Aldershot and Farnborough communities are learning how to deal with emergencies and severe weather events thanks to an award from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Resilient Communities Fund and the work of CAN International.
CAN International works with communities, government, and non-governmental organisations to enhance the wellbeing of vulnerable residents, disadvantaged ethnic minority communities and the conservation of natural resources on which they depend. Their recent projects - boosted through the award of an £8,000 grant in last year’s round of SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund - have focused on supporting Hampshire’s ethnic minority communities; in particular Gurkha veteran communities in Aldershot and Farnborough.
Through locally held workshops and training, CAN International is working to tackle social isolation and loneliness, improve social wellbeing and assist in energy saving by providing Aldershot and Farnborough residents with the knowledge and skills they need to build their resilience.
Four community workshops will be held throughout the year, with the most recent taking place in Aldershot earlier this month. Each workshop will involve twenty members of the local community, who will be trained to deal with emergencies using local volunteers, resilience networks and by cascading information online and through established emergency communication platforms.
CAN International Chairman, Mr Govind Belbase said:
“Our purpose in the communities of Aldershot and Farnborough is to train individuals who will be able to coordinate a response to emergencies that will assist the whole community. This is especially relevant to areas where more vulnerable residents rely on wider community resilience and can be reassured that a support network is in place.
“Fuel efficiency and energy saving information is another part of our workshop that we have introduced more recently, to help communities deal with changes to energy costs and for those seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
“We’d like to thank SSEN for their Resilient Communities Fund award, which is helping us to improve the wellbeing and resilience of our communities.”
SSEN recently opened its annual Resilient Communities Fund with an enhanced allocation of £1 million. These funds will be made available to central southern England communities aiming to become more resilient in the face of storms, severe weather and prolonged power interruptions.
Applications are invited from communities for grants available from £1,000 up to £20,000. In exceptional cases, involving multi-year and multi-community applications, funding up to a maximum of £50,000 can be considered.
The deadline for applications to the fund is 1 June 2022 and applicants are asked to consider the criteria for funding, which seeks to support projects falling under these two categories:
- Resilience for Emergency Events - To enhance community facilities, services and communication specifically to support the local response in the event of a significant emergency such as extended power loss.
- Vulnerability - To protect the welfare of vulnerable community members particularly during significant emergency events such as extended power loss, through enhancing their resilience and improving community participation and effectiveness.
To find out more about the Resilient Communities Fund, read SSEN’s annual fund reports and apply for funding, please visit https://www.ssen.co.uk/RCF/.