The High Sheriffs’ Fund is now open for applications and Essex Community Foundation are encouraging local charities and voluntary organisations to apply for grants of up to £5,000.

Funding will be awarded to organisations that help to make communities safer and better places in which to live. Groups from Essex, Southend and Thurrock are all eligible to apply. To read the criteria and apply, click here.

Projects which have received grants previously include a handyman service for housebound and vulnerable people living in Epping Forest District, construction skills training in Chelmsford for disadvantaged teenagers and a mentoring programme in Clacton for boys who have an absent father.

Please note: Deadline is 1 December. Funding decisions will be made in February and grants will be awarded in March.