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Somerset Community Foundation awards over £150,000 to help local community groups survive cost-of-living crisis

Somerset Community Foundation, in partnership with Somerset Council and NHS Somerset, recently awarded over £150,000 in grants to 44 local community groups in the latest round of cost-of-living grants this summer. The grants will help groups across the county cope with rising energy bills and offer more support to people in Somerset who are struggling to make ends meet.

Through the Cost-of-Living Fund, Somerset Community Foundation brings together diverse resources from local funders. To date, it has awarded a total of £350,000 of grants in response to the cost-of-living crisis, connecting other trusts, businesses and people.

Andy Ridgewell, Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation, said: “These grants have been made possible thanks to the generous funding received from Somerset Council and NHS Somerset. And because we know this winter will be another difficult one for many people, we’re offering funding to groups running Warm Spaces once again, too.”

Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Executive Lead Member for Communities, Housing and Culture at Somerset Council, said: “The support Somerset Council and other funders provide is translated into making a real difference to people’s lives. The grants awarded are supporting people of all ages and abilities across Somerset.

“The cost-of-living crisis has hit our residents hard, particularly the most vulnerable. The projects receiving support are helping those who are struggling and are worried about how they will cope in the coming winter.”

Paul von der Heyde, Chair of NHS Somerset, added: “We are delighted to support the Somerset Cost-of-Living Fund to invest in local community projects at such a difficult time for Somerset residents who are likely to struggling with bills and other costs this winter.”

Of the 44 grants, awards included:

  • £5,016 to help pay the running costs at the café at Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater

The community café is an essential local hub where people in need can come for food and company. But energy bills are making the service harder to offer.

  • £3,500 to help Reminiscence Learning, based in Wellington, provide a warm and welcoming space for people living with dementia

“Our charity has really felt the financial impact as a direct result of increasing prices from every avenue,” said Reminiscence Learning Business Support Manger, Zoe Priestley.

“However, the costs of our utility bills have proven to be a significant dent in our finances. As an essential service, our Day Centre must remain safe and welcoming which includes providing a warm and bright premises. We have to keep the heating and lights on without fail, which is resulting in huge invoices for us and will only increase again in the winter months.”

  • £5,000 to help In the Mix Youth Project, based in Wiveliscombe, support young people and families in need

Volunteers and community venues can apply for a grant for up to £1,000 towards the cost of staying open longer this winter if they offer a warm place for people experiencing fuel poverty. Find out more at:

Or call or email Somerset Community Foundation on 01749 344949 and ask to speak to Peter or Kirsty in the Grants Team (Option 5) or email the team at

Applications for funding from the Somerset Warm Spaces Fund must be made by 5pm, Friday, November 10.

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