Utility firms join forces to donate towards fast funds helping Essex’s vulnerable

£21,667 HAS been donated to Essex Community Foundation through a utility network partnership between UK Power Networks, Anglian Water and Affinity Water to help people in vulnerable circumstances.

This is a result of eight utility firms joining forces to give a £500,000 donation to 21 community foundations across the areas they serve.

UK Power Networks, SGN, Southern Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Affinity Water, SES Water and South East Water, are collaborating on a regional initiative looking out for their local communities as part of their ongoing work to help people living in vulnerable circumstances.

The firms that keep the lights on, taps running and gas flowing, employ thousands of key workers to maintain reliable supplies, who are working hard to ensure the country keeps going during these unprecedented times.

Working together, they are supporting local community foundations to make sure funding quickly gets to the frontline, where it can make the most impact in boosting community resilience, including local foodbanks, volunteer centres, food delivery services and outreach programmes for those at risk of isolation.

The rapid funding will reach local charities supported by community foundations across Bedfordshire and Luton, Cambridgeshire, Surrey, Essex, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, London, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Swindon, Dorset, Scotland, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and Milton Keynes. Last year community foundations supported over 16,600 community organisations and charities.

Kerry Potter, consumer vulnerability manager, who chairs the Utility Networks Partnership, said: “In this difficult time for the communities we serve, this is one way we can provide practical help and support to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities. We are proud to work with our regional partners in the industry to support the community foundations, through this fund we are ensuring individuals suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak are helped.”

Rosemary Macdonald, Interim CEO of UK Community Foundations, said: “This extraordinarily generous donation will enable community foundations to reach the people who most need assistance throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Each community foundation has an in-depth understanding of their local area, what the priority needs are and how best to address these issues, so they can ensure the funding goes where it is most needed and can make the most impact.”

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