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Remembering Emma »



Emma died when a tree fell on her car on May 23 2011 aged just 18.  Her family and friends felt the need to do something positive and created a named fund to help remember Emma and support young people in the Performing Arts.



The initial goal was to raise £25,000, which has now been achieved. The amount raised currently stands at almost £90,000 with the aim to reach £100,000.

After Emma’s tragic death on May 23 2011, family and friends felt the need to do something positive.  They decided to create a permanent grant-making fund to help remember Emma.

Sarah Heppell, one of Emma’s closest friends said, “To discover so many people want to remember Emma by supporting the fund is wonderful. And having a permanent way to make grants in Emma’s name is very special.”

The fund is managed by The Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Permanent Endowment

The fund is a permanent endowment.  This means all money raised is invested through the Community Foundation and grants are made from the fund’s income.  The fund will grow over time and continue making grants forever. In fifty years time young people in the Arts will still be receiving grants in Emma’s name – a fitting tribute.

How to Apply

Grants are given to young people living in in Tyne, Wear and Northumberland, to support their pursuits in the performing arts. Groups can also apply to the fund if they are assisting young people to access performing arts opportunities. For more information please view our grants for individuals by visiting

To read about recent success stories from the fund please click here.

How to Give

The quickest and easiest way to get involved is to make a donation right now by clicking here.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about the Emma Newton Fund please contact Ellie Turner, Culture Parnerships Manager on 0191 222 0945.

If you would like to organise an event in aid of the Emma Newton Fund then you can download a pack by visiting the fund website


Posted on 22/07/2014 @ 2:04 pm
Filed under: News

Opportunity for community groups in Tynedale »

bab2d5d59ac444db8043a4f3e32c9f0e_LThe Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is inviting applications from community projects based in the Tynedale area. Funding is available for community groups and charitable organisations for activities, capital items or to support core running costs. Funding is available from £500 up to £2,500. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 30 July 2014.

The Community Foundation is looking for constituted community or voluntary groups running services or activities in Tynedale – from Prudhoe to Haltwhistle.  Smaller grassroots organisations are preferred but larger organisations can also be considered by some of the funds at the Community Foundation that support organisations working in this area.

Gill Lowing, Fund Manager at the Community Foundation said:

“We are looking for community projects in the Tynedale area to get in touch. At present we have three funds open – The I’Anson Family Fund, The Thornton Family Grassroots Fund and The Winter Family Fund. We’d encourage groups to look for further information on our website.”

One project that has benefitted from funding in Tynedale before is the Wall Community Book Group.

Joan Proudlock, a beneficiary of funding in Tynedale said:

“The Wall Community Book Group were delighted to receive funding from The I’Anson Family Fund as it enabled us to print Wall: Our Northumbrian Village tells the history and life of this community.

“Over two years our group researched, listened and recorded memories, studied old photographs, enlisted the help of artists, and planned the format for the first book to be written about the village we all love. During this time with the support of the community we raised money towards the cost of the project but soon realised that though we had a great response we would not have enough to pay for printing. Since publication last October many people have come forward with more memories and stories, one lady has discovered eight new members of her family and another met with a school friend she had not seen for nearly seventy years.

“Without the help of The I’Anson Family Fund with  their generosity and support of our project, none of this would have happened. They helped to turn a dream into a reality.”

The Community Foundation is seeking applications that may be suitable for a number of family and corporate funds at the Community Foundation that support projects in the geographical area of Tynedale. If you would like to apply to the Community Foundation please visit or contact Gill Lowing on 0191 222 0945

Posted on @ 2:00 pm
Filed under: News

The Ridley Family Charity »

largemainimageaboutblagdonThe Ridley Family Charity is inviting applications for its next grants round in September 2014.The application closing date is Friday 22 August 2014 and applications should be made directly to the Ridley Family Charity at Blagdon Estate.

The Ridley Family Charity was established in 2013 and awards grants for voluntary and community projects based and operating in South East Northumberland.  The Trustees meet twice a year in March and September.  Grants awarded will be for a minimum of £1,000 up to £5,000.

