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Funding in our community

In order to fulfil our purpose, our 10-year Strategy recognises that we must invest in our local communities, as envisioned by the Trust’s founders, offering assistance to those in need.

We work with organisations across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset to improve outcomes and opportunities for older people by funding projects within their communities. We deliver different types of grant programmes but our core funding principle is the focus on improving the quality of life of older people in the region. Below please find information about our most recent funds, with grants that continue to support the projects of the organisations we work with.

Improving Connections Fund

Supporting social interaction and tackling isolation have long been recognised as key components to ageing well, and for many years the St Monica Trust has funded projects that support greater connections. As we embark on our new 10-year strategy we are focusing on three themes: ‘Connection’, ‘Contribution’ and ‘Choice’. Our initial focus is on Connection, and through this fund, we aim to address this persistent barrier to helping people live well as they age. The Improving Connections Fund was met with huge interest, and we are pleased to announce that we have awarded over £200,000 to ten charities across our region.

Peer Support Fund

We launched the Peer Support Fund in 2020 to address the issue of older people experiencing loneliness and in need of regular social contact. Five organisations were granted approximately £20,000 per year for three years. Organisations funded through the Peer Support Fund include Acta Community Theatre, Age UK Bristol, Age UK South Gloucestershire, Vision North Somerset and Eastside Community Trust.

Community Development Fund

In 2020, we made a three-year funding commitment through our Community Development Fund. This fund was established to help provide light-touch support across each locality, aiming to encourage collaboration and connect older people with existing services to reengage older people. Six organisations across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire were awarded funding: For All Healthy Living Company, Southern Brooks Community Partnership, Southmead Development Trust, West of England Rural Network, Wellspring Settlement (primarily funded by The Grateful Society) and Knowle West Health Park.

Digital Inclusion Fund

We launched the Digital Inclusion Fund in October 2022 to support projects aimed at building older people’s knowledge, confidence and skills in the digital world, helping them to stay informed, connected and in control of their lives. The main aim of this fund is to improve digital access for people over 55. This might be through computer clubs, employment and IT skills training, or guidance on using smart phones/tablets/laptops.

Six organisations secured funding through the Digital Inclusion Fund for one year initially: BS3 Community Development, North Bristol Advice Centre, North Somerset Training CIC, Sight Support West of England, St Werburghs Community Association and Vision North Somerset. Additionally, four of these organisations were granted continuation funding for a further two years.

With many thanks for your continued support for older people in the city. The funding we receive from St Monica Trust makes a world of difference to the work we are able to do.

Kay Libby, Chief Executive, Age UK Bristol

Your combined support will enable us to continue to run the elders groups at Malcolm X, The Evergreens and Golden Agers, providing vital social support, activities and help accessing services to some of the most vulnerable older people in our local community. The project will enrich the lives of older people from Bristol’s BME communities, reducing their loneliness and social isolation, and improving their health and wellbeing

Isobel Jones, CEO, Alive Activities
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