RCCE’s endowment fund, set up in 2009 to mark its 80th anniversary, has passed the £100,000 mark, thanks to the sterling fundraising efforts of trustees, staff and supporters.

A wide variety of fundraising events including country walks, an outdoor film and picnic evening, a superb Michaelmas Dinner organised in conjunction with the Essex Women’s Advisory Group and a Christmas supper and carol service have raised anything from a few hundred to several thousands of pounds each.

‘We are very pleased to have reached such an incredible milestone’ said Nick Shuttleworth, RCCE Executive Director, ‘to think we started at zero just three years ago is testament to the generosity and support of people in Essex, especially in such challenging times.’

The latest boost to the Essex Rural Fund has come from outgoing Essex County Chairman, Cllr. Rodney Bass, who has made a donation of £1,000 from his unspent civic allowance, and also taken out a standing order to personally support the fund.

‘Rodney Bass has been a passionate supporter of the Essex Rural Fund, throughout his term of office as Chairman, participating in the whole of our Mersea Island and Hatfield Forest Walks. We are thrilled and immensely appreciative of his extremely generous support.’ Nick Shuttleworth added.

Having reached £100,000 we have no intention of stopping and fundraising events are planned throughout the year.  Crucially though, reaching this milestone has enabled us to activate grant giving through Essex Community Foundation, which manages the fund for us. This can only be on a modest scale initially but look out for further news on the first grants to rural community projects - coming soon.