A nature park project in Parkeston near Harwich and a scheme in Tendring to recycle mobility equipment have been given a financial boost with grants of £5,000 each from the Colne Community Builders Fund, which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).
The Essex-based housing association Colne, which provides 3,000 homes in the north of the county, established the fund with ECF to make their grant-giving programme more effective.
Citizens Advice Bureau Tendring, which links with local charities as well as providing advice to residents, was awarded £5,000 in the latest round of grants allocated from the fund. The money goes towards a three year community-based initiative called Tendring RE-EQUIP.
The project involves the recycling of mobility and assistive aids and helps unemployed volunteers develop skills, as well as preventing waste of mobility equipment.
The Parkeston Residents and Welfare Park Association also received £5,000. The grant will go towards a nature park project which is a volunteer-led initiative developed after a group of local people took over the running of the park.
Work on the nature park area will include wooden walkways next to a river, raised wild flower beds, a duck island and the creation of a junior angling club.
Alistair Heron, Colne’s Partnerships and Business Development Manager, said: “Colne was impressed with the aims of these two worthwhile projects and can see the many benefits they will bring to the local community.
“Through Colne Community Builders we have a very different approach to grant making. Rather than being prescriptive about the sorts of projects we want to fund, we have our eyes and ears open to the very best ideas coming from local people.
“Our chief concern is that the projects we support encourage communities to meet their own needs and will not depend on us for ongoing funding. It’s capacity building at the grassroots, which fits so well with Essex Community Foundation’s ethos.
“This year ECF was invited to help us develop Colne’s grant-making scheme further, because we recognised their unique understanding of the local voluntary sector and ability to leverage additional resource from other the charitable funds they manage.”
Since it was set up in 2008 Colne Community Builders’ programme has distributed more than £40,000 to a wide array of projects.
Caroline Taylor, deputy chief executive of ECF said: “We are delighted to be working with Colne. Our partnership with them means that even greater support is being given to local people who are working so hard to improve their communities and address the needs they see around them.”
For more details about ECF visit www.essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk