Almost a year ago, Anglian Water launched plans to establish a new £1 million community support fund to provide a cash boost for local communities to meet emerging needs arising from the pandemic.
Last year, half of the company’s Positive Difference Fund was made available to help front-line organisations in the immediate response to the pandemic. Now the water company is announcing the remaining funds are to be made available to help communities meet emerging needs and adapt following almost a year coping with the impacts of Covid.
Anglian Water will continue working with 15 Community Foundations in the East of England and Hartlepool to allocate the fund. The money will help local charitable organisations deal with issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus.
Organisations like food banks, outreach programmes and those helping the most vulnerable can ask for continuing support from the Positive Difference Fund via the Community Foundations to help those experiencing financial hardship, potential for hunger, lack of shelter, access to education, further exacerbation of health issues, loneliness and isolation.
Over last summer, the first £500,000 distributed from the fund, helped over 88,000 people via 124 community organisations. Among those benefitting was LIVES community responders who bring emergency treatment to patients in local communities who may be harder to reach for an ambulance crew. Another was Sleaford New Life Community Larder is a food bank that has been supporting financially hard-hit families in the district.
The second phase will help to meet emerging needs resulting from the ongoing pandemic and help groups and communities to adapt and re-build. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found on the Community Foundations website.
Peter Simpson, Anglian Water’s Chief Executive, said: “No one would have believed a year ago, what a different world we’d be living in by 2021. All our lives have been affected by the pandemic in some way.
“As one of the biggest businesses in the East of England, we made a commitment to continue offering support to our local communities as their needs change. We sincerely hope this second tranche of funding will help continue some of the incredible work that’s already been started and support recovery in the longer term.
“I’m proud that we’ve been able to make even a small difference to so many people already. But our work is not done. Alongside the Positive Difference Fund, we’ll keep working to support our customers in the best way we know how - by keeping taps running and toilets flushing, because access to water for health and hygiene has never been more important.”
Michael O’Toole, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation has been coordinating the fund on behalf of the local foundations covering the Anglian Water region. He said: “The first phase of the Anglian Water Positive Difference Fund provided emergency support to thousands of people in vulnerable circumstances across the East of England.
“We’re delighted to support the roll out of the second phase which will provide equally critical support to those most vulnerable at this time.
“Support for our communities and charities through this incredible difficult period has never been more needed, or more welcomed. On behalf of all the Community Foundations and most importantly, all of the vital projects that this fund is enabling, I am so grateful for Anglian Water’s support.”
Other support available from Anglian Water’s Extra Care offering, includes discounted tariffs alongside affordable payment plans. Over 250,000 people have benefitted from the company’s affordability schemes since the start of the year.