Trans­form­ing lo­cal lives through grants

Hertfordshire Life - - PROMOTION -

For the past thirty years Hert­ford­shire Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion has awarded grants to lo­cal com­mu­nity groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions help­ing tackle need and de­pri­va­tion across Hert­ford­shire.

This month we talk to Jo Con­nell, Hert­ford­shire Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion (HCF) Trustee and Chair of HCF’s Grants Com­mit­tee to find out more.

Why is Hert­ford­shire im­por­tant to you?

I have lived here for more than 30 years and I feel for­tu­nate to call Hert­ford­shire home. It is where my chil­dren were ed­u­cated, my friends live, my ca­reer was and lastly, but by no means least, it is where I was Pro Chan­cel­lor and Chair of the Board of Gov­er­nors at the Univer­sity of Hert­ford­shire.

How did you get in­volved with Hert­ford­shire Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion?

Fol­low­ing my re­tire­ment my char­i­ta­ble work in­cluded Chair of a na­tional char­ity, Help the Aged, but over time I wanted to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence to the peo­ple of Hert­ford­shire so I joined HCF. Nine years later I haven’t looked back.

What is the Hert­ford­shire Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion?

HCF is a char­ity which makes grants to lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions and to in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing in cri­sis. HCF con­ducts its own re­search, Hert­ford­shire Mat­ters, which en­ables HCF to pro­vide vi­tal sup­port to groups work­ing to im­prove the lives of Hert­ford­shire’s res­i­dents. Grants are funded through the gen­eros­ity of lo­cal donors who share our vi­sion to cre­ate a bet­ter Hert­ford­shire for ev­ery­one.

What is the most re­ward­ing part of your role?

Whether it’s a grant of £ 5k to help run a new mu­sic ther­apy group for dementia suf­fer­ers or a £ 300 grant for a mother to buy a wash­ing ma­chine so she can pro­vide clean clothes for her chil­dren, I know HCF can make a dif­fer­ence. This is hugely re­ward­ing.

How can groups ap­ply for a grant?

HCF of­fers grants rang­ing from £ 200 up to £ 50,000 to groups, or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als where a small grant can make a big dif­fer­ence. De­tails of all fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties can be found on­line at www. hertscf.org.uk. The ap­pli­ca­tion process is straight­for­ward and the grants team at HCF is al­ways happy to help. HCF also of­fers train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties through HCF Train­ing & Devel­op­ment.

“Whether it’s a grant of £5k to help run a new mu­sic ther­apy group for dementia suf­fer­ers or a £300 grant for a mother to buy a wash­ing ma­chine so she can pro­vide clean clothes for her chil­dren, I know HCF can make a dif­fer­ence. This is hugely re­ward­ing.”

What does the Grants Com­mit­tee do?

All ap­pli­ca­tions are re­viewed by HCF’s Grants team who un­der­take due dili­gence and present a brief re­port to the Grants Com­mit­tee. The Grants Com­mit­tee then dis­cusses each ap­pli­ca­tion at a quar­terly meet­ing be­fore de­cid­ing whether to ap­prove it, de­fer it (so that ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion can be re­quested) or re­ject it.

What is the great­est chal­lenge?

De­cid­ing which ap­pli­ca­tions not to fund. We sim­ply don’t have suf­fi­cient funds to sup­port all ap­pli­ca­tions which means that we reg­u­larly turn­down worth­while projects. This is al­ways re­ally hard– es­pe­cially when we are see­ing an in­crease in the vol­ume of ap­pli­ca­tions.

What next?

In the past, HCF has typ­i­cally awarded grants of up to £5,000. Thanks to two lo­cal phi­lan­thropists we have just launched a ‘ma­jor grants’ pro­gramme pro­vid­ing grants of up to £50,000. This is great news for the county and it will en­able HCF to in­crease its im­pact fur­ther.

How can peo­ple get in­volved?

Any­one who wants to make a dif­fer­ence lo­cally should con­sider sup­port­ing HCF. Do­na­tions, of any size, will stay in the county for the ben­e­fit of lo­cal res­i­dents and they will be di­rected in a way that de­liv­ers real im­pact. Char­i­ta­ble giv­ing can’t get much more re­ward­ing.

Hert­ford­shire’s coun­try­side

Jo Con­nell, HCF Trustee

Mak­ing a dif­fer­ence through grants to fam­i­lies in need

Mu­sic24 mu­sic ther­apy group

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.