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WPD announces £500,000 fund to tackle loneliness and isolation

Western Power Distribution (WPD) is pledging to support its most vulnerable customers with grants from its Community Matters Fund ahead of this year’s Mental Health Week. The upcoming awareness week (9-15 May) aims to tackle loneliness - particularly in the wake of the pandemic, which has left many people reporting feelings of isolation.

To provide much needed support for the local organisations tackling these vital issues, WPD is calling on charities, councils and community groups in the South West, the Midlands and South Wales to apply for grants of up to £10,000.

This is the latest round of grants from WPD’s annual £1 million Community Matters Fund, which has already seen the energy distributor support more than 100 grassroots organisations with crucial fuel poverty grants. 

Alison Sleightholm, WPD’s Resources & External Affairs Director, said: “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on people’s mental health over the past two years, and lockdowns and social distancing measures have undoubtedly led to feelings of loneliness and isolation. We are committed to taking the lead on this emerging issue, helping provide crucial interventions and preventing further increases in mental health issues.”

She continued: “WPD is looking to support and partner with community groups and organisations to achieve positive change. With loneliness and tackling social exclusion as the core topic, we open the doors to funding applications from all generational and diverse community groups and organisations.”

The application window for funding is open until Sunday 24th April.  To help guide applications, examples of the types of project the fund will consider supporting are:

  • Digital skills and inclusion projects
  • Social inclusion and connectedness projects
  • Mental health interventions
  • Employability skills
  • Projects increasing community access to outside space
  • Inter-generational support projects
  • Befriending services
  • Innovative solutions to combating loneliness.

For more information and to apply, please visit: Follow the fund on social media via #WPDCommunityFund.

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