East Midlands Chamber's Charitable Fund

As part of the Annual Christmas Lunch held in Leicester in December 2015, the Chamber set up the East Midlands Chamber Charitable Fund as a result of charitable donations by members at this event. The fund is administered by Chamber member Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation and provides a platform for the Chamber to support charitable causes, in our case the charities in Chamber membership, while also managing all the money safely and within charitable law, claiming Gift Aid and so on.

The charitable year runs November to November, to coincide with our President’s term of office. Charities are selected from Chamber membership by the incoming President in November and announced at the Annual Christmas Lunch in December. The total amount raised by the Fund during the year is then split equally and presented at the Chamber’s Annual Christmas Lunch the following December.

2016 recipients:

  • Ashgate Hospice
  • RSPCA Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Branch
  • Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People

2017 recipients:

  • LOROS Hospice
  • Maggies of Nottingham
  • Blythe House Hospice

2018 recipients:

  • Hope Against Cancer
  • Leicester and Leicestershire Animal Aid
  • Rhubarb Farm

2019 recipients: 

  • Twenty Twenty 

At the Chamber's 2019 Christmas Lunch, held at Athena, Leicester, the charities nominated during 2019 - Twenty Twenty and CHICKS - each received a share of £2,429. 

At the same event,  the Chamber's president, Dawn Edwards, announced the new beneficiaires for 2020 which are; 

Chesterfield Canal Trust

The Chesterfield Canal Trust is a charitable company run by volunteers, incorporated in July 1997. It took over from the Chesterfield Canal Society which had been founded in 1976.

The aims of the Trust are to promote the full restoration and appropriate development of the Chesterfield Canal, and to campaign for the construction of the Rother Valley Link, a navigable waterway to join the Chesterfield Canal to the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.

The Trust is currently campaigning to complete the full restoration by 2027 – the 250th Anniversary of its opening. To enable this end, it took on its first ever employee in May 2019 - George Rogers as its Development Manager.

Among other activities, it runs four trip boats - the Seth Ellis in Retford, the Hugh Henshall in Worksop, Madeline at Hollingwood Hub and John Varley in Chesterfield. It also owns a 90-year-old ex-working boat called Python that does vegetation cutting and canal clean-ups. Some volunteers have built Dawn Rose, the first new Cuckoo boat for 100 years, using traditional methods and hand tools. This does towing demonstrations with a horse called Charlie. The Trust’s promotional trailer, the James Brindley, travels far and wide informing people about the canal and there are volunteer work parties on the canal every Thursday and Sunday. Hollingwood Hub, which includes Katey’s Coffee Shop, houses the Trust’s office.

In 2017, the Trust received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

There are well over 1,900 members, who receive copies of the award-winning magazine Cuckoo and regular E-Newsletters. In addition, there are meetings, social events and lots of volunteering opportunities. Membership is available via the website, which is a mine of information about the canal.

The Mighty Creatives

Established in 2009, The Mighty Creatives (TMC) is a charity that transforms the lives of children and young people through arts, culture and creativity. Based in Leicester and rooted across the Midlands, it serves all nine East Midlands local authority areas and targeted areas in the West Midlands.

The charity’s vision is to fight for a world where all children and young people harness the power of arts, creativity and culture in order to transform themselves, their communities and their futures. Listening and acting upon the creative voices of children and young people, resources are targeted to those living in poverty, the most excluded, vulnerable and disadvantaged in society.

Innovative cultural education practice propels the support that makes a difference to children and their families through designing and delivering workshops, training, coaching, mentoring, festivals and event services in the most deprived areas of the region.

Children and young people’s voices are woven through its products and services. Working in partnership with young people, key funders and sector partners, TMC champions, develops, delivers and grows services that can be scaled up, demonstrate reach and result in significant and measurable cultural and social impacts.

Access to creativity and culture significantly affects children and young people’s attainment, health, and wider life chances. TMC provides this access to the most excluded children and young people in the region, helping them access an excellent education to bring their desires alive, giving them the ability to make choices which allow their creativity to flourish and to improve their social lives, wellbeing and economic prospects.

Young Enterprise East Midlands

As an entrepreneurial charity with over 55 years’ experience in supporting young people, Young Enterprise East Midlands continue to look at ways to adapt to the rapid changes in society and the changing needs of the young people it serves.

It believes that young people should be given the best chance for a rewarding future in work and life – no matter where they start their journey.

Young Enterprise in the East Midlands is dedicated to providing the best business education in schools, colleges and universities in the region. It delivers a variety of Young Enterprise programmes from one day employability workshops to year-long immersive programmes.

The committed team works in partnership with local schools, businesses and volunteers to inspire and equip thousands of young people each year to learn and succeed through enterprise. In 2017-18, 14,249 young people took part in Young Enterprise programmes in the East Midlands region from 192 education centres, with the support of 297 business volunteers. The charity's key aim is to ensure that young people grow up with the life skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in the changing world of work.


The Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation sets up personally-named local giving funds for companies and individuals, families and groups of friends. Having a fund or foundation with the Community Foundation is like having your own charitable foundation – but it’s much less expensive, and the Community Foundation manages auditing, reporting and administration.

The Community Foundation keeps abreast of local charitable, voluntary and community groups, and can let you know about – even introduce you or staff personally – to great local causes. You may not have heard of some of them, but their sterling work helps keep our area healthy, safe and thriving - and the Community Foundation ensures that grants you give them are spent as intended.

The Community Foundation also delivers grants locally for other organisations, including the government and its partners – programmes like the Tampon Tax and Building a Stronger Britain Together. LRCF’s total grants awarded and project expenditure for 2017/18 was £351,955.