The HPC Community Fund, administered by Somerset Community Foundation, has recently awarded over £220,000 to four community groups.
The fund supports community projects that help mitigate the impacts and increase the opportunities of the Hinkley Point C development. The latest groups to benefit from the Open Grants programme, which mainly awards grants to larger applications, were:
Cheddar Catholic Church Community Hall – awarded £25,000 to help rebuild a community hall in Cheddar.
I CAN (delivering in Bridgwater) – awarded £69,748 to fund a programme of targeted speech, language and communication interventions for children and young people in the Sydenham and Hamp areas of Bridgwater, as well as providing support for parents, and training for professionals.
The Thomas Poole Library, Nether Stowey – awarded £75,000 towards developing the library in Nether Stowey, including recruiting a Centre Manager and improving the accessibility and functionality of the facility for the whole community.
Wembdon Parklands and Community Together – awarded £52,960 to enhance 11 acres of parkland situated adjacent to the Northern Distributor Road. The rejuvenation will focus on improvements for members of the community with mobility issues, disabilities and additional needs.
The HPC Community Fund Open Grants programme has two different application processes, depending on whether you are seeking funding for projects of under £50,000 or over £50,000. Visit www.hpcfunds.co.uk for more information.
The HPC Community Fund also delivers a Small Grants programme which awards grants of up to £5,000 or up to £10,000 over three years for voluntary groups and social enterprises that normally operate on less than £100,000 per year. Deadlines to apply tend to be around every 8 weeks, meaning funding is awarded on a regular basis.
In Charley’s Memory (ICM), a counselling service for young people based in Burnham-on-Sea, is now coming to the end of the first year of funding from the Small Grants programme. The organisation was awarded £10,000 in 2018 to establish their provision and deliver extra support both in Bridgwater and at the Hinkley Point C site, allowing important counselling activities to continue for at least another three years.
The organisation has seen significant interest in their services and is now working on building a strong local presence. As part of the funded project, ICM has been delivering presentations and drop-in sessions at Bridgwater and Taunton College and at the Hinkley Point C site, focusing on highlighting signs of mental ill-health and raising awareness of the support that is available for young people.
ICM was set up by Joanne Clement to help individuals and their families struggling with mental ill-health after her son, Charley, took his own life. The HPC Community Fund’s award panel was keen to fund the project; mental ill-health is an issue which affects one in four people and suicide is still the biggest cause of death for young men under the age of 45.
Students from Robert Blake Science College in Bridgwater and The King Alfred School in Burnham, who are acting as ambassadors for ICM, a pictured on a hike up Brent Knoll to highlight how physical activity can help improve mental health.
Dawn Carey, Operations Manager at In Charley’s Memory said: “The funding we have received from the HPC Community Fund has enabled us to support so many young adults. We simply would not have been able to do the work we have delivered – and will continue to deliver – both in the community, or at Hinkley Point C, to anywhere near this scale, before the grant. Mental health does not discriminate and to secure funding over a number of years will not only enable our project to grow but will also help it to become more sustainable.”
The HPC Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF Energy through Section 106 agreements, for communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station, to promote their social, economic and environmental wellbeing and enhance their quality of life.
If you run a local community project in Somerset and would like to find out more about grant funding from the HPC Community Fund or any other general community funding that may be available, please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk