Get your hands on community grants

A CHARITY which aims to tackle community groups’ funding challenges one grant at a time is on the lookout for new beneficiaries.

South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) has dished out millions during its 30-year history, with many of those benefiting being based in Rotherham.

SYCF officials said they were keen to spread the word of the support they could provide to community and voluntary organisations.

The fund management team is made up of Sue Wragg (56), Karen Alsop (56) and Pete Foyle (61), who are all experienced in the charity sector.

Pete said: “Right now, funding for local charities and community organisations can be hard to come by. 

“In a time of constant cuts and financial struggles for businesses and individuals alike, it is easy to understand why looking for grant funding might seem like a waste of time. 

“We aim to change that, one grant award at a time, and help keep vital community projects up and running.

“There are cuts everywhere at the moment and venues are putting their prices up so it is getting harder to run community organisations. 

“But our message is that funding is still there and our endowment will stay here forever. “People see all the headlines about funding cuts and councils giving out less money and so on, so with all that in front of them they don’t see that smaller pots of funding, like what we offer, are still available.”

SYCF has worked for 30 years to build up permanent grant funding for South Yorkshire communities and has pledged that its endowment fund of more than £10 million will continue to produce money for grant awards. 

Sue said: “When I first started at the foundation I went to visit a group in Rotherham, for young people.

“It was just a little community hall. The kids were dancing and they had asked for funding for shoes to dance in and I thought ‘why would they want shoes’? 

“There were children with no shoes at all, they were just dancing in their socks. 

“Some of them didn’t even like dancing, but they were going because it meant they weren’t at home getting abuse from their parents. 

“It was a huge eye opener and it showed me just how important our funding is to local people.”

Funding opportunities are open to a wide range of applications and charitable groups, for amounts from £500 up to £5,000 and sometimes higher. 

While most of the funding is open to general applications South Yorkshire-wide, some are more specific. 

Pete added: “There is money out there and it really isn’t that complicated to apply. You just need to be able to describe what you do, how it helps people and what you need, not what you want.

“We don’t want to hear what bills it will pay but what good it will do.”

To apply for funding from SYCF go to www.sycf.org.uk/apply/Rotherham/ or call 0114 242 4857.

Donations to the foundation are welcome and can be made by text by sending, for example, “SYCF30 £3” to 70070.