The Ford Southampton Community Fund, administered by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is open until midnight on Monday 13th September 2021 for grant applications from charities, community groups, voluntary organisations and not-for-profits working with younger people across the Southampton City and Eastleigh areas.

Grants of £1,000 to £6,000 will help those aged 11-25 to acquire new technical skills including mechanics, 3D graphics, carpentry, metal work, bricklaying, stores and logistics, with a focus on helping those that are not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

Projects supporting young people in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and behavioural training including leadership skills, social interaction and communication skills will be welcomed.

Organisations offering workshops to build practical skills, training and work experience programmes and social enterprises offering real skills outcomes for disadvantaged young people may also apply for funding. In addition, grants are available for equipment for community activities, volunteer expenses, youth and technical club activity costs, scouts, guides and sea cadet activity costs and activities outside of school hours.

Organisations are encouraged to find out more and apply for a grant from the HIWCF website before Monday 13th September 2021.

Gary Thompson, Superintendent Transport Operations Southampton, Ford Motor Co Ltd said “As a local employer, we are extremely passionate about giving young people the opportunities they need to improve their life skills and achieve their personal goals. By supporting disadvantaged young people through the Ford Southampton Community Fund, we can help them to overcome the barriers that limit their access to work and give them the chances that they deserve.”

The Footprints Project has previously benefitted from the grants programme, helping those leaving prison to re-integrate into their local communities in the Southampton area. (Photograph courtesy of Footprints Project).

Jacqui Scott, Chief Executive at HIWCF said “We are delighted to be partnering with the team at Ford on their charitable giving, as it is only thanks to the generosity and goodwill of our donors that we are able to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable local people. The Ford Southampton Community Grant Programme continues to support some truly inspiring organisations and projects in some of the most deprived areas in Southampton and Eastleigh and we will continue to work hard to ensure that grants are targeted to the most disadvantaged communities to help young people in need.”

Since 2006, HIWCF has distributed almost £13 million in grants to support those less fortunate across local communities and last year, emergency grants worth £2.3 million provided groceries, hot meals, medication, laptops and befriending services to those needing help during the Covid-19 pandemic. The HIWCF team is keen to talk to local businesses, families and individuals who would like to help the local charitable sector and local communities to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, more details can be found on the HIWCF website: