Kent Community Foundation Pledges £360,000 to 13 Charities

Kent Community Foundation is awarding funding to thirteen charitable organisations, one from each of Kent’s districts, as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations.

Kent Community Foundation established a new fund earlier this year as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, to provide core funding to one charitable organisation from each of the county’s districts. The thirteen groups whose applications were successful received £12,000 in April, will receive a second grant of £9,600 in April 2022 and a third of £6,000 in April 2023, towards their core costs, including utilities, rent, and staffing costs.                                                     

The grant recipients were Home Start North West Kent, Dads Unlimited, Bright Shadow CIO, Bechange, Kent Equality Cohesion Council, Rubicon Cares, Square Pegs Arts, Eden Christian Trust, Living Words Arts, Diversity House Limited, East Kent Education Partnership Ltd, Communigrow and Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “This year Kent Community Foundation is celebrating twenty years as a grant-maker. As part of our celebrations, we are delighted to be able to award £360,000 over the next three years, from our 20th Anniversary Fund to thirteen local organisations for their running costs. The diverse mix of charities receiving this financial support really reflects the variety of charities supporting communities throughout the county.

“We know from our own research that core funding is where charities and community groups across the county really need help and we are delighted to be able to assist these groups. The 20th Anniversary Fund was created with funding from the John Swire 1989 Charitable Trust, and we would like to thank them for their continued support.”

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About the Grant Recipients

Home Start North West Kent, from the Dartford district, offer free, confidential support, friendship, and practical help to parents of children under five who are going through a difficult time.

Debbie Bowler, Manager, Home Start North West Kent, said, “On behalf of all involved with Home-Start in North West Kent, I would like to congratulate the Kent Community Foundation team on their 20th Anniversary and thank them and the John Swire Charitable Trust for our award of three years core funding to help our scheme focus on post Covid mental health needs of parents with pre-school children supported by us. This grant could not have come at a better time. THANK YOU!”

Dads Unlimited, from the Ashford district, supports the well-being of Dads through family breakdown by mentoring them, helping them to achieve a positive co-parenting relationship, reducing parental conflict; and helping prevent male suicide across the county. They also work at supporting male victims of domestic abuse (as these crimes against men are rarely reported).

Nav Mirza, Chief Executive, Dads Unlimited, said, “Dads Unlimited is completely over the moon to acknowledge the receipt of core funding for 3-years from Kent Community Foundation. This will help our Charity to really focus on our work in the community and deliver much needed help and support to all those who need us. Thank you!”

Bright Shadow CIO, from the Canterbury district, enable people living with dementia, and those affected by it, to live well and to thrive

Clare Thomas, Chief Executive, Bright Shadow CIC, said, “Bright Shadow is honoured and delighted to be one of the charities receiving a grant through Kent Community Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Core Support Fund. Like many charities, we have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to reach some of the most vulnerable in our community; this grant provides stability to us as a charity in challenging times and allows us to get on with our vital work supporting people living with or affected by dementia. As an organisation we would like to say a big thank you to Kent Community Foundation for its support, responsiveness and trust in the sector as demonstrated through these valuable core grants.” 

Bechange, from the Dover district, works with adults, families and young people who need support to make lasting change to reach positive futures.

Angela Doggett, Manager, Bechange, said, “We are honoured and delighted to receive the multi-year funding from Kent Community Foundations 20th Anniversary Core Support Fund. This will help us to continue to develop our hub in Aylesham and make a real difference to the lives of people living in our community” 

Kent Equality Cohesion Council, from the Gravesham district, work towards the reduction of inequality, the elimination of discrimination and to promote good relations between diverse communities.

Gurvinder Sandher, Kent Equality Cohesion Council, said, “We are very grateful to Kent Community Foundation for supporting our work with the diverse communities of Kent.”

Rubicon Cares, from the Maidstone district, provides free specialist trauma counselling for young people and adults  affected by crime to enable them to move on from what has happened and improve the quality of their emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing.

