LEAF: A collaborative approach to environmental funding

The Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) is a collaborative fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland which tackles environmental issues through practical action to support behaviour change in the local community. In October 2014 LEAF awarded £45,394 to six projects that will make a difference to the environment in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

As a collaborative Fund, LEAF encourages local philanthropists, corporates and trusts to pool their resources for effective grant-making. Current funding partners include the Shears Foundation, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and Greggs Foundation, as well as individual and corporate donors. The fund is hosted at the Community Foundation, and has received over 350 applications since it was launched in 2006. A total of 181 projects have been supported awarding over £1.4m. The Community Foundation is urging local people and businesses to support the Fund so that more projects can benefit from funding in the future as currently the Fund is two to three times oversubscribed during each funding round.

LEAF_StChads_GJmr-1453By supporting LEAF, local people can pool their resources alongside other philanthropists, corporates and trusts to support high quality local environmental projects that reduce, prevent or mitigate the negative impacts of human activity and global climate change. This can be complex biodiversity or resource based work which protects and preserves natural habitats through to community engagement, learning and training. St Chad’s Community Project received £11,957 in September 2013 which enabled low income families and individuals to access the provisions they need by recycling unwanted household items. The scheme involves collecting, sorting, washing, mending and renovating items that can be redistributed without cost to those in need. Previously the neighbourhood was subject to fly-tipping in back lanes or goods were sent to a landfill.

Joan Hoult, Family Support Co-ordinator at St Chad’s Community Project said:

“It’s a shame that people do need these goods, and it just shows you how hard times are at the moment. We’re meeting the needs of people by recycling their goods and we’re training people to use their goods for better uses instead of just throwing them away. The impact has been amazing!”

Katie Wellstead, Environment Partnerships Manager at the Community Foundation said:

“LEAF is an opportunity for local people to make a difference to the environment at a very local level. We want to inspire local people to join a partnership and help us to make a difference to the local environment in areas where we live and work.”

For more information about how you can support the Local Environmental Action Fund, visit www.communityfoundation.org.uk/leaf or contact Katie Wellstead on 0191 222 0945.

Posted on 11/11/2014 @ 5:04 pm
Filed under: News