At our thirtieth anniversary celebrations on 1st February, we revealed that we’ve given out more than £41 million in grants to local communities during our thirty-year history, targeting issues affecting local people.
Our Chief Executive Sue Turner said, “We’re so proud to reach this milestone, which we have achieved because of the tireless passion of our donors. We know there’s great need in our communities and we also know there are local heroes – front-line voluntary and charitable groups – that are doing fantastic work to address problems and turn lives around. £41m is a huge figure and it has done a huge amount of good but demand for our support is rising all the time, so it’s more important than ever that we find and work with more people who care, so we can do more to help community groups survive.”
As one of top 20 endowed grant-making trusts in UK, working across Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, Quartet Community Foundation works with individual donors, businesses, public sector organisations and frontline community groups to make the most of scarce resources and support the charity sector in the region.
At their 30th anniversary celebration they highlighting the life-changing difference Quartet has made over the years by unveiling a film as part of their ‘Thirty Lives Changed’ project –which features one moving and personal profile for each of their thirty years. Some of these stories of personal transformation were featured in the short film, which builds a picture of a thoughtful and responsive organisation that is plugged into its community and which helps groups on the frontline to achieve huge changes for the people they serve.
One group featured in the film is ACTA, which works with people who would not normally have anything to do with the “posh” world of theatre – isolated older people; vulnerable young people; refugees and asylum seekers; disabled people; people living in run down suburbs. Together they create theatre projects that change people’s lives, raising aspirations and improving skills, confidence and employability.
Artistic director and founder of ACTA community theatre, Neil Beddow, said of Quartet: “Every now and then there’ll be something which we really need, either to set something going or to turn us round a corner, or be the final bit that we need to make something happen. That’s when we approach Quartet. Together we’re changing people’s lives, like with our project for young carers which has been going for seventeen years, and which Quartet has supported, to give them the opportunity – for one night a week – not to be a young carer, but be a theatre-maker.”
Another group featured in the anniversary film is local charity Home-Start Bristol. The charity was awarded of one of Quartet’s first ever grants in 1987, and it still provides support to struggling families across Bristol and South Gloucestershire ensuring that children have the best start to life their parents can provide. Volunteers work with families 1-to-1, giving them support, advice, friendship and practical help.
One family being helped by Home-Start this year is Charlotte Lewis and her family. Mum Charlotte has a young child with complex health needs, and was overwhelmed when she found that her next pregnancy was twins. Charlotte says, “I wanted to cope, but it was sort of taken out of my hands, I didn’t have any choice. If it wasn’t for Home-Start and the people who help out Home-Start, then we definitely wouldn’t have been able to continue as we were, and start working towards being a family again, being able to be there for our children.”
Home-Start Bristol co-ordinator, Alex Wyatt, says: “Rest assured that any money given to Quartet that is then awarded to Home-Start, will be spent wisely, supporting families who are struggling”.
Reflecting on Quartet’s anniversary, Sue says, “Thirty years sounds like a long time, but we’re a baby in Community Foundation terms. Our plan is to raise more funds with support from local donors so that we’ll still be here for people like Charlotte, and helping the local community for decades and centuries to come.”