For the past six years, leading renewable energy provider Ørsted has donated over £5 million through its community benefits funds across the UK.
The three funds, located across the east and the west coast of the country aim to support local charities and community groups which form part of the company’s community engagement programme.
This year, Ørsted amended its application criteria towards the three funds in order to make access easier to those who may have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the grant’s relaunch in June this year, we no longer require match funding for any applications and we’ve lifted our former re-application restrictions,” said Imran Nawaz, Stakeholder Advisor and Community Benefit Fund Manager at Ørsted.
He continued: “Any groups that have previously received a grant, have a live project or have been unsuccessful in the last round can now reapply. We wanted to ensure that support will continue to be available during these unprecedented times, with many groups affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A total of 130 applications have been put forward since the start of the pandemic across all three funds, and over 50% of these were applications directly relating to the impact of Covid-19.
The Walney Extension Community Fund, which covers coastal areas in Lancashire and Cumbria, recently granted The Brathay Trust £15,000 to support a six-month project, responding to the Covid-19 crisis by supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people.
By delivering positive activities to increase resilience, the project will support the emotional health and wellbeing of children returning to school by providing support and activities which seek to support young people to reconnect in a socially distant way.
Sarah Cubiss, Delivery Manager, Brathay Trust said: “The aim is to make sure they feel safe and supported, and that they have a love of learning. If they become disaffected with school in the early weeks the knock-on effects for their whole secondary education are potentially huge.
“So far, we have provided wellbeing assemblies for all pupils, as well as focused wellbeing groups for some pupils. We have also run homework sessions for the pupils in school. The project, which is being run in partnership with Walney Community Trust, has also run a Ready, Steady, Cook style programme with families who are provided ingredients to make a meal as a family with a prize for the best submission. This will expand into the community with games, craft sessions and sports activities for young people and their families.
“This cohort of Year 7 students didn’t get any of the usual transition support such as visits to secondary school during the summer term. They started their secondary experience after not having had education for six months apart from some online learning which is not the same. Now they’ve had to go straight into school. They are a unique year group, no one has ever moved school under these circumstances.”
Ørsted’s Community Benefit Funds, are administered by independent grant-making charity, GrantScape who support the East Coast Community Fund, the Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund and the Walney Extension Community Fund.
The closing date for the Walney Extension Community Fund is 6th January 2021. For more information on how to apply and to find out about eligibility, take a look at the GrantScape website.