Shropshire Star

Charity offering gtants to help needy individuals

A new grant scheme to help the needy in Shropshire has been expanded to include individuals as well as community groups.

Representatives of the Godolphin Edwards Fund and the Community Foundation for Shropshire - Leanne Macpherson (Head of Programmes at the Community Foundation), Rev Geoff Garrett, Jeanette Plant, Michael McElhinney, John Davies, all of the Godolphin Edwards Fund, Steve Adams of the Community Foundation, Kathryn Davies, new chair of the grants panel, and Faye Williams of the Community Foundation

The Godolphin Edwards Trust, set up in 1750 to help the poor grow their own food on allotments, was relaunched last month as part of the Community Foundation for Shropshire, offering grants of up to £2,500 to community groups in Mid-Shropshire.

But following a flood of inquiries, organisers have now decided to extend the scheme to include individuals.

People in need who live in the parishes of Acton Burnell, Frodesley, Pitchford, Langley and Ruckley can apply for grants of £100 to £500.

Grants can be used for things such as transport costs, education materials and solid fuel and oil, with each application assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The scheme will be open year-round, but advisors will meet to make decisions twice a year, in May and November.

Applicants are urged to apply as soon as possible to be considered for the November grant giving phase. As this is an endowment fund, it will be open in perpetuity.

Earlier this year the trust approached the Community Foundation for Shropshire to take over the management of the trust, and bring it up to date.

Leanne Macpherson, head of programmes at Foundation in Shropshire, said over the past month it had received repeated requests from people across the area stating they were in need, particularly among the under-25s and the over-60s.

"Many of those in the younger age group have been asking for help with their education, books and other learning materials plus transport," she said.

"Transport is also a request from older people. Also help with their fuel costs."

The Community Foundation for Shropshire has been operating since 2001 and has awarded more than £2.5 million in grants across Shropshire. An approved distributor across Shropshire of grants funded by government, local authorities and statutory agencies, plus national charities like Arts Council England, and businesses such as Nationwide Building Society and the Co-op.

Applications can be made through the website or by telephoning 01743 295900.