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Wesleyan Foundation makes flying start in helping good causes

The next round of voting to decide how funds will be allocated from the Wesleyan Foundation has opened.

The Foundation was launched by specialist financial mutual Wesleyan two months ago and has already helped 25 charities, community groups and social enterprises around the country. It has since awarded grants of more than £106,000.

Among the organisations supported so far include Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project, Pets as Therapy and Northern Star Community Arts.

Each quarter Wesleyan invites customers and supporters of four chosen causes to vote for which they'd most like the Foundation to support. The more votes a cause gets, the bigger the share of support it receives.

While the funding is coming from Wesleyan, it has partnered with Heart of England Community Foundation, to administer the funding and distribute it to organisations nationwide.

Vicki Wentworth, Wesleyan's Chief Customer and Strategy Officer and chair of its Charity Advisory Committee, said: "As a mutual, it is important to us that we support not only our customers, but also the communities they live and work in.

"The organisations we have helped so far do vital work in their local areas but might not otherwise receive the support they deserve. For good causes like this, even a relatively small donation from the Wesleyan Foundation can make a huge difference to the work they do and the people they help."

Deborah Fenney, Project Manager at Northern Star Community Arts, which received £5,400, said: "The grant from the Wesleyan Foundation will make a huge difference to us.  Our volunteer led projects cover various activities including drama for a broad spectrum of our community. The charity will gain a huge boost from the grant and we are truly grateful to all at Wesleyan and the Heart of England Community Foundation."

Tina Costello, Chief Executive of Heart of England Community Foundation said: "We're thrilled to have partnered with Wesleyan to deliver much needed funding to grassroots organisations just like Northern Star. Our Foundation continues to reach out to new organisations to tackle issues affecting local people."

The next round of voting opens on Monday, 7 August. The good causes that can be voted for are:
  • Sunshine & Smiles, the only specific support network in Leeds for children and young people with Down syndrome, and their families
  • Knoticat, a 10-metre sailing catamaran specially adapted for disabled passengers, owned and operated by Dorset-based charity Sports Forum for the Disabled
  • Riding for the Disabled, a Stratford-upon-Avon charity that provides riding lessons to adults and children with disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy
  • Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer, a volunteer group that raises awareness and funds to help provide support and equipment for breast cancer patients that goes above and beyond the NHS support at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and other local hospitals.

For more details on how to vote and the good causes shortlisted go here.

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