National Express pledges another £100,000 to build on community foundations in South Essex
National Express, parent company of local train operator c2c, has urged community groups from south Essex and east London to apply for funding from a £100,000 pot that is being made available to local charities through the National Express Foundation.
The Foundation was launched last year, awarding tens of thousands of pounds to community groups and helping 750 young people overall. Schemes which benefitted included the Three Faiths Forum group which paired faith schools from east London and the West Midlands to aid better understanding between young people of different faiths and backgrounds.
National Express is now specifically targeting more applications from community groups which are local to the c2c rail service. To be eligible, charities must be based in east London or south Essex within five miles of c2c's route, and provide positive activities for young people in deprived areas. Full guidelines on how to apply can be found at www.nationalexpressgroup.com/foundation.
Local colleges and universities can also receive grants to help students from deprived backgrounds into further or higher education, with funding of up to £10,000 per year for bursaries that benefit their students. In 2012 the National Express Foundation launched a three-year bursary scheme with South Essex College, worth £30,000 in total to local students.
Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said:
"We're delighted the National Express Foundation supported 750 young people last year, including many from east London and south Essex. We are investing another £100k into the Foundation this year to provide more awards for local community groups, colleges and universities. We know there are so many people who are active in the local community, so if you think a local charity would benefit from our support we urge you to look at our funding criteria and put forward an application."
Alison Semmence, Chief Executive Officer at Southend Association of Voluntary Services, said:
"The National Express Foundation's community fund is a wonderful opportunity for community groups to apply for. Please remember that SAVS will be happy to support any local group through the application process."
Applications need to be received by midday on Thursday 28 March 2013.