Brentwood Community Fund 2021 - open for applications

The Community Fund is now open for applications and will close at midnight on Thursday 30th September 2021.

In partnership with Axis, Brentwood Borough Council invites not-for-profit organisations and individuals to bid for funding for community projects.

Grants of up to £4000 are available for causes and projects that will improve the quality of life for local people and tackle important issues and be delivered between 1st January 2022 and the 31st December 2022.

For more information about what can be applied for, who can apply and how to apply, please read the full Guidance Notes pdf alongside the Scoring Matrix pdf

Applicants will be required to complete the below application form and attach a Budget Template pdf 

Apply to Brentwood Community Fund  

Applications will be assessed and reported to Committee in December 2021, when a decision on the allocation of funding will be made. 

All enquiries should be made by emailing localism@brentwood.gov.uk  

Example of what has been previously funded by the Community Fund:

Sing my own song - Kids inspire

£1726 was awarded in 2019 to Kids Inspire, a charity that provides mental health and trauma recovery support for children, young people and their families through therapeutic and community activities. 

The project was jointly funded by Brentwood Borough Council, Brentwood Youth Strategy Group, Essex County Council and the Rotary Club of Brentwood.  

‘Sing My Own Song’ is a therapeutic music programme for teenagers in Brentwood to learn how to express themselves creatively through song writing and performing.  

Whilst there were initial plans for the participants to meet in a face to face in a workshop setting, COVID-19 restrictions meant that the group now meets online and is taking place over 15 sessions. The young people taking part have been referred by parents, young carers support workers and teachers, because they are keen to express themselves but struggling with anxiety, isolation, low self-esteem.   

The programme is being ably led by a music therapist in Kids Inspire, brilliantly assisted by two award-winning teenage singer-songwriters, who are inspiring the students with their can-do creative approach to the technology. 

Each student has been loaned a mini-mixer so that they can experiment at home with making their own sound worlds.  A surgery, held at Kids Inspire, took place to ensure that everyone was up to speed on using their mixer. 

The students are learning about writing lyrics, about making tunes, about balancing words and song. 

Elizabeth Bayliss, Project Manager: ‘Music is really a very good bridge from a person's internal emotional world, out into the social world of interaction and inter-relationship.’ 

Further information on Kids Inspire can be found at www.kidsinspire.org.uk  

Mental Health Small Grants Scheme 2021 - COVID-19 Recovery - now closed for applications

The Mental Health Small Grants Scheme closed for applications on Monday 10 May 2021.

Brentwood Borough Council is committed to working with partners to help improve mental health and wellbeing in the local community.  In partnership with the Brentwood Health and Wellbeing Board, Brentwood Borough Council is pleased to offer a fourth round of funding to support mental health initiatives in the Borough.  

Grants of up to £4000 were available to not-for-profit individuals and organisations for wellbeing projects delivered between 1 August 2021 and 31 March 2022.  

Projects must be specifically delivered to aid and assist with wellbeing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. They must be delivered in the Borough and involve people with lived experience in design, planning and delivery.  

Applicants needed to demonstrate how their project meets a number of health criteria.

All enquiries should be made by emailing mhfunding@brentwood.gov.uk

Example of what has been previously funded by the Mental Health Small Grants Scheme:

Butterfly Meadow - Our Grieving Hearts

£1600 was awarded in 2019 to Our Grieving Hearts, a peer-to-peer support group for bereaved parents who are part of the Compassionate Friends charity www.tcf.org

The funding was awarded for the Butterfly Meadow project, a tranquil open space in nature that provides somewhere for bereaved parents to enjoy with their families.  Being in touch with nature, whether it’s volunteering, walking, forming new friendships, learning new skills, spending time among the peaceful and serene surroundings, naturally encourages positivity and hope after the devastating loss of a much-loved child.

The grant from Brentwood Borough Council will enable the group, with fellow volunteers, to build a peaceful, elevated and accessible seating area for visitors. Designed to complement the natural surroundings of Butterfly Meadow this area will offer time to relax and reflect. Immersed in nature, visitors will be able to take in the beautiful view, spot the various butterflies and birds among sweet-scented planting and trees.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic and the dedicated work of these kind-hearted volunteers, the pleasant calm, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Brentwood town, is attracting families, individuals, dog walkers, artists and photographers alike to the peace and tranquillity that Butterfly Meadow offers. 

Project coordinator, Francesca Spiteri, said, ‘Being a bereaved parent is like being in a club that no one wants to join. Spending time around people that understand, being able to talk openly and frankly about their child without people looking away and just being able to cry without fear of judgement really does help. The retreat at the Meadow that we have planned for this year, will be the first of its kind in Essex, offering compassion and support to bereaved parents in a safe place to be themselves among other bereaved parents, to share experiences and to give hope and light at the end of this dark tunnel. Learning from others who are further along in their grief journey, parents will be able to smile and laugh again in the future. This will be through a mixture of talks, a walk through Butterfly Meadow and spending time there immersed in the serene and peaceful surroundings within the beauty and sound of its wildlife. Especially at this time of uncertainty, Butterfly Meadow is a positive and inclusive focus for everyone’ 

As the project has grown in interest, volunteering opportunities have extended into the Essex community, with local groups, businesses and individuals uniting to encourage butterflies, birds, insects, wildlife and flowers to Butterfly Meadow. 

" Through Our Grieving Hearts, I had heard about Butterfly Meadow Project Brentwood and thought I would like to help but having certain disabilities I can’t do much physically.  Encouraged by another bereaved parent, I visited Butterfly Meadow Brentwood and am now happy to be involved with the upcycling of the tired notice board which was donated to the project.  I am arranging for this to take place and am so pleased to be able to do so.  My ideas and thoughts are listened to and encouraged.  I have since visited with my friends and family and although I can see how much more work it needs, Butterfly Meadow Brentwood is such a calming area, beautiful in every corner with an amazing view.  Away from the hustle of life, helps me remember my child in a beautiful way." bereaved parent. 

‘ I became a volunteer following a post at the end of the first lockdown. It seemed a great way to get out, enjoy fresh air and meet new company while helping a thoroughly worthwhile cause. Being in a wonderful spot, that I didn't know existed, it's become a pleasure to work helping restore & improve the area. It was great to meet new people, at a safe distance, which was brilliant after lockdown, the physical work was good exercise and I'm sure it all helped everyone's mental outlook become more positive! Looking forward to this year!’  John Daniel, Volunteer 

Support for bereaved parents is available through Our Grieving Hearts which can also offer information leaflets and online meetings for specific groups, such as support after suicide: 
www.ourgrievinghearts.co.uk