Big changes start locally

Virgin Money Foundation Funds Vital Local Community Groups Across The North East

Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency


  • Five grant awards totalling over £225,000 will support vital Community Anchor organisations across the North East

The Virgin Money Foundation has announced its latest round of Community Anchor grants totalling over £225,000 to five community groups across the North East.

Community Anchor organisations are those vital go to neighbourhood organisations committed to driving change in the local area. They act like anchors - there for the long-term, trying to provide stability and constantly adapting to different circumstances. They’re independent but work in partnership with other agencies and groups.

Some of the organisations receiving a Community Anchors’ Fund grant are:

Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency (RCVDA)

RCVDA is an important community anchor organisation working in a town which has suffered a series of financial shocks over decades. Its ambitious approach is supported by its ability to connect with some of the most marginalised members of the community in Redcar.

Mike Milen, Chief Executive at RCVDA said:

"Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency has a small core staff team who work really hard to support Voluntary Sector activity across the Borough. We have a number of projects underway and in development and this very generous support from Virgin Money Foundation will allow us to add much needed capacity internally so that we can help strengthen the social economy in Redcar and Cleveland.”

Back on the Map, Hendon, Sunderland

Back on the Map is transforming housing in Hendon in Sunderland. An area blighted by the actions of rogue landlords and irresponsible lettings agents, It owns and manages a number of properties in the area and has also set up its own “not for profit” lettings agency to offer a better service to both tenants and landlords. The award, made jointly with Clay Hill Charitable Trust, will enable it to employ a worker to develop a new social space it will soon open on Villette Road in the centre of Hendon.

Joanne Cooper, Deputy Chief Executive at Back on the Map said:

“The greatest thing about living in Hendon is the people and the community spirit. Back on the Map are committed to making Hendon a stronger community and creating a better place where local people have an influence on what happens where they live. The Community Anchor funding from the Virgin Money Foundation will enable us to expand our community service offer and to develop micro enterprises with local people to create a more sustainable community.“

Hadston House Youth and Community Projects, Northumberland

Hadston House is a busy community resource at the centre of this Northumberland Village. It provides a range of services to both younger and older members of the local community. It has been running a project which provides Meals on Wheels and practical support to older isolated members of the local community. The award from the Foundation will help them to expand this service and run it for the next three years.

Scott Dickinson, Managing Director at Hadston House said:

“Without the support of organisations like the Virgin Money Foundation, Hadston House wouldn't be able to provide our much-needed services in our location, a former rural coastal coalfield. We offer a range of important and well-used services to communities in the Coastal strip. The money awarded to us will allow the continuation and develop those services over the next few years to continue supporting the users who need us."

Nancy Doyle-Hall, Executive Director of the Virgin Money Foundation said:

“We are very excited to announce the latest round of awards for our new grants programme which support those vital community organisations that work tirelessly at the heart of local neighborhoods across the North East. Every community needs opportunities to come together, support one another and be part of creating a strong vibrant neighbourhood. These organisations do exactly that.”

Community Anchor organisations come in different forms but one common theme is the fact that they are a driving force in a neighbourhood, the facilitator of community activity and a way for local people of all ages to get involved in shaping their shared future.

Back on the Map Sunderland £49,965
Shiney Advice and Resource Project Sunderland £50,000
Hadston House Youth and Community Projects Northumberland £37,635
Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency Redcar and Cleveland £49,959
West View Advice and Resource Centre Hartlepool £37,884

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 nationally over time. It promotes sustainable regeneration in communities that have experienced social and economic decline. This includes providing investment in community housing and building projects, promoting opportunities for youth work and training, as well as investing in projects designed to relieve unemployment.

Virgin Money Foundation seeks to work jointly with other funders, making additional funds available for great local projects. They have developed a partnership with Clay Hill Charitable Trust to extend the funding available for the Community Anchors Fund in the North East of England.

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