Fund awards £90,000 to local good causes

A community wellbeing charity in Stansted Mountfitchet has received a huge new year boost thanks to a £50,000 grant from Stansted Airport Community Fund (SACF).

The flagship award to Touchpoint Stansted is part of a £90,000 pot of donations pledged to a 13 local charities and community groups in Essex and Hertfordshire at the fund’s latest quarterly meeting.

The charity’s successful application will help fund the renovation of its aging building in the village so it can continue serving the community for decades to come.

Paul Chambers, founder and chair of Touchpoint, said: “We are delighted that SACF has chosen to support us through their Flagship Award. Our current premises are operating at capacity and desperately need updating. This award is a vital contribution to our project to enable us to return an adjacent community building to public use and significantly enhance the services that we offer. We see this as a game changing moment for our charity and its future sustainability.”

A special event on Friday, January 12, marked the donation with special guests Kemi Badenoch MP, Cllr Maggie Sutton, Cllr David Carter, Community Fund representatives and the airport's Managing Director, Gareth Powell.

Speaking at the event on Friday, Gareth Powell, London Stansted’s Managing Director, said: “Part of being a good neighbour is giving back to our local community and bringing lasting benefit to those most impacted by the airport’s operations. The SACF is one such way that we do this, offering grants to local community groups and charitable organisations. We have committed an annual contribution of £150,000 to the fund between now and 2029 and this is topped up with any fines for noisy or off-track aircraft. The Fund is open year-round for community awards, offering grants of up to £5,000 as well as an annual flagship grant of £50,000. It is my pleasure to be here this morning, with our local MP, to see this flagship grant being given to Touchpoint, which I know is a well-regarded organisation that supports the community through the wide range of services that it offers, as well as serving as a hub for many other community groups to use as well.”

Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden, said: “It was a privilege to join Touchpoint, Stansted Airport and residents to mark this award from the airport’s community fund. Touchpoint are providing vital support for local communities in Uttlesford. The cafe and gardens in Stansted serve as a hub for residents and I’m pleased this award will allow the charity to further grow and expand their services.”

An additional £40,000 of funding was also agreed to be shared among a further 12 organisations at the fund’s meeting earlier this month. Grants were awarded to the following organisations:

GroupPostcodeAreaDescription of projectGrant Awarded
St Peter's Church Community HubCB11 4XBUttlesfordInfra-red heating


Great Easton Community Playground RegenerationCM6 2HLUttlesfordPlay equipment for park


Hearing Help EssexCM24 8AQChelmsfordVolunteer kit boxes, laptops & projectors


Griffin Bowls ClubCM18 7BLHarlow24 garden benches


Leventhorpe SchoolCM21 9BYHarlowAstro turf football pitch


Sawbridgeworth Memorial HallCM21 9BDHarlowDoors, kitchenette, tables and chairs, energy and noise insulation


Debden Village HallCB11 3LGUttlesfordChairs and tables


National Trust Coppice VolunteersCM22 6NEEast Herts4x chainsaws + 20 helmets


Take Note EssexCM6 3DYUttlesfordGazebo


Gardens of Easton LodgeCM6 2BBUttlesford117m new accessible paths


Bishops Stortford Camera ClubCM23 3SLEast HertsCamera


Sunday Morning FootballEast HertsEast Herts New Goals


The SACF offers grants of up to £5,000 to projects aimed at improving community life, the environment and conservation within a 10-mile radius of the airport. Founded in 2005, it’s part of a section 106 planning requirement and has donated over £1 million pounds to hundreds of organisations. Following the airport's successful planning application to serve up to 43 million passengers a year, it was relaunched in January 2023 to reinforce its ties and provide further support to the local community. Over the next decade, the airport will contribute £1.5 million to the fund, which will be topped up from fines levied against airlines who violate noise regulations. Since its relaunch, the SACF has donated £230,000 to local good causes.  For more information about SACF and how to apply for funding visit https://magcommunityfunds.smapply.org/  or email community@stanstedairport.com