Wessex Water Recovery Fund offers support to Covid-hit communities

By Anita Jaynes on 14 October, 2020

Wessex Water is providing more financial help for community groups in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with grants of up to £2,500.

The Wessex Water Recovery Fund aims to strengthen communities following the Covid-19 outbreak, with an emphasis on local rather than national projects.

The grants are run in partnership with Community Foundations in the Wessex Water region, including Quartet Community Foundation which helps people in the Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire unitary authority areas.

Wessex Water has already supported a number of charitable projects in the Bath area through its Community Fund. Earlier this year £16,000 was awarded to 12 local groups through the fund including Bath City Farm, Bath Gateway Out & About and West of England Rural Communities. In addition, Wessex Water made a substantial contribution to the Quartet Community Foundation’s Coronavirus 2020 Response Fund.

In March 2020, Grassroot Communities was awarded £1,500 for a project for young leaders in Hartcliffe, Bristol.

Grassroot Communities’ Ben Carpenter explained, “These sessions will offer talented young people in Hartcliffe the chance to further develop the plan for their own boxing club. They’ll set up and run the boxing club the way they want it to be, helping to develop leadership and also creating opportunities for other young people in South Bristol.

“With youth services lacking, many families in Hartcliffe and Withywood are struggling to engage their children in positive activity. At times this results in large groups of children and young people hanging around on the streets. This has given young people an unwanted reputation and many people in the community find it intimidating to go out in the evenings.”

He continued, “Offering some of these young people a chance to lead and take ownership of something positive in their community will help restore faith in the young people and begin to build bridges between them and the wider community. Sport is a wonderful vehicle for bringing people together.”

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 Wessex Water Recovery Fund has been set up to provide support that will both address priority needs and help build resilience for the future.

“Applications for the fund opened on 5 October. We particularly welcome applications from BAME groups.”

Who can apply

Particular priority will be given to those groups that are working to:

  • support people in difficult financial circumstances
  • help build stronger communities
  • support the green recovery with new initiatives
  • restore and protect nature and wildlife for community health and wellbeing.

To apply for the grant visit:

The deadline for applications is 4th December 2020 and decisions will be made at local community panels in January 2021.

It is understood that the Wessex Water Recovery Fund stands at approximately £45,000 for the West of England (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.)

Pictured above: Wessex Water Recovery Fund offers support to Covid-hit communities in BANES