What can be funded
•    Children and Young People
•    Education
•    Health and Medical
•    Community Activities
•    Older People’s Projects
•    Wildlife Conservation

What will not be funded:
•    Sponsorships
•    Animal Welfare Charities
•    Individuals or projects that generate income for personal gain
•    Retrospective grants
•    Replacing statutory responsibility (for example school curriculum activities)
•    Political campaigns
•    Promotion of Religious groups or Religious campaigns
•    Anything that could bring the reputation of the Charity into disrepute
•    Repayment of loans or debts.

Who can apply:
Constituted voluntary and community groups based and operating within South East Northumberland.

How to apply:
Please send an A4 expression of interest to: -
The Administrator:  Mrs Andrea Bradford
Blagdon Estate Office
Seaton Burn
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE13 6DE

Click here to contact us or email:

Posted on @ 1:53 pm
Filed under: News

Introducing Nils Stronach »

welcome_mat_1431302cA huge welcome to Nils Stronach, our new Grant Programme Executive. Nils will support Mark Pierce, Head of Policy and Programmes in running a range of projects and external funding programmes.

Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Nils spent over six years as a Funding Officer at The Big Lottery Fund. He worked on a range of funding programmes and visited projects across England from Durham to the Isles of Scilly. Nils also worked at The Tyneside Foyer for three years, managing the ESF funded IT centre.

Posted on @ 1:38 pm
Filed under: News

Natural Ability seeking new board members »

natural ability

Natural Ability provide a range of services for people with learning and other disabilities.

They are a rapidly-growing and dynamic organisation, seeking to provide high-quality, bespoke services to individuals, including Day Farming, Supported Living, Outreach Short Breaks, Education and training and supported Holidays.

They are looking for new board members to join an existing Board of Directors, assisting with the next phase of our development. They would like to hear from those with financial, business and Human Resources experience. Knowledge of issues around people with learning and other disabilities would be an advantage.

Please contact Natural Ability at or on 01434 618149 for more information.

Posted on @ 1:33 pm
Filed under: News

Boards & Income Workshop 18th September Newcastle »

Board & Income workshops are a strand of the Improving Board Leadership programme

Thursday 18 September 2014  1.00pm – 5.00pm Boardroom Community Foundation, Cale Cross, 156 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SU

To book a place please download and complete the booking form by 02.09.14 and email it to with invoicing instructions.

Objective of the session
To identify ways in which board members can assist with income generation and what organisations can do to support them to do so.

This half day course will look at the role board members play in generating income for arts organisations. It will use case studies and the peer experience in the room to consider what the barriers are for board members; how board members can help and how organisations can best support them to do so.

It is designed as an introduction/start of a process and will get participants thinking about their organisations; the opportunities available and the board’s role in exploiting these.

We anticipate that organisations will share their experiences of what has worked for them – and what hasn’t.

The workshop is suitable for both staff and board members and we strongly encourage you to attend alongside a board member.  A second attender who is a board member will receive a £20 discount on the price, see booking form for details.

Prices are based on the turnover of your organisation, are plus VAT and are currently subsidised by Arts Council England. Prices start from £40 plus £20 for a second place for a board member. See the  booking form for details.

Posted on 09/07/2014 @ 2:15 pm
Filed under: Culture Partnerships Blog

Whittonstall Community Band plays inaugural concert »



The Whittonstall Community Band played its first concert to a large crowd at Whittonstall Church.

The band was established earlier in the year following a grant of £2,351 from the RWE Innogy UK Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm Community Fund. The fund is held by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and a panel of local residents recommend applications to receive funding from the fund.

The band brings together individuals from Whittonstall, Ebchester and Rowlands Gill with band members ranging from eight to 74 years old.

The proceedings began with the theme tune from The Muppets followed by a solo rendition of ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’ by eight-year-old Ben, the youngest member of the band. The band collectively chose their own set which ranged from a Beatles medley to modern-day hits from Disney films such as ‘Frozen’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.

The grant enabled the band to purchase equipment, advertise to local communities and hire a band leader who creates accessible scores that can be played by people of all ages.

