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21st October 2016
A Cambridge-based group which aims to enhance financial education and enterprise in the community is one of 15 organisations from the Midlands and East of England region in the running for a share of a £1.25million fund set up by NatWest.
Over 800 not-for-profit organisations across the UK and Ireland applied for the latest round of NatWest’s Skills & Opportunities funding. This was narrowed down to a shortlist of 96 with the public now invited to help decide which ones should go on to receive grants of up to £35,000.
The Food4Food project, run by Cambridge-based Wintercomfort for the Homeless, will create opportunities for homeless and unemployed adults to gain vocational skills and work experience within the hospitality industry, providing them with realistic employment prospects. Individuals will join weekly cooking classes, budgeting sessions and help in the day centre kitchens.
Other groups from NatWest’s Midlands and East of England region which are vying for an award include the Birmingham based organisationsBangladesh Women's Association, Women Unlimited and Disability Resource Centre; The Mighty Creatives in Leicester, YMCA Leicester; Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust; Telford’s Start Up Enterprise Partnership; Stoke-on-Trent-based Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce & Industry; Wolverhampton Citizens Advice Bureaux; Nottingham’s NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd; The Learning Consortium and Citizens Advice and Law Centre, both based in Derby; Citizens Advice South Derbyshire and Colbea, which is based in Colchester.
Janat Hulston, Chairman of NatWest’s Mids & East Regional Board, which is judging the entries for the area, said: “We received an excellent response from organisations across the Midlands & East which have created programmes to make a real difference in our disadvantaged communities delivering a measurable positive social impact whilst supporting entrepreneurs and improving the financial education of disadvantaged people. Once again we’ve been impressed with the standard of the entries we’ve received and we look forward to being able to help even more worthy causes achieve their aims.
“It’s going to be a very difficult decision now to choose the ultimate winners of this round – and that’s where the public vote comes in. We want to know which organisations our communities feel could make a real difference with this funding. If it matters to the community then it matters to us.”
To allocate funding fairly across the UK and Ireland, NatWest has divided the projects into seven regions. Members of the public can vote for one worthy cause in each region from midday Friday, October 21 until midday on Friday, November 4. Go to skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com to find out more.