National Express pledges another £100k to build on community foundations

Community group leaders from across the West Midlands who benefitted from grants from the National Express Foundation have today come together to urge others to apply for funding.

Since its launch in 2012 the Foundation has awarded tens of thousands of pounds to community groups working with young people and as a result over a thousand youngsters are enjoying new and exciting activities.

Sandra Adams, Chairman of Olio Youth Centre in Darlaston, which received funding from the Foundation in 2013, spoke on behalf of community groups across the region to urge others to apply for grants of £2,500 or £5,000. Sandra said: "In 2013 the National Express Foundation donated a £5000 grant to The Olio Youth Centre.  The grant enabled us to clear derelict waste land around the Olio Youth Centre that was the victim of fly-tipping and turn it into an attractive garden for young people to grow vegetable, spend time and maintain.  Other community groups should apply to the National Express Foundation as it really does make such a huge difference and changes the lives of the young people we all work hard to help."

Anthony Vigor Chairman of the National Express Foundation said: "The level of interest in the National Express Foundation last year exceeded all our expectations, and we're delighted we were able to support over a thousand local youngsters as a result.  We are investing another £100k into the Foundation this year to provide more awards for local community groups, colleges and universities. We know so many people are active in the local community, so if they think they would benefit from our support we urge them to look at our funding criteria and put forward an application."

To be eligible a community group must be based within the West Midlands and provide positive activities for young people in deprived areas.  Full guidelines on how to apply can be found at

Community groups are not the only ones to benefit from the Foundation as local colleges and universities also received grants to help students from deprived backgrounds into further or higher education.

Educational institutions can apply for funding of £10,000 per year with their proposals for a bursary scheme that benefits their students.

Applications need to be received by Friday 28 March 2014.

Published 14th February 2014