Bridport Community Connectors Fund

This Fund is being delivered in partnership with Wessex Water and follows consultation and co-design of the programme with the Bridport community.

Bridport Community Connectors Fund

This Fund is now CLOSED


Are you ready to make a change for Bridport? Through our fund, we will support new projects that aim to tackle environmental and social issues in the local area.

About the Fund

There are many great local organisations in and around Bridport which are well-placed to work with the local community and help tackle local environmental and social challenges.

The aim of this Fund is to support new projects in Bridport throughout 2023 and 2024 to co-produce solutions to the issues identified as important to local people and Wessex Water.  We want to work in partnership with the community to make the changes needed.

A local workshop in January 2023 and community survey in autumn 2022 gathered views and opinions on local issues which has helped co-design a range of initiatives and ideas that Wessex Water and the community will work towards over the next two years.

We are now seeking exciting new projects led by community-based groups to help address these goals.


Grants will be awarded for new projects or activities that meet the priorities of this fund. This can include development of existing work into a new area or working with a new group of people for example.

Your project must achieve one of these four goals. We have provided ideas of how these outcomes could be met along with ideas generated from our co-design workshop in Bridport.

1. Help people to lower their bills or provide better access to advice and support during the cost-of-living crisis.

  • Can you help train local champions to give budgeting advice, specifically to young people? Do you run a project that teaches budgeting in schools? Can you work with local influencers who can share information about the help available?
  • Do you have ideas for community and home-growing projects to encourage people to grow their own plants and food to reduce mental health stress, shopping costs and the impact on the environment?
  • Can you help support communities in reducing isolation by providing cheap or free activities and events to support wellbeing, while also sharing advice?

2. Help people to save water, understand the water cycle, and understand why it is a valuable resource.

  • Can you recruit energy and water champions to help reduce how much local people use, as well as saving them money on their bills? Can you work with local businesses to help them save water?
  • Can you promote the experiences of people saving water within Bridport to help inspire others by creating and sharing case studies?
  • Can you help residents save water? Rain gardens, water harvesting and water butts will all capture rainfall outside and reduce the need for mains tap water. The more water captured the better, but even if you start small with a membership group or a street, this would be a great start.

3. Raise awareness about what happens when rainwater and wastewater go down the drain, and help to change behaviour to prevent blockages.

  • Can you help reduce the volume of water entering the sewer network by using rain gardens, water-harvesting systems and water butts to capture this water? The more water captured the better – even if you start small.
  • Could you provide information packs to new parents and work with local networks of parents that use reusable nappies, for example, to help prevent wet wipes from entering the sewer network?
  • We are looking for direct ways to help residents and young people to better understand where their water goes and how they can minimise their impact on the sewer network. An example would be the Yellow Fish campaign.
  • Can you help find local community champions to help raise awareness about what products cause blockages?

4.Protect and improve local rivers and waterways, as well as encouraging people in Bridport to care about their local environment.

  • Can you help protect Bridport’s riverbanks and the local river network to become more biodiverse, while also supporting its wildlife?
  • Do you have ideas for local citizen science projects?
  • Can you help reduce the use of single-use plastic in Bridport and help clear litter from the local waterways and green areas?
  • Are you part of a group interested in tree planting or looking to improve locals’ and visitors’ understanding of the natural environment?

Projects need to start from April 2023. We particularly welcome applications from groups that are not often represented in the local community

Please note, some projects may require permissions licences or specialist advice – for further information to consider before making your application please CLICK HERE


Groups do not need to be based in Bridport but must run the activities within the recognised Bridport boundary, pictured below.

We will prioritise applicants based in Bridport. We also welcome partnership working. You can still apply if you have received funding for a separate project from the Wessex Water Foundation in the last 12 months.

Organisations that can apply:

  • Registered Charities
  • Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations with charitable aims
  • Community Interest Companies (must be limited by guarantee – please also check additional guidance for CICs in appendix 1 of our full grant-making policy here)
  • Social Enterprises (companies limited by guarantee that have a clear not-for-profit clause in their governing document and clear charitable or social objectives)
  • Town and Parish councils
  • Schools – if they can demonstrate community benefit

To be eligible the organisation must have:

  • At least three unrelated people responsible for running the organisation (for registered charities these are your Trustees, for CICs/Social Enterprises these are your Directors)
  • A written constitution or set of rules that sets out the purpose and management of the organisation
  • A bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated cheque signatories required for payments
  • An appropriate Safeguarding Policy
  • New or informal community groups may not have a constitution, bank account and/or Safeguarding policy but they can apply to the Fund if they can identify a referee organisation who is willing to support the application and receive grant funds (if the application is successful). The referee organisation is responsible for ensuring the grant is spent on funded activities, and that activities are carried out safely, in accordance with relevant policies.


