Suffolk has one of the highest off-grid populations in rural England, which often leads to fuel poverty for many poorer households who have to rely on oil tanks. In many areas of Suffolk, access to key services including Post Offices, buses, general stores and other community assets is in the worst 5% in the UK, and declining and more than 6% of our young people are not in education, employment or training – one of the highest rates in rural England.
Together with The Big Lottery, Suffolk County Council, and the Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner we have developed a national pilot programme that specifically targets rural need – The Suffolk Rural Fund.
Grassroots projects in rural locations and outreach projects from our larger towns have been funded – often for the first time. Over £181,000 has already been distributed to 55 organisations reaching need, improving equality of access to services and strengthening communities right across Suffolk.
Every penny we raise together for The Suffolk Rural Fund will be used to support the work of charities and community groups in Suffolk – there are some 5,000 of them in total supported by over 60,000 local volunteers.
Over half of our voluntary groups are entirely volunteer led and run at a local grassroots level. They provide essential support to individuals and communities and operate on tiny budgets of considerably less than £10,000 a year. Their inability to compete for funding with larger charities means that over 78% of the money we give each year reaches only the top 3% of charities; this means that a similar amount of our giving here in Suffolk leaves our county never to return.
Our voluntary sector in Suffolk is empowered by local giving and they badly need us to do more to help them. It would be no exaggeration to say that Suffolk would come to a standstill without them.
Want to help the Suffolk Rural Fund? You can donate here.
These are some groups that have been funded by The Suffolk Rural Fund’s grants panel:
- 1st Horringer Scout Group
- Badwell Ash Playing Field and Recreation Ground
- Church of St Mary Magdalene
- Drinkstone Parish Council
- Green Light Trust
- Marlesford Community Council
- Suffolk Mind
- Walsham-le-Willows Memorial Hall
Below are some other examples of projects funded by supporters of Suffolk Community Foundation.
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