Essex Freemasons Community Fund - Winner
The fund was originally set up late in 2019, with money raised from the charitable donations of Essex Freemasons, with the purpose of awarding grants to Registered Charities and organizations in Essex that are supporting local communities. Indeed 6 x Grants of £10,000 each were made in 2020. Having been formally launched just before the COVID 19 Pandemic Lockdown, the Executive was additionally tasked with responding to the PPE needs of groups across Essex.
These are some of the Initiatives and Grants that have been made to date….
1. £20,000 donation towards boosting Anti Body testing with an additional £100,000 pledged to fight the virus in every part of the East of England Region.
2. Donated 50 litres of hand sanitizer to Essex Search and Rescue, a team of 63 volunteers working across the county who help to find missing and vulnerable people.
3. 50 Litres of clinical Grade Hand Sanitizer donated to each of the 7 Essex Hospices
4. £10,000 Grant to the Essex Child Death Review Team based at Princess Alexander Hospital, Harlow. The team of five, support families and other organisations, with child death incidents across Essex. They have no budget for the literature, books and memory boxes that they provide to families to assist in explaining to surviving siblings what has taken place. The Grant is to fill the gap in funding stream due to the COVID-19 outbreak so that these items can still be provided.
5. Hand Sanitizer and Visors supplied to the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance crews.
6. Visors supplied to all nurses in the Community Mental Health Teams in the Mid to South Essex Area.
7. Visors supplied to the District Nurses covering the South of Essex.
8. All 506 Registered care homes in Essex were contacted and offered donations of Visors for every Staff member. Over 320 Care Homes requested support and over £10,000 Visors have been supplied to date.
9. In addition, a Personal 100ml bottle of Hand Sanitiser has been provided to every Ambulance Crew operator across Essex as a thank you from the Essex Freemasons for the work that they are carrying out
Every item was delivered by a volunteer from the Freemasons
Sanctus Sanctuary - Highly Commended
Sanctus operate a cafe in Chelmsford for those in need. The primary aim is to feed people with at least one hot meal a day. Demand is growing and has increased from 20 people a day visiting the cafe 8 years ago, to now between 60 and 80 people a day. Sanctus also offer mentoring and one-to-one support to help those with general day-to-day life issues, such as severe drug addiction and alcohol dependency. Sanctus is mainly funded by voluntary donations, however their aim is to develop into a sustainable operation. Main trustees Emma Hughes (Springfield) and Emma Goldie (Little Baddow), work tirelessly to help keep Sanctus going. Nominator and volunteer strategist Stephen Drury says : “Without them the Chelmsford homeless would have had very little unconditional help over the last 8 years. I cannot recommend Sanctus, and both Emma`s highly enough for Pride of Essex recognition.”
Kids Inspire - Highly Commended
The Charity operates from a base in Great Baddow. They support the most vulnerable young people in our county with issues, which include peer relationships, bullying, risk of exclusion and
school avoidance. Experienced Mentors are also trained to support those with more complex and long-term difficulties that stem from family dysfunction, social isolation and loneliness,
domestic violence and abuse. The aim is to give them the opportunity to engage in activities and experiences that broaden their horizons, develop their social and practical skills as well as building
self-esteem to work towards helping them to engage positively in their education. Those at Kids Inspire quite literally provide a lifeline to children and their families.
As one grateful parent wrote:- “Thank you for all you do. Without Kids Inspire I have no idea where we would be, but it wouldn’t be in a good place”
Brentwood Care Centre - Highly Commended
It appears that everyone who lives and works at the Centre truly understands the meaning of ‘community spirit’. For example resident 94-year-old Ann took part in a challenge to do 26 crosswords in 26 days to raise money for local SNAP (Special Needs and Parents) The ‘Crossword Queen’, completed the challenge in no time at all, finally raising the impressive sum of £552.00. Another example is the encouragement and promotion of a pen-pal scheme working with local education service ‘Guided Learning’. Linking residents with young people aged from 6 to 16 making new friendships whilst helping to improve the self-confidence of the youngsters.
The home is especially proud of their recent work with the Brentwood Food Bank, raising awareness and donating much needed food for those in need within the community. Each month, the management team and staff set about fulfilling a wish list of items that are running low. They worked incredibly hard to collect as many donations as possible. The final amount of supplies, were boosted further by a generous donation from Care Home itself.Client Relations Manager: Sommer Turner wrote: “We believe that the whole of the Brentwood Care Centre Family, our residents and our team, are deserving of recognition for their ongoing commitment to reach out, support and care for those in need within the local community.”
Harwich and Dovercourt Rotary Club - Highly Commended
Since 2013 they have provided weekly cookery workshops for young people aged 12 to 25 years at Teen Talk’s centre in Harwich. Many of the young people supported, face a range of difficulties in their lives, anxiety, low self- esteem, lack of confidence, stress, loneliness, bullying and relationship difficulties. All can have a significant impact on their ability to participate in activities. The workshops provided by the Rotary Club volunteers offer them an activity that is relaxed and adaptable to their individual needs to make sure that everyone feels welcome and able to participate. The sessions are great opportunity for young people, to take the first steps in trying something new and meeting others of their own age. The volunteers are able to share knowledge and experience and help to build their skills in the kitchen and their understanding of healthy eating while also building their confidence and self-esteem.
Rotary Volunteers are welcoming, considerate and passionate about helping they also help with maintenance and sharing skills through other activities such as woodwork and a wildlife project. Nominator: Emma Blabber of Teen Talk wrote, “The support the Rotary Club has shown Teen Talk over the years is greatly valued, we would be pleased to see them recognized for their great work in supporting the young in our community.”