Jo Holmes, parish council leader of Whittonstall Community Band said:

“We carried out a partial parish plan about three years ago and I was surprised how many people played instruments and I knew from living in a rural area that it’s really hard for children in particular to play in any ensembles or bands. We were amazed by the response, we had 27 turn up and a lot of them we didn’t know who lived in our parish. I think in some ways children are more used to being around adults but where I’ve really seen the benefit is with adults integrating with children in the community.”

Kathryn Harries, UK community investment officer for RWE Innogy UK, said: “The Whittonstall Community Band perfectly demonstrates the good that community funding can do. Not only does it bring together an eclectic mix of people of all ages and from neighbouring communities but it has also given them an opportunity to do what they love doing; and that’s playing live music. We are proud to be associated with such projects and are committed to helping the local community in the years to come.”

Su Legg, fund manager at the Community Foundation added:

“There is a particular problem in rural areas where members of the community can feel isolated at times. Community philanthropy plays a vital role in helping community groups such as Whittonstall Community Band make contact with such individuals. A community band is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to come together and celebrate a common love of music.”

The RWE Innogy UK Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm Community Fund is currently open for applications from community groups in the Parish of Shotley Low Quarter. Applications can be made in the region of £250 to £15,000. For more information please visit

Posted on 08/07/2014 @ 12:08 pm
Filed under: News

New fund to support education and training projects across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland »



Tony and Anne Platten of Blyth, Northumberland have become the latest family to open a philanthropic fund at the Community Foundation. The Platten Family Fund means Tony and Anne join the ranks of significant donors in the region such as Ron and Louise Bowey, Guy Readman, and the Sir Tom Cowie Fund.

Through the Fund, Tony and Anne will support the region with around £100,000 in grant-making a year to support people into employment, with a particular focus on engineering. The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates that 830,000 graduate-level Stem (Science, technology, engineering and maths) experts and 450,000 technicians will be needed by 2020 and it is hoped that funding from the Platten Family Fund will go some way to encouraging people of all ages, but in particular young people, to consider engineering as a positive career move.

The Platten Family Fund was established following the sale of electronic engineering company Tynetec in Blyth, however the fund will support projects throughout Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Tony Platten said:

“Anne and I are delighted to establish charitable funds at the Community Foundation. I am passionate about education and I’d like to encourage young people in particular to think about engineering as a career. This was the driving force of our philanthropy, and I believe that by working with the Community Foundation we can really make a difference to people’s lives by providing a stepping stone into engineering employment. The North East led the world in engineering  for over 150 years, it’s time to re-establish that position”

Lisa Cappleman, Head of Philanthropy Development at the Community Foundation added:

“Tony and Anne’s decision to support local people through funds at the Community Foundation is wonderful news for our area. Research through our own Vital Signs reports highlight many areas in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland where people lack basic skills and qualifications. Through Tony and Anne’s philanthropy we can help to address these issues and provide a better future for many people.”

Photo by David Wala












In addition to the Platten’s family philanthropy, Tony Platten, Chairman of Blyth Spartans AFC has offered free in-kind sponsorship to the Community Foundation as the clubs main shirt sponsor. Tony believes the deal will suit both parties, where free in-kind support can raise the profile of the Community Foundation and its cause of enriching local communities.

Tony Platten added:

“Blyth Spartans is a local club full of ambition. Whilst I wouldn’t want to make comparisons between our charitable sponsorship to that of Barcelona and UNICEF, I do believe that ambition is best shown by example. We’re delighted to offer free in-kind support to the Community Foundation which helps to make stronger communities through its grant making, including many local grassroots sports activities in Blyth and the local area.”

Ash Winter OBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Community Foundation said:

“We were delighted to be approached by Tony with the offer of free sponsorship of Blyth Spartans. Football clubs such as this make up the fabric of our local community, showing the passion that exists in our region. Blyth Spartans has a great history as well as ambition and community awareness. Community is our cause, and we hope this new exposure can help us to reach new audiences, to extend our giving to those who really need our support.”

