Dogger Bank Wind Farm has demonstrated its commitment to the north and north-east of England with further awards from its operator fund. In the latest round of awards 15 local community groups have been supported to help local people recover and rebuild from the pandemic and to enhance local community assets.
The Dogger Bank Operator Fund provides small grants to grass roots community projects to help enhance quality of life for local residents, contribute to vibrant, healthy, successful and sustainable communities, and/or promote community spirit and encourage community activity.
The funding decisions are made by a panel with representatives from wind farm joint venture partners Equinor and SSE Renewables as well as independent participant Caroline Lofthouse from NOF. NOF is a not-for-profit business development organisation helping to make connections between national businesses and the energy sector.
Caroline Lofthouse, Head of Commercials & Partnerships at NOF and Cluster Manager for Energi Coast, north-east England’s offshore wind cluster, said:
“The benefits of a vibrant offshore wind industry are far reaching and the Dogger Bank Constructor Fund demonstrates how the sector makes a significant contribution to the local community as well as the economy and our renewable energy requirements. I am very proud to be part of this initiative, which is helping some important causes and organisations in the north of England.”
In East Riding of Yorkshire, Cherry Tree Community Centre has been supported to create new recipe bags for local residents. The bags provide healthy and nutritious meal ideas which can feed the whole family. Also in the region Men in Sheds Beverley has been provided support to enhance their facilities. This will enable more local older people to meet up, learn new skills and complete craftwork for the community. The Men in Sheds initiative is used by lots of local people, especially those who experience isolation or who are recovering from health complications including cancer and strokes.
Jo Ramsay, Manager at Cherry Tree Community Centre, said:
“We are extremely grateful for the support from Dogger Wind Farm. The community pantry was set up in Covid as lots of people lost an income, jobs and family members. We currently help support 800 adults and 500 children with food and emergency supplies from gas, electric and hygiene products. The recipe bags are a big success. Feedback from families and individuals is that it’s nice to follow a recipe and cook a healthy meal instead of convenience foods”
In South Tyneside, Wilby Roc has been funded to deliver a community well-being day. The charity recognises that many local people have had a challenging year and will deliver a well-being day which will allow community members to try new activities and crafts and learn well-being techniques. Also in the region, Bede’s Helping Hands has been supported to set up a job search club in their premises. The facility will enable local people to develop CVs, search for jobs and complete on-line training.
Danielle Pollard, Education Director at Wilby Rocs, said:
‘”The grant from the Dogger Bank Wind Farm will go towards essential well-being services. The people of South Tyneside have been through so much and we want to create a day where we can get people together and find out how to improve well-being, physical and mental health. I give a huge thanks to Dogger Bank Wind Farm from Wilby Roc’s and the people of South Tyneside.”
Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be located more than 130 km off the Yorkshire coast and will generate enough renewable energy to power six million UK homes. A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni, SSE Renewables is leading on Dogger Bank construction and delivery while Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion.
In June Dogger Bank Wind Farm unveiled plans for a £1 million construction fund to support the coastal communities where its onshore infrastructure is being developed. The programme includes a significant investment in science, technology, engineering and maths provision, university scholarships as well as an operators fund to support local causes. Further information is available at www.doggerbank.com/about/community/
The groups to receive awards in the latest round and how they used their grants:
- Cherry Trees Community Centre – to provide recipe bags for local families
- Long Riston Playing Fields – to re-develop a children’s play park
- Rickaby Village Hall Committee – new kitchen equipment
- Men in Sheds Beverley – safety enhancements
- Beverley FM – community work experience placements
- Kilham School PTA – outside STEM learning area
- Nature Tots – equipment to support outdoor play group
- Wombles Beverley – litter picking equipment
- Woodmansey School PTA – sports equipment
- Bede’s Helping Hands Food Bank – setting up job search club
- Bliss Ability – running community support group for people with depression
- Hedworthfield Community Association – outdoor seating
- Williby Rocs CIC – community wellbeing day
- Action Station – volunteer expenses
- Kayaks – support for a club for children with specialist needs