National Express Foundation donates £25,000 to Essex organisations
Two Essex organisations are celebrating after being awarded £25,000 in grants by the National Express Foundation, the charity arm of the parent company of local train operator c2c.
South Essex College, which has campuses in Basildon, Southend and Grays, has been awarded £20,000 over the next two years to provide grants for students facing financial barriers to continuing their education. The grant is open to all South Essex College students, and is in addition to the £30,000 over three years that the College already receives from the National Express Foundation.
Lee Chapel North Helping Hands community group, in Basildon, has been awarded £5,000 to run job clubs providing local young people with advice on CV writing and job applications, improving their communication skills and building confidence.
Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said: "We have awarded funding to South Essex College and Helping Hands because of the hard work they do helping local young people in disadvantaged circumstances. They have ambitious plans and we hope this support can help make a real difference to their efforts."
Jane Belcher, Student Services Manager for South Essex College, said: "Working with the National Express Foundation is a fantastic opportunity for the students of South Essex College. We are proud to work in partnership with the Foundation to support a wide range of students who face financial barriers, as removing such barriers is a key focus for the College and it is inspiring to find a company that is also dedicated to achieving this. The bursaries will support all students in increasing their employment opportunities by providing the chance to access education and we look forward to continuing this partnership to benefit our students."
John McKay, Chair of Lee Chapel North Helping Hands community group, said: "Thank you to National Express for this award and it's heartening to know there are companies who care as much as we do about our community. Lee Chapel North has the highest number of 16-24 year olds who are unemployed in Basildon and this money is a lifeline for our voluntary work - it will help us help more local kids into work."
The National Express Foundation has also made donations totalling £10,000 to three community groups in east London located close to the c2c rail line.