A FUND which has provided more than £1 million to support Braintree residents and communities is open for applications.

Community groups and charities can apply for a slice of the £95,725 available this year from the Braintree District and Eastlight Community Fund.

Managed by the independent charitable trust and Essex Community Foundation and set up by Braintree Council and Eastlight Community Homes, the fund has awarded more than £1 million to local causes since 2015.

The fund will support causes which tackle the big issues affecting residents the most - the cost-of-living, loneliness and isolation, emotional health and wellbeing and the lack of opportunities for young people.

Applications are welcomed from charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and other non-profit organisations.

Grants of between £500 and £2,500 are available for smaller-scale grassroots projects, alongside larger awards of up to £30,000 over three years.

Last year’s fund supported organisations including Abberton Rural Training which provides “lifeline” programmes which help supports people’s mental health, and Soul Food, which offers meals and community support in Halstead.

For more information and to apply, visit essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk, email grants@essexcf.org.uk or call the ECF team on 01245 355947.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on Friday, August 18.