A Wiveliscombe food project set up during the pandemic, a therapeutic counselling service for children and young people, and a personal development project for those not currently in employment, education or training are among the first charity projects of 2022 to receive backing from Taunton-based legal firm Clarke Willmott.
With the help of Somerset Community Foundation, which administers Clarke Willmott’s charitable endowment fund, the sum of £1,450 was contributed to Wivey Cares as part of a £2,450 grant. Wivey Cares used local rugby club facilities to turn food supplied by FareShare into meals for local people during the height of the pandemic.
A further £750 was given to Wellington Community Counselling as part of a £1,750 grant to support the continuation of the 1,400+ hours of free or low-cost online counselling delivered during the last year, largely to vulnerable children and young people.
Another contribution of £800 was given as part of a £4,800 grant to the charity Actiontrack to support the provision of bespoke creative and personal development sessions for individuals or groups of young people referred to them who are not currently in employment, education or training, or are in danger of becoming such. The sessions aim to increase employability and access to further learning among participants, as well as developing improved mental health, providing positive peer group networking, and countering tendencies towards negative behaviour.
Chris Thorne, head of Clarke Willmott’s Taunton office, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the great work of Somerset Community Foundation, which has administered our charitable endowment fund for a number of years, and to have made a contribution to their grant-making for a range of good causes.
“Working with our local community is key to us. Although we are now a major national legal firm, we will never forget that our roots are deeply embedded in the life of Somerset, where it all began.”
The money comes from The Clarke Willmott Fund which, since its launch in 2010, has donated more than £40,000 in awards and grants, ranging from £250 to £5,000, and focuses particularly on grassroots voluntary groups, local charities and social enterprises located in Taunton and the surrounding area.
John Osborne, Treasurer and Trustee at Wivey Cares, said: “The Wivey Food Project has been an immense joy and such a success. We have been able to support the entire community, especially those impacted by Covid. Our fresh ingredients come to us from FareShare who source it from surpluses from within the supermarket supply chain. Whilst the project was primarily set up to help those in need, we make and supply food for everyone in our community, and those that can pay do pay.
“Recently, the cook at a local care home went down with Covid and we delivered 100 meals – within an hour – that fed them for the entire weekend. This project has not only helped people who have benefited from the food but also the cooks and drivers have found the volunteering experience to be enormously beneficial to their wellbeing.
“We’re so very grateful for the grant and to Somerset Community Foundation and Clarke Willmott. By supporting this project, they have helped us to support some of the most vulnerable in our local area and bring the whole Wivey community together, united through food.”
Rhonda Lovell, CEO at Wellington Community Counselling, said: “The grant went towards providing low cost or free counselling for vulnerable children and young people in Wellington who would otherwise not get counselling. We offered them face-to-face or Zoom counselling that fitted around their school/college life and parent/carers commitments. In this way we can see, hear and help children and young people in our community for as long as they need our help.”
If you run a local community project and would like to find out more about grant funding in general, please contact Somerset Community Foundation at: firstname.lastname@example.org, call: 01749 344949 or visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk
For further information on Wivey Cares see www.wiveycares.net; Wellington Community Counselling see www.wellington-counselling.co.uk; Actiontrack see www.actiontrackperformance.co.uk
Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton, and Taunton.
For more information visit: www.clarkewillmott.com