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February Community Heroes

Each month, we're celebrating Community Heroes across Northamptonshire. These organisations are working tirelessly to improve the lives of our county's most vulnerable residents, and we're very proud to support them.

To read more about each Hero, take a look at our Community Hero of the Week column in the Northampton Chronicle & Echo, published every Thursday. 

United African Association

A selection of fresh vegetables chopped and ready for participants in the Grow Cook Eat class to useUnited African Association is a local charity promoting African culture and heritage as they support the county’s most vulnerable residents.

Long-time beneficiaries of funding from Northamptonshire Community Foundation, United African Association most recently received a grant award from the Friends of the Foundation Fund, to enable the provision of welfare support and vouchers for essentials such as toiletries and glasses to those in financial need. 

The United African Association offers a wide range of services, from vital lifelines such as food banks and immigration support, to activities including lady’s swimming sessions and African drumming. 




A group of 6 sit around a rectangular table playing board games

Cafe Emm

Everyone is welcome at Café Emm, a community cafe offering affordable, high-quality food from the first floor of Weston Favell Shopping Centre. 

Alongside a nourishing meal, the team at Café Emm provide a range of support services including their Memory Café for elderly people and anyone with dementia, food vouchers for those experiencing poverty, and a weekly Singing for the Soul group which welcomes people living with dementia, memory loss, mental health problems, disabilities, or anyone who enjoys a singalong.  

In November 2023, Café Emm was nominated for the Happy and Healthy Communities Award at Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Annual Awards event. This was due to the Memory Café set up with a grant from the Northamptonshire Queen’s Institute Relief Fund, which supported 34 beneficiaries and engaged 12 volunteers.  


A young girl is shown how to play keyboard by a volunteer from Thomas' Fund

Thomas' Fund

Thomas’ Fund provides music therapy at home, in hospitals and in community settings to improve the lives of young people aged 0 – 19 who have a life limiting condition or complex needs which prevent them from attending school for prolonged periods of time.  

Since its inception, the charity has supported more than 2,000 children who are extremely vulnerable and often struggle with feelings of isolation. Music therapy enables participants to develop life skills that aid mental and physical wellbeing, increasing self-esteem and communication skills.  

Due to their work in this space, Thomas’ Fund was nominated for the Happy and Healthy Communities Award at Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Annual Awards event in November 2023. 


Small hands hold a black Sharpie pen over a page covered in cartoon-like drawings

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art is an educational charity based in Thrapston and helping residents across Northamptonshire to connect with the arts, and with important issues such as climate change. 

To support their work in this space, Fermynwoods were recently awarded funding from Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Creative Climate Action Fund. The charity is using this funding to build awareness around climate change and to encourage behavioural changes to protect the environment.   

The first public showing of Fermynwoods’ work against climate change is an audio-visual installation at Aldwincle Church by Pale Blue Dot Collective, which will be open from 24th March until 7th April.