SSEN opens £360k resilience fund to protect vulnerable community members

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging communities to take advantage of grant-funding to help them improve community resilience.

The 2019 round of the SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund is now open, with £360,000 available for non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities working to protect and enhance the resilience of those most vulnerable in the north of Scotland and central southern England. The application deadline is Thursday 23 May.

SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund supports local projects that:

  • Protect the welfare of vulnerable community members through enhancing their resilience and improving community participation and effectiveness
  • Enhance community facilities, services and communication – particularly to support local response to a significant emergency event. 

The 2019 fund is particularly focused on projects helping vulnerable or isolated people living in SSEN’s network areas, with applications of up to £20,000 to be considered by an independent fund panel with funding decisions communicated by September 2019.

Commenting on the launch of the fund, Lyndsey Stainton, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at SSEN, said:

“With over £2m of funding provided to 325 projects across our network areas since its launch in 2015, our Resilient Communities Fund has already delivered a lasting legacy of support for our communities across our network region, with 16 local authority areas benefiting from this vital support.

“Previous rounds of the fund were significantly oversubscribed, with applications for physical equipment most popular across our regions. To make the most of this funding round, we are encouraging applications that will directly impact vulnerable customers and make a real difference to local communities by helping them build their overall resilience.”

In previous rounds, Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue received £7,000 to provide training and support for people living with psychological trauma; and in Scotland, Pillar Kincardine in Aberdeenshire received £14,274 to support people coping with mental health difficulties, providing specialist action plans to improve members’ resilience.

Initially run as a pilot, SSEN pledged to extend the fund to 2023 using a proportion of the income it receives from the industry regulator, Ofgem, in relation to its stakeholder engagement performance, allowing over £2m to be distributed to community-led groups and charities working in its network areas in the north of Scotland and central southern England.

To find out more about the SSEN Resilient Communities Fund, download an application form, or to read SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund report, visit: ssen.co.uk/resiliencefund.

To check who your network operator is to see if you would be eligible for funding, please visit ssen.co.uk/whoismynetworkoperator.