At the end of 2022 the FatFace Foundation launched a new grant funding application process for all of our FatFace crew to apply for in support of causes close to their hearts.
Ian Williams is a FatFace legend! FatFace photoshoot extraordinaire, Ian has been making ourstore images look exciting and aspirational forever. Always working in the opposite season, he can make British winter look warm and a sunny, summer day look like a winter wonderland in the catalogue. It doesn’t matter the challenge; Ian makes magic happen. With the FatFace Foundation his sorcery is amplified. Ian is a driving force of change, innovation and delight and has been since the Foundation’s inception. No matter the question, if somebody needs some help… Ian will be the first to say, YES, ME, I WILL! But Ian has never done it by himself. The best and biggest moments our Foundation has had over the years have been the moments we’ve shared. Shoe boxes on our till points raised £50,000 for the Nepal Earthquake appeal. Our Thanks for Giving events in stores raised money for over 300 local charities. Every Christmas we’ve all worked together; designers, buyers, customers and crew, to donate over £150,000 to shelter through our products. This year we want to share some more moments. We want to give EVERY crew member their chance to stand up and say I WILL too! The FatFace Foundation is very proud to introduce the ‘Ian Williams Grants’.
Update ~ Feb 2023
Great news! After the success of our Ian Williams Grants, with £22,250 going to 33 different and amazing causes, the Trustees have decided to continue this amazing work! So, every first and third quarter of the year (June-August & Nov-Jan), we will dedicate £20,000 for small grants for charities and projects close to our crew’s hearts and continuing to help change people’s lives, anywhere FatFace goes!
Total donated so far!
These grants will give crew, in stores, at head office and in our DC, the opportunity to help a cause close to their hearts. It doesn’t need to be a registered charity. One grant might help launch a school breakfast club; one might help pay for something special for somebody that deserves it; or maybe they could use it to create care packages for a marginalised group in need in their community. The wonderful thing is… we don’t know yet, but we’re eager to find out! We have £30k to give away and crew can apply for grants of up £750 at a time. The projects must have a connection to a crew member and the application window will run from October 2022 until the end of Jan 2023.
Discover where our donations have been going below…
TAP into Art Education
TAP is an amazing community group in Yorkshire using creative activities to enrich lives and aim to improve the health and wellbeing of their participants. Many of their members are at risk of isolation and loneliness and their previously successful working model of using creativity to bring people together has been effective in achieving their aims. Catering for mainly older retired people and those who spend a lot of time at home, such as carers, those with physical or mental disabilities or drug/alcohol related problems.
A statement from TAP: “A cheque for an amazing £750 was presented to the Community art group in Batley, West Yorkshire called TAP into Art Education (see Website for details) by a representative of FatFace. Through their Charity Foundation, FatFace are helping small groups to carry on serving their communities. Without this help, having had funding withdrawn, they would not survive. The members of TAP want to thank FatFace Foundation for this money. It will enable them to purchase a printer they desperately need.”
Bristol City Cerebral Palsy Football Team
Our Taunton FatFace team applied for funding for the Bristol City Cerebral Palsy football team. They are currently fundraising in an effort to get the team to an exciting tournament in Copenhagen in 2023 and we were so pleased to donate £750 toward their goal – good luck team!
Alfie Gough Trust
The team from Whitstable have supported the Alfie Gough Trust in the past and this year have won a £500 grant to help them buy and deliver Christmas gifts to the children on the oncology ward at Great Ormand Street hospital. All these gifts have now been delivered to GOS ready to given out on Christmas morning.
Brought to theFoundation by our crew in Peebles, Tweed Togs provide donated and recycled clothes for children so they cantake part in any opportunity and help to fulfil their potential. The Peebles crew have been a collection point for Tweed Togs in the past and are thrilled to be able to help them with £750 in funding this winter.
