Northamptonshire Community Foundation is on its way to a record giving year, having pledged £96,000 to 17 community groups across the county in December alone.
It means the county’s largest grant-giving charity has now given out more than £835,000 since April 2015...and still has a further £362,000 to award up to March 2016.
Among the groups supported by the foundation as part of its Christmas windfall is the charity Live at Home Northampton, which has received a £5,000 award to help pay it for the transport costs for its 160 members.
The funding will also enable the group to expand the range of its social outings and activities.
It currently runs a weekly fitness group that encourages mobility and independence and a twice weekly lunch club.
The group also provides a one-on-one befriending service to support those who have very few or often no visitors.
Grants director of the community foundation Rachel McGrath, said: “The Foundation is delighted to have awarded over £95,000 to local community groups in the last month and on behalf of our donors we have already awarded 227 grants and bursaries across Northamptonshire this year making a real positive difference to our communities covering a range of activity from healthy eating projects, counselling and advice services to pocket parks and green spaces, volunteering schemes and youth clubs.
“We are also delighted to announce that there are still available grants for community groups in the new year and our grants team will continue to support groups with advice and information about accessing our funds and other sources of help.”
Earlier this month the community foundation teamed up with the Royal and Derngate to provide 195 free theatre tickets to see either of this year’s Christmas shows, the Snow Queen or Cinderella.
And the charity has also raised £12,000 as part of its Surviving Winter Appeal. The donations received will be distributed to local causes helping the elderly over the cold months.
Also receiving a donation from the community foundation this December: The Central Vineyard church in Northampton was helped to provide a Christmas lunch for a number of hardship charities.
The lunch saw guests, many of whom are struggling with poverty, receive a food hamper to take away.
The Umbrella Cycle Recycle, (UCR) a Snewly established social enterprise to help get people back into work by refurbishing bikes for resale, was given a grant.
The scheme works alongside the Job Centre Plus to provide work experience to the long-term unemployed.
And Wriggle Dance Theatre received funding to bring elderly residents at St Crispins Retirement Village and children from St Lukes CEVA primary school together in a weekly “creative movement session.”