New Year’s Resolutions

Two women hold sparklers

Happy New Year! With 2021 behind us, Norfolk Community Foundation looks back at last year’s successes, and forward to the year ahead

The past two years have bought with them some of the greatest challenges faced by Norfolk communities. Through lockdowns, furlough and multiplying crises, local charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises (VCSEs) have been working diligently and tirelessly within our local communities to ensure that the most vulnerable people are cared for. From providing support with food and healthcare to tending to social isolation and improving mental health, the pandemic has pulled back the curtain into the often hidden world of VCSEs. Last year, we awarded over £4 million in grants. This year we want to do the same, and more!

We know just what our incredible Norfolk VCSEs are capable of. When the global pandemic struck almost two years ago, they were the first to mobilise, ensuring people in their communities were cared for from day one, before the fundraising has even started. A crisis of this scale didn’t come with a rulebook, but local voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises were guided by their core values: to support Norfolk communities. They are strong because they are embedded within communities, and are run by people passionate about local issues. These people don’t work 9 to 5; they work until the job is done.

5 muddy runners from Take Our Hand hold a sign with their logo.
5 muddy runners from Take Our Hand hold a sign with their updated branding, courtesy of Norfolk ProHelp
Julie and Mayoress Jenny Thompson stand in front of shelves in the Shrublands Food Club
Julie with Mayoress Jenny Thompson in the Shrublands Food Club

This year, we want to do everything we did before and more to help our Norfolk charities shine brighter in 2022. We resolve to:

1. Let VCSEs do their jobs without add complexity. We want to keep busy people on the frontlines, not filling in forms.

2. Get momentum behind innovation. VCSEs are bringing the answers to problems in their community, and our role is to help them realise their ambitions.

3. Identify business support. Last year, we worked with businesses to not only secure funding, but to unlock extra support. Our webinar series delivered over £100,000 of support to the sector for free, while the ProHelp network have provided thousands of pounds worth of support pro bono to Norfolk charities.

4. Use our national networks to identify specialisms we can bring to Norfolk. Links to national networks like Feeding Britain have allowed us to develop programmes and networks of our own that bring nation-leading solutions to the local level. The Nourishing Norfolk Network and Sir Norman Lamb Coalition for Young People have proven themselves invaluable.

5. Connect to new groups. We’re always on the lookout for new grassroots voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises to support to make Norfolk shine brighter!

Community Foundation staff wear matching pink hoodies. They stand in a line outside.
One team, one mission: to build Norfolk communities

We are confident that whatever 2022 has to offer, Norfolk voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises will be there to make a difference where it matters most. Our commitment to them is to do everything we did before, and more to ensure the can do what they do best: serve their Norfolk communities. Alongside distributing funding local sources, we will continue to unlock business support, harness national networks and back our new and existing charities to achieve their goals.