You would think that a body that had made grants of £10m to local organisations in our area in recent years would be pretty well known.
But I am fairly sure that most of you will never have heard of the Two Ridings Community Foundation.
Until quite recently I hadn’t either.
The York-based foundation covers East and North Yorkshire and is very keen to do more in our part of the area it covers – that’s Hambleton and Richmondshire.
Last year, it made relatively small grants of around £1,000 to two local charities – a youth project in Leyburn and the Veteran’s Woodcraft project I’ve had the pleasure of visiting at the Help for Heroes’ Pheonix House Centre at Catterick Garrison. It is keen to see more applications from northern North Yorkshire.
Two Ridings chief executive Jan Garrill told me it is one of 46 Community Foundations across the UK and part of a national network dedicated to working locally and inspiring people to give. It helps people and organisations to invest in local communities where it is most needed and where it will make most impact.
Its key aims in making grants to predominantly small local charities are:
- Ensuring young people aren’t left behind and to achieve their full potential
- Providing support to help improve mental and physical wellbeing
- Supporting people to be less isolated and lonely
As well as being keen to hear from local charities with projects in these areas to fund, the Foundation wants to talk to organisations, companies and individuals who would like to give to charitable bodies doing good work in our local communities.
Being part of a national network of Community Foundations, Two Ridings is fully accredited and experienced in dealing with trusts and endowments. Donors can be involved in the decisions about where their funds are distributed as much or as little as they wish.
Any Hambleton and Richmondshire charity wanting to know more about whether their project might be fundable by Two Ridings or anyone who wishes to find out about charitable giving which will have the maximum local impact should contact Jan on 01904 929500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are more opportunities for our rural communities to access cash with the opening of a new £3m Government fund to support community buildings like village halls.
In last year’s Budget, the Chancellor announced a total of three schemes to fund repairs and improvements to village halls, veterans’ community centres and Miners’ Welfare Clubs as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Many of our village halls were originally constructed as memorials to those who gave their lives so it seems very fitting that money should be made available 100 years later to perpetuate their memory through meeting the VAT bill on the cost of repairs and improvements.
Village halls are now able to apply for grants up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of their buildings, from improvement works on existing facilities through to new meeting rooms.
The application must be made by the village hall or similar rural community building and a registered charity. The application process is being managed by Action With Communities In Rural England (ACRE). More details from acre.org.uk/ourwork/rural-hall-improvement-fund.php.