WESSEX Water and Wiltshire Community Foundation are working together to launch a new fund that will help voluntary groups cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wessex Water Recovery Fund is offering groups grants of up to £2,500 to plug some of the financial holes caused by the outbreak. The fund is part of the new Wessex Water Foundation, a multi-million-pound initiative which was launched in June and provides a dedicated funding stream for projects across its region.
The new fund will be run in conjunction with the Wiltshire Community Foundation as well as its counterparts in Dorset, Somerset, Bath, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Applications for grants are open now until December 4 and will be decided by panels in each area next January. Priority will be given to groups supporting people in difficult financial circumstances, building stronger communities, supporting the green recovery with new initiatives or restoring and protecting nature and wildlife for the benefit of the community.
Last year the company gave £13,500 to 12 groups in Wiltshire and Swindon through the community foundation. Alzheimer’s Support received £1,400 to support its seven memory cafes across the county. Fundraiser Stephanie Bardzil said: “We were really grateful for the grant, we were able to buy all the food for our cafes for the whole year.”
Kirsty Scarlett, Wessex Water’s head of community engagement, said: “For this year only, as a response to the challenges faced by local communities, the Recovery Fund has been set up to provide support that will both address priority needs and help build resilience for the future.”
Wiltshire Community Foundation joint chief executive Fiona Oliver said: “We are delighted to be working with Wessex Water again and commend its commitment to the communities who have suffered so badly over the last six months. Many groups have lost valuable opportunities for vital fundraising and these grants will be a real lifeline.”
From April 2021 the Wessex Water Foundation will provide at least half a million pounds of funding every year to support community projects, local environment projects, debt advice and charities helping those who are suffering the consequences of poverty through low income or unemployment.
To find out more about the Wessex Water Foundation visit wessexwater.co.uk/foundation. Find out more about grant criteria and how to apply at wiltshirecf.org.uk/wessexwaterrecoveryfund.