£50,000 for community ventures
Calor GB ran a new pilot scheme in 2017 called the Rural Community Fund. Starting in one region of the country as a trial, the Fund rapidly spread across the UK, offering £50,000 to 21 off-grid community ventures to improve local lives.
Off-grid communities were able to apply for funding between March and August 2017 using Calor’s online application form. Funding requests ranged from redecorating a community centre or village hall to buying new equipment for youth clubs, sports teams or scout groups. After all of the requests were in, the public voted to determine the finalists. A panel of impartial judges then scored these finalists and selected the winners, split into ten grants of £1,000, six grants of £2,500 and five grants of £5,000.
2017 numbers at a glance
In 2017, the Rural Community Fund received 146 project applications and more than 17,000 public votes. The Fund was also active in social and digital media, with 19,500,273 social impressions, 66,152 website visitors and 1,026 new likes. The fund’s activities received plenty of PR attention from the mainstream press too, with 89 articles resulting in an estimated 1,716,962 separate views.
Making a real impact
Rural Community Fund has already made a positive impact in many local communities. A local school library purchased 247 new books to support their accelerated reader programme. A local scout group installed LPG heating in their new centre. A local park installed an inclusive swing for children. A village hall installed a new kitchen to support their community lunches, and a community farm completed a BBQ area for their community gatherings and events. Other winners are currently on track to completing their own projects, including a new life-saving kit for a group of community first-aid responders, the installation of fibre broadband for a rural community and new play equipment for a community swimming pool. You can read more stories on the Fund’s website.
Calor GB will continue to run the Rural Community Fund as an annual, nationwide campaign, supporting brand values and demonstrating a real commitment to local communities.