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Published: June 21, 2020 | Updated: June 21, 2020

Happy returns! Dorset Community Foundation marks 20 years of awarding millions of pounds

People First Dorset is one of the latest good causes to receive a grant from Dorset Community Foundation.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Happy anniversary Dorset Community Foundation!

The independent charitable organisation marked its 20th anniversary this week by highlighting its positive impact on local communities across the county.

In just ten weeks, £500,000 has been awarded in 188 grants to Dorset groups and charities helping them to get through the coronavirus crisis.

Grant Robson, Foundation Director, pictured left, said: “Since 2000, the foundation has grown from being a fledgling organisation to one that is firmly at the heart of community life in Dorset awarding millions of pounds during this time.

“Through its grant making and fundraising we have made a significant contribution to the lives of some of the county’s most disadvantaged people.

“The coronavirus emergency created a huge demand for support from hundreds of charities and groups, both established and emerging.

“Within days of the lock-down starting we set up our Coronavirus Community Fund and corresponding appeal which attracted donations from local companies, generous local individuals, charitable trusts and national funders.

“We have never been more relevant, acting fast and responding when Dorset needs it most.

“Our 20th anniversary celebrations may have to wait until next year but what better way to mark our birthday this week than talking about the 188 projects we have supported over the last ten weeks.

“I am proud of the last 20 years, proud of the people that have been involved along the way and thankful they helped create an organisation able to play a significant role in Dorset in time of need.

“We are by no means finished and with the help of our donors we will continue funding as Dorset picks itself up, the lockdown retreats and fresh challenges emerge.”

Among the latest to be helped is People First Dorset, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities, which received a £5,000 grant from the Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund.

Laura Kerr, from People First Dorset, said: “The grant is enabling people with learning disabilities across Dorset, many of whom struggle to understand Covid-19 information, to receive a fortnightly newsletter from People First Dorset with the latest government and local updates in an accessible format, together with fun activities, opportunities to connect with friends and to have their questions answered.”

The Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund is still open for applications with grants of up to £5,000 available.

For more details please visit