The Platten Family Fund is a significant fund at the Community Foundation where half of the money will be invested into an endowment and half will be made available for immediate grant making. Philanthropic giving into an endowment to create a fund in perpetuity was eligible for match funding through the Community First Endowment Match Scheme where £1 could be claimed for every £2 donated. To find out more about how you can set up a named fund or donate to one of our existing funds please call Lisa Cappleman on 0191 222 0945 or email

Posted on @ 11:39 am
Filed under: News

Fund makes furry friends at community farm »

GH 21.05.14 044A new small-animal corner hopes to attract more visitors to Bill Quay Community Farm, thanks to support from The Gateshead Housing Company Community Fund and Mears Group.

Bill Quay Farm, located on the banks of the Tyne, is a registered charity. It was set up in 1986 as a facility for local people of all ages to experience horticulture, agriculture and conservation.

The farm attracts more than 20,000 visitors a year, and recently applied to the Gateshead Housing Company Community Fund for help to develop its small-animal corner. The fund is held at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Activities at the farm will include a weekly drop-in session where families can learn about looking after small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. The enclosure will also provide practical experience for students on the farm’s full-time Animal Care course.

The Fund recognised how the farm benefits the local community, and awarded £1,500 to buy chinchillas, degus, fancy mice, guinea pigs, harvest mice, dumbo rats and ferrets. Work on the 4×4 metre animal corner was carried out in-kind by contractor Mears, taking a week to complete at a value of £1,500.

Julie Bell from Mears said: “We are committed to support local communities and hope the adults and children visiting the farm find out lots of useful information about our four legged, furry friends.

“We consulted with the farm and its students to establish requirements, and once work started it went without a glitch.”

Vicki McDowell, the Housing Company’s Estate Officer at Felling, went along to the farm and was lucky enough to have a cuddle with one of its new residents.

Vicki said: “The farm is such a lovely place to visit, and the new small-animal corner will teach children the responsibilities of looking after pets.

“It’s great that families can come to the drop-in sessions and swap advice.”

Karen Daglish, Fund Manager at the Community Foundation added: “Bill Quay Community Farm is a very special place that makes our area a great place to live. Support from the Gateshead Housing Company Community Fund will not only bring communities together, and raise awareness of the farm, but will provide advice and support to people with small pets.”

Since 2006, the Gateshead Housing Community Fund has awarded grants totalling more than £470,000 to more than 100 groups across Gateshead.

Posted on 24/06/2014 @ 3:25 pm
Filed under: News

Community Foundation Ambassadors at Matfen Hall »

Ambassadors_Matfen_GJmr-9403The Community Foundation recently held an Ambassadors event at Matfen Hall. The event was attended by individual and family supporters to find out about how simple introductions into new communities can help to develop philanthropic giving in the North East.

The keynote speaker at the event was Professor Sir Laurence Martin, who talked about how he was introduced to the Community Foundation through the Pen & Palette Club, which set up an arts fund to support Tyne & Wear and Northumberland following the sale of its headquarters. After hearing about the Pen & Palette Club Fund, Sir Laurence, a former Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University, set up the Lady Betty Martin Fund as a legacy to his late wife.

Professor Sir Laurence Martin said: “It is easy to give money but the difficulty is doing something with it. I have wanted to do something for young people and the arts in memory of my wife for a long time and through fortuitous events and my connection with the Pen & Palette Club I was able to find out about the Community Foundation. The thing that impressed me about the Foundation was how it managed its constituency and its work, and I hope that both the Pen & Palette Club Fund and the Lady Betty Martin Fund can really make a difference to the arts in our region.”

Lisa Cappleman, Head of Philanthropy Development at the Community Foundation added: “Community Foundation Ambassadors will play a vital role in helping us to reach new donors and supporters for whom giving back to local communities through the Community Foundation is the best option.  We are looking to grow our network of Ambassadors so that we can continue to reach new donors whose philanthropy will allow more deserving causes and community projects across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to receive essential funding.   The Sir Laurence and Pen & Palette Club story resonates perfectly with this.”

Simple connections such as the one between the Pen & Palette Club and Sir Laurence Martin can really help to encourage others to think about their philanthropy. To find out more about Ambassadors at the Community Foundation please click here.

Posted on @ 3:13 pm
Filed under: News
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Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland - Enriching lives through effective giving

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156 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
T: 0191 222 0945 / F: 0191 230 0689