Fundraising: How we got the grant - Centrepoint

John Raynham, trusts and statutory fundraising manager

Why did you apply to the trust? We were operating a service for homeless young people in Camden, north London, that fell within one of Abbey's Community Partnership Groups. Our project was to refurbish the existing kitchen at Centrepoint's house for homeless people, some ex-offenders, aged between 16 and 25, in Frederick Street.

Once refurbished, we will run a series of cookery workshops to teach young people essential life skills for healthy, independent living. This met the trust's priorities of providing education and training for disadvantaged people and of making a lasting contribution to the local community by giving the young people a chance to stay off the streets.

What did the application process involve? The process was straightforward and clearly defined on Abbey's website, www.aboutabbey.com.

We were asked to submit a letter explaining our project's specific needs and how it met the trust's priorities. Initially, I worked alongside the Frederick Street project manager to write four pages about the project.

Abbey then contacted us to arrange a visit from its grants team before making its final decision. The entire process was both efficient and professional, taking only 10 weeks from submission to decision. You could grow a beard in the time it takes to get a response to some grant applications.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? £12,000 went towards the refurbishment of the kitchen and the other £8,000 towards cooking equipment, ingredients and staff to deliver the training for the first six months.

Did you apply to other funders? Not this time. Abbey prefers to fund a complete project rather than make a partial donation to a fundraising campaign. The project was a small, self-contained initiative in Camden and the Abbey grant was sufficient to cover the costs.

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