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Connection helps Community Foundation grow

An independent internet provider has stepped in to support the launch of the Shropshire Community Foundation.

The grant-giving organisation has been operating as part of the Staffordshire Community Foundation for the last three years – but has now been incorporated as a stand-alone charity. And, thanks to a partnership with Airband, they will be able to hire a Business Development Officer to ensure their continued success.

The approach to Airband – which offers superfast broadband to rural communities and industrial parks across a number of regions – was made by Selina Graham, the charity’s Chair and High Sheriff of Shropshire.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see the partnership being formed. There are so many synergies between the aspirations of the two organisations, both having community at their heart – particularly around connecting those in harder to reach areas – and I look forward to continuing the partnership in the long-term.”

Airband’s Head of Sales Mark Trafford, who is also from Shropshire, explained they ‘didn’t hesitate’ to offer support when they were approached about the potential partnership.

“Community is one of our central values, as we strive to work with rural communities to bring them the broadband other parts of the county take for granted. We are looking forward to seeing the foundation build on its existing success.”

The newly-formed Shropshire Community Foundation aims to tackle disadvantage and exclusion through permanent endowments and allocating grants. The foundation focuses on identifying and addressing local need, offering a variety of funding thanks to donations from individuals, families and businesses as well as grants from local authorities and the Government.

Trustee Dean Harris said: “In addition to our work supporting communities across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to deliver essential services, we will be working with businesses each year to develop and enhance their social responsibility and environmental, sustainability and governance goals.

“It is great to have Airband on board, who have taken community to the heart of what they do. We look forward to working with them in the future, and to raising more awareness of the way that they are investing in their local community.”

More information about Airband can be found at www.airband.co.uk.