On Wednesday 7th March 2018 six charitable organisations presented their worthy projects, scooping over £96,000 in the Foundation’s grant-giving community event. BBC Radio Berkshire’s Sports Presenter Ady Williams hosted the event at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre in Reading. In addition, BCF was delighted to award over £150,000 to a further 22 vital projects in Berkshire, including counselling services and support for children and families, bringing the total amount of grants awarded to £250,000.
Guests were treated to a stunning solo performance by Charlotte Perry, winner of the Brighter Berkshire Year of Mental Health Song Competition, with her original piece “Fisherman”.
The Groups awarded at the event were:
- Destiny Support CIC, a charity based in Slough that provides practical independent living support services to hard to reach disadvantaged individuals and families, was granted £19,000 for two part time support workers, one of who will specialise in mental health.
- Home-Start Reading received £15,000 towards their ‘Mums in Mind’ courses, aimed at teaching coping skills to deal with the symptoms of postnatal anxiety and depression.
- Parents and Children Together (PACT) will develop mental health expertise within Alana House through the appointment of a Support Worker designated as the lead and contact with mental health partners to support women in accessing specialist services with the £18,000 grant received.
- A grant of £19,000 was awarded to Recovery in Mind to continue its successful courses for up to 100 more students a year in West Berkshire.
- BCF awarded £17,000 to Sandhurst Counselling Service in Bracknell Forest, to train counsellors so that they can deal with a wider variety of complex issues as well as increase the number of sessions available.
- The final grant of £8,082 was awarded to Volunteer Centre West Berkshire, to increase its successful VCme supported volunteering programme, offering mental health first aid training to organisations so that they understand the needs of volunteers with mental health issues. They will also train new mentors enabling more volunteers with mental health issues to benefit from volunteering opportunities, which will help them to engage in community life.
All six groups presented their projects to the four panel members who were BCF Vice President Lady Catherine Stevenson DL, BCF Vice President and Trustee Jane Wates OBE, who also chairs the BCF’s grants panel, Richard Baker, Managing Partner for the Thames Valley and South on behalf of the event’s sponsor Ernst and Young, Professor Suzanna Rose JP DL, Advisor on Mental Health for the BCF Grants Committee.
Grants were then announced by BCF President Mr James Puxley, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire.
We would like to thank the event Sponsor Ernst & Young, and the many BCF fundholders and donors who enabled us to award these vital grants including Ascot Racecourse, AMEC Foster Wheeler, BCF’s Business Philanthropy Club, The David Brownlow Charitable Foundation, Deloitte, The Englefield Charitable Trust, First Growth, Mars in the Community, Prudential and Redwood Technologies.
“It was a truly inspiring evening seeing and hearing from the groups first-hand about their vital projects that help so many people from every age group and so many different backgrounds. We were delighted to support them and award such a significant amount of money. However, despite this, we received an unprecedented amount of applications requesting over £600,000 which shows just how big the issue of mental health is across Berkshire; and how we must continue to work as hard as we can to help even more community groups through our grant making in 2018 and beyond.”
Gerry Lejeune OBE, Chief Executive at BCF
“It was a real honour for myself and EY to be able to play a part in a wonderful evening, listening to some outstanding charities who help to address mental health issues in our community every day. I am delighted to be working with the Berkshire Community Foundation who organised what was an impressive and inspiring event.”
Richard Baker, Managing Partner for the Thames Valley and South on behalf of the event’s sponsor Ernst and Young
“To be part of such an inspirational evening was a huge honour. The presenters pitching to the panel were incredibly professional and extremely convincing!! The BCF showcase events seem to be growing every year.”
BCF will continue taking donations for its Year of Mental Health Fund, and would be delighted to award further grants to vital projects across Berkshire. If you would like to support this fund, please click here to donate or call BCF on 01189 303021.
Host BBC Radio Berkshire Sports Presenter Ady Williams
Charlotte Perry, winner of the Brighter Berkshire Year of Mental Health Song Competition
BCF’s Head of Development Jim Fyfe with Brighter Berkshire’s Ali Foster
Panel members Richard Baker, Professor Suzanna Rose JP DL, Jane Wates OBE and Lady Catherine Stevenson DL
Mr James Puxley Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire
Gerry Lejeune OBE, Chief Executive at BCF
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