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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging communities across central southern England to apply for grant-funding of up to £20,000 from its Resilient Communities Fund ahead of the closing date on Thursday 23rd May.

SSEN has made £220,000 available to non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities in SSEN’s southern distribution network area through its Resilient Communities Fund. Applications for the fund close on 23 May 2019, and SSEN is keen to make sure as many eligible groups as possible apply.

An independent panel, made up of representatives of community and charitable organisations with expertise in community resilience planning, alongside members of SSEN’s management team, will decide which projects are to receive grants from the Resilient Communities Fund. Decisions on each application will then be made in the autumn and communicated directly to successful applicants.

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Last year, Isle of Wight Search and Rescue (WightSAR) was just 1 of 26 successful applicants, receiving £20,000 to enable them to buy a 4×4 vehicle.

Dean Terrett, Chairman of Isle of Wight Search and Rescue said:

“We were delighted to receive the grant from SSEN, which allowed us to purchase a 4 x 4 vehicle to benefit the Island’s community and improve the capabilities of our search team. I’d encourage anyone thinking of applying to the fund to take up the opportunity and help boost their community.”

The 2019/20 fund will support projects which achieve one of the following criteria:

  • Vulnerability – to protect the welfare of vulnerable community members through enhancing their resilience and improving community participation and effectiveness.
  • Resilience for Emergency Events – to enhance community facilities, services and communication specifically to support the local response in the event of a significant emergency event.

Lyndsey Stainton, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at SSEN, said:

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“We are delighted with the level of interest in the Resilient Communities Fund so far and are asking all interested groups to ensure they submit their applications by the closing date of Thursday 23 May.

“To make the most of this funding round, we are encouraging applications that will directly impact vulnerable customers and make a real difference to local communities by helping them build their overall resilience.

“We work with communities in our network area year round; helping them become more resilient and assisting them with their resilience and emergency plans, while providing them with information and grants through the Resilient Communities Fund. Ensuring our customers are safe during an emergency is one of our key priorities and through this fund we are able to help them be even better prepared.”

This is the fourth year of SSEN running the Resilient Communities Fund and during this time SSEN has provided £2.13m of funding to 325 projects. Set up in 2014 as a 2-year pilot scheme, SSEN has pledged to extend the fund to 2023 using a proportion of the income it receives from the industry regulator Ofgem in relation to its stakeholder engagement performance.

Guidelines and applications forms, along with a full report on the fund, are available on SSEN’s website here – https://www.ssen.co.uk/RCF/.


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