Coronavirus: Resilience Fund set up by electricity supplier

Coronavirus: Resilience Fund set up by electricity supplier

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 7:57am 1st April 2020.

3 minute read

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is putting £350,000 towards helping communities during the outbreak.

The power supplier say they're 're-purposing' their annual funding scheme to support projects across the region.

Parish councils, community groups and town councils can apply for a grant towards schemes that are providing help to vulnerable people in particular.

SSEN says examples of what they could help include befriending services, community delivery schemes for people who are self-isolating or shielding, or online advice centres for local people.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Engineer
SSEN is looking to help local communities during Covid-19, by changing the criteria of their Resilience Fund

Colin Nicol, SSEN's Managing Director, said:

"In keeping the power flowing, safely and reliably, SSEN will play an integral role in the communities we serve during the coronavirus pandemic.  As a responsible business, we believe this role also extends to supporting communities in their own response to the crisis.

"Following positive consultation with stakeholders and independent community fund panel members, we are delighted to relaunch our Resilient Communities Fund to help fund community resilience projects that will help those most in need.

"It's encouraging to see communities pulling together at this time and we are pleased to play a small part in that response. I'd call on all local community council, parish and town council representatives to apply for a grant where they think we can help."

WHEN WILL THE MONEY BE HANDED OUT? 

Applications for the fund are open to projects based within SSEN's network area of central southern England until 30th April.

The first grant awards will be made in early May.

More funding rounds may be added, if there's a big demand - and there's a high number of applications, priority will be given to schemes in areas that are particularly remote, where there's a high level of vulnerable residents, or where there's low levels of resilience already.

Groups and councils can apply for grants via the SSEN website.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Engineer
SSEN engineers are still out working to keep power suppliers on during the pandemic

Paul Bright, is the CEO of Citizens Advice Hampshire and will be helping to choose where the Resilient Communities Fund will be spent:

"Our service is experiencing an unprecedented surge in enquiries, many from people self-isolating or concerned as they have underlying health issues. They need help with debt, housing and financial worries. This fund will allow communities across south central England to help look after the most vulnerable. I am delighted and impressed that SSEN has extended their commitment to social responsibility and have raised the bar in offering to develop such a quick response." 

There's more information about how SSEN is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic on a dedicated page of their website.

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