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

This Fund is currently CLOSED for applications. The next round will open on 23rd September 2024 (deadline to apply 18th October 2024)



Applicants must be based and working in Dorset or Ringwood.  We will prioritise applicants whose income is less than £1million. We do not fund national charities but can fund local branches if they are managed separately and financially independent.

You cannot apply if you have already received other Wessex Water funding within the last 12 months. If you are a debt advice agency in receipt of Wessex Water core funding, please contact us to discuss your application.

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 limited by guarantee
  • Companies limited by guarantee that have a clear not-for-profit clause in their governing document and clear charitable or social objectives
  • Schools and parish councils may also apply 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 signatories required for payments
  • An appropriate Safeguarding Policy and EDI policy


  • We cannot fund the promotion of religion or political causes – faith based organisations should advise whether funded activities are designed to, or include elements that are designed to influence people’s religious choices
  • 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
  • Onward grants to individuals

Applicants whose project is primarily focused on environmental themes are advised to apply to the Wessex Water Foundation Environment Fund, opening in May 2024.


The Wessex Water Community Fund aims to support community-based activities or projects that meet a local need and seek to improve the lives of local people who are most in need of support. These activities should be informed by the people or community it seeks to serve and have considerable reach, with priority given to work that fulfils one of more of the following:

  • takes place in areas of multiple deprivation or rural isolation where people lack access to local services
  • helps build stronger communities – enabling people to work together and create solutions to local challenges
  • helps people take steps to manage or avoid debt and build their financial capability. This can include activities that raises awareness and take up of utility affordability support such as the Wessex Water schemes

You can apply for a grant towards new activity or continuing something you are already doing.

This programme is targeted at groups and organisations where a small amount of money can make a significant difference, so we will consider your access to other sources of funding and prioritise where our grants can make the biggest impact.

We particularly welcome applications from groups led by diverse and minoritised communities.

 What can I apply for?

Grants of up to £4,000 are available.

The activities funded must start within 6 months of the award and groups have up to 12 months to spend the grant. You can apply for a grant towards a new activity or continuing something you are already doing.

We will fund any reasonable costs for your organisation, activity or project including:

  • core or running costs
  • project and activity costs

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Funded groups will be required to use the Wessex Water Foundation logo in any PR, publicity or promotional materials relating to the funded activities.

Pre-application support

Pre-application support is particularly encouraged for groups who have not applied to our grant programmes before but is available for anyone in need of advice about the application process, or if you are unsure whether your project/activity is suitable. Please email our Grants Manager to arrange a 20 minute phone call.

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

How to Apply

We have recently changed to a new look online application form, which we hope improves our application process. Please read the ‘Important information’ at the top of the form to avoid errors. If you are having any difficulties please contact the Grants Manager (details above)

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. (The bank account must have at least 2 unrelated signatories required for payments.) This can be a scanned paper statement, or a copy downloaded from an online account. We need to see the bank name, your organisation’s name, the address where statements go, date of statement, the account number, and the sort code. You may redact transactions if needed.
  • 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
  • (CICs operating more than 1 year should also provide their CIC 34 report, and those with micro accounts only should provide their Trading profit and loss accounts)

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

A link to the application form will go live on 23rd September 2024


* 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.

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