Wessex Water Community Fund delivers more than £40,000 funding to grassroots groups

A partnership with Wessex Water has allowed Wiltshire Community Foundation to provide grassroots groups and charities with more than £40,000 in funding.

The Wessex Water Community Fund, now in its third year, provides grants of up to £3,000 to groups who want to improve the lives of people living in their communities. It is supported by the Wessex Water Foundation, which has provided grants of at least £500,000 a year to projects across the Wessex Water region since 2020.

Among the recipients is Chippenham Community Eco Hub in Borough Parade, which was awarded £3,000 to open a ‘living room’ for people to come and stay warm over the winter months.

Westbury and Warminster Youth Clubs will use a £3,000 grant to cover core costs for its two regular clubs that provide a safe, encouraging space for 40 young people in Westbury and 20 at Lakeside Community Hall in Warminster.

Youth worker Beth Mullins said the club is a lifeline for young people from low-income families who can afford little in the way of entertainment. Aside from staff costs the grant will help towards hall hire, materials for arts and crafts and ingredients for cooking sessions such as pizza making.

The West Wilts Child Contact Centre in Trowbridge, which provides a place for separated parents to spend time with their children in a safe environment, will use a £1,000 grant towards running costs.

The centre works with up to seven families at a time who are referred by the courts but receives no statutory funding. It relies on a team of 15 volunteers and one part-time co-ordinator.

The Bybrook Benefice of churches, which comprises ten parishes including Yatton Keynell, Biddestone, Castle Combe and Kington St Michael, has been awarded £2,700 to run non-religious support for the community. Almost all of the parishes don’t have community halls and with shops and pubs closing the villages served by the churches have few places to bring people together. Based at Yatton Keynell Village Hall, the benefice will run financial management and parenting courses, a bereavement cafe and a warm space through the winter.

Kirsty Scarlett, Wessex Water’s Head of Community Engagement, said: “This year more than ever Wessex Water is pleased to be able to work in partnership with Wiltshire Community Foundation to support key local organisations that help people facing difficulties in life, providing safe places and a warm welcome for communities to find the support they need.”

Wiltshire Community Foundation joint chief executive Fiona Oliver said “Wessex Water is a real champion of our local voluntary sector. We are delighted to once again be working in partnership with them, and using our connections and knowledge, to ensure that this funding supports projects that are making a huge difference in communities where people are really struggling.”

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