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  • NCF Annual Awards 2022

    Published 16/02/23

    Community groups, charities and social enterprises from across the county are being thanked and celebrated for all their hard work – thanks to the return of our Northamptonshire Community Foundation awards.

    The 2022 awards, set to take place at the Royal and Derngate on Thursday 8th December, are back for the first time in three years – with more than 20 groups and individuals in the spotlight and up for awards.

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  • Meet Rachel Mallows, Chair of Northamptonshire Community Foundation

    Published 16/02/23

    Here, Rachel reflects on her new role, the challenges ahead and her passion for supporting local …

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  • Helping communities celebrate Platinum Jubilee through culture and creativity

    Published 16/02/23

    Northamptonshire Community Foundation will be one of the network of community foundations distributing the Arts Council England Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, a £5million programme that will support community and voluntary organisations in England to develop creative and cultural activities as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022.

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  • How Community Foundations are contributing to the Global Goals

    Published 16/02/23

    This new report by UK Community Foundations looks at how the place-based community foundation model aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By thinking globally, and acting locally, the report shows how funders can enable local charities and community organisations to play a key role in helping to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

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  • Annual Award Winners

    Published 17/01/23

    Congratulations to our Northamptonshire Community Foundation award winners

    A charity supporting children who have experienced trauma, a group tackling litter and a group’s cookery course for survivors of domestic abuse  – just a few of the winners at this year’s Northamptonshire Community Foundation Annual Awards.

    The awards, which took place at the Royal & Derngate on Thursday, 8th December, have again thrown a spotlight on the incredible work that committed volunteers and community groups do across the county.

    Rachel McGrath, CEO of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: “Congratulations to all our finalists and winners tonight – a wonderful opportunity to pause and take time to celebrate our remarkable communities and to say a heartfelt thank you.

    “Our five-year strategy is built around the recovery and revival of our communities, supporting them at this extraordinarily difficult time, recognising the huge scale of the challenge and the economic and social impact that will be felt for many years to come. As a local Community Foundation, we cannot solve all the problems, but we can work with our brilliant local charities, community organisations and our donors and supporters who are the social glue that hold us all together.”

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  • Case study: Favell Day Services

    Published 10/01/23

    About the Group:

    Favell Day Services provide day care and support for adults with physical disabilities. This consists of social interaction, leisure and recreational activities, all to improve life experience and social isolation.

    Support required:

    During the winter months, Favell Day services required funding to purchase additional warm clothing and equipment to support their members to stay warm and health. Items required included heated over blankets, warm pyjamas, thermals. Power banks and waterproofs.

    What was achieved through the grant:

     The grant helped increase the health and well-being of Favell Say Services members through reducing the impact the cold can have on morale and leading to further health problems. As well as improved health and well-being, there was a reduction of stress, anxiety and depression and members were even able to enjoy the winter outside by having the appropriate clothing leading to increased physical activity and mental health.

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  • Blog: UN SDG 1: No Poverty

    Published 03/01/23

    When I joined the foundation some six months ago, the chance to be the organisations ambassador for UN SDG 1: No Poverty, was a no brainer.

    When we think of poverty, we tend to lean towards the image and of hunger and famine. Sadly, poverty is a broad and sweeping brush, influencing communities around the world in many devastating ways. As well as traditional food poverty, we have seen unprecedented rises in Northamptonshire for those who are struggling on several fronts. The well-publicised cost of living crisis has poured light onto energy poverty, with household potentially looking at bills north of £3000, the pandemic highlighted digital poverty and the consequences this can have on people’s ability to carry out what were seen as simple tasks, such as a doctor’s appointment, ordering some shopping and the frightening consequences digital poverty can have on a child’s education.

    “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”   — Franklin D. Roosevelt

    As a foundation we have been delighted to see elements of the community pulling together to tackle poverty in the county. The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation was founded by tenacious land lady Theresa McCarthy-Dixon, during the pandemic. Opening a food bank out of a pub in the local community, we have been delighted to work with them as they have grown and have looked address other issues such as social isolation with their food parcel delivery service and affordable days out to the seaside.

    Bambino-Mio, is a local organisation we are delighted to work with in managing their fund for the local community. We were delighted to receive a donation from them of laptop computers, which we were able to pass on to help those who face the realities of digital poverty, a lack of education is a sure route into poverty, by distributing these surplus devices they were able to help secure the education of children around the county.

    In recent months we have been delighted to work with both West and North Northamptonshire councils, by project managing the distribution of emergency funding in the form of the Household Support Fund, an effort which saw 30 organisations pull together and deliver nearly 13,000 supermarket vouchers to those in desperate need across the county.

