Coventry charities receive boost of over £100,000 funding

Tuesday 5th March 2023

Over £100,000 of vital funding is making its way to local Coventry charities and nonprofit organisations, as Severn Trent’s Community Fund supports seven local charities with essential funding.

The financial boost means the Coventry based charities can stay open and continue to deliver essential support for the community, as its core running costs will be covered.

The charities supported include Hope into Action Coventry, Three Spires Family Support Trust, Empowr-U CIC, Holbrooks Community Association, Wild Earth, Aptitude Organisation CIC and Radford Community Association.

It’s expected nearly 7,000 people living in the City will benefit directly through the total £114,134 funded between the charities.

At the heart of the fund, is Coventry’s Sue Heyes, Community Fund Officer at Severn Trent. Sue has been in the funding sector for 16 years and has the role of supporting projects to get the help and funding they need. She says, “I feel so lucky to have a job, where I can help support organisations that quite literally help change people’s lives for the better. Our core funding is different to our usual Community Fund – this is about providing the much needed and loved local charities and organisations that do incredible work in the community with the fund to cover core running costs. Meaning many of them can stay open and continue to provide the community with essential, sometimes, lifesaving support.”

Severn Trent has focussed on supporting these Coventry projects with more funding than anywhere else, as part of its wider work in the city, where it’s supporting people into work and helping customers living in areas of the city that are classed as having high deprivation.

An example of the types of projects supported, include Empowr-U CIC. They received £19,305 and primarily work in Wood End, where social deprivation statistics reveal significant challenges such as high unemployment rates, limited educational opportunities, and scarce resources. The project is aiming to create opportunities and mitigating those challenges and making sure communities feel empowered, and resilient for success.

Ellis Hemingway, Operations Director at Empowr-U CIC says  “Empowr-U are really grateful to have received funding from Severn Trent. The funding will support us to continue empowering communities, young people and local residents whilst addressing the needs and driving positive, lasting change. Together with Severn Trent, we are committed to making a meaningful difference.

Another project benefitting, Three Spires Family Support Trust, were supported with £20,000 to help vulnerable families across Coventry and keep their ‘Coffee Tot’s project open. Coffee Tots provides a safe space to people and families that are usually below the poverty line, struggle with isolation and use Coffee Tots as their main support.

Catherine Bartlem, Director at Three Spires Family Support Trust says “Thank you so much for this amazing grant which will play such a key part in enabling and ensuring the continuing support we are able to offer to many of Coventry’s most vulnerable families.   Coffee Tots continues to be home and a safe space for families who are struggling, providing stability and continuity. As the numbers of families needing help and support grow, your help in enabling us to provide that support is more key than ever, thank you.  This investment in such a key time in a child’s life can make such a long-term difference, altering their life path for better."

Sue continues:  “Being able to see first-hand some of the amazing projects and impact our support will make, and meet the wonderful people behind them, I really feel like I have the most rewarding job in the world.

“When I’m able to share that a charity can continue to stay open and hearing the person on the other end of the phone overcome with emotion and being so thankful – it reminds me of just why it’s important we’re helping our communities as some of these groups, really are a lot of people’s lifeline.”

Severn Trent launched its core funding towards the end of last year, where it opened a £500,000 fund, where over £100,000 has gone directly to Coventry to support the wider societal work the company is doing in the City.  This includes school workshops, helping young people prepare and feel ready for interviews to better prepare them for their first job. It’s also running free employability sessions in the City Centre, available to anyone living in Coventry to attend and learn vital employability skills and training to help more people feel job ready to help improve employment in the city.