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09 February 2022


09 February 2022

Twelve grassroots organisations delivering pioneering and sustainable projects across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Cumbria are set to receive a share of a £100,000 joint Community Partnering Fund.

The latest round of grants, funded by Northern Gas Networks and Northern Powergrid and delivered in partnership with Leeds Community Foundation, will enable the groups to broaden their support for the local communities they serve.

The Community Partnering Fund enables community groups to deliver schemes that tackle issues that are close to their hearts as utility companies – such as reducing fuel poverty, improving energy efficiency and safety know-how, and supporting projects that encourage more young people into science and technology subjects in schools and colleges to help create a more diverse workforce as the utility companies work to deliver a greener energy future for the region. 

As well as providing a short-term funding boost, the Community Partnering Fund’s aim is to find organisations who can become long-term partners, by working with groups who are embedded in their local communities, having a much bigger impact.

Groups that have received funding grants are:

Parker Trust, Sunderland - Working with young people up the age of 25, the grant will support delivery of a STEM education programme to inspire creativity and spark critical thinking for the benefit of disadvantaged young people in Sunderland.

Deaf Awareness: NE (North Tyneside) - Funding will bring together deaf and hard of hearing people, along with their hearing counterparts, for a weekly get-together to discuss, debate and decide on effective uses of energy within their own homes and broader communities.

International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) - Funding will be used in a project encouraging interest, raising awareness and improving women’s skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in BAME communities. Workshops with STEM ambassadors and motivational speakers, tailored one-to-one advice and support with employability will be delivered to support progression into STEM roles/ careers.

Rackets Cubed, Leeds - Funding will support delivery of a programme partnering schools, universities and private clubs in areas of high disadvantage to offer weekly, school year-long, integrated racket sports, STEM education and nutrition programmes.

African Caribbean Achievement Project (ACAP), Bradford - STEM 4 All is a new project providing weekly STEM education in the form of one-to-one tutoring, group work and workshops to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The project deepens young people’s engagement with STEM using hands-on learning activities, informational books and stories infused with science, technology, engineering and mathematical concepts. Young people will learn valuable skills integrating reading, writing, spelling, grammar, critical thinking, scientific methodology, maths, statistics and more.

New Hope Christian Church, Sheffield - Funding will be used to support migrants to the UK in understanding the concept of energy in their home, how to use it safely, how to conserve energy and avoid fuel debt.  Language barriers increase the risk of falling into fuel debt, so this project aims to provide intervention through practical support assisting them in understanding and accessing relevant support.

Carlisle Society for the Blind - Funding will be used to raise awareness of extra support available vulnerable customers amongst people with sight loss living in Carlisle and the surrounding area.

City of Hull Sport and Community Group CIC - The ‘Switch On’ project will empower 100 vulnerable individuals affected by poverty and inequality to come together to participate in local, accessible education opportunities in Hull. These work towards alleviating hardship associated with fuel poverty, raise awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and provide tips on reducing consumption of energy and support available if vulnerable.

Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA) - The grant will help to reach ‘under the radar’ individuals with information and education about energy efficiency, extra support for vulnerable customers and carbon monoxide poisoning during home visits to undertake practical jobs, and via mailshots to users struggling to access this information online.

Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) Mother of Unfailing Help, Leeds - The funding will enable the SVP organisation to purchase essential household items, including furniture and white goods, for those in need on a case-by-case basis.

Stepping Stones Baby Bank, Wakefield and Leeds - The grant will provide safe sleeping equipment to babies and children, as well as everyday safety equipment to keep little ones safe.

Tangram Housing Co-Op, Leeds - Funding will support delivery of advice and materials to help reduce risk of fuel poverty and support for extra vulnerable customers, as well as the provision of communal facilities.

Michelle Cummings, Social Responsibility Manager at Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity network across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, said: “This fund is helping us reach into communities and give vital support to a diverse range of people and organisations at a time when they need it most.

“From inspiring future generations to explore STEM subjects and fulfil their potential to encouraging people to be energy smart and helping reduce the risk of fuel poverty, we are proud to play our part in supporting the communities we power.” 

ill Walker, Social Strategy Project Manager at Northern Gas Networks, the gas distributor for the North of England said: “At Northern Gas Networks, we’re committed to helping our most vulnerable communities across Yorkshire, the North East and northern Cumbria.  The Community Partnering Fund, delivered in partnership with Northern Powergrid, is all about providing enduring support to organisations at the heart of the communities that we serve.

“We are very pleased to be able to announce this latest round of grants to some really fantastic grassroots organisations across the region, who will now go on to make a positive and practical difference to those living in their communities, as we continue to undergo a very challenging time after the pandemic.”

Kate Hainsworth, Chief Executive at Leeds Community Foundation said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with the Community Partnering Fund and support another 12 deserving projects through this round. Community Organisations have been under immense pressure over the past 20 months due to increasing demand and limited resources.

“We’re truly grateful to organisations such as Northern Gas Networks and Northern Powergrid, that see the importance and value in funding these organisations to ensure they can continue to assist their local communities.”