The Virgin Money Foundation, the independent charitable foundation launched by Virgin Money in August 2015, has announced that it has awarded its first round of individual grants to 25 charitable organisations across the North East region with a total of around £900,000 being donated.
The Foundation was launched with £8 million of funding over the next four years, contributed by Virgin Money and by the Cabinet Office. In August, the Foundation invited applications from community projects in the region looking for funding of between £10,000 and £50,000.
Response from across the region was extremely strong, and eligible applications were judged against criteria including overall impact, enterprising behaviour, jobs created and the amount of additional investment likely to come into an area.
The spread of grants announced today includes:
- 9 grants linked to helping disadvantaged young people into employment
- 9 grants that will support a new or existing social enterprise
- 7 grants linked to helping homeless people find and keep a home
One of the organisations receiving funding is Food Nation is a social enterprise involving the set-up of a ‘healthy food’ takeaway in Sandyford, Newcastle, that will also seat up to 25 diners. Providing training and employment opportunities, it has received a grant of almost £28,000. Jamie Sadler, Managing Director of Food Nation said
We would like to say a massive thank you to the Virgin Money Foundation for supporting our plans to open a healthy and sustainable takeaway restaurant in Newcastle. Food Nation wants to create a shining example of how changes to a standard takeaway restaurant can make a positive impact towards tackling important socio-cultural, public health and
Nacro is a housing service that provides homes for vulnerable women and children in Middlesbrough, and has received a grant of over £40,000. Joanne Drew. Director of Housing said
We are delighted that the Virgin Money Foundation has awarded us this grant. This funding will enable us to provide homes for some 30 women and their families who would otherwise be homeless, at a time when vulnerable people face many challenges in meeting their housing needs.”
Information on future funding and the timing of the next round of grant applications will be announced during the early part of 2016. Edward Wakefield, Chairman of Virgin Money Foundation, said
The Virgin Money Foundation has been set up to help people deliver real, sustainable change in the communities that need it most. We received high-quality applications from a wide range of good causes throughout the whole North East region and we were particularly encouraged to see how many organisations are committed to the development of long-term, sustainable programmes. We had some hard choices to make in deciding which proposals to support, but are delighted to be awarding this first round of grants to 26 organisations. We look forward to working with the beneficiaries to help them deliver the best possible results from this investment.”