Kent community groups were celebrating this week as London Gatwick announced the recipients of £30,000 from the first round of the London Gatwick Foundation Fund of 2024, across Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks.

Among the six good causes which benefited from a financial boost were Nourish Community Foodbank in Tunbridge Wells which received £9,000, Bridges Centre in Sevenoaks with £7,500, Scotts Project Trust in Tonbridge with £3,750, Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadets with £4,000, Friends Together in Tonbridge which received £4,500 and Tunbridge Wells and District Volunteer Bureau and Community Car Service which benefitted from £1,250.

Nourish Community Foodbank provides emergency food and provisions to people in crisis in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and the surrounding area. It will use the money for its fuel voucher scheme and to pay for operating costs.

Bridges Centre in Sevenoaks will use the money for its annual core costs for the community centre it runs on Edenbridge High Street.

Scotts Project Trust, a charity which supports adults with learning disabilities, will put the funding towards refurbishing and enhancing an outdoor session space in Tonbridge.

Mark Allen, CEO, Scotts Project Trust, said: “Being able to use up-to-date, specialist IT equipment makes a huge difference to people with learning disabilities, allowing them to widen their horizons, access new and exciting experiences and build skills. The £3,750 awarded to Scotts Project will enable us to upgrade and extend our hardware and we are very grateful for the grant.”

Friends Together, a bereavement support network, will use the funding to set up a new support group and pay for administrator costs in Tonbridge.

Tunbridge Wells and District Volunteer Bureau and the Tunbridge Wells Community Car Service, which provides safe transport for people who cannot use public transport, will put the money towards its annual core costs.

Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadets, which provides activities and adventures for young people, will spend its money on equipment for teaching first aid.

Lieutenant commander Jon Vanns, community liaison officer at Royal Naval Reserve Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadets TS Brilliant, said: “We will spend the money on first aid training equipment such as defibrillator machines. We are a uniformed youth group for children aged between ten and 18.

“With this kit we can train and qualify our adult volunteers and cadets in first aid, focusing for procedures afloat. We also will support other cadet groups and others in our community with basic first aid skills.”

Melanie Wrightson, stakeholder engagement manager at London Gatwick, said: “We love supporting community groups through the London Gatwick Foundation Fund. Hearing how the money we donate makes a difference to people’s lives is a constant source of joy.

“Sadly, we’re still reading headlines about how the acute cost-of-living crisis is impacting the UK and we know grassroots organisations and voluntary projects will be feeling the financial pressure.

“The London Gatwick Foundation Fund has supported hundreds of good causes over the years. We would like to urge local charities and community groups to apply for the next round of funding and allow us to help them too.”

Each year there are three rounds of grants, totalling £100,000, which are made available to beneficiaries in Kent, across the area of benefit which covers Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks.

The London Gatwick Foundation Fund was set up in 2016 to award funding to local groups that work to fight social isolation and tackle disadvantage, raise aspirations and develop skills, improve health and wellbeing, and support children and young people.

The London Gatwick Foundation Fund is managed on behalf of London Gatwick in Kent by the Kent Community Foundation.

The deadline to apply for the next round of funding in Kent is 27 September.

To apply for funding from the Gatwick Foundation Fund in Kent, please go to: https://kentcf.org.uk/