Wesleyan, the specialist financial mutual, has launched a new charitable Foundation in partnership with Heart of England Community Foundation with an aim to give up to £1 million a year to good causes.
The Wesleyan Foundation hopes to award around 100 grants in its first year and will enable its customers and members to decide which projects receive the most support, by nominating voluntary organisations important to them. Charities, community groups and social enterprises who meet the criteria can also apply directly to the fund.
While the funding will come from Wesleyan, it is partnering with Heart of England Community Foundation, who will administer the fund and distribute it to organisations across the UK.
Wesleyan Chairman Bryan Jackson said: “Wesleyan has a legacy of supporting great causes, and our Foundation takes that to the next level.
“As a mutual, our members already have a say in how we operate, and our Foundation now gives them a further chance to choose how we help worthwhile causes.
“By working with Heart of England Community Foundation, our hope is to award up to £1 million of grants per year to small charities and transform the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people in communities around the UK.”
Tina Costello, Chief Executive of Heart of England Community Foundation, added: “Our organisation has supported thousands of worthy projects over the years and we’ve seen first-hand the impact that funding like this can have in local communities.
“We’re aiming to award up to 100 grants from the Wesleyan Foundation in the first 12 months alone, and we’re really excited to see our partnership with Wesleyan flourish over the coming months and years.”
Three levels of funding will be awarded, including small grants of £2,000 and under, medium-sized awards of between £2,000 and £10,000 and discretionary, large grants of more than £10,000.
Wesleyan members will be able to nominate voluntary organisations for consideration, as well as be given the opportunity throughout the year to vote on selected charities and grant recipients.
The first three charities to receive medium-sized grants from the Foundation include Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project, which works to reduce isolation for those with dementia; Pets as Therapy, which provides therapeutic visits to people in need across the UK; and Books Beyond Words, which supports people with learning and communication difficulties.
Dr Jackson added: “These are three fantastic causes that provide much-needed support for people in need across the country.
“It’s great to see our members take part in the first round of voting to support these charities, and now we want customers to let us know about the projects in their own communities that they’re passionate about, whether big or small.”
Wesleyan customers that would like to nominate a project or charities wishing to seek funding for their project should visitwww.wesleyan.co.uk/foundation for further details including the criteria.
Wesleyan provides specialist financial advice and solutions for doctors, dentists, lawyers and teachers.