The Harrogate Homeless Project
Harrogate crew member, Lia, has been working with her college to help support The Harrogate Homeless Project this winter has used the I Will grant funding to purchase 100 pairs of warm socks for Christmas boxes they have created to support those using the HHP services. Well done Lia and friends!
Bude Cancer Support
When Naomi from our shop in Bude was looking for a support group after her cancer diagnosis it became clear there was nothing available to her within a 90 minute drive. Together with her friend, Jennifer, Naomi created the amazing Bude Cancer Support with the help of a start up grant from MacMillan. The group has been invaluable for the community and has been very popular. This £750 donation will go a long way to help them keep going and keep up with demand!
Wolverton Primary School
Our crew in Solihull have a particular soft spot for the amazing work the team at Wolverton Primary School do for their students and wider community. Specifically, they wanted their £750 donation to go toward the school’s health and wellbeing products and resources to support all children aged 4-11 with educational and emotional needs.
The Elizabeth Foundation
The Elizabeth Foundation provide a wide range of services to offer young deaf children (from birth to five years) the best possible start in life. Through all of our services we aim to help these children learn to listen and talk. Chosen to recieve £750 by Head Office crew member, Ann, The Elizabeth Foundation were thrilled with the donation and are reliant on grants, corporate support, gifts and donations to continue their outstanding services, so it is vital that their supporters help to raise awareness of their needs, as well as share in the fantastic progress of their bright young deaf children.
RAF 1094 Squadron Air Training Corps
On behalf of Jo from our Ely store we have donated £750 to RAF 1094 (Ely) Squadron Air Training Corps. The ATC is a dynamic, sustainable youth organisation for those aged between 12 and 20 years that offers fun and challenging opportunities for both cadets and adult volunteers. It aims to promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation, provides training that is beneficial both in services and civilian life and to foster a spirit of adventure to develop the qualities of good citizenship and leadership. Jo says – “My son joined 1094 (Ely) Squadron in 2019 and despite Covid lockdowns has achieved and gained so much in this time, plus there are many opportunities to still look forward to in the future. His self confidence has increased hugely and he has been proud to represent 1094 Squadron at Remembrance parades and the Proclamation of King Charles III.”
Wind in the Willows pre-school
Head office crew memeber Katie voted for a donation to Wind in the Willows pre-school – here’s what she had to say ~ “It is a community based nursery just round the corner from where I live and is very close to my heart as my daughter has gone there since she was 9 months old (she is nearly 3 now). It caters for children from 3 months to 5 years old and I genuinely don’t know what I would do without it!
I feel that this nursery has helped my daughter’s development massively, and she absolutely loves it there. She’s made friends and the nursery is a real focal point of the local community – the children visit a local care home regularly and there is an annual nativity at a local church. The nursery also has a twin school in The Gambia, where care packages are regularly sent (made up of contributions from parents) and annual volunteering trips are made by nursery staff to help out where it is needed.
£750 would be absolutely amazing and make a huge difference to the nursery – they recently did a Christmas Grotto and managed to raise £300, and the children all did a sponsored walk to raise funds for the nursery so a grant would mean so much. It would mean new toys for children to play with who may not have many toys at home, or even contribute towards funds for the twin school.”
The Reading Area Men's Shed
Hayley from our Reading store has donate £750 to her local Men’s Shed – The Silvers Workshop! A charitable club of mainly older men who meet 4 days a week to socialise together over new projects in wood and metal, and learn new skills. Currently they have around 70 members. Many of its members are living with disabilities, recovering from illness and long-term health issues like stroke. The charity is a life-line for its own members and is linked with other worthwhile local projects as well. This includes one particular charity called New Meaning, which focuses on supporting teenagers who have left school with limited academic grades; instead teaching them trade skills in order to help them secure paid work. The Reading Area Men’s Shed supports in providing transport for these members, including repurposing old/abandoned bicycles which they fix-up and give to New Meaning.
