MHA Carpenter Box Limited is a firm of chartered accountants and chartered tax advisors, based in Worthing. Throughout its 90-year history, the firm has always been a great contributor to charitable causes and, in 2010, it set up the Carpenter Box Grassroots Fund at Sussex Community Foundation. An initial endowment donation of £25,000 was matched £1 for £1 through a Government match-funding scheme being run at the time, which brought the fund total up to £50,000. The Fund is invested and a proportion of the interest drawn down each year is given in grants to support small, local voluntary and community groups active in the Worthing & District area. A panel of MHA Carpenter Box Limited staff get involved in choosing which projects receive funding, with an emphasis on benefiting projects working with young people and older people.
“The match-funding was a definite incentive for us to set up the Fund when we did” says MHA Carpenter Box Limited Partner, Chris Coopey, pictured above.
“As accountants and tax advisers, maximising our charitable giving in this way, this kind of fiscal leverage, was a major plus. In terms of what else the Foundation does for us, their staff is hugely knowledgeable about what’s going on in Sussex and who needs what funding. They are able put us in touch with groups that, quite simply, we wouldn’t know existed but are exactly the kind of local community groups our staff wish to support. As an effective model of charitable giving, I would advise any business serious about giving something back to consider working with a community foundation.”
One group to have received a grant from the Carpenter Box Fund is Electric Storm Youth (ESY). ESY provides recreational activities and support for young people in Lancing and Sompting. The charity work to improve personal and social development, teaching new skills and improving the quality of young people’s lives. ESY received funding from the Carpenter Box Fund to purchase basic camping equipment to enable young people to join ESY-run camping trips and to complete the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, irrespective of income.
Karen Macleod, Electric Storm Youth Operations Manager, said:
“We are so excited and grateful for the grant, it will really help us to make a difference to local young people.”