The Stansted Airport Passenger Community Fund is boosted by sterling and foreign coin donations from passengers passing through the airport.
Special collection bins are located through the airport at departure and arrival channels, and passengers are encouraged to dump any unwanted coins in them. This is then collected and banked, raising between £40,000 and £60,000 a year.
"We were concerned that donations might drop when the Euro was introduced, said Robbie Barrigan, chair of the SAPCF committee. "But passengers have continued to be very generous, which makes a real difference to many local good causes."
The committee, which meets monthly, has been running since shortly after the airport opened in 1991 and considers hundreds of requests a year from local good causes, desperate for funds.
"We make donations to groups within a 20 mile radius of the airport," explained Robbie. "We also support staff in their fundraising for national charities by giving them a fixed contribution of £150."
In recent years the committee organised an annual summer outing to the seaside for hundreds of local pensioners. Its support for pensioners groups continues and last year it funded coaches for an outing by Hatfield Broad Oak Over 60s club.
Other charities to benefit in the past year include Uttlesford Buffy Bus Association, Dogs for the Disabled, Quendon Football Club, 1st Elsenham and 1st Widdington Guide groups and Bishop’s Stortford Working Men’s Club.