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Wessex Water Foundation

The Wessex Water Foundation provides funding for projects which bring people together to build stronger communities.

Never has it been more important to both respond to immediate need and to make a firm commitment to the long-term future and wellbeing of our communities.

That’s why people hit hardest by the Covid-19 crisis will be the first to benefit from the new Wessex Water Foundation, a multi-million pound initiative launched in summer 2020.

This dedicated funding scheme for projects across the Wessex Water region is being run in partnership with the Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset and Quartet Community Foundations and is already prioritising those worst affected by the pandemic.

The Foundation has three key funding streams for 2020 and beyond:

  • immediate support for local groups impacted by the Covid-19 crisis
  • a recovery fund to support groups rebuilding our communities beyond Covid-19
  • a new permanent fund providing grants totalling at least £500,000 from 2021 onwards.

Wessex Water Recovery Fund

For this year only as a response to the challenges faced by local communities Wessex Water Foundation is providing a Recovery Fund that will support local projects strengthening our communities following the coronavirus outbreak.

This fund will support local organisations responding to the needs of people in their community and building resilience for the future.

This fund will seek to support a wide range of local rather than national projects across our region, but particular priority will be given to those that are working to:

  • support people in financially difficult circumstances
  • help build stronger communities
  • support the green recovery with new initiatives
  • restoring and protecting nature and wildlife for community health and wellbeing

Projects based in north Bristol are particularly welcome to apply and will be considered for support from our North Bristol Sewer Relief scheme.

We particularly welcome applications from BAME groups.

Applications for the fund will open with our four regional community foundation partners from Monday 5 October. The fund will close on 4 December with decisions made at local community panels in January 2021.

To apply for a Wessex Water Recovery Fund grant visit the community foundation in your area:

Immediate support for local groups

To provide immediate support to local groups responding to the Covid-19 crisis, earlier this year we donated £120,000 to local emergency appeals with community foundations.

These funds have helped contribute towards a wide variety of community projects and charities all over our area.

These include a community fridge project to help feed local people in Bournemouth, a community money advice service to help people facing a drop in income in Wiltshire, virtual and in person equine-assisted therapy for young people and adults struggling with isolation in Somerset and a charity distributing activity packs to isolated families in Weston-super-Mare.

In addition to supporting our local community foundations’ emergency appeals, we have also:

  • provided over 6,500 hot meals for vulnerable and isolating people in the Bath community
  • supported many of our staff to volunteer in their communities.

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Future investment in communities

From 2021 our new permanent fund will provide at least £500,000 of funding every year to local communities.

This fund will enable us to continue to invest in local communities who will bear the burden of supporting the most vulnerable in the potential hard times ahead.

Part of this will involve continued funding for local groups supporting stronger communities, debt advice and charities dealing with those suffering the consequences of poverty through poor mental and physical health, hunger, housing and unemployment.

We also recognise the need to ensure all investment meets high standards of equality, diversity and fairness.

We will also continue to support local environmental projects, supporting the ambition to rebuild communities with new green infrastructure.

Projects we have already helped

Community

The village pump

Bath and North East Somerset

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Royal visit to village shop in Somerset to mark 25th anniversary of award scheme.

Environmental

Princely pond wins prize

North Somerset

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Restoration project gives new life to pond in Weston-super-Mare.

Environmental

Seed funding for new garden

Bristol

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Funding secured to transform a neglected area in Bristol into a garden.