Wessex Water Community Fund

This fund is being delivered across the South West by Quartet, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire Community Foundations.

Wessex Water Community Fund


Applicants must be based and working in Dorset or Ringwood.  We do not fund national charities but can fund local branches if they are managed separately and financially independent.

Applicants cannot apply if they have already received a grant from the Wessex Water Environment Fund in the same year.

We do not normally fund organisations which hold more than 12 months of annual expenditure in unrestricted reserves. If your organisation is holding significant reserves, please make clear why these reserves cannot be used to cover the cost of the activity.

Organisations that can apply:

  • Registered Charities
  • Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Interest Companies (please see 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

To be eligible the organisation must have:

  • A management committee or board of Trustees/Directors with at least 3 unrelated people
  • 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


  • Schools are not eligible but we can fund PTA groups if they meet our eligibility guidelines
  • We cannot fund the promotion of religion or political causes
  • We cannot fund public bodies to carry out their statutory obligations
  • 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 significant community or charitable element.
  • Medical research, equipment, or treatment
  • Activities that raise funds for other organisations


The Wessex Water Community Fund supports charitable and community activities which aim to strengthen communities by addressing local needs and issues, and improve the lives of local people, especially those who are in the most need of support.

The fund will seek to support a wide range of locally based groups across our region, especially grassroots and small to medium-sized organisations. Grants are targeted at organisations where a small amount of money can make a significant difference. We particularly welcome applications from BAME groups.

Priority will be given to work that:

  • Supports people in financial difficulty or those who lack access to services
  • Takes place in areas of multiple deprivation or rural isolation
  • Helps build stronger, more resilient communities
  • Helps people manage or avoid debt, including raising awareness and take up of utility affordability support, such as the Wessex Water schemes, among those who need it most
  • Educates and supports people of all ages to take steps to build financial capability, money management and household budgeting skills.

 Applicants whose project is primarily focused on environmental themes or water refill points are advised to apply to the Wessex Water Foundation Environment Fund, opening in May 2022.

 What can I apply for?

Grants of up to £3,000 are available.

The activities funded must start within 2 months of the award and groups have up to 12 months to spend the grant. Applications do not need to be for new services. We can fund the continuation of existing services that are delivering evidenced outcomes, the expansion or adaption of these services in line with local needs or increased demand, piloting new ways of working or launch of new services.

We will fund any costs relating to the work you deliver including core costs, service delivery costs and reasonable capital costs (e.g. office equipment, sports equipment, tools etc). Contributions towards large capital appeals are a low priority for funding.

Monitoring and reporting

 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.

When and How to Apply

This fund is now closed. 

You will need to attach the following supporting documents to your online application, or send them via email to grants@dorsetcf.org

  • 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.

If you are unsure about any of the above criteria, pre-application advice is available from the Grants Manager Ellie Maguire on 07592 032666 or at grants@dorsetcf.org

* 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.

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.

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.

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 and 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.

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