This grant programme is currently closed. However, you can view previous grant guidelines below. Please note, these grant guidelines may change when/if the programme reopens to applications. Please make sure you read the new guidelines before you submit your grant application.
About the Wessex Water Foundation Community Fund
This fund aims to support community-based activities or projects that meet a local need and seek to improve the lives of local people who are most in need of support. These activities or projects should be informed by the people or community they serve and have considerable reach, with priority given to work that fulfils one of more of the following:
- takes place in areas of multiple deprivation or rural isolation where people lack access to local services
- helps build stronger communities – enabling people to work together and create solutions to local challenges
- helps people take steps to manage or avoid debt and build their financial capability. This can include activities that raises awareness and take up of utility affordability support such as the Wessex Water schemes
What you can apply for
You can apply for a grant towards a new activity or continuing something you are already doing. We won’t award a grant towards work that has already been undertaken, and you should plan to start spending the grant within six months of when it was awarded.
A grant can be towards any reasonable costs for your organisation or project including:
- core or running costs
- project and activity costs
Who can apply?
Applicants must be based and working in the Wessex Water area. Applicants must be based and working in Somerset. You can apply for a grant if you are a:
- voluntary and community group with charitable aims
- registered charity
- Community Interest Company (CIC) limited by guarantee, with a dissolution clause and asset-lock naming a Somerset-based charity
- town or parish council
- school if you can demonstrate community benefit.
You must also have a board or committee with at least three members and the majority unrelated to each other or living at the same address.
We will prioritise applicants whose income is less than £1 million. This programme is targeted at groups and organisations where a small amount of money can make a significant difference, so we will consider your access to other sources of funding and prioritise where it can make the biggest impact.
We do not normally fund organisations which are holding more than 12 months of annual expenditure in unrestricted reserves. If your organisation is holding significant reserves, please make clear why these reserves cannot be used to cover the cost of the activity.
We particularly welcome applications from groups led by Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities
You cannot apply to this grants programme if you have already received other Wessex Water funding within the last 12 months. If you are a debt advice agency in receipt of Wessex Water core funding, please contact us to discuss your application.
How much do we award?
Grants are available up to £4,000 for work covering a period of up to 12 months.
Examples of grants we have funded
- For Money Advice Caseworkers to provide financial advice to help alleviate poverty, support people to access food and fuel, and prevent homelessness
- To develop a digital inclusion programme, offering supported group and one to one sessions in a friendly and relaxed environment, to people who need help to engage online
- A contribution towards running costs to provide refugees and asylum seekers with essential living items, welfare support, signposting, and a welcoming community
- A social prescribing programme for marginalised and disadvantaged people experiencing poor mental health; improving lives and increasing wellbeing through access to the outdoors
What we don’t fund
- Applications from individuals
- Onward grants to individuals
- National organisations or those based outside the region
- General appeals including for capital building projects
- Activities which are a statutory responsibility
- Political groups or activities promoting religious beliefs
- Animal welfare
- Arts or sports projects with no significant community or charitable element
- One-off events
- Medical research, equipment, or treatment
- Projects that take place before a grant can be awarded
- Activities that raise funds for other organisations
If you have any queries about the above, call us.
Applicants whose project is primarily focused on environmental outcomes are advised to apply to the Wessex Water Foundation Environment Fund, opening in May 2024.
How to apply?
We expect this grant programme to re-open to applications in autumn 2024. You can apply online from our website. Alternatively, you can request an application by post.
You will also need to provide the following*:
- A copy of your constitution/governing document that sets out the purpose of your organisation and how it is managed.
- Evidence of a bank account in the name of the organisation. The bank account must have at least 2 signatories. Evidence of your account can be a copy of a recent bank statement that is no more than 3 months old. This can be a scanned paper statement, or a copy downloaded from an online account. We need to see the bank name, your organisation’s name, the address where statements go, date of statement, the account number, and the sort code. You may redact transactions if needed.
- A copy of your most recent annual accounts or financial records that show your organisation’s balance of funds, income, and expenditure.
- An up-to-date safeguarding policy for your organisation. This is required even if you don’t work directly with children or vulnerable adults. For guidance, please see https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/safeguarding
*Apart from the bank statement, you do not have to send these if you have already sent these documents in the last 6 months to the Community Foundation
If you do not currently have a bank account:
You can provide the bank details of another charitable organisation if they meet our eligibility criteria and there is an agreement in place.
If you cannot provide many of the above documents:
Another charitable organisation can apply on your behalf provided it is able to:
- Supply the above documents.
- Have their name as the main contact and be responsible for submitting the application.
- Be responsible for receiving, overseeing, and reporting back on the use of any grant awarded.
This will not affect the applicant organisation’s ability to apply for the maximum annual grant available for its own purposes.
Please contact us if you have any queries about supplying the above supporting documents.
What will happen next?
Once we have received your application (including all supporting documents) it will be assessed by a member of staff. They may contact you for further information or to arrange to meet to discuss the application in more detail. The application will then go to a community panel for a decision.
Reporting on the use of your grant
At an appropriate time (usually six to eight months) after the grant has been paid, we will send you an end of grant report form. We may ask your group for an interim report. This form asks for details of how the grant was spent and what was achieved.
If you need more information or wish to discuss your application before you apply, please contact Andy Ridgewell at Somerset Community Foundation by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01749 344949.