SSEN’s funding boost for local communities in central southern England

Almost a quarter of a million pounds in funding is being distributed by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to help communities in central southern England become more resilient in emergency situations and prepare for possible winter storms and flooding.

The SSEN Resilient Communities Fund is supporting 36 community groups across its network area in central southern England with awards of up to £20,000 for projects that will protect the welfare of those most vulnerable, enhance community facilities or improve communication during an emergency weather event.

Set up in 2014 as a two-year pilot scheme, SSEN has pledged to extend the fund to 2023 using a proportion of the income it receives from the industry regulator Ofgem in relation to its stakeholder engagement performance. Based on 2015/16 figures, this would allow funding in the region of £2m to be distributed to community-led groups and charities in central southern England over the six-year period. 

In this latest round, community groups from areas including Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Wessex have all received support, with the decisions for funding made by a panel of representatives from the Environment Agency, British Red Cross and National Energy Action. 

The awards represent the specific needs of individual communities and will be used to purchase key resilience kit including defibrillators, flood equipment, generators, training and radio system. The funding will also enhance the work of local emergency response teams – such as Surrey Search and Rescue, Dorset Search Dogs, Wessex Flood Rescue Unit and the Southbourne Surf Lifesaving Club – by enabling them to invest in much needed life-saving equipment.

In addition to the Resilient Communities Fund, SSEN has been working closely with local communities in the south east of England, helping them create resilience plans for emergencies, such as adverse weather and possible power disruption during winter storms.

Lisa Doogan, Director of Customer Relationship Management for SSEN said: “I’m delighted to see that this latest round of applications and awards covers a broad spectrum of ways in which the SSEN Resilient Community Fund can help communities to boost their resilience. To provide the funding that enables them to equip themselves and prepare for adverse weather events including high winds, snow, lightning and flooding reflects our own message that we are always prepared and there to help our customers. 

“I’m immensely proud of these organisations, and the work they do to improve the lives of those who live and work in the communities they represent.” 

SSEN works throughout the year to make sure it’s prepared for all that the British weather can bring – high winds, snow, lightning and flooding – and we want to help our customers and communities prepare too.

“This latest round of funding shows the diverse range of assistance needed to help boost the resilience of communities across central southern England; from generators and search and rescue vessels to the training required to work specialist life-saving equipment. The applications SSEN received showed the pride that local communities take in enabling and equipping themselves to deal with emergency situations. 

Danni Crosland from National Energy Action is one of the members of the Resilient Communities Fund panel, who helps decide on the awards. She said: ‘As the national fuel poverty charity NEA is only too aware of the need to build capacity at local level to support vulnerable householders. I’m delighted to have been part of the judging panel and to help ensure that communities who need support become more resilient to the impact of severe weather’.  

SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund will re-open for applications in the spring of 2018. To find out more about the fund, please visit the website:
www.ssen.co.uk/Resiliencefund/  

A full list of recipients form this latest round of funding can be seen in the table below.

 

Applicant

Purpose of funding

Award

Bulford Parish Council

To purchase flood equipment

£14,626.00

St Mary Bourne Parish Council

To enable flood resilience work

£20,000.00

Burton Bradstock Parish Council

To purchase flood barriers

£10,367.00

Surrey Search and Rescue

To purchase Digital Communications upgrades

£17,028.85

Southbourne Surf Lifesaving Club

To purchase rescue equipment

£10,062.00

Hampshire Search and Rescue HANTSAR

To purchase hand-held GPS

£13,375.00

Wessex 4x4 Rescue

To purchase a trailer

£18,500.00

CAN International

To provide training

£10,654.00

Team Rubicon UK

To enable volunteer recruitment

£7,000.00

Christchurch Lifesaving Club

To provide training

£10,437.00

Gloucestershire Rural Community Council

To provide resilience planning events

£12,350.00

Dorset Search Dogs

To enable radio network coverage improvements

£10,066.00

Wessex Flood Rescue Unit

To provide training and equipment

£15,365.00

Bradford Peverell Parish Council

To purchase a water pump

£1,061.40

Trotton with Chithurst Parish Council   

To purchase rest centre equipment

£1,277.00

Monkton Farleigh Parish Council

To purchase a snow blade

£2,261.00

Bradford on Avon Community Emergency Volunteers

To provide equipment for volunteers

£1,548.59

Gillingham Town Council

To purchase resilience equipment

£5,652.00

Chilmark Parish Council

To purchase two mobile generators

£2,659.94

Solent Rescue

To purchase flood rescue kit

£2,841.00

Arne Parish Council

To purchase a generator and water pump

£5,246.00

Aldermaston Parish Council

To provide emergency equipment and storage

£1,076.00

Easterton Village Hall

To purchase a generator

£3,558.64

Malmesbury Town Council

To purchase radios and suitable infrastructure

£6,724.60

Old Windsor Parish Council

To provide a vulnerable persons outreach worker

£7,800.00

Newbury RFC

To purchase a defibrillator

£3,538.39

Finchampstead Parish Council

To purchase a defibrillator

£3,312.50

Sturminster Marshall Parish Council

To purchase a defibrillator

£1,995.00

West Challow Parish Council

To purchase a defibrillator

£1,612.80

Winterbourne Parish Council

To purchase a defibrillator

£2,106.00

Kingston Lisle Parish Council

To purchase a defibrillator

£1,750.00

Community Council for Berkshire

To purchase a defibrillator

£1,686.00

Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society

To purchase a defibrillator

£1,705.00

John Pounds Community Trust

To purchase a defibrillator

£3,780.00

HOPE Portsmouth

To purchase a defibrillator

£4,760.28

Play Gloucestershire

To purchase a defibrillator

£6,206.58

Total

 

£243,989.57