Owner of Gazette Newspapers offers cash fun to local charities

Basingstoke Gazette: Sebastian's Action Trust was one of the charities handed a cheque by Gazette editor Mark Jones last year Sebastian's Action Trust was one of the charities handed a cheque by Gazette editor Mark Jones last year

CHARITIES are being given a chance to get in the running for a slice of a cash fund that could really make a big difference to their organisation.

The Gannett Foundation is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc., the parent company of Newsquest Media Group, one of the UK’s largest publishers and the owner of Gazette Newspapers.

The foundation provides funding to registered charities in the areas where Newsquest operates local newspapers and websites.

Gazette Newspapers editor Mark Jones said: “The Gannett Foundation supports registered charities with projects which take a creative approach to fundamental issues such as education and neighbourhood improvements, economic development, youth development, local problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged or disabled people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment.

“The foundation values projects that bring lasting benefits to communities served by our newspapers and websites.

“While preference may be given to ideas which create a durable legacy for the community, the trustees will consider single events or projects of limited duration that otherwise meet the criteria.”

Mr Jones added: “Typically, grants are made for substantial projects which require, and merit, awards of between £5,000 and £10,000.

“The trustees will also entertain more modest applications, but they actively encourage imaginative and ambitious projects on a bigger scale.

“The foundation is also able to join with other contributors to support elements of larger projects, though the trustees prefer to be in a position of making a final donation to complete a project. Decisions in respect of the value of the funding will be made by the trustees and based on the evidence submitted.”

The foundation will favour projects that demonstrate good planning, oversight and financial responsibility. As a prerequisite, the submission of copies of the charity’s most recent financial accounts are required.

In addition, any supporting materials and further details concerning the overall aims of the charity should be included with each submission.

Each nomination will be judged on its own merits at the absolute discretion of the trustees, whose decision is final.

In the 2012 round of grants, charity Sebastian’s Action Trust, which runs The Bluebells, a holiday home for seriously-ill children and their families in North Waltham, received £15,736 to fund a hydrotherapy swimming pool facility.

And Riding for the Disabled, based at Dummer, received £6,415 to spend on a ramp and platform which has made it easier for young riders to safely mount and dismount from ponies on their own.

Applications must be submitted on the approved application form, which can be applied for by emailing mark.jones@basingstoke gazette.co.uk. Application forms will be sent out in the week beginning September 2, and must be returned by Monday, September 16.

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