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All About The Herefordshire Community Foundation

Every year The Herefordshire Community Foundation hands out grants to help the work of organisations across the county. Last year it made 120 awards totalling almost 180 thousand pounds. Any local group can apply and Philippa Spens, the Foundation’s CEO tells us more. 

What are the aims of the foundation? We are a grant-giving charity which helps local voluntary and community groups.  Our aim is to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable, isolated and disadvantaged people in Herefordshire by connecting people who care with causes that matter. 

Where do your funds come from?
The Foundation looks after approximately 25 donor-directed funds. We are here to help those donors who want their charitable giving to be concentrated locally, secured over time and focused on specific aims. Some funds have been left as a legacy, others are set up by people living away from Herefordshire but with their hearts still very much in the county.
As well as these funds, we also distribute grants for national programmes through the UK Community Foundation network, for organisations like Comic Relief and the Youth Social Action Fund. 

Where do your grants go?
We raise money for other local community and individual needs in four main areas: The Arts, Sport, Education and our Surviving Winter Fund, which distributes money to individuals and organisations helping those in fuel poverty.  In November and December, all pensioners across the UK receive Winter Fuel Allowance payments. These are not means tested and if you don’t need the allowance, you can donate it to the Community Foundation to help those who are struggling with fuel poverty. Even if you don’t qualify for the benefit you can still make a donation. During the snow last winter, Age UK told us about an elderly couple who had run out of oil for their heating and couldn’t afford any more. We paid for an emergency oil delivery and they were able to heat their home again.

Are there any local projects you can tell us about?
Ledbury Food Group recently launched a photographic project featuring a year in the life of a local fruit farm. The costs of mounting the exhibition at The Master’s House were funded by the Stuart Heaton Fund at the Herefordshire Community Foundation (see photo). In Colwall we recently helped a project run by Colwall Community Church. Lots of young people come to their Friday night youth club which draws them in not only from Colwall but surrounding villages and Ledbury as well. The club leaders planned to send some of the older children to a summer outdoor activities camp and needed to raise the money to do this. They set about fundraising through activities like a charity car wash and we gave them a grant to top up the total. 

To find out more about the fund please visit www.herefordshirecf.org