With two weeks until the deadline of its first round of funding, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is encouraging local communities across its South East region to apply for their share of a new £350,000 fund to support communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
SSEN’s existing Resilient Communities Fund (RCF) has been repurposed to support communities responding to coronavirus and is offering grants of up to £3,000 for projects across areas including Chichester, Portsmouth, Aldershot, Basingstoke and the Isle of Wight that will help councils support those in vulnerable situations.
This initial round of funding, which will close on Thursday 30 April, is open to community, parish, borough and town councils, with applications being encouraged for projects that will provide extra help to those who are self-isolating or social shielding, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions. Examples that would qualify for a grant include, but are not limited to, social delivery services, online advice centres or befriending schemes.
Grant awards will be issued in early May to get extra support to those that need it during these difficult times.
Ian Drummond, SSEN’s Head of Region for South East said: “We have a critical role in ensuring power flows, and supporting the communities we serve in their efforts to stay at home. It’s been encouraging to see how communities are responding and are pulling together at this difficult time. I call on all local community council, parish, borough and town council representatives to apply for a grant where they think we can help.”
The Resilient Communities Fund is just one way in which SSEN is helping its customers during this time. SSEN is also aware that customers may have concerns relating to power cuts during and wants to remind them of the additional help it can provide. SSEN’s Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free, tailored service available to all who meet its criteria – from a new-born baby to an elderly relative being cared for at home – and SSEN is asking its customers across the South East to find out more about PSR and how it could assist them.
Customers are eligible for SSEN’s Priority Services Register if they:
- Are deaf or hard of hearing
- Have a disability
- Live with children under five
- Are blind or partially sighted
- Have a chronic illness
- Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
- Are over 60
- Would benefit from PSR services for any other reason, even if temporarily
SSEN produces its Priority Services Register leaflets in 14 different languages; all of which are also available to read and download from its website, by going to: www.ssen.co.uk/psr.
To check who your network operator is and to see if your community, parish, borough or town council is eligible for SSEN funding, visit ssen.co.uk/whoismynetworkoperator. For more information on how SSEN is protecting its customers, colleagues and network during the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.