Northern Gas Networks (NGN) brought applicants and successful initiatives from its Community Promises Fund together for two workshops this week, creating a network of innovative energy ideas, support and advice to challenge fuel poverty and benefit local communities across Yorkshire and the North of England.
NGN distributes gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses in the North East, Northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire, covering cities and town including Leeds, Hull, Carlisle, Bradford, York, Huddersfield, Harrogate, Darlington and Newcastle.
The £50,000 Community Promises Fund was set up in 2016 to support projects across NGN’s network, which help to alleviate hardship and other challenges associated with fuel poverty and educate around environmental energy efficiency ideas. It also supports initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and encouraging the study of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and related career opportunities. The fund is managed by Leeds Community Foundation (LCF), a charity dedicated to creating positive change in local communities.
The projects which received grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 were: 2168 Yeadon Air Cadets, Bradford Community Broadcasting, DIAL (Leeds) Limited, Fusion Housing Kirklees Ltd, Highfield Food Co-op in Bradford, North Halifax Partnership, Syrian Community of Leeds, City of Hull & Humber Environment Forum, The Dominic Rodgers Trust in Huddersfield, Woodhouse Close Church Community Centre in Bishop Auckland and Yorkshire Energy Doctor CIC, based in Riccall
Not only did the workshops in Leeds and Durham provide an opportunity for project leaders to meet and share ideas, groups which did not receive funding in 2016 also joined the sessions to benefit from NGN advice and support which could help to secure grants in future.
Tom Bell, Head of Social Strategy for NGN said: “The Community Promises Fund workshops provided great opportunities for both NGN and the community groups that attended.
“I feel that NGN are more aware of some of the real challenges and opportunities that exist in the communities we serve, and I was heartened to see the direct engagement and sharing of ideas and support that community groups can provide one another. I look forward to seeing the benefits of these early partnerships.”
Adam Fowler, Project Manager for the City of Hull & Humber Environment Forum said: “It’s been a very positive partnership so far, we’ve learned a lot and have received a lot of direction. It’s opened up some ideas perhaps we wouldn’t have thought of before so we’re really looking forward to continuing to work together.”
NGN will be sharing regular updates on the Community Promises Fund throughout 2017 via their website northerngasnetworks.co.uk and Twitter @NGNgas.
Anyone that smells gas or suspects Carbon Monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.