  • Projects already up and running (unless applying to work in a new area or with a new group of people)
  • We cannot fund the promotion of religion or political causes
  • We cannot fund activities which are a statutory responsibility
  • We cannot fund animal welfare organisations
  • We cannot offer retrospective funding for items already purchased or work completed
  • General appeals including for capital building projects
  • Arts or sports projects with no significant community or charitable element
  • One-off events with no lasting community benefit
  • Medical research, equipment, or treatment
  • Activities that raise funds for other organisations
  • Applications from individuals
  • Political campaigning and lobbying

What can I apply for?

The majority of the grants will be between £1,000 and £5,000. Groups will have up to 12 months to spend the funds and complete the project.

A small number of projects may receive grants of up to £10,000 but these will need to make a significant difference in relation to the goals of the Fund. These projects can take up to 24 months to complete. A demonstrable impact will need to be reported halfway through the project before the second instalment can be paid.

What can the grant be used for?

Grants will be awarded to new projects or activities that meet the priorities of this fund. This can include the development of existing work to target a new area or group of people.

Please explain what you need to run the project; the funding can be used to cover costs, such as capital items, salaries or overheads, that are related to the project.

Monitoring and reporting

If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend a workshop in early June to showcase your project alongside other groups and provide additional advice and support on measuring impact and outcomes.

You should have tools in place to measure and record the intended outcomes of the grant. We do not expect complex or multiple methods – examples may include feedback forms/questionnaires, interviews or discussion groups, recording observations, attendance logs or other relevant data.

Completion of an online End of Grant report is a requirement of funding, including how funds were spent, the outcomes achieved (for beneficiaries and/or your organisation), learning during the grant period and individual case studies where relevant.

Pre-application support

If you would like to discuss a potential project please contact Emma Teasdale, Community Connector Manager at Wessex Water : 01305 224738 / 

If you would like to check if your group is eligible or need support with the application form please contact Ellie Maguire, Dorset Community Foundation Grants Manager: 07592 032666 /

Please also contact us if you need the application form in an alternative format.

How to apply 

This Fund is now CLOSED.

A community panel made up of local people will award the funding to groups at the end of March, ready for projects to commence from April 2023.

You will need to attach the following supporting documents to your online application, or send them via email to

  • A copy of your constitution/governing document, if not registered at Companies House or the Charities Commission
  • A copy of a recent bank statement no more than 3 months old
  • A copy of your latest annual accounts, or in the case of new groups, please send a financial forecast or budget for your first year if you have one
  • Your Safeguarding policy and Equality & Diversity policy *our guidance notes may be helpful

Apart from the bank statement, you do not have to send these if you have already sent these documents in the last 6 months.


* For support with policy development or reviews we recommend you contact one of the local support agencies for voluntary sector groups – Community Action Network offers free support to groups across the county of Dorset, and low cost training & events. Dorset Community Action  provides support to groups in the Dorset Council area.

Safeguarding policy – there are helpful online resources such as the Charity Commission’s guidance on Safeguarding and the NSPCC website. New groups or those without any current policy may find it helpful to watch this short video ‘Safeguarding adults in the voluntary sector’  introducing what Safeguarding is and why it is relevant for all voluntary sector groups, no matter how small or who you are working with.

We also recommend groups consider adding their details to the helpandkindness website, which provides a map of services in Dorset to help people find local support when they need it.

Equality & Diversity policy – we recommend this should include as a minimum: reference to the Equality Act 2010 and explicitly covering all protected characteristics, equal access to services & employment and ways you achieve this, preventing harassment or discrimination and how complaints are dealt with fairly.

In order for us to follow our decision-making process, the information given in your application will be shared with our independent panel members and/or donors as appropriate. Panel members are subject to a confidentiality agreement. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on data sharing and storage.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone