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  • Writer's pictureAndy Jervis

Our Foundation has made its first grants

We're delighted to report that the Chesterton House Foundation has made its first grants. After a long gestation process during which we've put the infrastructure in place to be able to run the Foundation effectively and efficiently, it's hugely satisfying to have reached this point and started to fulfil the central purpose for creating it.


You can find out about the first beneficiaries of grants, and how the money will be used, below. Firstly we would like to thank the many people who have supported us with donations, large and small, to be able to do our work. We hope you are pleased with the choices we've made.


If you're interested in joining us as a trustee we currently have vacancies on our Board. Let us know if you'd like more information. And if you would like to donate, there's a link below. Even better, if you have an idea for a fundraising activity, whether it be a coffee morning, sponsored event or something more ambitious, we'd love to hear your ideas. We really appreciate any support that you can offer.


There's also plenty of opportunities to get involved with the Foundation, or with some of its beneficiaries, in a practical way that supports their work. You'll see below that there is always a need for people to volunteer their services to help our local community, and if this is an aspect that interests you please get in touch and we'll be happy to facilitate this.


So let's meet our beneficiaries. As part of the approval process, our Chairman, Andy Jervis, spoke to representatives of each applicant and asked them what their charity did, and how the money would be used. You can watch each conversation below.


Helping Hands


Our first grant of £1,000 went to Helping Hands Community Trust based in South Wigston, who provide a free advice service on Welfare Benefits, Debts, Housing, Employment, Family Law and much more. They also provide mental health support to those who need it.


Nigel Swan, their Chair of Trustees, spoke to Andy about the way that Helping Hands assist people with a wide range of financial issues, helping them to claim entitlements, advising on rent and accommodation issues, and supporting people going through hard times. Our grant will help fund a campaign to attract more volunteers to carry out this essential work, and you can learn all about it by watching this short video.


Headway Leicester


Our second grant of £1,000 went to Headway Leicester. Their charity helps people who have suffered a brain injury, whether as a result of illness, stroke, accident or any other cause, and Tor Berry from their team spoke enthusiastically and movingly about their proposed project to create a day of 'Animal Magic' to engage their clients. Our trustees were impressed by the focus and dedication of the Headway team, and you can judge for yourself by watching the video here. Headway is another organisation that is always eager to attract helpers, and there's clearly a lot you can do by getting involved, whether it's arranging events or just spending time with someone with brain injury to make their lives better.


Lutterworth St Mary's PCC


Next we heard from Ben Horrex at Lutterworth St Mary's PCC who were looking for help to purchase materials and publicise the work of their Youth Group. Ben explained how our grant of £500 would help them to create an experience for young people, and why that's important. He explained how providing a resource for teenagers to be able to meet, share ideas, and find a listening ear can make a real difference in their lives. Watch the video to get the full story.


Living Without Abuse


Living Without Abuse is a well-established charity that provides help and support for anyone experiencing domestic abuse and/or sexual violence living in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland, as well as raising awareness of domestic abuse and sexual violence, working towards its prevention and eradication, and assisting those affected by this crime to determine their own lives.

Andy spoke to Emily Corrigan who explained their forthcoming project to hold an exhibition designed to bring attention to these issues, and how this could make a difference to people affected.


Emily gave some examples of the sort of work carried out by LWA, and our trustees were very happy to support this work by approving a grant for £1,000. The 'Expression of Freedom' Exhibition will run from 25th November to 10th December from 10.00 till 16.00 each day at Charnwood Arts Gallery, 27 Rectory Place, Loughborough (opposite our offices), and you are encouraged to drop in and have a look for yourself. LWA is another organisation that is always looking for volunteers, whether to fundraise, deliver services or just to offer an occasional helping hand.


Home Starter Boxes


The Home Starter Box project is an initiative created by the Loughborough Rotary, Loughborough Beacon Rotary and Loughborough Inner Wheel clubs, who identified a need to support people who, for whatever reason, find themselves in a new home with very little possessions and having to make a new start. Recipients include ex-offenders, families fleeing abuse, refugees and people suffering from addictions, among others. In the video Ros Severn explains how the project began, what a Starter Box contains, and how the process works. The trustees approved a grant of £1,000, sufficient to purchase and deliver 10 new boxes. Watch the video to learn more.


Get in Touch


We hope to bring you more news about how these projects have developed, and the benefits they've delivered. In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments or ideas that will help the Foundation in its work, please get in touch at chfoundation@chestertonhouse.co.uk. We'd love to hear from you.


If you would like to donate to the Foundation, or if you would like to apply for a grant, you can do so on our webpage at https://www.chestertonhouse.co.uk/foundation




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