Local charities and colleges share over £30,000 from the National Express Foundation
Five local community groups and South Essex College are sharing more than £30,000 between them in grants awarded by the National Express Foundation, the charity arm of local train operator c2c.
South Essex College has been awarded £20,000 for grants and prizes for students over the next two years. This is the third time the College has been awarded funding from the National Express Foundation, which now totals £70,000.
Five local community groups have each been awarded £2,500 for their projects that provide positive activities for young people:
- The Bar N Bus Trust is using renovated double-decker buses to provide a safe night-time environment for young people in Basildon and Laindon where volunteers can then help to build their confidence and self-esteem
- Carer’s Choices will run a course for local young carers in Basildon teaching them cookery and other life skills they need to live independently that they might otherwise miss out on while caring for their parents
- The Dagenham Bangladeshi Women’s and Children’s Association will run a weekly youth club and a multi-cultural music event to help break down interfaith barriers
- Lee Chapel North Helping Hands Job Club will run a specialist job club for young mothers, with crèche facilities and home visits. This is the third year that the group have received funding from the National Express Foundation for different projects
- The Motorvations Project, based in Romford, will run a bicycle repair and refurbishment club run by local students
Combined these projects expect to help nearly 2,000 local young people.
Jane Belcher, Head of Student Services at South Essex College, said: “This is fantastic news. Over the past three years we have been able to help so many students who have faced barriers to education and to be able to continue this work for another two years means so much. We are looking forward to our new approach with supporting young people to stay on and get on in education. The Foundation has been so supportive of our work over the past three years and I hope they know how much of a difference the funding has made to 116 students to date.”
Laura Stammers from Carer’s Choices said: “Thanks to the National Express Foundation, we will be running a series of cookery sessions for young carers to teach them recipes they can recreate at home. We will equip young carers with the knowledge and information to do something different whilst relaxing and engaging with their peers. We hope to help reduce feelings of isolation and provide support as well as providing distraction and purpose.”
Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said: "We hope this funding will make a big difference to local community groups who are working hard to provide positive activities for young people. These groups and South Essex College were chosen because of their strong impact in their communities and we hope this funding will help them continue and expand this work. I look forward to seeing these projects in action."
These awards take the total grants awarded by the National Express Foundation in east London and south Essex to over £100,000 over the last four years.