Heart of England responds to local needs with new Birmingham fund

The Heart of England Community Foundation has announced its plan to support over 50s in an all-new Edgbaston and Northfield Neighbourhood Network Scheme (NNS) Fund. The charity’s latest fund has a pot of £400,000, which will provide help to community projects within the local area.

Funded by Birmingham City Council, it will support and provide opportunities for older people within the wards of Edgbaston and Northfield. The Foundation will work alongside Age UK Birmingham, Gateway Family Services and Northfield Community Partnerships, as the lead facilitators for the new grants scheme. After extensive research, Birmingham City Council found there was support needed in both wards.

NNS works across constituencies in Birmingham providing local organisations with the resources to help older people remain engaged with social activity, make healthier choices, retain independent lifestyles, improve their financial capability, and aid families or carers.

The Heart of England Community Foundation’s Chief Executive, Tina Costello, said:

“The launch of this new funding is such a great opportunity for Edgbaston and Northfield; it will directly benefit people in those areas to live happier, healthier lives. We’ve built a great relationship with Birmingham City Council over the years and this is the next step, sharing our passion for working together to benefit local people.

“The Edgbaston and Northfield NNS Fund is exactly the kind of project that Heart of England Community Foundation excels in managing; for the past 25 years we have focused heavily on supporting local communities, and we can’t wait to see the results once the grants have been rewarded. We want to encourage people to reach out and help us make a difference to these areas which need some love.”

Northfield Community Partnerships’ Chief Executive, Rebecca Debenham, added:

“We are delighted to be a Lead Facilitator for the Northfield Neighbourhood Network Scheme. These new grants, administered by the Heart of England Community Foundation, will enable the Community Assets we are working with to support older people in a range of new and ongoing activities, making a real difference to older people’s lives.”

Applications will be assessed by the Heart of England Community Foundation’s grants team before being presented in front of a panel, which will include a charity representative as well as a selection of local stakeholders. This will ensure that the local community can voice their own opinions on what should be supported as part of the scheme.

Gateway Family Services’ Chief Executive, Katherine Hewitt, said:

“This is really good news for our area, we are looking forward to facilitating the scheme here. Not only will it provide much-needed funding to groups and organisations who are already delivering activities to the Edgbaston community, but it should also encourage those who want to try something new, whether that’s setting up a brand-new group or expanding on a promising idea.”

Along with the grant launch, the Foundation will also begin supporting pilot projects ensuring that the areas start to feel the benefit of the fund. From new holistic activities to debt support, the Heart of England Community Foundation plans to tackle common issues and help Edgbaston and Northfield receive the support they need.

For more information about the Heart of England Community Foundation and projects it supports, head to www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk.