OUR newspapers are proud to be at the heart of their communities - and we’re once again offering cash for good causes in the areas we cover.

The Gannett Foundation, part of the County Gazette's parent firm, is once again providing funding to registered charities - and we want to hear from you about how we can help.

The focus is on charities with projects which take a creative approach to fundamental issues such as neighbourhood improvements, local problem-solving, economic development, youth enterprise, sport and healthy living, assistance to disadvantaged or disabled people, care of the elderly, environmental conservation, and educational or cultural enrichment.

In the past, Somerset charities to have benefitted from the scheme include the Dowlish Wake Playing Field Trust, near Ilminster, which received £10,000 from the foundation to complete work to rebuild a pavilion destroyed by fire.

To make sure as many groups can be considered as possible a former exclusion of one-off events or events of limited duration no longer applies. And the ban on ‘uniformed groups’ no longer applies either, so Scout groups and similar organisations are free to apply too.

The trustees can’t give money to general appeals, salaries or running costs, political or religious organisations, state or privately-run schools (other than special needs) or hospitals (other than hospices), or to organisations that are Community Interest Companies, but not registered charities.

Decisions about funding will be made by the trustees based on the evidence submitted and the foundation will favour projects that demonstrate good planning, oversight and financial responsibility.

As a prerequisite, the submission of copies of the charity’s most recent financial accounts are required and any supporting materials and further details concerning the overall aims of the charity should be included with each submission.

Each nomination will be judged on its own merits at the absolute discretion of the trustees, whose decision is final and all applications must be submitted on the approved application form which is available on our website.

Any applications which do not meet our criteria or which do not follow our rules and procedures will be rejected.

Applications should be sent via email to editor Paul Jones at paul.jones@localiq.co.uk and we will not accept applications that are not made using the application form.

The deadline for applications is noon on Friday, October 18.

Good luck!