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Charity cash boost will focus on rural aid

A Sussex charity which supports socially-isolated older people in rural areas is celebrating a cash boost.

From Press releases - 18 February 2015 12:00 AM

A Sussex charity which supports socially-isolated older people in rural areas is celebrating a cash boost.

Action in Rural Sussex has been given a £9,500 grant from UK Power Networks which will help the charity’s Sussex Village Agents scheme.

It will use the money to help rebuild and retain Good Neighbourhood schemes which support older people who are at risk of being socially isolated, particularly in times of emergency such as bad weather.

The charity found that, in rural locations, there is an increasing number of people who have lived an active life but, as they get older, are less able to access essential services.

The cash will help the charity to provide a network of village agents who are trained to give practical support as well as advice on how to prepare for an emergency.

Voluntary groups and emergency planning officers will ensure that all vulnerable people are identified in resilience plans in case of emergency.

Village agents are already in place in the central rural part of East Sussex and the scheme can now be widened into all of rural East Sussex and into parts of West Sussex.

Jeremy Leggett, chief executive of Action in Rural Sussex, said: “The grant is hugely important to us in supporting the people who set up the Good Neighbourhood Scheme.
“There is a huge amount that goes on in communities completely voluntarily. Rural communities are very resilient but they still need a bit of help, particularly when significant events like bad weather and power cuts happen.

“We try to provide that supportive network and make sure connections are made, linking them with parish councils, county councils and other agencies who can help them, such as UK Power Networks.”

UK Power Networks delivers electricity to eight million homes and businesses in the East of England, London and the South East.

Through its £300,000 Power of Giving fund, it has helped community projects, particularly those which enhance energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty.

Matt Rudling, UK Power Networks Director of Customer Services, said: “There is so much good work being carried out in communities to help create a better life for many people.

“Through the Power of Giving scheme we can support those charities and organisations to help give something back to the communities where we live and work.”