Virgin Money Foundation backs people and organisations whose aim is to tackle social and economic disadvantage in their communities by investing both the financial and non-financial resources of the Foundation in their work. The first three grants under the Ripple Fund have been awarded, two to charities in the North East and one to a Scottish-based charity.
Nancy Doyle, Executive Director of Virgin Money Foundation said
Tackling the root causes of disadvantage is key to regenerating communities here in the North East and across the UK. Our new fund aims to enable activity that can have a positive ripple effect beyond its immediate context and help community hubs to flourish, learn from one another and export best practice.”
Edberts House received a grant of £216,508 to redesign a community hub in Gateshead. It’s an award-winning community regeneration charity with proven success after transforming a run-down estate in Felling into a thriving community. Since the charity began work in Felling, crime rates have gone down and as it has expanded its influence across adjacent neighbourhoods, its work has gradually created wider ripples. Sarah Gorman, Project Director at Edberts House said;
The Virgin Money Foundation’s values sit perfectly alongside our own. This collaboration will support real progress over the next three years, particularly as we join with business leaders to look at economic development.”
The second charity to receive a grant, this time of £250,000, is Emmaus North East. Emmaus North East are a charity with a unique response to homelessness and a track record of being both a response to disadvantage and a vehicle for regeneration.
The grant of £250,000 from the Virgin Money Foundation will enable Emmaus to open its doors in the North East for the first time. Emmaus North East will initially give accommodation and work to 15 homeless people in South Shields, enabling them to develop a pattern of work and an opportunity to be part of a community.
Sue Wilson, MBE, Chair of Emmaus North East said;
The Ripple Fund award to Emmaus North East will make a huge difference to our project. We can finish the residence and provide training facilities for our ‘companions’, formerly homeless people, to enable them to make a confident fresh start eventually moving on to independent living and mainstream employment.”
The third organisation to receive a grant under the Ripple Fund is Scotcash, find out more about them here.