The UK’s largest Community Foundation has announced one of its biggest years to date, awarding £7.8m to local charities and community groups across North East England. The Newcastle-based charity has now awarded over £130 million in funding since it was founded, consolidating its position as the biggest independent charitable Foundation in the region.
The Community Foundation champions giving to make a difference to people and communities across the North East of England. In 2018-19, it made 1,515 grants supporting 782 community groups and 197 individuals, growing its grant-making by £100,000 from the previous year. At the same time, the Foundation prioritised help for parts of the region that benefit less from philanthropy, and for priority causes including mental health and diversity and inclusion.
Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation, said: “The last year has been busier than ever for us at the Community Foundation matching generous people with important causes. We are delighted to have increased our support for the brilliant work of our region’s small, local charities and community groups, which is only possible through the amazing generosity of our donors and partners. But we’re not resting on our laurels. There are parts of the region and priority causes where philanthropy needs to do more. So, we are pleased to be backing some of our most trusted charities to make more of a difference with core funding for their work.
Among the charities to benefit from the Community Foundation’s increased funding in 2018-19 is Sunderland-based Back on the Map which has received £30,000 to tackle poverty through a new community hub offering services to residents in Hendon. Gateshead Older People’s Assembly was awarded £20,000 to give more older people opportunities to exercise, socialise and learn at its centre in Deckham Village Hall. In rural Northumberland, a grant of £10,000 to Bell View (Belford) will support a programme to improve mental health and wellbeing among socially isolated older men.
During the year, the Community Foundation also delivered the unique GeNErosity Festival of Philanthropy and Giving which celebrated North East England’s 900-year history of philanthropy and launched The Giving Network to engage a new generation of donors in supporting vital local causes.