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Qualis Community Benefit Fund supporting community projects across the district

A group of six adults and two children stand in front of train carriage. The children hold a giant cheque.

Six Epping Forest District community groups and projects are benefiting from funding thanks to Qualis’ Community Benefit Fund (the Fund) – and the scheme remains open to applications for even more initiatives to receive support.

Delivered in partnership with Epping Forest District Council, the Fund provides financial support to organisations, community groups and charities across the Epping Forest District who are making a positive difference in our community.

The Fund was launched earlier this year and offers small grants up to £500 and partnership funding for larger initiatives up to £5,000. The cost benefits Qualis Property Solutions, the property maintenance company within Qualis, has achieved in the delivery of its services enables the Fund to be offered. The Fund supports Qualis in delivering on its commitment to reinvesting back into the community to add long-term value.

The Fund is designed to support a diverse range of projects across the Epping Forest district, with applications which can demonstrate opportunities for creating new jobs and training opportunities, supporting health and well-being, regenerating the area and making the Epping Forest District a more sustainable place to live particularly welcome. To be eligible for funding, applications must be able to demonstrate a benefit to those who rent their homes from Epping Forest District Council.

Applications are assessed by representatives from Qualis, Epping Forest District Council, Council and housing tenants.

Julie Hockley at Upshire Primary Foundation School was thrilled to be told her application had been successful. The school is raising funds to transform a donated train carriage into a fully accessible community space that can be used to deliver extra-curricular activities for pupils and accommodation for local youth and community groups throughout the year. The Fund has award £5,000 to help support this exciting transformation, with additional in-kind volunteering and material support offered.

“Upshire Primary School are delighted that Qualis are supporting the school to bring this project to fruition,” she said.

“This will be a unique and exciting space for the school and local community to use and we would like to thank Qualis for their support.”

Qualis Property Solutions Managing Director Ben Johnson said he was thrilled to be able to support this worthy project.

“This is exactly the type of project the Community Benefit Fund is designed to support, an amazing initiative which through our help can come to fruition and deliver benefit to the whole community.

“We have been overwhelmed by the quality of applications we have received, which reflects the inspirational work taking place across the community, and look forward to supporting many more projects across the Epping Forest district.”

A spokesperson at Epping Forest District Council added:

“The Community Benefit Fund is a fantastic example of Qualis returning value to the community.

“The long-term benefit these grass roots projects provide to the community is immeasurable and we know that this funding will make a huge difference in making them viable into the future.”

Applications for the Community Benefit Fund can be made online. Hard copies of the application form can be requested by phoning 0333 230 0460.

Other community Benefit Fund recipients to date are as follows:

Forest Creative Writers Group

This Loughton community group provides a supportive and encouraging space for budding and experienced writers. The group meets weekly and the Community Benefit Fund donation of £500 will support the group in covering its overhead costs and the production of an annual anthology of select works.

Hyde Mead House Coffee Club away day

Hyde Mead House Coffee Club offers residents at Hyde Mead House, an Independent Living Scheme in Nazeing, a place to meet other residents and get to know each other over a cup of tea or coffee. The club reduces loneliness and isolation for residents and some fantastic friendships have formed since the club has begun.

The Community Benefit Fund donation of £500 will be used to offer residents a canal boat day trip experience.

St Clare Hospice

St Clare Hospice will receive £5,000 to support the delivery of the Compassionate Communities Programme which provides local, community-based services to better support people living with life-limiting illnesses, especially those made isolated by their conditions.

Restore Community

A grant of £4,300 will be made available to Restore Community to enable them to install secure storage space within Oakwood Community Centre. Restore delivers community projects through the centre, including a playgroup for pre-6 school children, holiday clubs for children who rely on free school meals and a community hub.

Friends of Ivy Chimney’s School

£5,000 has been donated to support the school’s ambition to reimagine and redesign the play space at Ivy Chimneys School.

Image  L-R 

  • Julie Hockley, Finance and Personnel Manager, Upshire Primary Foundation School
  • Gill Wallis, Director – Customer and Communities, EFDC
  • Julia Legood, Executive Assistant, Qualis
  • Ben Johnson, Qualis Property Solutions Managing Director, Qualis
  • Wendy Cockbill, Senior Community Engagement Officer, EFDC
  • Sarah Yeoland, Learning Support Assistant, Upshire Primary Foundation School
  • Edith and Alfie, Year 6 pupils at Upshire Primary Foundation School
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