This year, our Community Benefit Programme has changed. We have focused on providing relief to those most affected by the Covid crisis via local community initiatives.
Since the second lockdown was announced, we have allocated an additional £17,050 to be distributed to foodbanks which serve the areas around our renewable energy projects. Foodbanks are often the last resort for vulnerable people affected by the pandemic and they have seen a sharp uptake in their services since the UK first went into lockdown in March. The Trussell Trust reported the need for emergency food parcels increased by 89% compared with last year.
In June we donated £22,000 to local organisations who are supporting those struggling through this challenging time. Many of the recipients were foodbanks but we also donated to organisations tackling isolation, a baby bank and to support home learning. Sam from Lowestoft Foodbank, close to our Ness Point wind farm, said:
“The money will go towards purchasing the essential items we need to help those people that are in crisis. We have seen a dramatic increase in numbers since the coronavirus outbreak. Thousands of people have been hit extremely hard financially some will not be able to return to work as the business will no longer exist. We are here to help those people. The donation you have provided has made this possible.”
Our usual Community Benefit Programme format, which we aim to return to once we are through this crisis, awards grants for energy efficiency and sustainability improvements to community buildings close to our renewable energy projects. This improves warmth and comfort inside the buildings for those who rely on them, reduces monthly running costs and annual carbon emissions. To date we have awarded 31 grants to 23 spaces totalling £93,000, reducing annual carbon emissions by 60 tonnes.
Onshore wind builds resilient communities, bringing jobs, investment and community support into the areas where projects are situated. Wind power is set to play a key role in the government’s green economic recovery. New research by RenewableUK shows that onshore wind could grow to 30GW by 2030, enough to power 19.5 million homes each year. This level of deployment could support over 30,000 jobs, secure £46bn in new investment, and could save a typical household £50 a year. And the public are right behind it. According to the Government’s opinion tracker 72% of the British public support the development of onshore wind.
“Community is at the heart of Thrive. We’re pleased we can provide some support to people who are experiencing an incredibly difficult time. We hope these donations can play a useful role in helping some amazing local organisations provide their much needed services.” Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables
Banner image courtesy of Morcombe Bay foodbank