It’s that time of year again when we start looking for deserving causes which would benefit from a cash donation for a special project.

Grants are being offered through the East London and West Essex Guardian Series by The Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of Gannett Co, Inc. owner of Newsquest Media group, which publishes regional newspapers, websites and magazines nationwide.

The Gannett Foundation provides funding to support local projects and organisations in areas where Newsquest operates throughout the UK. The funds are managed by the Quartet Community Foundation.

In the past 10 years, the foundation has made grants in the UK totalling more than £4 million.

The foundation values projects that bring lasting benefits to the communities and neighbourhoods served by our newspapers. That includes schemes for neighbourhood improvement and local problem-solving, economic development, youth development, education and cultural creativity, help for the disadvantaged or disabled and environmental conservation.

Typically our grants are made for substantial projects which require and merit awards of between £5,000 and £10,000.

Elhap Adventure Playground

Last year, Elhap Adventure Playground in Roding Lane North, Woodford Bridge, was awarded a £5,500 grant by the Gannett Foundation.

Elhap, which opened in 1976, is visited by around 8,000 children with special needs and disabilities between the ages of six and 18 every year.

The £5,500 grant paid for a new piece of play equipment, a 'round the world swing'.

Elhap's manager, Robert Dighton, 41, said: "We are very grateful to Gannett for the money because we wouldn¹t have been able to get this project off the ground without them."

"The whole reason we wanted to build this swing is because the kids came to us and said they wanted it."

Mr Dighton said such donations were essential to keep small charities such as Elhap up and running.

He added: "We don't have the marketing budget of some other charities and I think what we do is sometimes overshadowed.

"I have been here since 1989 and I would say struggling to survive has almost become part of our identity.

"That's why this money is so welcome. The swing is making a massive difference to children's lives."

How to apply

The foundation will consider more modest applications, but it encourages imaginative and ambitious projects on a bigger scale. The foundation can join with other contributors to support elements of larger projects.

While preference may be given to ideas which create a durable legacy for the community, the foundation will consider single events or projects of limited duration that otherwise meet the criteria.

Prospective applicants must be registered charities, and must not have received Gannett funding in the past two years.

The foundation will not fund: Salaries, professional fees or day-to-day running or maintenance costs; General appeals as opposed to specific projects; Projects that do not bring benefits to local communities; Political or religious organisations; State or privately run schools (other than special needs) or hospitals (other than hospices).

We will favour projects that demonstrate good planning, oversight and financial responsibility. You must supply copies of your most recent accounts (where required by the Charities Commission) or other appropriate financial information, together with any supporting materials and details of your organisation’s managing committee.

The actual use of all grants will be monitored by the newspaper.

To apply for a Gannett Foundation grant from this office the charity must be served by the Waltham Forest Guardian, Wanstead & Woodford Guardian, Epping Forest Guardian or Chingford Guardian.

Applications must be submitted on the official application form and scanned in and sent to Please note we will only accept electronic applications.

The closing date for nominations for a Gannett grant is Monday, September 16, 2013. Please note that there will be no extensions to this date.

Download an application form as a Word document here: