Local groups have until 22 October to apply for grants of up to £3,000 from The Wessex Water Foundation Community Fund, which has formed a partnership with Dorset Community Foundation.
The Fund which supports people in financial difficulty or who lack access to services, is designed to help to improve areas of multiple deprivation or rural isolation. Since 2020 it has provided grants of at least £500,000 a year to projects across the Wessex Water region.
It will also fund projects helping people manage or avoid debt and provides education in money management and household budgeting skills.
Last year the fund awarded more than £18,000 to 11 groups in Dorset.
The £1,500 the Bus Stop Club in Ferndown received was originally for its weekly community café but after it was closed because of Covid the group used the money towards providing hot meals for vulnerable families three nights a week.
Project manager Susan Sutherland said: “We were very pleased to be allowed to use the money in this way because the meals were urgently needed. We sent out 890 meals over six months and not only were they really important for the families who received them, it also gave our staff the chance to check in on the families to see how they were doing.
Other recipients were Weymouth Skatepark Association, which used a £1,500 grant to install a water refill machine at the park.
Bridport Community Shed used a £1,500 grant to create a quiet space at its base in a former gardener’s yard leased from the town council.
Dorset Mind was awarded £1,500 towards the costs of an eco-therapy project in association with Meyers estate agents.
Wessex Water head of community engagement Kirsty Scarlett said: “The fund will enable us to continue investing in strengthening communities and supporting people who need it most.
“Part of this will involve continued funding for local groups, supporting debt advice organisations and charities dealing with those affected by low income, mental and physical health issues, hunger, housing problems and unemployment.
“We hope to support a wide range of groups who make a real difference for people in their local area.”
Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “We are delighted to be working with Wessex Water again and its support will help grass roots groups to help their communities build back after a tough 18 months.”
To find out more about eligibility and how to apply go to dorsetcommunityfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant.
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