People hit hardest by the Covid-19 crisis are first to benefit from the new Wessex Water Foundation, a multi-million pound initiative launched in June this year.
A new dedicated funding scheme for projects across the Wessex Water region, the Foundation is being run in partnership with the Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset and Quartet Community Foundations and is already prioritising those worst affected by the pandemic.
Region-wide emergency funding has already been awarded to groups on the frontline, including charities and foodbanks and as the next stage of support the Wessex Water Recovery Fund opens on 5th October to help respond to the challenging economic situation.
And from April 2021 the Wessex Water Foundation will provide at least half a million pounds of funding every year to support community projects, debt advice and charities dealing with those suffering the consequences of poverty through poor mental and physical health, hunger, housing or unemployment.
Wessex Water will also continue to support local environmental projects, supporting the ambition to rebuild communities with new green infrastructure.
Colin Skellett, Wessex Water's CEO, said: "We're thrilled to be able to launch the Wessex Water Foundation alongside our friends in the community foundations in our patch.
"Being at the heart of the communities we serve is nothing new for us, but the Wessex Water Foundation is a new way of making sure we're helping the people who need it most.
"It's been an incredibly tough time for everyone in our region and supporting emergency coronavirus response projects is a fitting place to start."
Rosemary Macdonald, CEO of UK Community Foundations, said: "We at UKCF would like to thank Wessex Water Foundation for all their help with the emergency coronavirus appeal.
It is great to see the Community Foundations in the Wessex region come together and work so successfully with one of our key employers. The Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Quartet foundations are working hard to distribute the funding provided by the Wessex Water Foundation to those most affected by Covid-19.
"It's wonderful to see such a great partnership helping those in need at this challenging time."
About the Wessex Water Recovery Fund
For this year only as a response to the challenges faced by local communities Wessex Water Foundation are providing a Recovery Fund that will support local projects strengthening our communities following the coronavirus outbreak. This community fund will support local organisations who are looking to respond to the needs of people in their community and wishing to build 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
Quartet only - please note 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 5th October. The fund will close on 4th December with decisions made at local community panels in January 2021.
To find out more about the Wessex Water Foundation visit