Wessex Water Community Fund supports 12 projects across the West of England

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The Strawberry Line Cafe was awarded £1,406 towards the cost of running a community cooking project for people with learning disabilities

Wessex Water Community Fund, managed by Quartet Community Foundation, has just handed out its first grants supporting 12 projects across the West of England.

The fund, which aims to support community cohesion projects and bring communities together across the West of England, offer grants of up to £1,500 to smaller community groups and charities.

Sue Turner, Chief Executive at Quartet Community Foundation explained: ‘We are very pleased to be working together with Wessex Water to help them support local communities. This is just one of the many corporate funds we manage for the West of England and these partnerships help companies such as Wessex Water offer real community benefits where they operate.’

Thanks to these grants homeless people will benefit from a new shower facility (Bristol North West Foodbank), women new to the UK will get fit and active (Friends of Hannah More Primary School) and carers in deprived areas of Bath and North East Somerset will benefit from supportive Carers Cafés (Carers Centre B&NES).

Ann Ramsey from the Strawberry Line Café in Yatton which was awarded £1,406 towards the cost of running four community cooking sessions for 40 people with learning disabilities said: “Our aspiration is to help people with learning disabilities enjoy a fun and interactive cooking experience. We hope it will make a difference by helping them to gain confidence in preparing a healthy and simple meal which they can then try at home. They will also have the opportunity to go ‘behind the scenes’ at our café and find out more about what it is like to work in a catering setting.”

The Friends of Hannah More Primary School were awarded £548.50 towards a weekly women’s fitness group, reaching out to women from diverse backgrounds, especially those new to the area or to the UK. One female member of the exercise group said: ‘I have met new people from different countries and we have found out more about each other. Some of the ladies are my neighbours but I didn’t know that before. There is crèche for my little one as well.’ Another agreed the group is beneficial: ‘I like so much to come to the group, everyone is a friend to me and I feel comfortable. We are getting better to play as a team now. Sometimes I feel nervous but not at this group.’

David Trumper from the Carers Centre B&NES which was awarded £1,500 towards the cost of running ten carers’ cafés in deprived areas of B&NES said: “Our Carers’ Cafés help carers connect with others and reduce isolation. One carer reconnected with an old friend who they had lost touch with when their caring role became full-time. Meeting others in the same boat helps carers feel more supported and this in turn makes it easier for them to carry out their caring role.”

Kirsty Scarlett, head of community engagement for Wessex Water, added: “We are very pleased to be working with Foundation, who are experts in identifying and supporting local projects that make a real impact. The applications for funding were very interesting and featured different ways of working with marginalised groups to achieve community cohesion. We are very pleased to have funded 12 community focused projects from all across the area.”

The Wessex Water Community Fund opens for applications once a year and will re-open in Autumn 2019. For more information visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/community

The full list of Wessex Water Community Fund grants awarded recently are:

•           Friends of Hannah More Primary School £548.50 towards a weekly women’s fitness group, reaching out to more women from more backgrounds, especially those new to the area or to the UK.

•           Community Unity Bath £1,000 towards running costs for a new stay and play group in the Foxhill area of Bath.

•           The Strawberry Line Café Project CIC £1,406 towards the cost of running a community cooking project of four sessions for a total of 40 people with learning disabilities.

•           Carers Centre B&NES (Care Network) £1,500 towards the cost of running ten carers’ cafés in deprived areas around B&NES.

•           St. James Church Mangotsfield £1,000 to support two community cohesion activities located at the newly opened Lyde Green Community Centre.

•           Oasis Community Hub North Bristol £1,500 towards the cost of creating a new community garden, designed by local young people.

•           Sea Mills Community Initiatives £1,130.50 to make the café and garden site accessible for people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

•           Bristol North West Foodbank £1,500 to install a shower facility, particularly for use by homeless people, and an accessible toilet at the new Social Justice Hub in Avonmouth.

•           Grassroot Communities £1,470 towards the cost of supporting a Growing Streets Together community event in Ashton Vale.

•           Photographers with Disabilities £1,500 towards the running costs of this accessible photography studio in Yate.

•           Juice Community Project £945 towards the cost of a health and wellbeing event in Cadbury Heath.

•           Bath YMCA £1,500 towards improving communal spaces in YMCA’s young people’s housing, encouraging community and reducing isolation.