Funding community projects in Haltwhistle

Uniting residents and stakeholders

The Haltwhistle Fund was established using financial support from Karbon Homes and is now under the management of Haltwhistle Partnership. This collaboration between Haltwhistle Partnership and Karbon Homes brings together local residents, stakeholders, and the two primary partners. 

The fund has been run through a steering group that made all the key decisions on donations and how the fund operates. The empowerment of local people has helped identify some innovative initiatives as well as seeing individual members of the group gain confidence and become advocates of the work. 

So far, the fund has supported 18 different projects put forward by 13 organisations with grants ranging from a few hundred pounds to more than £15,000. Projects supported include setting up a community allotment, kick-starting a forest school, putting history panels at remote bus stops, equipment for the local drama group, enabling films to be shown locally, pop-up experiences for the youth group, storage for the Scouts, support for volunteers looking after Haltwhistle Riverside Park, transport for local groups to Vindolanda Roman site, floodlights at the leisure centre, digital tablets for the Older People’s project. 

Its key challenges

Starting with a blank canvas is never easy, particularly for an ‘outsider’ to the local community as was the perception for the landlord (Karbon) at the outset. With the organisation headquartered an hour away and the nearest office at Hexham, there was very much a feeling that they were dropping into the community and would drop out as soon as they got the publicity they wanted. However, through dedicated relationship building, meaningful conversations, and receptiveness to feedback, trust gradually developed, leading to a thriving partnership. 

The pandemic was a huge challenge at first but by being adaptive and working with what was available, i.e. technology, the group was able to make the most of the circumstances and come up with an operating model suitable for all parties. 

Its key successes

  • The most significant achievement of the project was in the formation of partnerships and relationships through collaborative work. 

  • The project has successfully implemented several innovative initiatives to meet community needs that went beyond the scope of traditional community funding. 

  • The open and honest dialogue and shared objectives among all parties have played a crucial role in breaking down barriers and fostering collaboration. 

  • In addition to the project's core work, there have been several instances of coordinated efforts to address various smaller issues within the community that might have been overlooked previously. 

Paul Moralee, of Karbon Homes, explains more:

Paul said:

"This project has proved to be far greater than a donation of money for local community projects. By empowering the community with the decision-making and delivery, relationships within the community have been built and strengthened which has improved community cohesion, led to a widening of the volunteer base, and given greater access to the community. In addition, the profile of both organisations has been raised in the community in a positive way. The flexibility afforded by the funder has enabled projects to develop over time and facilitated match funding from both local and national funders leading to further investment in community projects."


Paul Moralee (Karbon Homes)