The play area was tired and in need of a makeover

If your school project has a community or enrichment focus, consider applying to local funders. It’s surprising how many there are, says Sarah Everson

canopy for shade and all-weather play on the Key Stage 1 playground. With the benefi ts to children’s physical and mental wellbeing these improvements would bring, we felt confi dent that our school community and grant funders would support us. In spring 2021, we made grant

applications to local grant-giving trusts, as well as two national funders: Morrisons Foundation and Steel Charitable Trust. Quick responses were received from the East Grinstead Memorial Estate (again) and Southover Manor Trust, which supports young people’s learning across Sussex. Sadly, our applications to the national funders were turned down. (The Steel Charitable Trust indicated it had received an unprecedented number of applications and was only able to

respond favourably to less than fi ve per cent of requests). However, we were delighted to receive a total of £15,800 from the local funders. Having successfully raised funds

in 2021 through socially-distanced and virtual events, passive income streams and other initiatives, it was agreed to top up the grant money from the PTA’s general funds to enable phase one to go ahead during the autumn term. However, at the end of August, we received the exciting news that we had been awarded £3,750 by the Gatwick Airport Community Trust! This meant that phase one could be fully fi nanced with grants, enabling us to turn our attentions to funding phases two and three. Sarah Everson, secretary, Friends of Halsford Park School, East Grinstead, West Sussex (410 pupils)

‘The stage became a dedicated area for storytelling, poetry recitals and drama’

Start Small With a little online research, you’ll be able to identify funders in your area. Search for the name of your town and ‘grant’ – and you are bound to see results. They won’t all be relevant, but there will be some which support education or young people. If not offering grants directly to educational establishments, funders may well support PTAs, especially if registered as a charity. You could also consider the

following: ■ Rotary or Lions clubs may offer funding or initiatives with prizes for schools ■ Voluntary action organisations or voluntary organisations networks for your area – these often offer grant alerts or newsletters ■ Local councils may offer their own funding or provide details of other funds ■ Philanthropic trusts specifi c to your village, town or area ■ Local retailers or businesses with an established presence in your locality.

Widen the Net There are lots of funders who will favour organisations in specifi c geographical areas: ■ Police forces – some offer Police Property Act Fund grants from the sale of found or confi scated property ■ Wind or solar farms ■ Landfi ll sites ■ Airports. Wind or solar farms, landfi ll sites

and airports tend to have charitable foundations or spending pots to

44 AUTUMN 2021 FundEd

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