calderdale Customer First is putting the community first too

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I was interested to read the article in last week’s Courier – Page 31 Janet Battye, Talking Politics ‘In Modern World’. Janet Battye talked about the new Council Customer First facility opening on Horton Street in the old job centre building. 
She said: “....we want to see local services around Calderdale run in conjunction with partner organisations (Police, Health, Housing), local community groups and local people.”
I would like to add - for the benefit of Courier readers - that the new Customer First building is owned by the Community Foundation for Calderdale. And the Council moving into it is creating nearly £100,000 per year of funds for grant making to local voluntary organisations. It’s a very positive partership that readers should be aware of.
The CFFC is delighted to be housing CMBC at our Horton Street property and we wish them all the best as they strive to deliver a quality service and help to create thousands of jobs, including apprenticeships. I will watch with interest the progress CMBC makes with the creation of youth apprenticeships because this is something that CFFC and the new independent Cycle for Work charity are very successful at. For CFFC this new Landlord/tenant relationship with CMBC is a ‘win win’ situation - the Local Authority pays a commercial rent for the property and this rental income goes out as grants to voluntary organisations addressing poverty and disadvantage in our local community.
The former job centre on Horton Street was purchased by the Community Foundation several years ago for approximately £1.2 million as part of its property investments.
Property investments make up approximately a third of CFFC investments which are used to generate income to utilise as grants to voluntary sector organisations in Calderdale. CFFC investments are part of a balanced portfolio to generate the maximum return with the minimum of risk.
The CFFC has purchased four properties housing five voluntary sector organisations and a fifth property is currently held in trust.
For any readers not aware of the work of the Community Foundation, let me explain:
 CFFC is part of a world wide movement that includes just over 50 UK community foundations.
In spite of the fact that Calderdale is one of the smallest areas served by a community foundation, CFFC is one of the top three UK community foundations for endowment raised per head of population. And this is despite competition from country-sized foundations such as Wales and Scotland and shire-wide foundations such as Cumbria, Kent and Essex.
The Community Foundations’ unique selling point is our promotion of private and corporate philanthropy and the building of an ‘endowment’ ie. donations that are invested with only the income derived from the investments utilised as grant making.
In a typical year CFFC distributes £750,000 to charities, voluntary organisations and not-for-profit groups across Calderdale.During the 2012/13 Mayoral Year CFFC raised over £103k to support young apprentices. CFFC plans to continue supporting apprentices through Cycle for Work. To find out more please visit www.cycleforwork.co.uk<http://www.cycleforwork.co.uk/
For more information on CFFC go to www.cffc.co.uk

Steve Duncan

Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation for
 Calderdale.