    Finally, I want to look forward to the #PovertyHurts appeal as we near our target of £40,000. This fund will tackle the cost-of-living crisis head on in Northamptonshire. The fund will help to ease the choice between heating and eating for some, and to articulate this I will turn to the words of our endlessly passionate CEO Rachel McGrath:

    "Nobody should be struggling to cover their basic needs or making a choice between heating and eating. We know through feedback from local community groups and charities that many residents are going through really tough times especially those that have already been struggling with financial hardship. We supported our local communities through our Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund appeal during the pandemic and we will continue to do what we can through the current cost of living emergency to ensure help is provided to those who need it most."

    You can donate to our #PovertyHurts appeal by clicking here, and help us to tackle poverty head on in Northamptonshire.

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  • Be part of our #iwill Youth Grants Panel

    Published 02/11/22

    The #iwill Fund looks to support social action activities that create opportunities for young people aged 10-20 to develop their potential and their capacity to significantly contribute to their community.

    Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering and has huge potential to create enjoyable opportunities and skills development for young people, and in turn benefit the local people and places. Grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded to groups for projects lasting up to a year; with the aim of funding both groups that are well established but also those that are new and innovative, especially those that can reach young people that are new to social action.

    As part of this we will be putting together a youth panel made up of 18-21 year olds.

    This will be an exciting opportunity for them to participate in a Youth Panel which will be focused on distributing a grant pot towards youth-led projects across Northamptonshire that seek to increase youth-led social action projects that create positive change in local communities and gain insight & experience into grant giving. There will be a training session in evaluating grants assessments, prior to the panel.

    The main task of the Panel will be to evaluate applications and select the awardees. This panel will take place in person, in January 2023 (exact date & venue TBC) and will be assisted by Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

    We will only have spaces for a limited number of people. If you know a young person between 18-21 from your group who would be interested, please could you get them to email San-D Godoy Messenger: and Alex Rex  with :

    • A little bit about themselves

    • Have they have been involved in youth social action and if so, how?

    • Why they would like to take part in the #iwillFund panel

    If they could please send this to us by Friday 11th November (or want to find out more information), we will then be making decisions after that.

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  • Cast Study: The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation

    Published 31/10/22

    The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation foodbank provides food parcels to local schools, as well as other organisations such as domestic abuse services, mental health services, and HM Prison and Probation services. TMDF also provides social clubs, digital inclusion classes, affordable haircuts, cookery classes and home renovations to local, vulnerable groups.

    The organisation received a grant through the Family Fund Aid Fund to stock the foodbank with essentials to provide items for food parcels and breakfast boxes to be distributed to local schools to supply a healthy breakfast snack to any child that has missed breakfast before their school day. 

    TMDF provided 22 schools in Northamptonshire with 60 Breakfast Boxes for the second half of the spring term (from February half-term until Easter Holiday); there are 60 Breakfast Boxes ready to be delivered to schools for the first half of the summer term (from Easter until the May half-term). Each Breakfast Boxes contains 14 packs of nutritious breakfast bars, healthy cereal bars and raisins to be kept in classrooms, so teachers can give them out to children who go to school without breakfast. 

    Feedback from schools prove the importance of having breakfast to the healthy physical and emotional development of children. Breakfast Boxes contain healthy snacks and nutritious breakfast bars for those school children who go to school without eating in the morning. This can affect their physical and emotional abilities to learning.

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  • Blog: UN SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Published 24/10/22

    Across the last year we have worked with donors, partners, funded charities and community groups to help achieve this global goal on our doorstep whether it be the launch of our Welcome Fund Appeal to help the safe resettlement of refugees from Afghanistan and the Ukraine or working alongside the High Sheriff’s Initiative Fund to provide grants to projects reducing serious youth violence across our communities.

    UN SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions is about safe and peaceful communities, where all residents feel included and have a deep sense of belonging; living in towns, villages and neighbourhoods where they can go about their daily lives without fear of becoming a victim of violence and crime. It is fundamentally also about access to justice, accountable institutions and healthy democratic processes.

    The goal’s mission statement is as follows: "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

    At Northamptonshire Community Foundation we have funded several projects and activities on behalf of our donors to support this mission locally; this includes projects supporting migrants and refugees, projects tackling violence and supporting victims of crime, community law services, rights and equality councils, community safety initiatives, citizens advice and advocacy and residents groups representing local people’s interests and concerns.

    Our community conversations that we have held on how to best go about achieving this goal locally includes a commitment to encourage projects that address the following:

    • Promote education on and understanding of the rule of law and democracy
    • Community assets – promoting, funding and supporting physical spaces where under-represented communities can meet
    • Celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and recognise the different needs within communities
    • Champion the key role the VCSE sector plays as a strategic partner to the public sector

    Our recent impact report has recorded across the last year highlights how we have supported local residents across this goal including 11,409 people feeling an increased sense of belonging in their community and 761 local residents reporting feeling safer in their communities as a result of a funded project.

