Community energy enterprises make fast grants to Corona Crisis funds

In the first week of the lockdown, a ‘collective’ of local energy enterprises mobilised £100,000 of Corona Crisis Funds to support those facing hardship in their communities.

The community-owned enterprises were able to mobilise funds from by community-owned solar arrays quickly to support community-organised aid networks.

  • Ferry Farm Community Solar  allocated £40,000 to support organisations helping those in the local community facing hardship. Three initial awards totaling £17,500 were made in the first week of the lockdown: £1,500 was paid to the Academy Selsey on the day schools were shut, for a subscription to an online library to enable students to access contemporary reading materials whilst stuck at home and  £6,000 was provided to Selsey Community Forum, which is co-ordinating the Corvid Mutual Aid network for Sesley and Sidlesham, and  £10,000 was been allocated to Chichester Food Bank to support its operation in Selsey and Sidlesham.  
  • Gawcott and Buckingham’s Gawcott Solar CIC allocated £14,000 to a Corona Crisis Fund. In the first week of the lockdown: £2,500 was sent to to Buckingham Food Bank and £747 was sent to  Buckingham& Winslow Young Carers for gift vouchers to cheer up 55 young carers looking after family members at home. National Energy Foundation, which manages Gawcott Solar CIC’s Bee Warm energy advice service, is helping local households in financial hardship including offering pre-pay meter vouchers.  
  • Burnham and Weston Energy CIC has allocated £40,000 to a Corona Crisis fund and is liaising with local community networks.  
  • Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy is allocating some of its community funds to support local Food Banks.  

Jake Burnyeat, Director of CfR CIC, said:  “These rapidly deployed Corona Crisis Funds show the real value of communities having their own local energy enterprises: generating funds to deploy for the benefit of local communities as needs arise… “ Other community energy enterprises are mobilising similar crisis funds and support. If every town had a community energy enterprise that story could be repeated across the UK – something to bear in mind as the we plan our new zero carbon energy future.”