East Midland 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, whilst 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

At the Chamber's 2018 Christmas Lunch, held at Winstanley house, Leicester, the three charities nominated during 2018 - Rhubarb Farm, Leicester and Leicestershire Animal Aid and Hope Against Cancer - each received a one-third share of £3,615. To read the press release on this presentation, click here. 

At the same event,  the Chamber's president, Kevin Harris, announced the new beneficiaires for 2019 which are: 






Twenty Twenty is an employment and support charity that breaks cycles of worklessness, hopelessness and dependency in the most deprived areas of Leicestershire and Derbyshire and Rutland, through working with young people aged 11 to 24. They believe that every young person has incredible potential, and that the most disaffected young people are resources to be developed rather than problems to be solved.

The young people who go to TwentyTwenty live without hope, in the most deprived neighbourhoods, many from families who are now long term unemployed:

  • They have failed at school, through being excluded or not being able to engage with mainstream education. They exist in a demoralised state, feeling neglected and without a meaningful future;
  • They face a wide range of personal and social needs: poor physical and mental health, learning disabilities (many are on the autistic spectrum), caring responsibilities (including teenage motherhood), lack of decent housing, family criminality, gross economic disadvantage, low level drug addiction and a complete lack of societal or family support.

TwentyTwenty exists to help these young people become independent, healthy, aspirational citizens who have the skills and wherewithal to hold down secure and progressive jobs.




SkillForce is an education charity that delivers life-changing, character and resilience-focused education programmes to children aged 6 to 18 using the skills and experience of complementary role models, often ex-Service veterans.

Having served their country in the British Army, Navy or the RAF, they are now serving in schools in their communities. Collectively they are helping to improve and indeed transform the lives of over 13,000 children and young people.

SkillForce has a unique dual mission, namely, to develop confidence, resilience and self-worth in young people, helping to be happy, successful and have a foundation for positive mental health, whilst also helping former Service personnel to transition to civilian life, giving them renewed purpose, a paid job and a new, rewarding career working with young people.

The charity’s flagship education programme is The Prince William Award for 6 to 14 year olds. This is the only award programme of its kind and the only one to bear the name of our Patron, HRH Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge.

The charity also works with 14 to 19 year olds on confidence, resilience, employability and essential life skills.





CHICKS  is a national children’s charity providing free, week-long respite breaks for children living in difficult circumstances all over the UK. Established in 1992, CHICKS has provided a much needed break to more than 16,000 children aged 8 to 15.

The children come from a variety of backgrounds. Many are living in poverty or are young carers for parents or siblings, whilst others are victims of bullying, abuse or have been bereaved. The one thing they all have in common is that they desperately need a break away from home. When they come to stay at the CHICKS retreat in Derbyshire, they have the chance to enjoy their childhood in a safe and supported environment.

On their break, children get to enjoy new experiences and challenge themselves, trying out new activities such as horse-riding or rock climbing, as well as simply enjoying time in the beautiful natural environments around us. Often the most popular activities are the simplest, such as toasting marshmallows around the campfire or enjoying a bedtime story.

For the children supported by CHICKS, their break imparts new confidence, nurtures self-esteem, makes happy childhood memories and sparks new enthusiasm for life. But it doesn’t end at the break. Each child receives a Memory Bag to take home, containing precious mementos from the week as well as a freepost envelope so children can keep in contact. CHICKS also sends every child a birthday card and a few small individually wrapped Christmas presents, to ensure they feel valued. 

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.