Catalyst’s latest round of grant awards:

We are pleased to have agreed a total of £65,278 in grant awards at our latest Board meeting. Please find below a list of the grants that were approved for projects within the CO post code:

  • £33,939 for Stepping Stones and Colchester Gateway Clubs to purchase a new
    mini-bus. The vehicle will be used to support children and young adults with special needs and learning disabilities to access important leisure, community, respite and social activities.
  • £13,000 to fund a new sensory room at Doucecroft School, which will provide support for children with special needs to relax and recover from over-stimulation. The room will also provide the children with the tools they need to boost their own confidence.
  • £10,000 to fund a new pilot scheme that will provide support for people living in Jaywick who suffer from depression and mental health problems. The project will teach them how to manage their health better and find practical pathways out of depression and anxiety.
  • £3,000 was awarded to the Clacton Leg Club to purchase a new state-of-the art machine and other pieces of equipment that will enable people with leg ulcers and wounds to access treatment that will help their legs to heal more quickly.
  • £2,500 for PARC (Play and Resource Centre) to purchase new soft play equipment to be used at Great Notley Country Park. The equipment will provide relaxing play and recreation opportunities for children with additional needs, to improve their quality of life.

Previous grant awards:

  • £7,483 was previously set aside for The J’s Hospice to support young adults aged 16-40 who have a life-limiting/life threatening condition. The funds have been released following the delivery of a successful 6 month pilot, which demonstrated the positive impact this project has already had on the lives of these young people.The scheme will now run for another six months before being integrated into The J’s Hospice’s main services.The self-care programme helps the young people and their carers to learn new skills that enable them to take greater control over the management of their health problems.

Grants agreed under £2,000:

  • £1,838.59 was agreed for Community360 to start a pilot project called the
    Slipper Exchange programme. This programme will involve older people, at risk to
    having falls, being able to swap sloppy old slippers for a new pair of well-fitted, non-slip slippers. It will reduce the potential of them sustaining injuries through being unsteady on their feet.

Recent Catalyst Grants from September Board Meeting

Stepping Stones

A grant of £13,500 was made to the Stepping Stones Play and Learn Group. This was the second portion of a grant to provide early intervention for disabled children aged 2 and under. The scheme also offers support for their parents/carers.

Acorn Village

Acorn Village is a registered charity for adults with learning disabilities. Their philosophy is ‘Life is for Living’ and that adults with a learning disability are people first with their disability coming second.

Acorn Village is in the process of undertaking a large building project to upgrade the services and facilities that they are able to offer residents.

We recently made them a grant of £20,000 towards the funding of new high-tech hoists that will carry residents smoothly from their bedroom to their bathroom.


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative neurological condition that affects over 100,000 people in the UK. MS-UK provides support to all people affected by MS, including their carers and professionals.

A grant of £12,284 was made to MS-UK in respect of the expansion of services at Joseph’s Court. Our grant will enable MS-UK to keep up with rising demand and extend the hours that the Centre is open to meet this need.

Community Voluntary Services Tendring

A £5,000 grant was made to CVST towards the cost of a feasibility study into the most urgent health needs of people living in Tendring.


Royal Mencap Society is the leading UK Charity for people with a learning disability and their families. Their main aims are to change society’s attitude and culture and to empower individuals to lead fulfilled lives.

A grant of £1,500 was made to this group to fund the cost of equipment at a property in Great Tey in Colchester. The service is home to five people with a learning disability who also struggle with mobility.  The funding will help to improve the outdoor area and to provide therapeutic gardening equipment.

Catalyst awards £44,500 to boost local health projects

Colchester Catalyst Charity has awarded a number of new grants for projects in North East Essex that will help to relieve the pain of the sick and suffering in the area.

Throughout the year, Catalyst provides substantial grants on a regular basis to fund the ‘extras’ that will enhance support for people who have serious health needs. However, we only step in to offer assistance when no statutory funding is available.

Men’s health charity CHAPS has been awarded £22,000 to purchase a new portable ultrasound scanner. This vital piece of equipment will be used to scan for abdominal aortic aneurysms and other major abdominal conditions.

Over the next year, it will benefit 250 men below the age of 65 who are ineligible for NHS screenings. The charity also agreed to provide £15,000 towards the cost of a Sensory Pod for Market Field School, which offers unique sensory experiences for children with learning disabilities and autism.

For example, the pod can be used to create an interactive experience of a shuttle launch, with the use of a large widescreen TV, combined with smoke effects, sensory lighting, floor vibrations and stimulating smells pumped inside the room. The experience helps to engage the children with severe healthcare needs, enabling each child to learn new skills that will boost their feeling of independence and improve their ability to communicate effectively with their peers.

Additionally, Catalyst awarded £7,500 towards the cost of a new therapeutic bath at Treetops High Dependency unit in Highwoods, which assists people with severe disabilities. It will play a crucial role in helping to relieve the aches and pains experienced by the disabled residents. Earlier this year, Catalyst awarded £41,498 to Citizens Advice Bureau Tendring, to develop a new Mobility Recycle Project in the area.

Old equipment will be collected from people’s home, recycled and loaned out to local residents who cannot purchase new items. The Colchester Prosthetic User Group’s Walking Gardens at Colchester Hospital were also opened up in June, which Catalyst supported with a £10,000 grant to get this project off the ground.

These gardens will help amputees to strengthen their ability to walk on a variety of different walking surfaces. Catalyst is always on the look out for new projects that could dramatically help to improve the health and well being of people within North East Essex.

If you have a project in mind, please contact Rodney Appleyard, the charity’s Development Officer, at:, or phone: 07784425268.

We also offer grants for people with special individual needs, who might need a specialist  scooter or piece of equipment to help them move around more easily. If you need support with anything like this, please contact Stephanie Grant, the charity’s Administrator, at:, or call: 01206 323420.