Having recently launched an environmental strategy, Kent Community Foundation is using World Environment Day to highlight the financial support that is available for community projects that help to protect and promote the environment
World Environment Day is celebrated worldwide on 5 June and encourages everyone to consider how they can improve the planet by making small changes, including planting trees, creating community gardens, and cleaning rivers and coasts.
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Our new environmental strategy is designed to help safeguard our county’s natural habitat and green spaces for every community to enjoy today and in years to come. The World Environment Day objectives to encourage everyone to consider how they can improve the planet by making small changes, including planting trees, creating community gardens, and cleaning up rivers and coasts fits perfectly with our strategy to fund this type of community project.
“Over the last twenty years we have funded many projects which help to protect the environment and address social issues. Our new environmental strategy will enable us to award grants to more projects supporting local community action like The Friends of The Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond, Sunflower House and Sheppey Matters.”
The Friends of The Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond were awarded £1,500 to restore the Westbrook Steam and increase the diversity of plant life which in turn will support a wider variety of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The Folkestone Sunflower House Project received a grant of £3,000 for to assist their Town Sprucer project purchase additional PPE during the pandemic. The Town Sprucer project works with job-seeking volunteers to build confidence and reduce social isolation, through clearing litter, removing graffiti, cleaning road signs, cutting back overgrowth, and clearing walkways and cycle paths.
Alex MacLaren, The Folkestone Sunflower House Project, said, “When the pandemic hit, we had to shut down the Folkestone Town Sprucer project for safety reasons. But with funding support from Kent Community Foundation, we restarted it very quickly – this meant our more vulnerable volunteers benefited massively from a sense of purpose at a time of crisis, and the town of Folkestone had a team of dedicated people making it cleaner and safer at a time when masks and wipes were being discarded all over the streets. Without Kent Community Foundation’s backing it would’ve been much more difficult to access the PPE and litter pickers that we needed. Thank you!”
Sheppey Matters received a grant of £3,464, for their “War on Waste” environmental project. This initiative saw Sheppey FM Youth spearhead an ‘Environmental Awareness’ project for young people to tackle the local issues of environmental pollution with educational workshops and beach clean-ups.
Julie Nicholls, Sheppey Matters and Sheppey HLC, said, “Before the pandemic lockdown we had twelve young people attending the workshops and progressing their Silver Level Arts Awards. Their chosen topic was tackling Local Environmental issues. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that they all felt passionate about improving the environment and they personally set up new initiatives based on ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.’ They organised beach cleans and litter picks and the recycling of batteries, ink cartridges, used stamps and crisp packets (for the local air ambulance). They collected cans for the Rotary Club and plastic bottle tops for a local school (which are melted down to make craft mats). We truly feel that we have enlightened these young people and that they will carry this environmental awareness and ethos through to their adult lives.”
Josephine McCartney, continued, “If you belong to a community group that is trying to make a difference to your local environment, please do get in touch with us as by funding projects supporting local community action, we can make a big difference to the Garden of England now and for the future.”
To find out more about Kent Community Foundation’s environmental strategy visit,
About World Environment Day
World Environment Day is on 5 June 2021
People are asked to join in by taking actions including grow trees, green cities, rewild gardens, change diets and clean up rivers and coasts.
About the Kent Community Foundation Environmental Strategy
Kent Community Foundation has embarked a new environmental strategy, recognising that many social issues are intertwined with environmental impact.
Understanding the potential future impacts of warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers is crucial for the future prosperity, environmental quality, and health and well-being of our local communities. As one of the largest grant-makers in Kent and Medway the Foundation has an important part to play in combating these challenges. We believe that local community action can be at the heart of delivering solutions that not only minimise the impact on the environment, but also offer additional benefits that people and local communities can reap.
As place-based grant-makers, Community Foundations are pioneers of the statement ‘think global, act local’ and in partnership with donors and the local voluntary and community sector we can facilitate dynamic change in our own ‘back yard’.
There are four phases within the environmental strategy.
- Philanthropic – providing a sustainable source of income for our new environmental grant making plans.
- Ethical investment policy – continuing the move to an ethical investment portfolio in line with our charitable objects.
- Grant making strategy – launching our new environment theme.
- Organisational change – our operations and our policies.
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.