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The Somerset Fund grants given to local charities thanks to generous donors

Grants up to £2,500 are now available for smaller charities and grassroots groups based in Somerset. Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) manages The Somerset Fund and is encouraging smaller charities and community groups that run on less than £100,000 per year to apply now for funding.

The grants are ‘unrestricted’, which means they can be used to pay for ongoing running costs, also known as ‘core costs’. Applications to the Fund can be made through SCF’s website and the deadline to apply is Monday, February 22, 2021.

The Somerset Fund has supported a wide range of local charities since its launch in 2018 thanks to generous local donors. Laura Blake, Development Director at SCF explains: “We’re hugely grateful to the local businesses and individuals who have chosen to give through The Somerset Fund so far; The Somerset Fund has already supported 84 good causes in the county and awarded more than £120,000 in grants to local grassroots charities.

“It’s a great way for local people to give to local good causes, helping to strengthen our charities and communities and change lives across Somerset. Another great reason to get behind The Somerset Fund is that all donations are matched by 50% thanks to funding from Somerset County Council, meaning your donation has an even greater impact.”

The Friends of the Blue Association Trust, in association with the Blue School in Wells, received a grant from The Somerset Fund in the autumn of 2020 for £1,500 to improve their conservation area, enhancing the students’ experience at the school both now and for future generations to come.

Lorraine Millington, of the school, said: “We asked the pupils what they felt was the most pressing current need of the time and conservation was number one. Staff and pupils have been able to work together, redesigning and refurbishing the conservation area at the school, thanks to the funding from The Somerset Fund.

“It was important to the pupils that we made sure the area is accessible to all. Our projects also include increasing biodiversity by planting bee-friendly plants, climbers, more trees in the orchard fields, bird feeders, an installation of a clay pond, raised beds, and the refurbishment of the polytunnel, which has seen better days.

“The fruit from the existing fruit trees is often made into apple juice for the local care home for the elderly and the community centre for the homeless. It’s been a really difficult year for everyone, and this project has been particularly good for the pupils’ mental health allowing them to spend more time outdoors, and to take part in activities and projects where the emphasis is less academic.

“Due to the pandemic we’ve seen a significant loss in our usual fundraising this year, so we’re very grateful for the grant from The Somerset Fund.”

The Somerset Fund supports local people of all ages and a wide range of causes, including:

  • Giving the best start in life to the most disadvantaged children
  • Growing the life skills of young people
  • Improving the mental health of people of all ages
  • Increasing opportunities for better physical health
  • Supporting people with disabilities and life-limiting illnesses, and their carers
  • Combatting loneliness and isolation

Anyone who runs a business who would like to find out more about giving through The Somerset Fund can visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk/tsf or call Laura Blake on 01749 344949, or e-mail: laura.blake@somersetcf.org.uk

People involved in a local, grassroots community project who would like to find out more about how to apply for funding, please visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk/somersetfund or call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949.

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