In 2016 thanks to generous donations we were able to fund 147 local projects by investing £495,556 in grants, helping to support 58,539 people in need. We’re always looking to support new and interesting work, so if you’re a local community project addressing disadvantage and deprivation on your doorstep please put in a Stage 1 Application today.
It has been a busy and exciting year for us and we have a lot to share with you! Thanks to our strong track record of supporting community groups to access the funding they so desperately need, we have been chosen to hold four new community benefit funds. Our role is to make a positive difference to the lives of local people by channelling the funding into projects to help build thriving and vibrant places to live.
We were also proud to be the lead Community Foundation for the South West on the ‘Building a Stronger Britain Together’ programme. Working in partnership with the Home Office to support work where there is clear evidence of building cohesive communities, bringing diverse citizens together, promoting pro-integration activities, creating opportunities and helping young people to become more resilient to the risks of radicalisation.
It was the first full year of our new and improved rolling grant programme. It is important to us to be a Funder who welcomes learning and change based on the needs of those we support. So after consultation, we made the decision to remove any deadlines from our Stage 1 Application, meaning those interested in applying can now do so all year round. This change has helped alleviate any stress and pressure on groups applying for support, especially those small projects run solely by volunteers. It has also enabled us to spend more time supporting and encouraging applicants, and we are delighted to have funded 74% of the amount requested, in comparison to 62% last year.
It really is a privilege for us to work as closely as we do with so many vital groups and the impressive people who run them. I hope you enjoy the case studies throughout this report which highlight the many ways they are changing people’s lives in our neighbourhoods. It is important for us to not only show the difference being made to those people’s lives, but also our impact on the organisations we support and the communities they are part of.
What we do is achieved thanks to the dedication of our 55 community panellists who gave 1,110 hours (148 days!) of their free time to bring their local knowledge, skill and expertise to bear when they look at and make their recommendations on every project. So a huge thank you from me and the Team for giving your time and energy – it is very