Supporting Warm Spaces with our Community Fund

Friday Dec 15, 2023

The latest in a long line of beneficiaries from a Chelmsford Star Co-op Community Fund grant is the West Thurrock & South Stifford Community Forum. In total, the Essex Community Foundation, which manage grants from a range of benefactors across Essex, has given out £4.4 million this year in local support around Essex.

The Thurrock-based group applied for a grant to help towards the hiring and running fees of a church hall, initially as a meeting point for local residents to discuss community matters. Across 2023, it was used by more organisations for a range of subjects and activities, all aimed at those living nearby, and it officially became a ‘Community Hub’. It has been used by groups as diverse as neighbourhood watch, local police, knit and natter sessions, food donation centre and, most recently, as a Community Cafe. Though popular, the group sought advice on how to get the word out and bring more people into the Hub, so we sent our Head of Membership & Marketing, Kevin Bennett, over to Thurrock to offer them some advice and guidance.

Also visiting the centre was Chair of the Membership Committee – the group of members who decide which grant applications receive funding, Pauline Dodd. Pauline said, “It was refreshing to see a diverse group of neighbours trying hard to ignite a community spirit amongst their neighbours, and who were still keen to learn new ideas and discuss new approaches. It is clear they have the best interests of their community in mind and I wish their efforts every success in the new year.

To get in touch with the group, access their website here. For more on Chelmsford Star’s Community Fund, visit here.