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Love Essex Fund

Woman filling a paper bag with dry food.

Tuesday 2 March 2021 to Monday 29 March 2021

We’re excited to announce the Love Essex Fund, offering microgrants of up to £500, to help organisations and individuals to support residents to reduce their household waste. The Love Essex Fund will support local organisations and individuals who are inspiring residents and providing innovative ideas that promote repair, reuse and recycling, ultimately preventing waste being thrown away in the home.

Funding for local, innovative projects which

  • Reduce the amount of household waste being thrown away 
  • Prevent specific types of waste from being thrown away
  • Make use of recycled, reused or reclaimed materials from the household
  • Inspire people and communities to be creative and sustainable with their waste
  • Provide skills and opportunities to build an environmentally sustainable community

Projects which could receive funding include

  • Repair cafes and workshops
  • Skills sharing workshops
  • Libraries of things
  • Community fridges and other food sharing projects
  • Food growing projects
  • Clothes swaps
  • Plastic free groups
  • Community composting projects
  • Educational activities
  • “Zero waste” shops
  • Online groups and networks (such as Facebook groups)

Projects that are in line with the Love Essex aims and focus on the top tiers of the waste hierarchy will have highest priority, e.g reduce followed by reuse, and then recycling.

Successful Love Essex Fund applicants

During the first and second round of Love Essex Funding, we were pleased to be able to support some great projects across Essex.

First round of funding - October 2019:

  • BabyStuff Braintree - An expansion of the existing store, providing enough storage space for the second-hand baby clothes and donated items. 
  • Castle Hedingham - A parish council creating a community garden with composting facilities.
  • Chelmsford Nappy Library - An expansion of the existing Chelmsford Cloth Nappy Library into Notley and Braintree. 
  • Eco Colnes and Halstead - An eco-group seeking to raise awareness of their group and activities.
  • Eco Essex - An eco-group that also wishes to raise awareness about their group and activities. 
  • SILO - A zero-waste store seeking funding for promotional purposes.
  • South Woodham Ferrers Nappy Library - The creation of a cloth nappy library in South Woodham Ferrers.
  • Tub: Refillables - A plastic-free grocery delivery service based in Saffron Walden, with a pop-up zero-waste shop.

Second round of funding - February 2020:

  •  An Ethical Life - Sustainable workshops held at the ‘An Ethical Life’ shop in Brightlingsea, showing people how to repair their clothes, crochet and knit reusable items and learn to make their own beauty products.
  • UnSealed - A packaging-free refill store in Clacton-on-Sea selling loose food, oils and household cleaning products.
  • The Repair Hub - A community project based within Springfield Baptist Church in Chelmsford aiming to teach repairing and recycling skills for household electrical items.
  • Halstead Eco Party Kit Hire - A business based in Halstead which offers a party kit hire box with enough place settings and serving ware for 30 people.
  • The Sustainability Store - Soon to be a zero-waste shop based in Rayleigh helping to promote a reduction in waste.
  • Colchester Food Coop - A members’ coop in which members can buy dry food staples and cleaning products with zero packaging, currently based in garage.
  • Eco Festival Colchester 2021 - An event run by en-Form taking place at Castle Park, Colchester, promoting sustainable lifestyles and focusing on low-impact living.
  • Refill - A project promoting the Refill Colchester scheme to the public.

Third round of funding - October 2020:

  • A bike is not just for Christmas - A day event promoting reuse by providing second-hand affordable children’s bikes and accessories, as well as providing free bike repairs.
  • The Hippyish Family - A project reusing unwanted fabrics to make eye-catching reusable gift wrap and party bunting.
  • Southend Refills - An expansion of the existing Southend Refills delivery service of cleaning and personal care products in refillable containers.
  • Tendring Primary Recycle Scheme - An expansion of the existing project which uses the TerraCycle scheme to engage households and increase recycling.
  • Eco Colne & Halstead Community Refill Shop - A refill station in Earls Colne aiming to reduce plastic-use within the villages.
  • Eco Rose - A refill shop in Matching Tye providing eco-friendly toiletries and household items.
  • Clothing Waste Prevention Project - This scheme aims to tackle clothing waste by creating and selling upcycled clothing.
  • Plastic Free Feering - A local volunteer-led community group working to raise awareness of the impact of plastic on the environment and remove single-use plastics from homes, community groups, schools and businesses.

