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Heart of England Community Energy donates £40,000+ to support communities in need

Heart of England Community Energy (HECE) continues to channel funding into helping our community reduce its energy consumption and supporting those struggling with the cost of living. Over the last 12 months, the Community Benefit Fund has supported 8 local charitable and community organisations in Stratford-upon-Avon and the surrounding areas. These small grants have directly benefited hundreds of families in need.


A donation of £15,000 to Citizens Advice South Warwickshire has enabled the organisation to create a hardship fund to distribute food vouchers, school uniform, white goods and support households with the cost of energy bills and utilities. The support we’ve provided has undoubtedly helped lightened the burden for local families during what has been a financially challenging year.


The Crafty Lunch Club received £5,000 to support weekly socialisation, crafts, and themed meals for adults with disabilities and their careers. This project aims to combat isolation and help people with a learning disabilities to feel happier, included and confident!



RSPCA Coventry and District Branch got a £2,500 contribution towards the Pet Food to Food Banks project, the project collects pet food donations and delivers them to food banks for owners and animals in need. The cost-of-living crisis means the service is more in demand than ever.


The Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank received £9,000 to bolster their Christmas Hampers project and sustain ongoing efforts. This year, our donation supported the creation of 421 Christmas hampers, brimming with delights like Christmas puddings, cakes, beverages, festive gifts, and essential tinned goods. These hampers benefited 569 adults and 584 children in our community.



Further contributions included £3,600 to Bidford on Avon Parish Council for the establishment of a new Community Fridge and Café, aimed at reducing food waste and providing meals to those in need. The Community Fridge and Café is now open on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday mornings, alongside Wednesday evenings. In April 2024 alone, they successfully rescued 1.2 tonnes of food from being wasted!



HECE also granted the Napton Environmental Action Team £800 to purchase a thermal imaging camera, aiding in the identification of poor insulation, draughts, and damp in local buildings.



Lastly, Shipston Town Council received £600 to conduct energy assessments on three buildings and Hampton Manga Pre-school received £3,600 to enhance their outdoor areas, enriching opportunities for active learning and play.


Through the Community Benefit Fund, HECE continues to deploy funds to the community in order to fund projects which support and enable people to remove themselves from fuel poverty and improve the well-being of socially disadvantaged people or communities. The hope is that this support has the triple advantage of reducing fuel poverty, cutting carbon emissions and improving the health of those suffering from fuel poverty.


John Stott, Chair of HECE explained "It's very pleasing to be able to use the money earned by selling solar electricity to support those within our community who are in need. This shows how an energy system aimed at combating climate breakdown can also play a pivotal role in addressing societal injustices, helping to right the wrongs in society".


If you have a project that you think might be eligible for funding from either HECE's Community Benefit Fund or Carbon Reduction Fund, then please contact info@hecommunityenergy.org.



 

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