The Cadent Foundation has awarded more than £3.8 million to charities working to support people in vulnerable situations and fuel poor communities.
In 2021, as charities once again faced a challenging year of uncertainty, increased demand and declining resources, grants of between £1000 and £1.8 million were awarded to organisations working across the North West, West Midlands, East of England and North London.
These grants have supported a wide array of initiatives such as helping people increase their income and manage debts, improving the energy efficiency of their home and reducing energy bills, providing access to STEM careers and mentoring opportunities for young people and reducing social isolation through community projects.
The Cadent Foundation’s new Impact Report 2021: Committed to a Better Future details the grants awarded in 2021 and how the funding has been used to improve people’s lives.
Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation, said:
“With the ongoing impact of the pandemic and cost of living rises, 2021 was yet another difficult year for many people. As a Foundation, we reflected on what we had achieved in our first year and looked to find ways to do more for the charities we fund, to drive further improvement and increase the impact we have in the communities we serve. We’ve done this through strategic partnerships which combine our investment, expertise, and influence to create solutions that will help drive long term change.
“Despite the challenges of the last two years, we have seen extraordinary resilience as charities continued to adapt and rally in their mission to help the increasing number of people in need of their services. As restrictions eased and projects we funded moved forward, we were able to see the positive difference our grants have on some of the most vulnerable in our society. Thousands have people have been helped by charities we support – from giving people more money in their pocket, keeping families warm and safe at home, improving mental wellbeing, and providing disadvantaged young people with access to new opportunities.”
Groundwork’s Green Doctors are energy efficiency experts who help vulnerable households to stay warm and well, save money on their bills and reduce carbon emissions. Funded by a three-year strategic partnership, Groundwork has been able to expand and enhance its Green Doctor programme, deploying trained advisors in ten new priority areas including Nottinghamshire, Cumbria, South Yorkshire, West Midlands, Essex and North London.
Graham Duxbury, National Chief Executive of Groundwork said:
“With increased utility costs, the end of the furlough scheme and cuts to Universal Credit, more and more families experienced extreme financial hardship in 2021, as well as the emotional strain of keeping themselves and their loved ones well. It’s vital that the most vulnerable households in our society have access to much-needed support to help people take back control of their energy usage and stay warm and well. Living in a dangerously cold home increases the risk of heart attacks, respiratory illness, pneumonia and affects mental health, which means finding cost-effective ways of keeping people warm is essential. Small changes can have a big impact which is exactly what our Green Doctors service is here to do.”
Reactive Response is a pioneering safeguarding system developed in partnership with fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) and gas distribution network Cadent. It provides support for vulnerable customers who do not have the means or capacity to arrange necessary repairs or replacement of appliances when their gas supply is disconnected on safety grounds.
Based on the huge success of the pilot project, the Cadent Foundation awarded a further £1.8 million in 2021 to fund the initiative for another two years.
Adam Scorer, NEA Chief Executive, said:
“Having an appliance condemned or gas supply disconnected can be devastating, particularly for those who are already struggling to afford heating costs and other essentials. The number of referrals we receive each day highlights the high level of need and frequency with which people find themselves at risk of living in a cold home, with no access to hot water or cooking facilities. Through this partnership we’ve been able to get people back on track, helping them live in homes that are safe and warm.”
Education and youth charity, City Year UK, was awarded a £100,000 grant to deliver CASE Clubs (Cadent Foundation After-School Science & Engineering). The clubs are designed to help disadvantaged young people aged from 9-13 years, reach their full potential in STEM subjects through a programme of fun, hands-on after-school activities.
Kevin Munday, Chief Executive at City Year UK said:
“Children who participate in extracurricular activities perform better in school, build confidence, and gain social skills, however, children from deprived communities are three times less likely to participate in extracurricular activities compared to their wealthier peers. Through the CASE Clubs, young people have had the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, gain valuable insights into STEM careers and be better equipped to access opportunities to become the next generation of scientists, computer programmers, technicians and engineers.”
In 2022 and beyond the Cadent Foundation will continue to build on what it has achieved, adopting a more focused approach to working with charities and partners and exploring how to combine resources and expertise to maximise the positive impact of projects.
Julia Dwyer added: “As we move into 2022 we have begun to reflect on our vision and purpose to ensure we are focusing on the right goals and going about it in the right way. Placing people at the heart of what we do, addressing the needs of our communities and the root causes of the problems that they face remains paramount. The stark reality is that the impact of global events and cost of living rises will leave millions of people faced with impossible choices. We believe this is where our efforts can make the greatest positive difference and will help shape the future direction of the Foundation.”
For more information on the Cadent Foundation and to download a copy of ‘Impact Report 2021: Committed to a Better Future’, visit www.cadentfoundation.com.