Gosport Bowling Club
Mandy from FatBase was granted £750 for her bowling club in Gosport! Mandy says “I am a member of Gosport Bowling Club and I have been for the last 9 nine years. Bowls is a wonderful fully inclusive sport and alongside this is also its own community, with a strong support throughout the year.”
The club is in need of a new all weather green and are fundraising in various ways. This grant will go some way toward their target.
“The club is so important to me as an individual, both in regards to well being, mental health, but also making a difference to my community. Through the winter months I open the Bar on Friday nights to ensure we have a “warm room” if our members require.”
Great Staughton Primary Academy
Laura from our St Neots store has secured a wonderful £750 for GSPA which is a Co-Ed primary school accommodating 90 students aged 2-11 years old, located in Cambridgeshire. As a close community of children, staff and parents, the school is a welcoming, nurturing place for children to learn, develop and prepare for their futures. The school is inclusive and has a number of children with special educational needs including autism. There are good systems in place in school to help these children learn to their full potential and take part in all aspects of school life. This grant will help improve the schools’ provision further by providing funds to create a small Nurture room. This would be used by children with autism and any children that need a space to calm down, relax or to help them self-regulate their behaviour. The funds will be used to buy sensory toys, special lighting, soft furnishings, access to music, weighted blankets and other calming equipment to provide a relaxing and comforting space.
Lewisham Donation Hub
In 2020 a group of volunteers got together to create a place in Lewisham, South London, for the homeless, refugees and anyone in need to come to for food, clothing, toiletries and basic essentials. Sandy from our store in Bromely has won a grant of £750 to help the Lewisham Donation Hub continue its support for those in need by providing Microwaves for 15 families. A basic microwave costs around £50. Many family’s turn down food donations because they simply can’t afford to cook. Sometimes, it’s ‘heat or eat’ which is a tough choice. Sandy says “I have 2 friends who volunteer every week and I help when I can. It’s local to us so we do what we can to help.” Amazing work, thanks Sandy!
Fishbourne C of E Primary School
Head office crew member, Laura, has secured a grant of £750 for Fishbourne C of E Primary School. This grant will make a difference because it will help the school support children’s emotional wellbeing. Many children and young people in schools face life challenges that affect their ability to engage with learning. To help support children with these challenges, the school provides Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA), an initiative developed and supported by Educational Psychologists to help schools support the emotional needs of students in their care. This grant would make a difference for children at Fishbourne School by giving children in receipt of ELSA support, a colourful, comfortable, supportive space to be able to receive their wellbeing support – the grant would be used to purchase furniture and resources to make this space special. Laura says “It is reassuring to know that school can support children with their emotional wellbeing and having a dedicated space in school would be absolutely amazing to help support this vital supportive work.”
Revival Food & Mood
Celeste from our Whitstable store has chosen Revival to recieve an amazing £700 to help them renovate and reopen their social enterprise cafe! Celeste says “The Revival Cafe is more than just a cafe. Community and mental wellness are at the heart of everything that they do. They strive to support our community with free, accessible mental health support and information in calm, inclusive and inviting surroundings with great food & music. The cafe was evicted from its old premises during lockdown in 2021 & have since found a new location, just across the road from our shop! The space is in need of a renovation & they have a just giving page to raise funds to support the costs. After being affected by mental health last year it really is close to my heart; any support helps others to see that sunshine can & will come after cloudy days.”
Queen's Sailing Club
Queen’s Sailing Club’s fundraiser – Women on Water – aims to increase the number of women joining QUBSC and either learn to sail or improve their sailing ability, whilst gaining confidence and having a good time, which is especially important after the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown. This project is especially important to our crew in Belfast, FatFace and the £500 will go a long way toward their £6,000 target. Happy sailing ladies!
