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Anglian Water joins forces with Community Foundations to distribute £1 million funding pot

18th June 2020

In April, Anglian Water launched plans to establish a new £1 million community support fund to provide a cash boost for local communities to help fight the impacts of coronavirus.

Over £50,000 of the cash has already been fast-tracked to front line organisations in the immediate response to battle the pandemic. Just a matter of weeks later, the company has revealed how the rest of the funding will be distributed to those who need it most. 

Anglian is working with 15 Community Foundations in the East of England to allocate their £1million Positive Difference Fund. Collectively there are 46 Community Foundations and, using their extensive local expertise, they have given out over £1billion in grants across the UK. 

Half of Anglian’s Positive Difference Fund is being made available immediately, with the remaining half released later in the year to meet emerging needs from the fallout from the pandemic. Eligible organisations will be able to apply to their local Community Foundation for grants of up to £5,000.

The money will help local charitable organisations deal with emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus. Organisations like food banks, outreach programmes and those helping the most vulnerable can ask for support from the Positive Difference Fund via the Community Foundations to help those shielding or suffering from financial hardship, homelessness, loneliness and isolation.

Peter Simpson, Anglian Water’s Chief Executive, said: “Offering support to individuals in our communities who really need it has never been more important. As one of the biggest businesses serving our region, it’s absolutely right we extend our support in whatever way we can.

“As an essential service, our role first and foremost is to keep taps running and toilets flushing. But we know we have a bigger role beyond that in helping the communities we serve. Because of the nature of our work, we’ve so far been able to keep all our colleagues employed, and we’ll do everything we can to maintain that. We know many thousands will not be so fortunate, and we sincerely hope this fund can go some way to helping them."

Rosemary Macdonald, Interim CEO of UK Community Foundations, said: “Anglian Water’s extraordinarily generous donation comes at a time when many in our communities are feeling the very real impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The 15 community foundations involved all have expert local knowledge and will ensure that this money makes its way to the local charities and community groups that have been working flat-out to support the people most in need throughout this crisis.”

Other support, available from Anglian Water’s Extra Care offering, includes discounted tariffs alongside affordable payment plans. More than 300,000 customers each year are already helped this way.

The water company also helps customers identify if they may be eligible for benefits they are not claiming. Anglian Water has already signposted customers to a potential £4.5m of unclaimed aid, with the average amount that customers may be entitled to far outweighing the cost of the average water bill.

It is also adding customers to its Priority Services Register faster than ever before, meaning they will get tailored help and special assistance should they need it. 

Find out more and apply here.