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Utility companies helping those in need during outbreak

Thames Water, Southern Gas Networks and UK Power Networks are some of those helping out.

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:41am 22nd April 2020. 3-minute read.

Utility companies helping those in need during outbreak

Buckinghamshire's utility companies are supporting frontline community work, through an £11,600 grant.

The money - from Affinity Water and Southern Gas Networks - has gone to the Buckinghamshire Community Foundation to help the vulnerable.

It is part of a wider, half a million pound scheme amongst power, water and gas suppliers across the South East and beyond.

UK Power Networks, SGN, Southern Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Affinity Water, SES Water and South East Water, are collaborating on a regional initiative looking out for their local communities as part of their ongoing work to help people living in vulnerable circumstances. 

Thames Water

The firms that keep the lights on, taps running and gas flowing, employ thousands of key workers to maintain reliable supplies, who are working hard to ensure the country keeps going during these unprecedented times. 

Working together, they are supporting local community foundations to make sure funding quickly gets to the frontline, where it can make the most impact in boosting community resilience, including local foodbanks, volunteer centres, food delivery services and outreach programmes for those at risk of isolation.

The rapid funding will reach local charities supported by community foundations.

Last year community foundations supported over 16,600 community organisations and charities. 

Kerry Potter, consumer vulnerability manager, who chairs the Utility Networks Partnership, said:

"In this difficult time for the communities we serve, this is one way we can provide practical help and support to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities.

"We are proud to work with our regional partners in the industry to support the community foundations, through this fund we are ensuring individuals suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak are helped." 

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Rosemary Macdonald, Interim CEO of UK Community Foundations, said:

"This extraordinarily generous donation will enable community foundations to reach the people who most need assistance throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

"Each community foundation has an in-depth understanding of their local area, what the priority needs are and how best to address these issues, so they can ensure the funding goes where it is most needed and can make the most impact." 

People who may need free extra support in the rare event of an electricity, gas or water outage can join confidential Priority Service Registers. Pensioners, parents with children under five, disabled people, hearing and sight-impaired residents, people with dementia, the chronically ill, those using medical equipment powered by electricity at home, can all benefit from free extra support by joining the registers.

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