Norfolk Foundation set to help more good causes

Norfolk Community Foundation. Left to right, Jo Maddocks, Jenny Bevan, Helen Tuttle, Olive Thompson,

Norfolk Community Foundation. Left to right, Jo Maddocks, Jenny Bevan, Helen Tuttle, Olive Thompson, Graham Tuttle, Anna Douglas, Clive Rayner, Joanne Dale. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

As the Norfolk Community Foundation celebrates 10 years of charitable funding, Kate Royall speaks to chief executive Graham Tuttle about the organisation's achievements

The Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF) has come a long way since it was set up in 2005.

The £35m that it has driven back into the county has been underpinned by a vision to forge a stronger community by making it easier for businesses, groups and individuals to give.

Now, as the foundation has celebrated its 10th year, it has announced that it will be able to help Norfolk's communities long into the future thanks to the support of donors.

Over the past decade the foundation has distributed Amore than £17m to 2,600 groups and has built an endowment fund worth £15.5m.

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of NCF, said: 'As we end our 10th year we are pleased to say we have grown an endowment with a value of £15.5m which means there will be grant-making in perpetuity.

'When the foundation was set up in 2005 the hope was to build an endowment for the community.

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'In 2015 we have already given away in excess of £2m. We are really pleased.

'With funding changes facing the county council and local authorities and general charity giving down about 18pc it's been critical for the foundation to look for new donors to bring funding into Norfolk.

'Donors are individuals, families, charitable trusts, businesses and public sector groups. We have a very broad church of donors. Our donors like working with the foundation because it is a good news story.

'We have a saying that what's raised in Norfolk is spent in Norfolk and people who work with us have a strong allegiance and link to the county and they like the fact that we have a broad understanding of the groups and organisations in need.'

The foundation, which employs nine people, works closely with donors to inform them about current areas of need in the county and with professional advisors who might be advising clients about charitable giving. Groups and small charities can apply for funding through the foundation to support a wide range of initiatives which includes anything from befriending groups to those working with individuals to improve mental health and wellbeing, and from improving access to activities to funding equipment for youth groups.

Asked what type of organisations are most in need at the moment, he said: 'There are two or three themes that are strong in the county at the moment.

'We are seeing a greater need and greater wish to engage with groups working in mental health and with people continuing to work with youth projects.

'So many people have a prejudice towards mental health, you've got to have a holistic view. We want to be part of change and help our donors understand mental health.'

In November the EDP and the foundation came together to create a Community Chest fund which will give away £100,000 to community groups in 2016.

Mr Tuttle said: 'This is the first time we have got into a relationship like this.

'The Community Chest is another fund that local charities can go to in the knowledge that they may be successful.'

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