    This year we saw the Knife Angel visit Northamptonshire and I, like many residents, went along to visit outside All Saints Church in Northampton and reflect on the tragic loss of lives in local communities through violence and thoughtless actions. The Knife Angel was created in order to highlight knife crime in the United Kingdom and educate young people of the harmful effect violent behaviour can have on their communities.

    Our High Sheriff’s Initiative Fund is dedicated to tackling serious youth violence and last year it awarded grants to local projects helping prevent young people from engaging with the criminal justice system. This included:

    Springs Family Centre working with young people in Spring Boroughs, Northampton at risk of offending or re-offending through a programme of activities.

    Northampton Town of Sanctuary funding a Summer and Autumn programme of diversionary activities aiming to upskill and empower vulnerable young people at risk of getting involved in county lines.

    Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre based in Corby funding a project working with at risk and  excluded children and young people.

    Growing Together Northampton funding a Summer Holiday Play scheme for vulnerable children and help improve life chances.

    Our Welcome Fund Appeal and Funding Programme has raised essential funds to help the safe resettlement of refugees in Northamptonshire. Foundation trustee and Refugee resettlement worker, Syrah Nazir highlights the importance of resettlement programme activity in achieving peaceful and safe communities via local charities:

    ‘The local work has included putting welcome packs together and wrap around support. Lots of agencies have got together to do that including the British Red Cross, Re:store Northampton, Northampton Hope Centre, alongside offers of clothing. Charities such as Ability Northants and DACT (Daventry Area Community Transport) have offered community transport support.’

    ‘Firstly and foremostly the work is about empowering people that have come here to lead better and safer lives especially those from war torn regions where this may be the first time in a long time that they’ve had an opportunity to experience a peaceful existence. We want to help refugees to navigate new cultural experiences and lead a normal life as much as possible.’

    Northamptonshire Community Foundation with many of its UK-based colleagues has also worked alongside Ukrainian Community Foundations via a Whatsapp group to help connect with and support the journey of people fleeing the invasion and to ensure we work alongside public bodies to provide the best safety net for resettlement here in our county.

    Northamptonshire Community Foundation thanks all our donors, community groups and charities that are committed to working with Northamptonshire Community Foundation to help build safer communities and protect lives.

    You can follow us on social media to find out more about our work to achieve the Global Goals and find out more about the local projects we fund to help build peaceful and safe communities.

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  • Remember a Charity Week

    Published 10/10/22

    This week (5th - 12th September 2022) is #RememberACharity week which aims to raise awareness of the importance of gifts in Wills to good causes across the UK.

    Leaving a gift in your Will to a Community Foundation enables you to leave a legacy and support local communities and generations for many years to come.

    Legacies continue to be one of the most important aspects of UK charity fundraising and because Community Foundations are about endowment building, longevity and making a difference in perpetuity, leaving a legacy to us will ensure your gift makes a lasting difference for future communities across Northamptonshire.

    If you have a specific interest or purpose in mind, we encourage you to discuss this with us to help ensure we meet your wishes.

    Legacies of all sizes make a difference, no matter how big or small, they help us forward plan our future grant-making and make a lasting difference to local lives and communities.

    Alan Maskell explains why he and his wife chose to leave a legacy with us:

    "We wanted to ensure that upon our deaths, a contribution form our estates would help local people who are most in need. For that reason we decided to leave a legacy to the Foundation, to contribute to the needs of people living in poverty, social isolation, who suffer from disabilities or those experiencing life's little problems, as a way of thanking the county for what we have personally achieved whilst living here."

    For more information on leaving a legacy please click here or contact CEO Rachel McGrath via emailing or call 01604 230 033 and we will be happy to discuss the difference your help could make.

    #leavealegacy #localgiving

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  • Case Study: United African Association

    Published 27/09/22

    About the Group

    United African Association (UAA) advise, support, advocate for and represent the African community. They promote community cohesion through events, projects and activities that showcase African culture and heritage.

    Their current activities include providing African food parcels, supporting the food beneficiaries and wider community with various issues, signposting to other organisations and telephone befriending services.

    Support required

    UAA required funding to purchase African food items to continue providing food parcels to those faced with the worst food poverty in the community and support those referred trough GPs, Health Clinics, Mental Health Nursing staff,  Northamptonshire Children’s Trust and social services whose service users are not eligible for Local Authority assistance.

    What was achieved through the grant
    Over 400 beneficiaries have benefitted from the grant with the majority of food parcels being provided to African beneficiaries who are facing employment shortages and are unable to access benefits because of their immigration status.

    Improvements in individuals’ diets were reported as well better access to health food. Other advantages reported included enhanced physical health or well-being with just under half the beneficiaries confirming that they felt less lonely.

    UAA have also been able to purchase special provisions for the Ramadan period and Eid Festival as requested by the African Muslim community.

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