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£100k Community Impact funding supports Bristol organisations to ‘carry on’

Seven organisations and charities have benefitted from a £100,000 donation by a Bristol care home trust.

Under its Community Impact programme, the St Monica’s Trust has spread £100K across a variety of worthy causes and groups to ensure they can carry on their good work: The Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s Group, Bristol Poverty Action Group, Life Cycle, North Bristol Advice Centre, Southern Brooks and Way Out West were among those to benefit.

The funding will support established projects which are already making a difference in their local communities. The aim is to support organisations to continue providing vital services for older people, whilst looking for ways of improving levels of sustainability.

Community Connections Manager, Debbie Wills, said:

The Community Impact funding initiative originally planned to award grants totalling £60k. However, the quality and breadth of the applications we received was so overwhelming that we agreed to increase the available funding to £100k.

We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to apply for funding and we think we’ve chosen a broad range of organisations who are all providing vital services for older people across the south west. This includes helping older people to access welfare services, encouraging isolated older people to engage with social activities and funding a community choir.

One of the organisations awarded the maximum grant of £20,000 is the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The charity has been providing energy advice and support to local people since 1979 and is committed to tackling climate change and ending the misery caused by living in cold homes.

The Community Impact grant will help fund an experienced energy adviser to deliver home visits and in-depth support to vulnerable older people in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. The energy advice service supports older people in fuel poverty and those whose health may be affected by living in a cold home.

The support offered by the service includes helping older people understand their energy consumption, use their heating controls properly, reduce high energy costs, avoid damp and mould in their homes, and switch to better value energy tariffs. Older people are among those whose health is most at risk from the harmful effects of living in a cold home and in 2013/14, 51% of cold related deaths were among people aged 85 and older.

Centre for Sustainable Energy’s Chief Executive, Simon Roberts OBE, said:

We welcome St Monica Trust’s generous support for the Centre for Sustainable Energy and their recognition of the importance of supporting local organisations to continue the good work already being carried out.

Older people are one of the most vulnerable groups during the cold weather, particularly if their home isn’t very energy efficient or they are living on a very low income. Nobody should be rationing their heating this winter. Thanks to this funding we will be able to continue to provide the in-depth support needed for vulnerable older people across the west of England to enjoy warmer and healthier homes.

Since the charity was founded in 1920, the St Monica Trust has always supported individuals outside of its retirement communities. It’s Community Giving Fund helps support people who are over 40 with a physical disability or long-term physical health problem and are experiencing financial hardship.

Photo: L to R, Mike Joyce, Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE); Tony Brown, resident; Debbie Wills, St Monica Trust; Simon Roberts, CSE; Eileen Oldfield, resident; and George Perry, CSE.