NCF work with a variety of local voluntary and community groups to support the fabulous work that they are doing in across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. As local charity experts, they help these groups to access and apply for funding to support their projects, as well as providing advice to help them navigate the bureaucracy and administration that comes with charitable initiatives.
NCF also work with donors – individuals or organisations who are keen to give back. Donors either want to create their own fund, or legacy; offer their time to support a particular project; or are looking to donate money to something that’s important to them. NCF help donors to set up these funds or projects, or will match them to an existing project where their donation will make a huge difference.
NCF focuses on maximising the difference that giving makes, ensuring that 100% of donations directly benefit the local community. These smaller projects often struggle as they lack the significant marketing budgets that many larger charities have and as a result many people often aren’t aware that they exist. The work of the NCF makes a real difference for these groups.
One initiative supported by NCF is Super Kitchen. Super Kitchen was set up in 2014 and uses surplus food (food that’s in date and good to eat, but won’t be sold due to reasons like over-ordering or incorrect labelling) to create home-cooked meals in community kitchens, which local people can purchase for just £2-3. Super Kitchen serves around 19,000 meals a year across Nottingham, saving tonnes of perfectly edible food from landfill.
Aside from the health and environmental benefits of the project, the social element of Super Kitchens has also made a difference. Whenever someone visits a Super Kitchen for a meal, there is always someone to talk to and people are often there for the same reasons – this provides companionship and a sense of community spirit, that can often be lacking in today’s communities. The success of the project has resulted in its recent expansion across the UK.
Another project supported by NCF is the 1% Matters Fund. In 2015 a successful business man, from Nottingham, decided to start a fund with 1% of his profits to support local charities in Nottingham. A second business leader quickly saw the potential and offered his support. Working with NCF they have created a new charitable fund with the aim of growing it to build a permanent legacy for the people of Nottingham.
Many people can afford to give 1% of their salary, their company profits or dividends and every penny matters to local charities. £500 can go along way for a small local project providing essential support in the local community. Whilst many people give generously to charity, many would prefer to give to more local projects. NCF ensure that this money goes to local charities who really need it.
As government and public money shrinks, local communities are increasingly dependent on the support from donors and volunteers. Nina emphasises the importance of us all taking responsibility for those services that underpin our local community; services that we are often unaware even exist until we find ourselves, or our family, in hardship or in need of extra support to get through a particularly tough time.