Head office crew member, Elissa, brought CLAPA – Cleft Lip and Palate Association – to the attention of the Foundation, winning them £750 to help fund the vital support they provide everyone affected by cleft in the UK. This last December, Elissa took her daughter to trek Everest – this is what she said:
Trekking to Everest Base Camp over 15 days in the month of December 2022 was a challenge in itself, temperatures at night plummeted to -15 degrees.
Everest Base Camp is at 17,598ft / 5,362m. It was a tough slog to get there, but with the right mindset, right kit and having taken time to acclimatise we made it on day 11. We were completely elated when we finally reached Base Camp.
I wanted to say a big thank you to FatFace for supporting me on my journey and also for making a donation of £750.00 to CLAPA, who are a Cleft charity. They helped us hugely when my daughter was born with a cleft palate and had to go through multiple operations and speech therapy.
My daughter now aged 15, joined us on our trek to Base Camp which was a massive achievement for her too.
A personal thank you to FatFace for this contribution and making more babies smile.
Cots for Tots
Crew in our Tavistock store applied for £500 donation to the dedicated charity for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital, Cots for Tots. This wonderful charity, close to the hearts of our crew in Tavistock, work hard to ensure every sick or premature baby from across the South West has access to the very best care, 365 days a year.
Chichester District Foodbank
The FatFace property team headed to the Chichester District foodbank this winter to volunteer for their Donate A Day. Whilst spending time with them they were made aware of a Winter Wamers box they are putting together for locals in need. Using the I Will grant funding we were able to donate 2 large boxes full of socks, hats, gloves and scarves (along with food donations brought in by head office crew).
The Trussell Trust
Our retail field team have been supporting The Trussell Trust this winter and whilst doing so also applied for a £750 donation from our I Will grants. This money will go toward their Emergancy Fund Appeal which is helping to keep food banks across the UK going, providing food and supoprt for those in crisi and campaigning for change to end the need for food banks altogether.
Crawley CAP Centre
Rachel from our Gatwick North store volunteers with Crawley CAP centre and applied for a £500 donation to go toward their Christmas hampers and childrens gifts for service users.
Canalside Community Fridge
Ava from our Woking store volunteers with the Canalside Community Fridge and is thrill to be able to use this £500 donation to provide aprons for volunteers, tote bags for fridge users and volunteers and new signage to help promote the fridge in the area. Community fridges are open to everyone in communities – without any need to be referred or having to prove eligibility – to access fresh food that would otherwise have gone to waste. The food is donated by businesses – with Co-op donating surplus food from its stores. As well as improving access to food, the fridges go beyond this by empowering communities to connect with each other, and learn new skills through activities such as cookery sessions and workshops on how to grow your own fruit and veg.
One Love Project
Head office crew member, Emily, has secured a £750 donation for the One Love Project – an organisation that has built and continues to fund and support a school in Uganda. Emily says “I have personally been twice this year to help the charity and this year alone we have built a special needs centre at the school which I was able to see up and running this November.
This charity is really close to my heart as I have seen first-hand the conditions in Uganda and how little people have out there.”
Oban High School
Oban High School hold the ‘Pensioners Treat’ every year and recieved a £100 donation to help support this wonderful event. This is a particularly important event to Julie from our Oban store as she attended Oban high school and remembers meeting some lovely older people who shared their stories with the students. Lots of members of the older community love attending these events to get out and be social during a time where its colder and trickier for them to be out and about. Here is a video of this years event – bring a tissue!
Baby and Toddler Group
Ionela from Head Office has secured £300 for the Cornerstone church Baby and Toddler group in Portsmouth. This is something that both parents/carers and children enjoy very much. The parents/carers can develop friendships and support each other whilst the kids are playing and are learning new things and have a way of socialising in a safe and lovely environment. The donation will be used to supply new toys, crafts and healthy snacks for the children.
Jane from our Peebles store has won a £400 grant for a cause close hto her heart – Nomad Beat. They are a local music school whos mission is to promote music and reduce isolation through shared musical devlopment. They provide education, opportunities and support to the community. Jane’s son went there when he was younger and was great for his confidence. Manager, Roddy, was thrilled to learn of this donation and will be putting it toward buying a new electronic drum kit!
