Valentine’s Day brings new grants to help the most vulnerable in Kingston

Kingston Charitable Foundation has invited local charities and volunteer organisations to learn about their new grants on Valentine’s Day.

A Meet the Funder event will take place from 10.30am on February 14 at the John Lewis Community Hub on Wood Street.

Up to this point, Kingston Charitable Foundation has only offered grants to organisations, but this event marks will give the team the opportunity to outline near future plans for their new grants for individuals, working closely with their existing network of local charities.

Justine Belcher, Community Lead and Grants Manager, said: “Over the past year, we’ve noticed there was a rise in organisations making applications for individuals facing crisis, whether it be through a death of a loved one, change in circumstances, a loss of a job, or just not being able to afford the rent.”

The foundation will not give people cash, but up to £200 in shopping vouchers, which can be used for grocery shopping, homewares, or even a school uniform.

According to Belcher, the Meet the Funder event is a way of the foundation reaching out into the community and meeting new organisations that wish to access its grants programme.

“You would think it would be quite easy to attract people to apply for our funding, but because they’re volunteer organisations, they’re so busy doing what they do best, they often don’t have a specific person to do grant applications, so we try and make it as easy and accessible as possible,” she said.

In its three years of existence, Kingston CF has awarded around 100 grants, which have benefited tens of thousands of people. Credit: Kingston Charitable Foundation

The launch of these individually-focused grants later this spring will allow the expansion of the foundation’s activities and help even more people.

Belcher said that February 14 is also Love Kingston Day, which celebrates Kingston’s community, especially those in the voluntary sector who “work their socks off.”

She said: “It’s so important to bring all these fabulous people doing amazing stuff in our community together, and we’ve found through previous networking events that we’ve hosted that a lot of connections are made.”

One of the speakers will be Patriona Briggs, Community Liaison for John Lewis Kingston, who will talk about the volunteering and funding opportunities that John Lewis offers.

More information about the event is available on the foundation’s website.

Reporter & Social Media Editor at Kingston Courier | + posts

Junior journalist and PR freelancer, with more than three years of experience in the media industry. Combining my creative spirit and analytical thinking, I aspire to spread accurate, unbiased, and valuable information, in a simple and attractive way.

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