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The Community Partnering Fund, supported by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Northern Powergrid, opens again today (Monday 28 June) for grant applications, with allocations of up to £10k available to community groups and grassroots organisations based in the North of England.

Delivered by Leeds Community Foundation, The Community Partnering Fund was jointly set up by NGN and Northern Powergrid to enable community groups to deliver schemes that tackle issues such as affordable warmth and energy efficiency, including:

  • Alleviating hardship associated with fuel poverty
  • Informing communities about domestic power and gas safety including the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
  • Encouraging interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and related career opportunities
  • Encouraging people to become Priority Services members and access free support if they are customers who may be more vulnerable if they lose their gas or electricity supply, and
  • Championing community energy
  • Supporting residents in vulnerable circumstances or promoting community resilience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

The grants available range from £1k to £10k. To find out more and apply, go to https://www.givebradford.org.uk/grants/community-partnering-fund-2/. Applications must be submitted by 2 August 2021.

Selby Big Local received a grant of more than £6k in the last round of Community Partnering Fund grant allocations. A community organisation, Selby Big Local aims to tackle social isolation, improve people’s health and wellbeing, and create new opportunities for change. The grant from the Community Partnering Fund is being used to support Community Fridge, a project that aims to equip residents with the knowledge and confidence to prepare healthy, nutritious food on a budget, while also training a cohort of Energy Ambassadors who will share advice on energy efficiency.

The Co-ordinator at Selby Big Local, Bryony Boyle, said: “Funding from the Community Partnering Fund has been instrumental in enabling us to develop our Community Fridge project and earlier in June we launched our first community cookery course, Eat and Energise!

“We’re also working with our Energy Ambassadors to provide energy saving advice while we bring residents together to develop their cooking skills using slow cookers: a much more energy efficient way to cook healthy meals. This funding is helping us to support our residents to improve their food and energy knowledge in a fun and safe environment, which is just fantastic.”

The energy network operators, which together serve 6.6 million homes and businesses throughout the North East, Yorkshire, northern Cumbria and Lincolnshire and provide work for more than 5,500 local people, are continuing to deliver essential services to keep energy flowing to homes, businesses, hospitals and critical services.

Jill Walker, Social Strategy Project Manager at Northern Gas Networks, said: “At NGN we’re committed to helping our most vulnerable communities throughout the region.  The Community Partnering Fund, in partnership with Northern Powergrid, is all about providing enduring support to organisations at the heart of the communities that we serve; something that is needed now more than ever.”

Michelle Cummings, Northern Powergrid’s Social Responsibility Manager, said: “We know being a force for good goes beyond our network powering peoples’ lives. This joint fund delivers vital support to community groups that work in the communities we serve. Enabling community groups to champion community energy, tackle fuel poverty and support local people is central to our approach now and in the future.  We urge community groups across the region to apply.”

Kate Hainsworth, CEO of Leeds Community Foundation, said: “We are pleased once again to be working with our long-standing partners, Northern Gas Networks and the Northern Powergrid. The fund has already distributed £250k to community organisations across the region, supporting thousands of local people.”

On 9 July, Leeds Community Foundation is hosting a free briefing session for community organisations thinking about applying to the Fund. Register for a place at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/community-partnering-fund-briefing-event-tickets-159880427663