Helen from our FatFace Foundation shop in Havant applied for £750 donation to the amazing Sophie’s Legacy. A wonderful charity set up in the name of a courageous young girl, Sophie, who wanted to change children’s hospital experiences for the better.
1 Play specialist 7 days a week in hospitals.
2 Improvements to food for children in hospital.
3 For parents to be fed when staying with their child.
4 For GP’s, nurses and health professionals to be trained in childhood cancer.
5 To increase the funds (currently 3%) in childhood cancer research.
Community Friends - Worthing
Tina, from our Head Office, applied for a £750 grant for Community Friends in Worthing which is a group that has been set up by a couple in their 80s – Mike has done a lot of ‘helping the Community’ things at his previous church. He saw a need to get lonely people into a warm place for coffee and games, talks, films, outings and anything folk would like to do, it’s grown from about a dozen to almost 40. Great friendships have developed and some of the group arrange to meet up during the week. for Tina this is a cause very close to her heart as a family member has used the community space. “She recently moved to Worthing as was not local and became very isolated during covid. She had lived in her house for over 50 years with family and friends gradually moving away. After some persuasion, she reluctantly attended her first session (at community friends). She now visits weekly, sometimes twice weekly and has made no end of friends. This in turn has given her back the confidence to socialise with new friends outside the group and now is much more like her old self.”
Prostate Cancer UK
Jonathan from our St Ives store applied for a £750 donation to Prostate Cancer UK, and says “it will make a huge difference as although a large charity it is something close to my heart but also the biggest cancer that affects the most amount of men in the UK.” Jonathan ran 26.2 miles throughout January 2023 to aise money for the charity alongside his 10 year old daughter – you can follow his fundraising here.
Coastal Rowing Club
Isabelle from our Aberdovey store has secured a £500 donation for Aberdyfi Rowing Club. She says “At present two of our young members are trying to fundraise to purchase a new double sculling boat. They are both fairly new to coastal rowing and sculling but have been extremely successful in the short time they having been rowing/competing together. Tim is a local lad who only started sculling about 2 and a half years ago, who originally started as he wished to learn a new skill and wanted to push himself. Chloe then started just over a year ago, just to keep fit to begin with. The club’s sculling coach, Alan, recognised a talent in them both and approached them to see if they would be willing to compete together. Alan was instrumental in there teaching and training. Only after a short time last year they were selected to row for GB and finished in the top 5 at the British Championships, they also competed in the World championships later in 2022. They are desperately trying to raise enough funds to purchase a new double scull boat which they will be able to train in.” Good luck Tim and Chloe!
Grantown Swim Club
Aviemore store manager, Judy, has secured a £750 grant for Grantown swim club. Here’s what Judy has said “Due to Covid the young swimmers have missed out on the opportunity to compete and to gain experience and develop their skills swimming in bigger pools and attending meets. We are working on building up their skills, fitness and confidence again. We are hoping to arrange a trip to the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh so the swimmers can have the opportunity to swim in an olympic sized pool and also spend time using the diving boards. It would be a brilliant, fun experience for them and for many of the younger ones it would be their first trip as part of the swim club so great for team building too. We are also keen to arrange more timing events, club competitions and friendlies with other clubs. It’s so beneficial for the swimmers to have goals to work towards and opportunities to be timed and to focus on beating their own Personal Bests. We want to build up their confidence and really celebrate their successes. We are hoping to have a Club Championship in the Spring and would like to arrange certificates, medals and trophies for this. £500 would help with the transport costs of the proposed Edinburgh trip and £250 would enable us to celebrate successes at the Club Championship.”
Karen, our Head of Retail Stores, applied for a £750 donation toward a friend’s daughters cancer treatment – see more here.