Black Country charity launches 'important' grants scheme to help community groups

A Black Country charity has made grants available for not-for-profit organisations to spend on good causes.

Shaz Saleem, owner of Beacon Taxis, is offering grants to people through his charitable organisation, The Saleem Foundation. Pictured are Alexandra Darby, Jayne Waltho and Karen Wilcox.
Shaz Saleem, owner of Beacon Taxis, is offering grants to people through his charitable organisation, The Saleem Foundation. Pictured are Alexandra Darby, Jayne Waltho and Karen Wilcox.

Cash has been set aside by The Saleem Foundation, which is based in Dudley, to aid community groups.

The Saleem Foundation, which is run by taxi boss Shaz Saleem, is now accepting applications for the funding.

Mr Saleem, who carries out a lot of charity work himself, said: "I remember in 2008 when I began my work in the community with a youth group called Kashmir Youth Forum - which aimed to get youngsters off the streets through education and sport - I struggled to get any funding and due to this, we had to end the sessions in 2014.

"From my experience I know how important these grants could be to those groups who are striving to make a real difference in their community."

The grants are available for community groups or charitable organisations who help their local communities or raise awareness on important issues.

A maximum of £250 will be set aside for each successful applicant.

Four groups will be chosen for the funding, however Mr Saleem plans on running the initiative again in March and September next year where two successful applicants will be chosen each time.

Struggling

Mr Saleem, who owns Beacon Taxis in Dudley and Express Taxis in Halesowen, added: "We can also make grants to individuals who are struggling themselves or who are trying to help others and make a difference to the lives of others."

Alexandra Darby, the charity's vice chairman, said: "This is an exciting time for us as we will get to hear about some of the amazing work people are doing."

The charity's secretary Jayne Waltho, who is a former mayoress of Dudley, added: "During my time as mayoress, I got to see so many amazing champions in our community.

"But some not-for-profit making organisations are overlooked for grants.

"We, the trustees [of the charity], want to support those groups as we feel they are making such an important contribution to our community."

The Saleem Foundation was founded in 2017 and awarded charity status in April, 2019.

Since its inception, the group has focused on topical awareness campaigns on issues such as mental health, breast cancer, domestic violence and dementia.

As part of this, the charity has made award-winning short films.

Applications open on September 21 and close on October 30.

To apply, email saleemfoundation@hotmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/thesaleemfoundation.

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