Garfield Weston Foundation to double anniversary fund

After being flooded with applications, the foundation says it will give out more than £11m to more than 150 charities

The Garfield Weston Foundation has said it will give out more than twice the amount originally promised from its £5m anniversary fund after being flooded with applications.

The grant-maker launched the fund in January to mark its 60th anniversary and intended to give out £5m in grants of up to £150,000 for small charities and community groups that would like to improve their facilities or buy new ones.

But the foundation revealed today that it had received more than 2,300 applications for funds totalling almost £200m – 40 times the amount initially available.

As a result, trustees had decided to give out more than £11m to more than 150 charities.

Philippa Charles, the foundation’s director, said: "What really impressed our trustees is the amount of volunteering and community involvement that’s going on across the UK.

"We heard about so many amazing projects involving local people who are helping their communities thrive, regardless of cuts, Brexit debates and other challenges."

In a statement, the foundation said that 60 per cent of the applications for funding had come from charities or groups that had never applied to the foundation for funding before.

"The response from charities to this new fund clearly demonstrates that the voluntary sector is proactive and energetic, far from the complacency of which it is sometimes accused," said Charles.

"Yet we can also see the level of need that exists in our local communities and how much the services charities provide are so desperately needed.

"The impact of these grants will be significant, with benefits for many people lasting years."

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