Local MP launches new fund to support young people in Swindon

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP to launch a new fund to support young people in Swindon with additional needs or a disability.

Millie’s Fund is named after Robert Buckland’s 19-year-old daughter and inspired by his experience as the parent of an autistic child. It will provide grants, through our Education Support programme, to support the education of young people with additional learning needs or a disability by funding IT equipment such as laptops or iPads, out of school activities or therapeutic services.

The fund has been set up with a £12,000 donation which has been doubled by our Swindon Match Fund. The fund capital will be invested and the income used to make grants so that it becomes a lasting resource for the town.

Commenting on the fund, Robert Buckland said: “I decided the best way to make sure money was there for families was to set up a bespoke fund with Wiltshire Community Foundation. I chose it because I wanted the fund to be administered professionally and in a sustainable way and run to very high standards.

“It was an easy decision to collaborate with the Foundation because of the work it has done in Swindon and Wiltshire. I’ve often publicised the funding it has available to local groups.

“Setting this fund up seems to sum up my own experiences and do something positive about what on some levels was quite a challenge for me and my family.

It’s something that none of us ever expect to happen but you have got to make something good out of all these situations and this is my attempt to do that. For me it’s more than just about my own family experiences, it’s about what more can be done to improve the system and to make life just a little bit more negotiable for those families.

“I hope this will be an additional resource for families in the Swindon borough bearing in mind we have a number of them struggling on lower income levels and many of them have youngsters with additional needs and with disabilities.

“The equipment they could get, whether it's a dyslexia pen, an iPad or something that can assist with learning, can often be a game-changer and it's that sort of lasting impact that I want to see from any grants and awards that are made from the fund.”

Wiltshire Community Foundation joint chief executive Fiona Oliver said: “We are very proud Robert has chosen to work with us on this fund, which will support our existing education support grants. We know that these grants make a real difference. We are looking forward to seeing the fund grow and being able to support more young people and their families.”

More information on our Education Support Programme is available here.

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