Sandwell Council has entrusted the Foundation to award grants on its behalf – launching the ‘Sandwell Community Grants’ fund.
The first grants, taken from the council’s previously dormant assets, have now been issued to charities and volunteer-led projects in the borough.
Oldbury’s Krunch UK, works with vulnerable children and young people. The award will provide fun and practical sessions, covering topics such as sport and cooking, for children finding the transition from primary to secondary school difficult.
And the West Bromwich-based Christian Youth & Community Service will use the money to purchase new IT equipment so staff and volunteers can perform more effectively.
The Foundation has worked with the local authority to bring a new focus for these funds which were linked to trust funds that had not been accessed for some years.
And Tina Costello, CEO of the Foundation, is urging other councils to follow suit and help community projects within their own boundaries.
She said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Sandwell Council and awarding the first ever Sandwell Community Grants to Krunch UK and the Christian Youth and Community Service.
“I’m very grateful to Sandwell Council for entrusting us with its funds and allowing us to support worthy causes in the region.
“The work we’re starting with Sandwell is a great example of how councils can revitalise previously unused funds and benefit projects in their communities. We want other local authorities in the West Midlands to work with us so we can really make a difference.
“Councils may not realise they have access to these funds so it’s a huge opportunity to do more locally.”
Councils across the country have been encouraged to work with local community foundations as part of an initiative from the Charity Commission.
Many local authorities have inherited charitable trusts that have become dormant over many years.
Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies said: “Giving children and young people the best possible start in life is one of our top priorities and it’s great we have been able to free up this money to create a fund to support them.”
To find out how you can do more locally, please click here.