Kent Community Foundation has this month achieved a major milestone by announcing it has distributed a total of £30 million to thousands of charities, organisations and individuals across Kent since it was launched in 2001.

At a time when funding for many small, local charities is increasingly harder to secure, Kent Community Foundation is playing a vital role to ensure local communities and individuals receive the support they need.

Kent Community Foundation’s year on year donations have also increased rising from £2,701,636 in 2016 to £6,583,196 in 2017. The value of its endowment fund now stands at just over £18m up from £11m in March 2016.

Kent Community Foundation is supporting organisations which are working to address a number of primary issues in the region, including:

• Arts, culture and heritage

• Caring responsibilities

• Counselling, advice and mentoring, disability and access issues

• Education, learning and training

• Employment and labour

• Environment

• Health, wellbeing and serious illness

• Homelessness and housing

• Language, culture and racial integration

• Mental health

• Offending / at risk of offending

• Poverty and disadvantage

• Refugees, asylum and immigration

• Sexual abuse, violence, domestic violence and exploitation

• Social inclusion / reducing isolation

• Sport and recreation\stronger communities and community support development

• Supporting family life

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive of Kent Community Foundation comments: “Whilst we can’t put an exact figure on it, it would certainly be fair to say that thousands of people in Kent have benefited from our support. Whether that is through the services of a specific project or group or through the direct support we give to individuals. Over the last seventeen years Kent Community Foundation has grown significantly, and we now manage 73 donor advised funds. We aim to strengthen local communities across Kent by providing funding, advice and support. The result is a sustainable and confident voluntary sector here in Kent.”

Deprivation however still exists in pockets of communities and one in five children under the age of five in Kent are living in poverty. Thanet is placed within England’s 10% most deprived local authority areas. It also has the highest 18-24 year old unemployment rate in the South East.

Josephine McCartney continues: “By working to create strong local communities we can help to connect those who want to help with those who are seeking help. By taking a strategic approach to the most pressing social challenges, we can maximise the impact of our grant making.”

This is done primarily through Kent Community Foundation’s four overarching grant making themes;

• Children, young people and families

• Elderly and isolated

• Vulnerable adults

• Employability, skills and enterprise

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind
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