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£120,000 funding boost for life-changing local charities

£120,000 funding boost for life-changing local charities
12th February 2018 Amanda Bhavnani
Young Carer photo

An accommodation centre for vulnerable young people in Braintree, therapeutic care for cancer patients, and a counselling service for victims who have suffered sexual abuse are among the latest causes to receive support from the Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund.

The Fund, which was launched by Braintree District Council and Greenfields in 2016, is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Grants are awarded to support the work of voluntary and community groups that help to improve the health, wellbeing and life-chances of local people living in the Braintree district.

In this latest round, four organisations have benefited from grants totalling nearly £120,000, which will be administered by ECF over the next three years:

  • Action for Family Carers: £35,509

To employ someone to work with local primary and secondary schools and help identify and support young carers.

  • CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse): £33,987

To provide a counselling and support service for people who have been victims of sexual violence and child abuse.

  • Helen Rollason Heal Cancer Charity: £14,565

To continue therapeutic treatments for people who are receiving treatment for cancer.

  • Salvation Army Housing Association: £33,986

To retain a Support Manager at the Braintree Foyer, which is an accommodation centre for young people aged 16-25 who are experiencing  homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Helen Parr, Director of CARA said: “The counselling and therapeutic support we provide helps our clients to process what has happened to them and develop strategies to cope with the complex emotions they are often experiencing. We have seen a growth in demand for our services in the Braintree district, and this funding means we can continue our work and increase the number of sessions we offer.”

James Clarke, CEO of Action for Family Carers, said: “Young Carers sometimes keep their caring role a secret for fear of bullying or being seen as different by their friends.  However, remaining ‘hidden’ can mean that Young Carers miss out on the help that is available to them and their family. This grant means that we can work closely with schools in the Braintree district to identify Young Carers and ensure there is appropriate support for their wellbeing and future development.”

Flip Hornby, a Greenfields tenant and Board member, and Grant Panel member, said, “The panel was very impressed by the fantastic work of the four organisations benefiting from grants this year.  They are providing vital help to improve the lives of local people in need of additional support.”

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, Deputy Leader Braintree District Council, said: “As a council we are proud to be part of this fund which is making a real difference to the community. The range of organisations this year are close to many people’s hearts and I look forward to seeing the difference this money will make.”

The Fund provides voluntary and community organisations with the opportunity to apply for funding of up to £40,000, which can be awarded over a period of up to three years. In 2017, five local organisations received £95,000 in the first round of grants. The recipients were Braintree Area Foodbank, Families InFocus, Witham Town Luncheon Club, Home-Start Witham Braintree & Halstead and Relate North Essex & East Herts.

Community and voluntary organisations in need of funding can call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018 or visit essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk for more information.