THE time has come for charities in Swindon to apply for an annual grant worth thousands of pounds courtesy of the Swindon Advertiser’s parent company.

The Gannett Foundation Fund, which is the charitable arm of Newsquest, supports non-profit-making groups and has given out £4 million in the last decade.

The foundation supports registered charities running projects that take a creative approach to issues such as education and neighbourhood improvements, economic development, youth work, local problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged or disabled people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment.

Each year money is given to projects which have a lasting benefit to the community.

Last year, Swindon’s Women’s Aid was given £3,700 to build a children’s play area at its refuge for youngsters to enjoy while they are staying there.

Caroline Smith, the Children’s Support Worker, said: “The money did make a big difference because we wouldn’t have been able to raise that amount.

“Combined with other money, we were able to build the big area outside which is like a park.

“We levelled off the ground and built a pirate ship with a wheel at the top and a slide.

“It has been really useful, especially in these summer months. When the women come to us they are often not able to go outside so this provides some sense of normality.

“The children can’t play out in the streets with their friends so it gives them a great chance to socialise. It is usually in use after most school days.”

While all organisations will be considered, each year there is a theme. For 2014 hospices are being encouraged to apply. Although hospices receive about a third of their funding from the NHS, they remain very reliant on charitable donations. All applicants must be registered charities and the foundation will not consider any that have received a grant from them in the past two years.

Grants will not be given to fund salaries and running costs, appeals as opposed to specific projects, or to promote political or religious groups.

Projects must also bring benefits to the community, schools or hospitals.

Each nomination will be judged on its merits. The trustees’ decision is final.

Click this link for a copy of the application form: GANNETT FOUNDATION APPLICATION FORM 2014 V1.pdf

Applications with supporting documents should be sent via email to by 5pm on September 12. Paper submissions must be sent to the Editor, Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE.