anti-social behaviour.

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

Projects should either improve health and wellbeing, provide opportunities for young people or offer training to local people to improve their skills.

James Green, Eastlight’s Community Investment Director, said: “This fund is here to support brilliant projects that help local people with the issues they care deeply about.

“During the pandemic, we saw local community groups and smaller organisations offering a lifeline to people in Braintree district. The smaller grants we’re introducing could enable a range of organisations to continue their fantastic work.”

Last year, grants included £20,000 to Action for Family Carers to support young carers and £31,832 to Braintree, Halstead & Witham Citizens Advice to help disabled people.

Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities at Braintree District Council, said: “Braintree District Council are proud to continue partnering with Eastlight Community Homes for this fund which will make a real difference to our communities. The introduction of the smaller grants will hopefully encourage a wider range of groups to access vital funding to support those in need within our communities.”

The Fund is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), which has a strong track record of supporting community organisations to access the funding and support they need.

Andy Payne Worpole, Head of Programmes at ECF said: “This Fund is a great resource for charities and voluntary groups working in Braintree District to tap into. 

“We know that a small amount of money can go a long way in helping to deliver local projects and activities and we urge organisations to contact us to discuss their ideas and funding needs.”

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 Friday 27 August.