SSEN funding boosts community resilience in central southern England

The image above shows the snow blade funded by SSEN's Resilient Communities Fund and purchased by Monkton Farleigh Parish Council, enabling them to clear the local area's streets for emergency and welfare vehicles during the the heavy snows that hit central southern England earlier this year.


Twenty-six local community groups in central southern England are benefiting from the latest round of funding, distributed by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), to help them build their resilience in emergency situations and adverse weather.

The SSEN Resilient Communities Fund is awarding nearly £200,000 to the groups across its network area in central southern England, with individual awards of up to £20,000 for projects that will help protect the welfare of those most vulnerable, enhance community facilities or improve communication during an emergency weather event.

Decisions for funding awards are made by a panel of representatives from the Environment Agency, British Red Cross and National Energy Action. In this latest round, community groups from areas including Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Isle of Wight have all received awards from the fund.

The awards are selected to represent the specific needs of individual communities; used for a wide variety of equipment and training to increase resilience locally, funding will also enhance the work of local emergency response teams from Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Wessex and Wiltshire by helping them purchase life-saving equipment.

Lisa Doogan, Director of Customer Relationship Management for SSEN said: “Since the inception of the fund four years ago, I’ve been thrilled to see the diverse nature of the applications that we receive and the determination of the recipients of the awards to improve the lives of those who live and work in their communities.

“At SSEN, we work all year round to ensure we’re prepared for the high winds, snow, flooding and lightning that our weather can bring and one of our key aims is to help our customers and communities prepare for these possibilities and strengthen their resilience too.

“By making these funding awards to communities, SSEN is empowering them to equip themselves and prepare for adverse weather events; reflecting our own message that we are always prepared and there to help our customers.”

Anna Lovell, Head of Corporate Partnerships from British Red Cross said: “At the British Red Cross, we believe in helping communities to better prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.  It’s great to see that SSEN’s funding will go a long way to helping local communities to become more resilient when facing severe weather events and respond locally when needed.”

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 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.

SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund will re-open for applications in the spring of 2019. To find out more about the fund, please visit the website:  

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





Hanneys Flood Group

To purchase storage facility and resilience equipment


Fringford PC

To purchase a generator


Blewbury PC

To purchase a generator and other resilience equipment                 


Hampshire Search & Rescue Dogs

To purchase a drone and thermal imaging camera


Chesterton Community Partnership

To fund the creation of an emergency centre


Kington St Michael

To purchase generators


The Whitchurch Association

To purchase emergency equipment


14th Andover (Stockbridge) Scout Group

To purchase emergency equipment


Chalgrove PC

To purchase flood and emergency equipment


Wessex 4x4 Response

To purchase communications and IT Equipment


North Wiltshire RAYNET

To purchase equipment for a communications trailer


Goring and Streatley First Responders

To purchase vehicle and related equipment


Wiltshire SAR

To purchase command vehicle


Isle of Wight Search and Rescue (WightSAR)

To purchase a 4x4 vehicle


Serve On

To fund a Training Officer


Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue (BLSAR)

To fund training and support for psychological trauma


Oxfordshire Lowland Search and Rescue (OxSAR)

To fund Water Incident Equipment and Training


Box PC Flood Wardens

To purchase equipment for flooding and road safety training


Cholsey PC

To purchase a defibrillator


Longworth Village Hall

To purchase a defibrillator


North Aston Parish Meeting

To purchase a defibrillator


Milton (Abingdon) Parish Council

To fun defibrillators and training for residents


West Oxford Community Association

To purchase a defibrillator


Stalbridge Scout Group

To purchase a defibrillator


Collingbourne Ducis PC

To purchase a defibrillator


Shrivenham PC

To purchase a defibrillator and salt spreader