Natasha Singh, Clinical Manager, Rubicon Cares, said, “Receiving the Core Support grant from Kent Community Foundation has been a great boost for us and has meant that  we will be able to continue providing a much-needed service for vulnerable people who have been affected by crime within our communities with the aim of helping them to improve their emotional/psychological wellbeing and improve the quality of their lives.  It is always a moment of pride for us when Funders award us a grant because to us it means that the funder believes in what we do and have the confidence and trust in us to deliver.  Kent Community Foundation have supported us many times over the last five years, and we would like to say a huge thank you for believing in us!”

Square Pegs Arts, from the Medway district, runs theatre and arts groups and projects for children, young people and adults who have learning disabilities, autism and social communication difficulties.

Beth James, Artistic Director and CEO, Square Pegs Arts, said, “Square Pegs Arts are thrilled to have received this core support from KFC’s 20th Anniversary Fund. It is a really tough time for small Charities like us at the moment, but the work we do to support autistic and learning-disabled young people is more important than ever. This funding could not have come at a better time and will make a real difference to us as an organisation and help us continue to bring creativity and connectivity to the lives of the young people we work with. Thank you so much.”

Eden Christian Trust, from the Sevenoaks district, is an ecumenical youth organisation dedicated to working with young people in Edenbridge churches, schools and on the streets.

Anthony Shipwright, Eden Christian Trust  Youth Worker, said, “ECT are delighted to have received this award from the Kent Community Foundation. This will significantly help with our core costs whilst enabling us to offer to the young people of Edenbridge the activities and camps they have so missed in 2020/21 due to the Covid-19 crisis.”

Living Words Arts, from the Shepway district, work with people experiencing dementia, and those who are isolated and disempowered.

Susanna Howard, Founder and Artistic Director, Living Words Arts, said, “We are delighted and grateful to have received this money from Kent Community Foundation, who have been supportive of our work over the past 2 years. This funding is helping our organisational development by enabling us to employ an administrator for 2 days per week, without having to take money from projects or fundraising events and activities to fund this position. This guaranteed money also demonstrates the local support in our work to national funders, to whom we are applying for larger core support to bring in a General Manager/CEO from the end of 2021/22. A great start to this new phase. Thank You.”

Diversity House Limited, from the Swale district, promotes community integration, re-integration, social inclusion, and cohesion.

Christine Locke, CEO, Diversity House, said “I am absolutely delighted for the receipt of the three years core funding from Kent Community Foundation.  The grant means that we can continue to provide the much needed services for our various communities.”

East Kent Education Business Partnership Ltd, from the Thanet district, aim to enrich the curriculum, actively engage employers in the development of their future workforce and equip young people with a better understanding of personal skills and their future choices.

Anne McNulty, CEO of East Kent Education Business Partnership Ltd, said, ‘We are simply delighted to be a recipient of this wonderful award, we aim to help as many young people as possible over the next three years and are truly honoured by this opportunity.’

Communigrow from the Tonbridge and Malling district, provides opportunities and activities for community involvement and participation in horticulture and the growing of fresh produce.

Helen Turner, Communigrow, said, “The grant has given us a real boost in moving forward over the next 3 years to develop our work with young people, families and the local community.  It is very reassuring that organisations like KCF have such confidence in our charity that they are prepared to support us over the next 3 years.  This grant will enable us to develop new opportunities and continue supporting young people facing disadvantage in their lives and to reach out to others in our community.”

Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre, from the Tunbridge Wells district, provides a free, confidential, and impartial advice service for the residents of Paddock Wood and surrounding rural parishes.

Suzi Rich, Manager, Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre, said, “We were delighted to hear that the Kent Community Foundation has chosen us to be a recipient of funding towards our running costs as part of its 20th Anniversary Core Support Fund! The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how crucial our free face-to-face advice service is to local people, especially to those who are isolated or vulnerable, and may find it difficult to engage with remote services. The funding will allow us to continue providing our essential service at a time when people need help more than ever and we are lucky to have a wonderful team of dedicated volunteer advisers available to help.”

About Kent Community Foundation

Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for 20 years. In this time, it has distributed over £40 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-six Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than 80 philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.