Get­ting to the heart of the com­mu­nity

Univer­sal Care in Bea­cons­field is cel­e­brat­ing its 30th an­niver­sary by sup­port­ing 30 lo­cal and na­tional char­i­ties over 30 weeks from April 4 to Oc­to­ber 28. Each char­ity will re­ceive a cash do­na­tion and free use of Univer­sal Care’s con­fer­ence room to use as

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

HEART of Bucks is the county’s com­mu­nity foun­da­tion and our main aim is to en­cour­age and en­able lo­calised ‘giv­ing back,’ so that to­gether we can fund a wide range of char­i­ta­ble projects across the county.

Since our in­cep­tion in 2000, we have sup­ported thou­sands of lo­cal char­i­ties and com­mu­nity groups, dis­tribut­ing over £6mil­lion in grants and loans.

This fund­ing has helped the home­less and the hun­gry, the elderly and the young, the dis­abled, the dis­ad­van­taged, and ev­ery­one in be­tween.

The wealth of Buck­ing­hamshire means that we live in a county of con­trasts – one which dis­guises the needs of oth­ers and the real poverty and de­pri­va­tion that’s on our doorstep. Thanks to the gen­eros­ity of our sup­port­ers, our donors and our fund hold­ers, we are able to make a dif­fer­ence and sup­port those in need.

Chair­man of Heart of Bucks Count­ess El­iz­a­beth Howe said: “We want to see com­mu­ni­ties thrive in all parts of the county. We want to make a dif­fer­ence.”

As a com­mu­nity foun­da­tion, we se­cure do­na­tions from in­di­vid­u­als, trusts and or­gan­i­sa­tions that want to make a dif­fer­ence in the ar­eas they are pas­sion­ate about.

Through pro­vid­ing be­spoke ser­vices to our donors, we can en­sure that their char­i­ta­ble giv­ing is max­imised through­out the county. The donor devel­op­ment team is ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing that ex­cel­lent ser­vice lev­els are main­tained across their fund port­fo­lio.

Through­out the year, lo­cal char­i­ties and not-for­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions are in­vited to ap­ply for fund­ing for a hugely di­verse ar­ray of projects. From the ini­tial stages of ex­press­ing an in­ter­est in ap­ply­ing, through to a grant be­ing awarded, or­gan­i­sa­tions are as­sisted by our in­ter­nal grants team.

We are proud to of­fer cus­tom sup­port to en­sure ap­pli­ca­tions are of the highest stan­dard be­fore they are taken to panel.

Our ded­i­cated grants panel – who meet six times a year to care­fully con­sider ap­pli­ca­tions – con­sists en­tirely of Buck­ing­hamshire-based vol­un­teers, whose ex­pe­ri­ence cov­ers ev­ery­thing from ed­u­ca­tion to busi­ness and are a fun­da­men­tal part of the ap­pli­ca­tion process.

At Heart of Bucks we are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that fund­ing cov­ers the whole county, but we also tar­get highly de­prived ar­eas and those with the most need.

Work­ing with our gov­ern­ing body UKCF, this year we are im­ple­ment­ing a new and in­no­va­tive way of iden­ti­fy­ing needs through a re­search project called Vi­tal Signs.

By col­lect­ing and analysing lo­cal and na­tional data on Buck­ing­hamshire, we will be able to make com­par­isons within the county on 11 dif­fer­ent top­ics in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion, work and in­equal­ity.

In ad­di­tion to this, we will be ask­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity for their opin­ions through an on­line sur­vey.

Vi­tal Signs will help to tar­get our fund­ing strat­egy through­out the county and al­low us to de­liver grants based on this re­search, con­tin­u­ing our ef­forts to build­ing stronger com­mu­ni­ties.

For more in­for­ma­tion on sup­port­ing your lo­cal com­mu­nity, ap­ply­ing for fund­ing or read­ing about some of the ex­cit­ing projects and or­gan­i­sa­tions we have helped in the past, please visit our web­site at www.heartof­bucks.org.

Cel­e­brat­ing 30 years: Chair­man of Univer­sal Care Peter Cul­limore and Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Trudi

Scrivener.

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