27th Jan 2021

Two young people from the Berwick Youth Project (photo taken pre-Covid).

The Community Foundation’s Northern Angel Fund for Berwick is celebrating a very successful twelve months, culminating in the distribution of more than £15,000 in support of organisations that make the town a better place to live.  

The fund annually makes grants to Berwick institutions like the town’s Literary Festival, Youth Project and Development Trust. This year it has also co-funded a number of exciting initiatives for 2021 with the Community Foundation’s FB & PFB Lough Fund. These include football programmes delivered by Newcastle United Foundation and Rise North East, and the upgrade of a play park in East Ord. 

The fund has had more money than usual to spend this year thanks to a major legacy gift from an anonymous donor, and the donation of the assets of the Berwick upon Tweed Nursing Amenities Fund, a dormant local charity that the Community Foundation supported to close down in a meaningful and effective manner.   

The fund also continues to receive regular support from anonymous local donors, meaning that we expect to give at least £20,000 per year from the fund going forward. 

Jon Goodwin, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation said: 

‘Thanks to the amazing generosity of local people – past and present – it’s an absolute privilege to distribute Northern Angel Fund money each year. As well as providing a core group of local charities with guaranteed, flexible funding, the fund enables us to respond strategically to the town’s needs and to support exciting new initiatives as they develop.  

‘The fact that we can now co-fund things between the Northern Angel and Lough Funds, thanks to another incredible act of generosity from the Lough family, is especially exciting and gratifying’.   

One organisation to benefit from the fund are Berwick Youth Project. The Project has been serving the young people of North Northumberland for over 25 years, and in more recent years has enjoyed regular support from the Northern Angel Fund. 

Project Manager John Bell holds the Fund in high regard:  

‘This year we’ve received a grant of £1,000 from the Northern Angel Fund and in addition to being a very useful sum of money, it’s an endorsement of our work locally. That feeds back to our staff and volunteers, as when donors have a local interest in a community, they see and hear about our activities on a regular basis. That means donations are earned, and valued, and seen as a wonderful ‘pat on the back’ for all concerned.’ 

He added that the Project has had to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19, but nevertheless has been kept busy: 

‘We’ve made some changes, of course, but at heart we’re a bespoke service set up to support individuals. That means we can adapt more easily than bigger organisations and this year we’ve been doing lots of ‘walk and talk’ support sessions, outdoor activities and online work. Although it’s been different, the quality of what we’ve been able to deliver has been exceptionally high.’ 

For more information about the Northern Angel Fund for Berwick please contact Jon Goodwin: jg@communityfoundation.org.uk  

For more information about funding opportunities at the Community Foundation visit www.communityfoundation.org.uk/apply 

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