The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a new Civil Society Strategy which aims to build stronger communities by bringing together businesses, charities and the public sector.

Local charities make up the lifeblood of our communities and make a daily difference to millions of people. The Revitalising Trusts initiative, announced in the Government’s Civil Society strategy, will provide a huge boost to local charities by distributing funds from inactive trusts to good causes.

There are many charitable trust funds in England and Wales that are inactive. The original founders and trustees may have passed away and many of the funds are now relatively small pots of money which makes it difficult to ensure they have a meaningful and local impact. Collectively these trusts amount to a significant amount which could make a huge difference to local communities.

Kent Community Foundation manage a number of inactive or dormant local trusts which have been transferred across so that the money can be used to support local projects across Kent and Medway. Earlier in 2018, the Philip William Farrow Fund was transferred to Kent Community Foundation to support elderly people in the unitary authority of Medway, in the form of grants to local charities and community projects that demonstrate a direct benefit to elderly residents in need.

The Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission are working with UK Community Foundations to transfer up to £20million of inactive trusts to Community Foundations to invest into local communities. It is expected that this will provide an extra £1million in grant funding to local community and voluntary groups every year.

Community Foundations are established, trusted charities that support local communities across the UK. Community Foundations reach every postcode in the UK and focus on the most pressing needs in an area. Community Foundations are leading grant makers and have a strong track record of supporting communities. They are reliable with a trusted model of delivery and are all quality accredited.

The Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society have chosen to work with Community Foundations based on their expertise and experience in supporting communities and ensuring that funds are distributed well to tackle local need.

Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch said, ‘this initiative will make a real difference to people and communities across the country. By working with UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission, we will honour the original aims of these now-inactive charitable trusts by redistributing funds to help those that need it most."

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive of Kent Community Foundation said, ‘it is encouraging to see Community Foundations being recognised for our local knowledge to support this strategy. KCF are experienced in providing solutions for inactive local trusts to ensure the funding is used to support local Kent and Medway communities.’

Fabian French, CEO of UK Community Foundations said, ‘we are delighted to be working with the Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission to unlock these inactive trusts to benefit local communities for years to come. We have developed a simple solution that helps inactive trusts transfer their assets which meets all the required Charity Commission approvals’. 

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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