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Stakeholder Relations Team

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Seven community groups and charities across the North of England have received grants of up to £10,000 each to help make their local communities warmer, safer and more prosperous.

The funding came from the Community Partnering Fund – a scheme run by Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid and Leeds Community Foundation.

Building on work over the past three years, the scheme provides funding for grass roots initiatives which tackle issues such as fuel poverty and household safety, encourage an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, or promote the Priority Services Register — a free support service for energy customers in vulnerable situations.

The latest funding recipients range from a South Asian community radio station in Leeds, an education specialist working with refugees and asylum seekers in Hull, a community centre in Carlisle and a Sheffield food bank.

Tom Bell, Northern Gas Networks’ Head of Social Strategy said: “As the region’s gas distributor, we work in communities which face a complex range of issues – from a high prevalence of fuel poverty to lack of opportunities and aspirations among young people.

“We are excited to be working with these remarkable organisations who are making a massive difference to their communities.

“Each organisation will be using the funding to deliver a new, bespoke project themed around energy efficiency, safety or education. We can’t wait to see these projects take shape.”

Siobhan Barton, Head of Stakeholder Relations at Northern Powergrid, said: “Merging our fund with Northern Gas Networks provides us with a greater opportunity to engage with community groups and local charities who are delivering innovative projects in our key areas of focus, as well as raising awareness of our Priority Services Register.”

Kate Hainsworth, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Foundation said: “The fact that this funding scheme is now in its third year, and has gained combined support from the region’s gas and electricity distributors, is fantastic news for communities across the North of England.

“We are delighted to be working with Northern Gas Networks and Northern Powergrid to help administer the programme and are looking forward to seeing targeted support to communities through this year’s projects.”

The latest funding winners are:

Success4All:a non-profit organisation in Newcastle-upon-Tyne that provides low-cost tuition for children and young people aged 8-18. The organisation will be using the funding to run a six-weeks ‘hands-on’ project for young people, exploring energy efficiency and innovative ways of producing energy. The young people will also meet gas and electrical engineers, to see how they keep the energy flowing around the region.

Grace Food Bank: A Sheffield based food bank which distributes donated food to those in need. The funding will be used to top up the gas and electricity pre-payment cards of food bank users, so they can access heating, lighting and hot water, and have a more comfortable winter.

Speakup Self Advocacy: A national charity which advances the education of people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health in self-advocacy and related areas. The funding will be used to work with people with learning disabilities and autism to create a Carbon Monoxide safety film, titled, “I Can’t Smell It, So It Must Be Safe!” A group of energy efficiency champions will also be established to share tips for saving energy.

Toranj Tuition: a newly-established not for profit organisation based in Hull which improves education for disadvantaged children and promotes equality for all ages. Funding will be used to deliver English as a second language tuition  to asylum seekers and refugees, through sharing essential household information such as energy efficiency, household budgeting  and Carbon Monoxide awareness. Mentoring sessions around STEM subjects will also be provided for young people.

Radio Asian Fever: a community radio station serving Asian communities in Leeds and beyond. Funding will be used to develop radio content in Hindu, Urdu, Punjabi, English and Mipuri, with topics focusing including energy efficiency, reducing bills and Carbon Monoxide awareness.

Botcherby Community Centre, Carlisle:   A community centre in the heart of Carlisle, offering everything from parent and toddler groups to a lunch club for older people Funding will train community champions across Carlisle to promote energy efficiency advice.

Northumberland Community Enterprise Limited: a non-profit organisation based in Morpeth which aims to tackle unemployment in order to benefit local communities. The funding will be used to promote energy efficiency and Carbon Monoxide awareness among elderly residents who are often socially isolated due to lack of mobility, or remote location.

For more information about the scheme, including how to apply for the next round of funding, organisations can head to:  https://www.leedscf.org.uk/community-partnering-fund