Wiltshire charities given a boost by community energy fund
Two local charities have been given a welcome boost with over £3000 in funding from Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy (WWCE) Ltd. Projects from Youth Action Wiltshire and Sustainable Warminster have both benefited from grants awarded via WWCE’s Community Fund, with a third beneficiary expected to be announced soon.
Youth Action Wiltshire, the youth arm of Wiltshire charity Community First, received £2,500 toward the running of conservation and environmental focused activities which will form part of its summer Splash programme. The programme offers young people going through a challenging time the chance to take part in a host of engaging outdoor pursuits across the county, with the aim of increasing their confidence, self-esteem, and skills.
The WWCE Community Fund grant will ensure that it can deliver its summer programme in full and give more young people the opportunity to meet and build friendships with others in similar circumstances, while learning about local, national, and global climate issues.
Meanwhile, Sustainable Warminster received vital backing for its Warminster Toad Patrol scheme. Its 60 strong team of volunteers has been recording and rescuing amphibians during night-time patrols along roads bordering Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s (WWT) Smallbrook Meadows Nature Reserve since 2019.
The charity has put its £575 grant to good use, ensuring their safety with the purchase of branded high visibility jackets and portable reflective stanchion signs to alert motorists to ‘toads crossing’. It will also fund new nets, allowing the team to monitor amphibian populations in local ponds. The project will run throughout the summer, until hibernation for the local toad population begins in October.
Chair of the WWCE Community Fund, Jon Bateman, said, “The WWCE Community Fund exists to provide essential financial support to inspiring projects like these across Wiltshire. Since its formation, the Fund has helped ensure the continuation of a host of initiatives engaged in the conservation of local wildlife, climate change mitigation, and tackling fuel poverty. It’s always a joy to see our grants being put to use by such deserving causes.”
Julian Barlow, chair of WWCE and trustee of WWT who administer the Community Fund added, “The provision of significant local community benefits is central to WWCE’s vision. Surplus funds generated through our renewable energy projects go straight into our Community Fund to support local initiatives which align with our own objectives of reducing carbon emissions and protecting wildlife throughout Wiltshire. I’m delighted that we’re able to play a part in ensuring the continuation of these two worthwhile projects.”
The WWCE Community Fund is managed by a panel who meet four times a year to review applications and allocate grants. To find out more, or to apply visit www.wwce.org.