Fund supporting rural community projects opens

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Off-grid energy supplier Calor has launched a nationwide search for the very best rural community projects, with £85,000 in grants up for grabs.

The Warwickshire-based firm is also launching an exciting new award, the Rural Hero of the Year, which will celebrate those who have gone the extra mile for others during the pandemic.

Designed to provide a helping hand and much-needed funding across the UK to rural community groups who aren’t connected to the mains gas grid, the 2021 Calor Rural Community Fund launched on Wednesday March 10 and entries are open until Wednesday April 21.

This past year, communities have had to support each other from a distance like never before and in recognition of this, Calor has also launched its Rural Hero of the Year Award so that special individuals could be recognised for the great community work they have done.

The award is a separate category within the Rural Community Fund, where people can nominate themselves or someone in their local community who went above and beyond to help others during 2020. That could be a neighbour who provided Zoom story-telling classes for children in the local village, someone who did the food shopping for the elderly neighbours in their area, or any other deserving initiatives throughout the pandemic that shows how an individual helped their local community out in some way. Entries are open until Wednesday June 23.

The winner of the Rural Hero of the Year award will be presented with a commemorative trophy and special prize from Calor recognising their outstanding contribution to community spirit in 2020.

Andy Parker, head of strategy and corporate affairs at Calor, said: ‘We’re passionate in engaging with and helping rural communities across the UK. Through the Rural Community Fund we are incredibly proud to have been able to support 214 projects with over £460,000 generated through donations and Calor contributions over the last four years.

‘This funding is absolutely vital to these projects and it’s been incredible to see these grants bring to life everything from local football teams’ new facilities to outdoor learning centres for primary schools.

‘We understand that this past year has been particularly hard which is why we wanted to recognise those individuals who have put their heart and soul in to helping others. It’s one of the many reasons we launched our Rural Hero of the Year category which will celebrate those who have gone above and beyond to help their community throughout the pandemic. We’re incredibly excited to see all of the entries for this and the Rural Community Fund, over the coming months.’

The Calor Rural Community Fund, which has benefited Kintyre causes in the past, gives applicants the chance to win funding of £1,000, £2,500 or £5,000 for anything from vital renovations and upgrades to public facilities, through to new equipment for children’s groups.

Applicants for the fund will be listed on the Calor Rural Community Fund website and then encouraged to share their project through social media to gain points. Those projects with the highest number of points in each funding category will become shortlisted finalists, and will be reviewed by a Calor Committee before being announced as finalists.

For more information, visit communityfund.calor.co.uk