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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.

Future grant funding

An environmental grants round will open in spring 2021 and a community focused grants round will open in autumn 2021. More information on both these grants will be coming soon

If you are seeking help and advice on grants for your group, please 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, in summer 2020 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.

Wessex Water Recovery Fund

This Fund was a one-off fund in 2020/21 set up to respond and support groups as a result of the impacts of coronavirus on local communities. It is now closed.

In January 2021, grants from this fund were made to a wide variety of projects across our region including new community fridges, counselling services, gardening projects and nature camps for young people. In total, the fund supported 85 groups with grants totalling £175,000 and we will be sharing stories of their work in the coming months.

Projects we have already helped

Princely pond wins prize

North Somerset

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

Seed funding for new garden

Bristol

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

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.