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Saffron Community Foundation helping local communities during the pandemic

In January 2020, Saffron Housing Trust launched its Community Foundation Programme to support the communities where it operates. One year on Saffron is proud to look back on what it has achieved.

The first donation of £3,000 towards a Community Van for the Wymondham Community Kitchen has helped the charity play a vital part in providing donated food to the local community.

Saffron donated £10,000 to Your Own Place CIC to help with their fundraising campaign ‘Needed Now More Than Ever’ to help them continue to provide valuable support and services to vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Community Foundation Programme has also provided the opportunity for people to apply for grants. Community Improvement Grants are aimed at providing activities or physical improvements to primarily benefit Saffron tenants and communities. They include events such as community clear up days, neighbourhood improvements, including bin store areas and enhancing safety and security measures.

Tenants and frontline staff submitted applications which were assessed by a panel of Saffron employees and it was agreed that all 15 applications would be funded benefitting 15 local projects.

Emilie Hildreth, Community Foundation Manager said, “We had some fantastic Community Improvement Grant applications this year from staff, tenants and community groups and our panel of staff and Customer Voice members have chosen 15 who we have awarded money to and are delighted that these improvements have started to be rolled out. We hope they will make a real difference to the people in those communities.”

The chosen applications include creating a community garden in Mendham, Norfolk which tenants and their visitors will be able to use for socialising. There will also be an area to hold community activities to help reduce social isolation and loneliness. Another improvement Saffron has agreed to contribute towards funding the play area in Chedgrave, Norfolk. Replacing the equipment will provide a safe space for the local children to play.

Work on these improvements are underway with one completed the end of December in Loddon. The Community Improvement Grant has enabled bollards to be installed on land where vehicles were driving to narrow the access, making the area safer and usable by the local community.

Neighbourhood Officer at Saffron, Liz Ross, who submitted the application for Loddon, said: “After receiving reports concerning incidents of vehicles driving onto the playing field at Crossways Terrace in the town, causing both a safety hazard and damage I summited an application to the Community Improvement Grants. The grant has quickly enabled new fencing to be erected so the area is safe and an interactive space for the community.”

Secretary of the Loddon & Chedgrave Playing Field Committee, Emily Curtis added: “We are grateful to Saffron for replacing their low-level fencing at the junction with Crossway’s Terrace and Kitten’s Lane. This fencing should prevent vehicular access to the playing field/football pitches and ensure that there is no further vandalism to the field.”

Saffron have several other grants underway as part of the Programme. These are:

  • Wellbeing Grant is designed to help individuals who are currently struggling with something that is affecting their physical or emotional wellbeing and could be resolved by a small amount of financial help. The grant could be used towards support to overcome barriers such as help with respite for a care provider in need of a break, funeral expenses for a loved one, home adaptations or improvements, funds to aid you flee from domestic abuse, travel to visit a loved one during a hospital stay.
  • Enhance Your Chance Grant is designed to overcome barriers facing people who want to improve their opportunities, confidence and wellbeing. They may want to attend a course, workshop or training session but don’t have the funds to cover the cost of equipment or travel. A job offered but unable to afford the travel or cover the cost of the uniform needed.
  • Community Project Grant is designed for groups and relevant charitable or voluntary organisations, who make a positive difference in their local communities.