16 Apr 20

Borders community sets up COVID-19 Action Group helped by EDFR

Longpark Wind Farm
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Communities in and around Stow are pulling together to support one another during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Stow Covid-19 Action Group has been set up in partnership with Stow Community Council and has recently received funding from the EDF Longpark Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.

The awarded grant of £7,500 is being used to support community-led Covid-19 related responses.

The Action Group has created a booklet which is full of useful advice for all the community, including key information on local services and shops, key contact details, exercise tips, games and more. It will be available online and a group of volunteers will be delivering it to residents in Stow and Fountainhall this week.

The funding has also allowed for a home-made soup service to be set up, buying local produce and decomposable and environmentally friendly tubs to provide households with nutritional soups.

The Action Group is working in partnership with Fountainhall’s Resilience team, local Community Councils and the Scottish Borders Council to ensure residents continue to be supported through a variety of community initiatives.

Jemma Reid, Co-ordinator of the Stow Covid-19 Action Group said. “I set this group up to help our community at a time of need. Having lived in the village for the last ten years and with two small children I wanted to put my skills to use.

“I wanted to pull everyone together to ensure no one was struggling or alone. The funding has enabled me, through the community council to create a list of free services for our community.

“This is completely managed and delivered by volunteers. It is fantastic to see everyone join forces and come together. We are working with Stow Shop and Post office to help deliver essential shopping and Stow Surgery to deliver prescriptions.

“We have created an information book which provides all residents with key information, services, offerings, suggestions, and tutorials. It is enlightening to see people want to help and come together at a time of need and we are extremely grateful to get the emergency funding from EDF Longpark Community Fund, as none of this would have been possible otherwise.”

EDF Renewables, Director of Asset Operations, Piero Maggio said, “During this unprecedented time the quick and coordinated response of the Longpark communities has been truly inspiring. It is great to see people pulling together to help those who are most in need. The Stow Action Group booklet highlights the wonderful community spirit which is essential during these unsettling times. I wish them the very best of success in their community endeavours and I hope everyone stays safe throughout these difficult months.”

The Longpark Fund is managed by Foundation Scotland on behalf of EDF Renewables. Rachel Searle, Head of Communities, Foundation Scotland said “The Parish of Stow Community Funds Advisory Panel made up of local residents has an intimate knowledge of what’s happening in the area and so was able to make informed and rapid decisions on how best to deploy EDF Longpark Windfarm Community Benefit Funds to support community activity in response to the virus.

“We at Foundation Scotland have worked closely with the applicant group to assess the proposed activity and offer some insights from experiences with other similar Community Funds elsewhere in Scotland, reassuring the Panel that they could award Funds rapidly and with confidence.”


For further information please contact:

Lindsey Southworth, