Big changes start locally

North East Community Groups Receive Share Of £450,000 from Virgin Money Foundation

Jack Drum Arts
  • Virgin Money Foundation Community Anchors’ funding will support five community organisations across the North East
  • Over £1 million in grants have been awarded since the programme began in 2019
  • The Virgin Money Foundation has also made eight awards through the #iwill Take Action Fund to support youth-led social action projects

Thirteen community groups from across the North East will receive a share of £450,000 in the latest round of awards from the Virgin Money Foundation.

The grants are spilt between two of the foundation’s programmes: the Community Anchors’ Fund which supports those independent, locally led organisations that are at the heart of their communities and the #iwill Take Action Fund. The #iwill Take Action Fund is a partnership between Virgin Money Foundation and the #iwill Fund (a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) which was set up to support youth-led social action projects in the North East of England.

Five community groups will benefit from the latest round of Community Anchor grants - Perth Green Community Association in Jarrow, Action for Children’s work in Newbiggen Hall, Hospitality and Hope in South Shields, Peace of Mind in Gateshead and Stockton-on-Tees based A Way Out. The grants will support the work these groups do from helping vulnerable people, to tackling homelessness and helping people seeking asylum.

Perth Green Community Association is based in part of an old comprehensive school at the centre of a housing estate in Jarrow. It took over management of the building from South Tyneside Council in 2017 and acts as a community anchor for everyone on the estate.

“This is a fantastic boost from the Virgin Money Foundation,” said Ian Gibson, centre manager. “Being awarded a two-year grant means we can continue to provide a sustainable community hub.”

Ian added “that a sense of ownership has developed within the centre as the community shared their views on how things should be delivered to benefit the whole community.”

In addition to the Community Anchors’ Fund awards, Virgin Money Foundation has made eight awards through the #iwill Take Action Fund.

Bright Futures in South Shields, North Tyneside VODA, Youth Focus: North East in Gateshead, Crook based Jack Drum Arts, West End Women and Girls Centre in Newcastle, Newcastle YMCA, Redcar based The Junction Foundation & Bright Minds Big Futures in Stockton will all receive a share of over £300,000 in #iwill Take Action Fund grants.

Bright Futures is an award winning, ambitious charity which provides a wealth of practical help and support to young women and their children. The award of almost £50,000 for Girls Standing Up! will fund a programme led by young women, standing up to tackle violence against women and girls in their communities.

“We’re incredibly excited to have received funding and support from Virgin Money Foundation, empowering young women and ensuring the voices of young women are heard and embedded into our community is something we are incredibly passionate about and we’re thrilled at the support we’re receiving to be able to do this,” said Helen Bowman from Bright Futures.

Nancy Doyle-Hall, executive director of the Virgin Money Foundation, said:

“The five Community Anchors’ Fund awards continue our work to support these important organisations that have been playing such a vital role at this difficult time

“The #iwill Take Action Fund grants recognise the role that young people play in helping communities to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and are awarded to organisations that support young people to create change at a local level. We are delighted to be able to support each of these organisations through our latest round of grants,” added Nancy.


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Notes to Editors

Organisations receiving a Community Anchor Fund Award

Organisation Name

Grant Award

Action For Children £29,789
Hospitality and Hope £29,251
Peace of Mind £24,860
Perth Green Community Association £24,500
A Way Out £27,000

Organisations receiving an #iwill Take Action Fund Award

Organisation Name

Grant Award

North Tyneside VODA £42,480
Youth Focus: North East £40,898
Jack Drum Arts £49,944
West End Women and Girls Centre £50,000
Newcastle YMCA £40,099
The Junction Foundation £46,639
Bright Futures £48,023
Bright Minds Big Futures £1,000

About The Virgin Money Foundation
  • The Virgin Money Foundation launched in August 2015 as an independent charitable foundation focused initially on community projects in the North-East of England and growing to operate throughout the UK over time. It promotes the sustainable regeneration of communities that have experienced social and economic decline. Since launch it has awarded over £11million in grants to community organisations across the UK.
  • Virgin Money Foundation seeks to work jointly with other funders, making additional funds available for great local projects.
  • The Virgin Money Foundation. Charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 9457101. Charity No. 1161290. Registered Office: Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE3 4PL

About The Community Anchors' Fund
  • The Community Anchors' Fund supports those vital, independent, locally-led organisations, committed to driving positive economic, social or environmental change within a community.
  • Community anchors have people at their heart. They provide local people with support, services, activities, and volunteering opportunities. Local people shape their work and inform their activities. Typically we expect community anchors to work with a broad cross section of the community. This would include people of all ages, genders and ethnicities, designing work that meets the needs of the community at large and the demographic it contains.
  • The fund offer grants of up to £30,000 for up to three years to organisations working across the North East of England.

About the #iwill Fund
  • The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £54 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.
  • The #iwill Fund brings together a group of organisations who all contribute funding to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people.
  • The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign - to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.
  • By bringing together funders from across different sectors and by making sure that young people have a say in where the funding goes – the #iwill Fund is taking a collaborative approach.

The #iwill movement
  • The #iwill movement is a collaboration of over 1000 organisations and 300 young #iwill Ambassadors from across the UK. They are united by a shared belief that all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.
  • #iwill was launched in November 2013 after an independent review into how different sectors could help more young people to make a positive difference.
  • The #iwill movement is supported by an independent coordination hub, hosted by Volunteering Matters & UK Youth.

About The National Lottery Community Fund
  • We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. National Lottery players raise £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes which has supported over 635,000 projects, benefiting millions of people - that’s 255 projects per postcode area.
  • We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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