Energise Sussex Coast receives £10,000 to help keep Hastings and St Leonards connected

Co-op’s charity, Co-op Foundation, has awarded a £10,000 grant to Energise Sussex Coast (ESC) to help it continue to support the local community through its EcoHub/Climate Active Network project.

Based in St Leonards, the project aims to explore opportunities presented by underutilised high street spaces to establish a community centre to provide information, advice and services with an environmental focus.

The funding comes from the £1.6m Space to Connect partnership between the Co-op Foundation and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to unlock the potential of community spaces where people can connect and co-operate.

It builds on a £10,000 Space to Connect grant awarded to ESC in 2019.

Funding awarded today will help ESC to expand on this work to establish a community space that can also support a wider climate active network.

Kate Meakin from ESC says “Covid has hit community groups particularly hard. This fund can help us to begin to realise new ways of working within the community”.

Nick Crofts, CEO of Co-op Foundation said: “This funding comes at a crucial time for our Space to Connect partners and the communities they serve, to support them through what is a very challenging time.

“Additional funding will allow organisations to continue their work to strengthen connections, tackle isolation, and address inequality in communities. It will also give organisations an opportunity to develop spaces for people to re-connect following the Covid-19 pandemic.”  

Baroness Diana Barran, Minister of State for Civil Society and Loneliness, DCMS said: “One thing the last year has taught us is the importance of social connections so I am thrilled that the Co-op Foundation will be awarding funding to organisations which bringpeople and communities together, creating long-lasting shared experiences. With the start ofthis year continuing to be as challenging as the last, this will play a crucial role in helpingtackle loneliness and social isolation.”

Co-op Foundation is the Co-op’s charity. It helps people challenge inequality and co-operate for change so they can share a fairer future.

In total, 44 community organisations will receive £400,000 of funding. The grants build on £880,000 of Space to Connect funding awarded to the organisations in 2019.

Funding awarded today will contribute to Co-op’s overall commitment to helping communities build resilience during Covid and beyond.

Subscribe to the Co-op Foundation blog to be the first to find out when funding applications open: www.coopfoundation.org.uk/blog