Thursday, 25 September 2008

£1 million community fund-raising challenge launches in college gardens

A CHARITABLE fund which aims to raise £1 million across Somerset by 2011 was launched at a reception in Cannington yesterday.
The Grassroots Grants Endowment Match Challenge is being organised by the Somerset Community Foundation, a Wells-based project set up in 2002 to provide a new, independent funding body to tackle poverty and disadvantage throughout the county.
Foundation director Justin Sargent said: “Our target is to raise £1 million over the next three years, which would attract an additional £500,000 from the Government.
“This is a unique opportunity for us all to build a major endowment fund for Somerset.
“It will provide much-needed long-term support to hundreds of local projects and initiatives that make such a difference to the lives of so many people.”
Clifford Hall, in Cannington College, was one of three venues across Somerset to host launch events for the effort to build a long-term community asset.
Mr Sargent said: “The events were enjoyed by all and a special thank you to those groups who helped to make the events a great success.”
More than 50 guests from the local area attended the Cannington event, including West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger and the West Somerset Business Network chairman, Sandra Wilson, from Dulverton.
They heard a talk by the college’s head gardener and were also shown around the college’s walled gardens.
Among the groups attending the Cannington reception was ALFFFA, a voluntary group providing Filipino and multi-cultural programmes and information to the community in the form of dance, song, music, food.
Also represented was the Sedgemoor Deanery Youth Project, which aims to care for and challenge young people, encouraging them to reach their full potential.
The local branch of Ups and Downs, a support group for parents and carers of children with Downs Syndrome, also took part. The charity provides face to face support, information and resources to help children reach their full potential both educationally and socially.
Mr Sargent said: “We are a unique charity in two respects. We are able to support a wide range of charitable causes across Somerset, which means we can respond to the specific and changing needs of each community, and we provide a flexible, professional and personal ‘donor service’ to a wide range of donors, enabling them to achieve their specific charitable goals within Somerset.
“At the heart of our approach is a strong belief in the importance of helping communities respond to their local circumstances in their own way.”
  • Our photograph shows some of the representatives who attended the launch of the foundation’s Grassroots Grants Endowment Match Challenge held in Cannington College. Photo submitted.

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