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£96,000 gifted to local community organisations

Heads2Minds volunteers

Ten fantastic organisations in Essex will receive grants totalling almost £96,000 to support hundreds of local residents.

The Braintree District and Eastlight Community Fund was set up in 2015 by Braintree District Council and Eastlight Community Homes with the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

These latest grants, building on the £1 million already awarded to a host of local causes, are set to make a huge impact to organisations who support communities in Braintree district.

They include Halstead Community Shed, which will receive £20,000 to support the purchase and transformation of the old St John Ambulance Station at Fenn Road into a health and wellbeing hub. Not only will this funding help keep the ambulance station community-owned, but it will help to improve the services on offer to combat loneliness and mental health issues in Halstead.

Project Leader, Kevin Pryke, said: “We’d like to thank the panel for their support with the ‘Wellbeing at Halstead Shed’ project. The funds provided will help finance our new project during its first few years, allowing the trust and its volunteers to focus on supporting the local community.”

Mental health charity, Heads2Minds, will receive £20,000 over three years to deliver a series of emotional wellbeing workshops in primary schools across Braintree district.

The Salvation Army Housing Association will receive £19,000 to establish two peer support groups across the Braintree district for young people who are neuro-diverse or part of the LGBTQ+ community and who are at risk of homelessness.

Home-Start Essex provides informal, non-judgemental family support and its £26,000 grant will help fund a family wellbeing group across Braintree over the next two years.

More local organisations supported by the fund include:

  • The Empire Theatre Trust, who will receive £2,430
  • Braintree Youth Project Charity – £2,025
  • Majendie Trinity Explorer – £1,000
  • 4th Braintree Scout Group – £1,000
  • Braintree Youth Project Charity – £2,025
  • Tabor Centre – £3,120
  • Ferriers Barn – £700.

James Green, previously Eastlight’s Community Investment Director, said: “Throughout our communities, local organisations have a huge impact on the lives of residents across the Braintree district.  We’re proud to be able to support ten fantastic groups with the Braintree District & Eastlight Community Fund and help them to continue making a real difference.”

Cllr Mary Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities at Braintree District Council, said: “There are many community groups and projects that provide a vital lifeline to residents in the Braintree District. Funding such as this allows them to continue to provide and grow their services to those who need them. It’s particularly important to support our voluntary and community sector as we face the increasing Cost of Living.”

Andy Payne Worpole, Head of Programmes at Essex Community Foundation, said: “This latest funding will enable local charities and voluntary organisations to provide vital help to an increasing number of people who are in need of support in the Braintree District at this time.

“We have a strong partnership, built up over many years, with Eastlight Community Homes and Braintree District Council, and we are pleased to work with them to identify and support local organisations that are making such a difference to the lives of local people.”

To find out more about the Fund, visit or call 01245 356018.