YOUNG people in south Essex could benefit from thousands of pounds in extra funding from a train company’s charity foundation.

The National Express Foundation has increased its annual fund for good causes by 50 per cent, to £150,000.

Since the foundation launched in 2012, projects including South Essex College, and the Helping Hands Job Club, in Lee Chapel North, Basildon, have been among the beneficiaries of £112,500 in grants.

The fund is only available in areas where National Express operates transport services, such as the c2c rail line.

The National Express Foundation provides two different groups of funding to local groups:

  • Grants of £2,500 or £5,000 to support community groups that provide positive and engaging activities for young people in deprived areas
  • Grants of £10,000 per year for colleges and universities towards innovative bursary schemes which help students from disadvantaged backgrounds continue in further or higher education.

Foundation chairman Anthony Vigor said: “We’re delighted that over the last four years the National Express Foundation has been able to support over 8,000 youngsters.

“This year we’re really pleased to announce that we have an increased £150,000 of funding available to help even more local young people in our community so I would urge all local educational institutions and community groups to put in an application for funding.”