Thanks a billion! Community Foundations celebrate giving £1 BILLION to local charities
Local charities make up the lifeblood of our communities. They make a daily difference to millions of people. That’s why Community Foundations are proud to announce today, on Local Charities Day, that collectively we have distributed ONE BILLION POUNDS to local charities.
This milestone shows the impact that Community Foundations have had on local communities. In the last year alone, across the UK, we distributed £77million in grants and 4.7million people were impacted by our work.
The Community Foundation in Wales itself has given £21m to charities in Wales – handing over £2.6m last year alone to more than 500 local community groups.
From floods to fuel poverty to food banks, we support communities where they need it the most. We reach every postcode in the UK and this reach means that we support the very smallest charities and community groups, who often go unnoticed by many. But it’s these charities that are a lifeline for so many people and desperately need our support
Take for example, this project we fund in Wales that helps people facing isolation. The Signing Village project was funded through the fund set up by our first million pound donor Dr Dewi Davies.
‘The Singing Village is a weekly singing group in a supported living complex in Cardigan. The project reaches older people who live alone and experience isolation. Some of the participants in the group live in rural areas and cannot drive, so volunteers were paid travel expenses to pick them up from their home. An experienced choir leader enabled the group to learn to sing in harmony. This required the group to improve their listening and pitching, rhythm and timing, essentially ‘tuning in’ to one another, which in itself facilitates connection and bonding. The group realised they had the ability to sing in harmony like a ‘proper choir’, gaining new skills and sounding good gave a huge boost to their confidence.
‘Singing is a completely new experience that has given me confidence and a lot of pleasure. It gives me a positive outlook on life’ – group member with mental health issues.
Overall the project has had a huge impact. Participants found that singing helped their breathing and is relaxing and uplifting. They found the group gives more structure to their week and they have made new friends. Wider benefits include social interaction and social cohesion.
Staff have noticed how the group members feel good after singing, and this positivity benefits all that come in contact with them and creates a more uplifting atmosphere.’
Richard Williams, chief executive of Community Foundation in Wales, said: “This is a landmark day for the community foundation movement in the UK and an opportunity to highlight the importance of support like this in communities across Wales and beyond. In these times of public funding cuts, our ability to connect philanthropists and donors with community action is more important than ever.
“These grants are making a huge difference in local communities and giving people the opportunity to address problems and develop their own solutions. We are working hard with our donors and partners in Wales and the rest of the UK to continue to increase our support of community groups in Wales.”
Fabian French, chief executive of UK Community Foundations, said “At UK Community Foundations we’re proud to work with incredible local charities day in day out. We understand the needs of the communities we work in and direct grants to causes that will meet that need and will make the biggest difference. That’s why we passionately support Local Charities Day and why Community Foundations are – in the words of the Chair of the Charity Commission - ‘exactly what charities should be’.”
Support your local Community Foundation and help us reach two billion pounds so we can continue to support local communities.