On the 5th of October, 2018 we said goodbye to Laura Berrisford, our Philanthropy Manager.
Over the last 2 years, Laura has been instrumental in delivering key programmes and events that have contributed to the vibrancy of our voluntary, community and cultural sector.
One of Laura's main responsibilities was heading up our Community Car Raffle, working with many community groups and our partners, Volkswagen UK, centre:mk, Freestone Creative and MK Lightning, to deliver a series of events, from the ticket draw to the presentation of the car at Volkswagen UK Head Quarters. Last year the Car Raffle raised over £22,000 and gave smaller charities the chance to spread the word about the fantastic work they're doing.
Laura was also the lead on the Christopher Hopkinson Memorial Music Bursary; working in partnership with MK City Orchestra. During her time at MK Community Foundation Laura has helped deliver the award to some of Milton Keynes most talented young musicians, which have supported the beneficiaries to further their musical careers and education.
In her role as Philanthropy Manager, Laura oversaw the Vital Signs areas of Arts & Heritage, Education, Work and the Economy. Laura worked alongside Natalie Jordan and Jennifer Walker in researching and collating the findings into our Vital Signs Long and Short Reports, before presenting it at the launch in October.
Laura was played an integral role in delivering MK Community Foundation’s Mental Health and Disadvantage and Poverty Vital Thinking events. The workshops were held in response to the last year's Vital Signs report with the purpose of starting a conversation within the local Voluntary Sector about what can be done to tackle these issues.
Throughout her time here, Laura also worked closely with the community groups and organisations who applied to us for grants, offering valuable support and advice when needed. Laura helped to deliver Applications and Monitoring Workshops with other members of the team, so community groups can understand the application process better when applying.
Alongside engaging with community groups, Laura also had a great ability to think strategically about the long-term aspirations of the Foundation working to make sure we have a 5-year plan that is both innovative ambitious and achievable.
Laura's stand out achievement has been securing the £300,000 of funding from The Big Lottery Fund to extend our match funding options for MK Community Foundation’s Large Strategic Grant Programme. This programme, when live, invites applications for projects that benefit: frail elderly people, people of all ages with disabilities and/or those of all ages experiencing mental health issues.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Laura for all of her work and we wish her all of the best for the future!