Cestria Community Housing


Cestria Community Housing set up a Grassroots Endowment Fund in order to support community activities that meet an identified need such as training for volunteers or purchasing equipment including gardening equipment, toys or furniture in the Chester-le-Street area.

The housing association realised that it was more cost-efficient to outsource their grant making to CDCF, than to do the job in house, leaving their staff free to spend more time visiting local residents. Staff at Cestria have remained involved in the fund by setting up a grant giving committee, that looks at all of the recommended projects CDCF sends through.

In setting up a Grassroots Endowment Fund with the Foundation, Cestria Community Housing showed real foresight, recognising the needs of the area it serves and the importance of developing a long-term source of funding for small community groups – which are essential to the vitality and ongoing development of the area.

Cestria's vice-chairwoman Vera Codling said: "The association provides services to local communities across Chester-le-Street district and this fund has been established to help small community groups gain access to additional funding and help them achieve their goals. We were also pleased to help double the value of this fund through the grassroots endowment challenge, which amtches £1 for £1 donations that support small, community & voluntary groups through a Government initiative managed by the Foundation"

Cestria's first grant went to the South Pelaw Resident's Association to help fund a Healthy Eating Programme for the Parent & Toddler group. To see a case study of thie grant click here.