Suffolk Community Foundation (SCF), established in 2005, is a charity dedicated to supporting local charities and community groups throughout Suffolk. The Foundation works with individuals and businesses to channel monies to small local charities and good causes.
In 2013 we established our own fund with SCF which we called the Acorn Fund.
Up until the end of 2014 we used this fund to support causes benefited children and young people in need. From the start of 2015 we have changed the focus of our grant making to align with the theme of ‘health and wellbeing’. We envisage ‘health and wellbeing’ covering a range of possible causes benefitting a range of people, but primarily we will aim to support causes that encourage people of all ages and abilities (or disabilities) to be more active and to lead healthy, balanced lives. This would include charities supporting people with mental health/stress related conditions.
Since the launch of the Acorn Fund we have supported the following local charities:
Aspect Living: A grant of £2,000 was made to part-fund a new car for the charity’s Meals on Wheels delivery service, which assists people who are unable to prepare hot, nutritious meals themselves, thereby helping them to live independently in their own homes for longer. The charity also helps to promote and protect good health among elderly people by providing home assistance, particularly to those who have been discharged from hospital.
Fresh Start New Beginnings: A grant of £1,000 was made to this charity, who exist to provide children and young people, who are victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, with help, guidance and therapeutic intervention to aid their recovery. The funding will cover the salary of a worker to provide 10 one-to-one sessions with a child victim, currently on their waiting list.
Suffolk Rape Crisis: Based in Ipswich, Suffolk Rape Crisis responds to sexual violence against women and girls by offering them high quality and specialised support after the trauma of rape. We provided a grant of £1,000 which will part-fund the support of women who have experienced sexual violence and abuse.
ActivLives (ActivSheds Project): ActivLives work across Suffolk with people of all ages, many of whom are vulnerable, lonely and isolated; due to age, disability, cultural barriers or are disadvantaged through lack of skills, low self-esteem, unemployment or poverty. The charity provides a wide range of community-led activities that supports over 1,000 people every year. Our grant of £1,000 was made for their ActivSheds project, which primarily supports men, at the People’s Community Garden on Maidenhall Allotments. The project teaches skills such as putting up shelves, making bird boxes, etc, and encourages inter-generational working.
St Elizabeth Hospice: The hospice offers palliative care and support to help improve the lives of over 2,000 people living with progressive illnesses, their families and carers across Suffolk. Our grant of £1,722.44 was used to provide play equipment, furniture and toys for a dedicated children’s room at the hospice.
PHOEBE: is a women’s charity providing services to black and ethinic minority women and children, who are victims of domestic violence. Our donation of £2,000 part-funded the costs of running the group’s self-esteem workshop in Ipswich for 10-11 year olds.
Music in our Bones: creates singing communities for family carers and people managing a range of both physical and mental health issues. Regular, open-access singing sessions are provided, which helps the participants to reduce feelings of isolation, whilst removing barriers to accessing singing opportunities and providing education. Our grant of £1,190 went towards the Lifting Spirits singing group, comprising women who lack confidence in mixed sessions. It reaches women who are recovering from severe mental stress, are themselves carers, and those with long-term health conditions and women who have experienced domestic abuse.
Association of Wheelchair Children (GoKidsGo): We provided a grant of £2,000 to fund the total cost of running a wheelchair skills workshop for children and young people in Ipswich. The workshop, which takes place on the 17th February 2017, will teach children how to use their wheelchair independently without reliance on parents and will help improve their confidence and self-esteem through increased independence and freedom.
TOPCATS: In April 2016 we provided TOPCATS with a grant of £798 towards the cost of building a sensory play area for children with disabilities and additional needs. TOPCATS is a small, local charity based in Pakefield, Lowestoft offering support for young people and adults with additional needs from the age of 5 years to 30 years old.
Fresh Start – new beginnings: This grant (£2,000) will support the cost of producing a story book specifically for children aged four to 11 that have been victims of sexual abuse. The group would like to have a book that it can give to each child that receives counselling to help the child understand what has happened to them. The book will be accompanied with worksheets, which children can take home to work on with their parents/carers to help them to further understand the messages of the book and to help them overcome the affects of the abuse.
AGE UK Suffolk – new dementia care group for East Ipswich: We agreed to meet the annual cost (£1,687) to run a new dementia care group for East Ipswich, which will operate from St. Augustine’s Church Hall on the first Friday of every month (starting on 10th April). The club will support local people diagnosed with dementia and their family carers. The group will offer music, singing, relaxation and opportunities for people to reminisce. Emotional and practical support will also be given to both the individual suffering from dementia and their carers.
Ipswich & District Deaf Children’s Society – Sporting Activity Day: This charity provides support for deaf children and their families. Every year the charity arranges a day for deaf children aged between 0-14 years and their families to get together and experience different sporting activities, whilst building friendships, improving communication skills and enabling parents to share their experiences with others. The event takes place at the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket and includes activities such as a climbing wall, trampolining, crafts, petting zoo, a range of games and a sensory play area for babies and toddlers. The National Deaf Children’s Society also bring along their ‘Listening Bus’ which provides excellent resources for parents/carers of deaf children and for the children themselves. The total cost of providing this day runs to over £4,000. We have agreed to a grant of £650 towards the cost.
Suffolk Family Carers: This charity provides a range of services to family carers of all ages as well as raising awareness of family carer issues with partners in health and social care. We have agreed a contribution of £800 which will represent the cost of the tickets to take 40 young carers to Thorpe Park during the 2015 Easter Holidays.
Friends of the Ferns: This charity contributes and enhances the service and support provided by the statutory sexual assault referral centre. We have agreed a grant of £1,000 which will represent the cost to furnish a family room for those children that have been victims of rape or sexual assault.
Families in Need (FIND): This charity provide emergency assistance to families and individuals caught in the poverty trap through economic circumstances, illness, homelessness etc and going through a time of crisis. They are based in Ipswich and we agreed a contribution of £421 to pay for 6 months road tax, servicing and MOT and a steering wheel lock for their new Foodbank van.
Mid Suffolk Holiday Opportunity Playscheme: This charity provide activity days for children and young people (aged 4 – 16 years) with disabilities and additional needs. They are based in Thorndon (near Eye) and we have agreed a contribution of £1,000 towards the transport costs to enable children and young people to access their activity days.
Suffolk Artlink: This charity use creative art activities to improve the quality of life for vulnerable groups across Suffolk. We agreed a contribution of £900 which paid for 2 trained Clown Doctors to undertake 3 visits at the Treehouse EACH hospice.
Fresh Start – new beginnings: This charity help ensure that children and young people who are victims of sexual abuse/exploitation are provided with help, advice, guidance and therapeutic intervention to aid their recovery. We agreed a £2,000 contribution helped support 5 children or young people from the Ipswich area who have been sexually abused.
Stowmarket & Area Opportunity Group: This charity provide safe and satisfying group play for the advancement of the education of children with special needs. We agreed a £1,308 contribution which paid for the Playleader’s salary costs for delivering the Opportunity Group sessions in the whole of 2014.
Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy: This charity provide an early intervention service for children (aged 0-5 years) with cerebral palsy and other motor learning difficulties. We agreed a £500 contribution which will allowed them to purchase an iPod touch and iPad for the benefit and use with the children.
The Ipswich Opportunity Group: This charity aims to advance the education of pre-school children who have additional needs (including physical, sensory, and learning difficulties) through the provision of play activities. We agreed to fund £1,567 towards purchasing a Brookfield chair (a special supportive and adjustable chair to enable children to be as safe and comfortable as possible), a therapy bench, dark den and a mains controller switch. The switch sounds simple but is very effective as it gives the children the independence to activate the sensory equipment by themselves.
The Ipswich Community Playbus: The Playbus (known as ‘Maggie’) travels to areas in Ipswich that contain the greatest concentration of social housing, where families are from low socio-economic backgrounds, and do not have access to mainstream facilities for pre-school children and their families. The aim is to advance the education of children below compulsory school age through the provision of group play facilities. We agreed to fund £970 towards the purchase of new toys and craft materials for the playbus.
Home-Start Suffolk Coastal: This charity offer support, friendship, and practical help to parents, with one or more children under five years of age, who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. We agreed to fund £637 towards purchasing equipment to support the school readiness programme for the Gainsborough Family Group.