Wiltshire Community Foundation has an endowment fund of £19m to support voluntary groups and charitable organisations across Wiltshire and Swindon, raising additional funding locally from individuals, companies and trusts. Wiltshire Community Foundation gave out £720,000 in grants in 2014/2015 to 540 voluntary groups and individuals. All applications are assessed and monitored to ensure the grants are effective and benefit their community.
The Community Foundation is keen to hear from community groups and local charities in need of an extra funding boost this Autumn. Foundation grants will be awarded in November but groups need to have completed their application by 16 October so there is no time to lose.
Grants of up to £15k over 3 years are available to support and maintain organisations which make a difference to their local communities. You do not even need to be a registered charity as long as your organisation is based in Wiltshire, benefits Wiltshire residents and you have a constitution and a bank account.
The Community Foundation will fund running costs such as salaries, equipment and training, as well as new projects.
Recently funded projects include:
The Devizes & District Opportunity Centre is a Specialist Early Years Centre serving the whole of Wiltshire promoting the development and wellbeing of children up to 5 years old with learning difficulties and disabilities. They received a grant of £2,500 towards the salary of a Speech and Language Team Practitioner. This work opens up the children’s world, reduces their isolation and improves their quality of life.
Seeing is Hearing (Wiltshire) is run by people who are themselves affected by hearing loss and are passionate about addressing the lack of access to lip reading classes. One in six of the population have hearing loss. This leads people to give up work early and withdraw from social and family occasions when communication becomes just too difficult to manage.
In Salisbury, La Folia, who received £10,000, create artistic projects for people with additional needs. Working with school the group encourage the students to create the words and music themselves. A parent of initially electively mute teenager said, “ my daughter came out and sang an opera solo; I had no idea she had a voice like that, her eyes sparkled and her face shone like nothing I had seen before. La Folia had transformed these children. I have a picture of my daughter singing her solo; there is not a day when I don’t look at it and the warmth and happiness on her face never fails to put a smile on mine”.
In Swindon the Olive Tree Café aims to preserve the good mental health of people recovering from mental illness by providing them with positive, work-related volunteering opportunities in a café. The volunteers get a great feeling of job satisfaction from interaction with both colleagues and customers. Since March 2011 more than 120 volunteers have worked in the cafe with almost 60 having moved into employment, training or volunteering elsewhere. Their grant of £5,000 supports the salary of the Café Manager.