Life-changing fund re-opens for applications

Life-changing fund re-opens for applications
18th June 2018 Amanda Bhavnani
Braintree Foyer

A charitable fund that has already channelled £215,000 into the Braintree District is calling on community organisations to apply for grants in the latest round.

The Braintree District and Greenfields Community Fund, set up by Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing in 2016, provides local voluntary organisations and charities with the opportunity to apply for funding.

Grants are available to support organisations working in the Braintree District that either help to improve health and well-being, increase aspirations and opportunities, or develop skills through training.

The Fund is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), which has a strong track record of managing funds and channelling grants to support community activity in Essex.

Last year Braintree Foyer, which provides accommodation to people aged 18-35 who are either experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, received a grant of £33,986 to help them employ a Support Manager.

Mark Watson, Projects Manager of Braintree Foyer, said: “Last year we supported 61 people, providing them with a safe place to live whilst they re-built their lives. Most of our residents come from chaotic backgrounds, many having suffered abuse, family breakdown or substance misuse. Before they come to us they may have also been sleeping on the street or sofa surfing at friends’ houses.

“As well as providing accommodation, we have also developed Braintree Discover College to create learning opportunities for local people. We have an onsite gym and also run a music programme. All our work aims to help our young people develop a positive outlook, which is vital if they are to move on with their lives.

A panel made up of representatives from Braintree District Council and Greenfields review and agree all applications to the Fund annually. Other organisations to benefit from grants in previous years include Braintree Area Foodbank and Action for Family Carers.

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. I would encourage local voluntary organisations across the Braintree District to make the most of this opportunity and apply for funding.”

Sandra Crosby, Greenfields’ Housing Director, urges local community organisations to apply for a grant: “We want to improve the lives of people living in the District in any way we can. We know that there are projects out there doing wonderful work, and we want to support and help them to grow.”

ECF are holding a Phone-In Funding Surgery on Thursday 12 July 10am to 12 noon to speak with potential applicants. Please call them, on the day, on 01245 356018, or visit for more information. The deadline to apply is Friday 31st of August.