THERE is still time for charities to apply for their share of an annual grant worth thousands of pounds from the Adver’s parent company.

The last decade has seen the Gannett Foundation Trust, charitable arm of publisher Newsquest, hand out about £4m to a variety of good causes.

Applications must be received by Friday, September 12, and all local charities are welcome to apply, although each year the grants have a theme and this year’s is hospices.

Previous recipients have ranged from Twigs – Therapeutic Work in Gardening – to Swindon Women’s Aid.

Twigs, which encourages people who have or are recovering from mental illness to take part in gardening and craft activities, received £3,000 from Gannett in 2010.

Twigs’ senior supervisor Phyllida Richards said at the time: “We had a generous grant to get lots of new and good quality tools, brands that made a huge difference, such as a pair of cordless secateurs.”

Swindon Women’s Aid received a £3,700 grant last year, and used it to build a children’s play area at its refuge.

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.”

Other recipients over the years have included Gateway Furniture, which was awarded £2,850 to help in its work providing good quality furniture and white goods to needy people.

This year’s hospice theme reflects the work hospices do in the community, helping not just patients but also their loved ones.

Although on the whole they receive about a third of their funding from the NHS, they are still very reliant on donations.

All applicants for grants must be registered charities, and applications from organisations which have received grants in the last two years are not eligible to apply.

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

Projects must also bring benefits to the community, schools or hospitals, and each nomination will be judged on its merits. The trustees’ decision is final.