The Penkridge Community Fund was started as the We Love Penkridge Fund in March 2011, following the transfer of the Penkridge Local Charities, an amalgamation of historic charities in the Penkridge area. Ordinarily, these would have been placed into the South Staffordshire Community Fund, but as the remit was specifically for Penkridge, and as Penkridge still exists as a substantial area in it’s own right, the decision was taken to keep it as a Penkridge fund.
In September 2011, whilst planning for the future of the fund, the decision was taken to rename it the Penkridge Community Fund, and to bring it into line with other funds for specific areas and districts within Staffordshire.
The idea of the fund is to encourage business, enterprises and individuals to donate to a central fund. All the money raised will be invested according to Charity Commission guidelines to enable the fund to grow in value. The interest earned on the fund will be split, part of it added to the fund and reinvested so that it continues to grow, year on year. The other part of the interest will be used to create a grants scheme specifically for third sector, charity and voluntary organisations in the Penkridge area. Grants can then be given out year on year and the fund will continue to grow to give out more each year.
The fund will receive it’s official public launch in 2014, although preparations for it are already underway. It has already secured the backing of the local council and of Penkridge Round Table, who will champion and spearhead the fund on a local basis.
The Penkridge Community Fund is still in a growth phase and will expect to start awarding it’s first grants in April 2015.
The opening donation to the Penkridge Community Fund came in March 2011. Penkridge Council transferred the ‘Penkridge Local Charities’, an amalgamation of historic charities including;
- The Sir Edward Littleton Charity
- Mary Shaw Charity
- Potts Dole Fund
- The Elizabeth Rudge Charity
- The Ann Price Charity
- Thomas Stevens For The Poor
- John Stewart For The Poor
Together these charities had a combined balance of just over £2000. As they were for general community use, without any ties other than the area of penkridge, the Staffordshire Community Foundation applied 50% match funding, taking the value of the Penkridge Community Fund to over £3000.
In October 2011, a donation of £1000 was made by Penkridge Goodies. The organisation closed after 36 years of benefitting the Penkridge community, following the death of Mrs Winifred Laffan MBE, their founder and chairperson. It was with much regret that the three remaining Goodies felt that they could not continue without their figurehead – as they said, ‘Win was the Goodies’. As they wanted to ensure that their work was remembered for years to come, they decided to donate their final £1000 to the Penkridge Community Fund, knowing that the good work started by Winifred Laffan would continue for many years to come. Everyone involved with the Penkridge Community Fund sincerely thanks Mrs Petula Hughes and the other Goodies for their lasting contribution to the Penkridge Community Fund, in memory of the fantastic Mrs Laffan MBE.
Over the coming months, up to and past the official launch, more contributions will be sought, from local businesses and from local residents, as well as through sponsorship and fundraising.
Donor Advisors play a dual role in a Community Fund.
They help to raise funds, by connecting with local people who can help. They also provide a local point of contact for people who wish to know more and become more involved.
They also help to make decisions on who should benefit from the grants when they are given out.
This local influence is vital to a community fund, as it will help to ensure that as well as being held locally, decisions that affect the running of it will also be taken locally.
Currently the donor advisors for the Penkridge Community Fund are still to be established. However, they will include;
At least 1 representative from Penkridge Round Table, who have agreed to spearhead the fund
At least 1 local councillor
At least 1 local business
At least 1 trustee of the Staffordshire Community Foundation
Anyone can donate, whether you are a business, a local dignitary or an individual.
Donations can be made by sending a cheque made payable to Staffordshire Community Foundation and stating on the back of the cheque the name of the Grant/Fund. You will be contacted shortly afterwards to confirm your donation. Please send to;
Staffordshire Community Foundation
BL157, Staffordshire University