The new Wessex Water Foundation, a multi-million-pound initiative launched by the water and sewerage company, is to benefit people hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis in its first year.
A dedicated funding scheme for projects across the Wessex Water region, the Foundation is being run in partnership with the Quartet, Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset Community Foundations and is already prioritising those worst affected by the pandemic.
From 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.
Region-wide emergency funding will be awarded to groups on the frontline, including charities and foodbanks, while the Wessex Water Recovery Fund opens for local applications later this year to help respond to the challenging economic situation.
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, interim 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.”