Fourth round of funding - March 2021:

  • Uttlesford Children’s Clothing Bank takes donations of preloved clothes and shoes and redistributes them to families in need.
  • Precious Bundles is a Colchesterbased project collecting second-hand clothes, accessories and equipment for children and donating them to families in need.
  • Uniform Swap Shop & Costume Hire is a project in which parents donate old school uniforms which is then sold to people who need it. This will be expanded to hire out costumes to families.
  • Friends of Glebe Preloved Uniforms will promote the reuse of school uniforms by offering a ‘preloved uniform’ facility.
  • Pitsea School Uniform Bank is a project which gathers unwanted and unneeded uniforms and passes them on to families who need them for free.
  • 3FOOD4U is a project which collects unwanted clothes, toys and household items and redistributes them to people in need.
  • Brentwood Cloth Nappy Library is a nappy library bridging the gap between the Epping Forest and Chelmsford nappy libraries.
  • Ecobaba is an online eco store selling cloth nappies, sustainable toys and household items. The funding will be used to set up a small communitybased shop in Danbury called The Eco Cabin.
  • Basildon Cloth Nappy Library which is in need of a revamp and improvements.
  • The Cloth Nappy Maker is a project to create makeyour-own nappy kits for people who are interested in making their own reusable nappies.
  • Life in Eco is a zerowaste refillery and eco-friendly shop, selling dried food without packaging in West Mersea.
  • NicEco is a local refill service in Billericay offering ecocleaning supplies.
  • Home Kitchen Eco is a zerowaste refill shop based in Colchester focused on reducing packaging. Specifically, this project will target the huge waste in packaging from tetra packs used in plant-based milks
  • Tetrapak Recycling Initiative involves Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council sourcing and providing its own Tetrapak recycling.
  • Danbury Revs Up Recycling is a collaboration between the Danbury Society, the parish council and Danbury Revs Up Recycling to initiate crisp packet recycling in the village through TerraCycle.
  • Essex Eco Party Packs involves the hire of eco party packs across Essex which include reusable plates, bowls, cups and serving items.
  • Krafty Kella Craft Workshops is a project running craft workshops using mainly recycled fabrics to create home and garden décor.

We are unable to fund the following

  • Projects focusing on business and office waste
  • Ongoing running costs and pre-existing day to day activities (eg. rent, wages, legal fees, office supplies, expenses, utility bills etc.)
  • Litter bins in public locations.
  • Activities that promote or are run by politically-motivated organisations.
  • Projects where applicant cannot demonstrate compliance with all relevant legislation

How do I apply for the Love Essex Fund?

The Love Essex Fund is now closed. The next round will open in October 2021.   

What happens after I apply for the fund?

  • Once we are in receipt of your application, we will contact you to make sure the fund matches our eligibility criteria.
  • We will let you know if your project has been successful.
  • We will provide feedback on your application if you have not been successful.
  • If you have been successful, we will be in touch for your organisation’s bank details and money will be paid via BACS within 10 working days.
  • If you are crowdfunding for this specific project, please let us know as we may be able to add this fund to your crowdfunding campaign.

Love Essex Fund follow up

Once you have received the funding, we would like to see how it has been used and how your work has helped reach our aims. As a condition of receiving the funding we will require a brief report including photos or video of the project in action and the following information:

  • Approximately how many Essex residents were reached by this project.
  • What you spent the funds on.
  • How much waste was diverted (if known)
  • If you needed to change any plans during the project.
  • What went well/what would you change next time.
  • Projects must have begun operating within 6 months of receiving funding