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CHAMPIONING LOCAL CAUSES


The Persimmon Homes’ Community Champions programme provides up to £1,000 of match funding for any project, discovers Heather Park


H


ousebuilding firm Persimmon Homes is a large national company, with a correspondingly


large CSR (corporate social responsibility) budget that’s designed to help community causes. The good news for schools is that much of Persimmon’s funding is administered locally (through its 32 regional business units) to support communities where housebuilding is taking place. There’s also no limit on the number of times a community group (including schools and PTAs) can apply for a Persimmon Homes grant. As long as you’re applying for a good cause, you can apply every month, and historically there have been groups who have won donations multiple times. Established in 2015, Persimmon


Community Champions has so far given more than £2million in match funding to 3,000 good causes. Each regional business donates two grants of up to £1,000 every month to schools, charities and other groups, reaching a monthly total of up to £64,000 across cities, towns and villages where the company is working. Here, three schools reveal how


a Community Champions grant from Persimmon helped fund key development projects…


48 SPRING 2020 FundEd ‘We began by doing some


community fundraisers, with table-top sales at school. We also secured book donations from local companies. However, we were eager to do something on a bigger scale that would really make an impact. After doing some online research, I discovered the Persimmon Community Champions grant. ‘The application was very


‘£1,000 for a library transformation’


Fordley Primary School in Dudley, Northumberland (380 pupils), received £1,000 to make its library more inviting. ‘Our library was created from a former storeroom and was a rather basic, bare space,’ says deputy headteacher Chris Maule. ‘It was poorly resourced and not somewhere exciting to be. We wanted to create an environment that would stimulate our pupils’ imagination and expand their understanding of the wider world.


‘The money has been


used to convert our library into an engaging space, complete with furniture, cushions and beanbags’


straightforward and allowed me to clearly explain what we wanted to do, and we heard back quickly that we’d been successful – we received £1,000 from the Persimmon Homes North East Community Champions fund. ‘The money has been used to


convert our library into an engaging space, complete with furniture, cushions and beanbags. We also purchased some art materials to make creative wall displays about series such as Harry Potter to inspire the children. ‘We’ve also been able to buy


engaging, high-quality books that children wouldn’t always have access to. The space has been transformed and the children love it. They now come in and sit down and choose to read. It’s changed their attitudes. Our new library is a place where they can take themselves away into another world with their newfound enthusiasm.’


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