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Historic charity fund seeks new applications for grant help

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A TAMWORTH charity fund which was set up almost 150 years ago to help improve the lives of local residents is inviting people and organisations to apply for a slice of the £2,000 available this year.

Tamworth Municipal Charities has been run by Tamworth Borough Council since 1868 when it was set up by philanthropists who wanted to help relieve financial hardship for local people at a time when state assistance was non-existent.

Over the years it has provided financial aid to those in need, typically awarding grants of between £100 and £500. Originally this took the form of cash handouts, but has also included the provision of washing machines, cookers, disabled aids, help towards the cost of visiting relatives in hospital or respite care.

The funds are created from the authority’s returns on investments and the trustees consider requests for help from people in need who live in Tamworth, or from organisations which offer help and support to those in need.

In 1909, the fund gave away £5.50 to Tamworth Hospital and in 1949, 289 people were each given four shillings at the Assembly Rooms. In later years, organisations including Dosthill Boys Club and Home Start received grants.

Last year’s beneficiaries included the Charity of Richard Repington for Poor, Tamworth Cornerstone Housing Association, Mercian Ability Partnership, St Francis Church and St Editha’s Church, Amington. Grants from individual residents are also encouraged.

Anica Goodwin, Tamworth Borough Council’s Head of Paid Service and Secretary of Tamworth Municipal Charities, said: “This charity fund is a lasting legacy from the town’s ancestors and has helped hundreds of people and organisations over the years.

“While it’s only relatively small, the fund can make a huge difference to those in need and consequently, I would urge people to apply.”

The closing date for applications to the fund this year is Friday November 10. The charity trustees will then meet on November 15 to consider how grants will be allocated.

All applications should be made in writing to the Secretary to the Trustees, Anica Goodwin, Tamworth Borough Council, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7BZ.

Applications from organisations should include a copy of the latest statement of accounts.

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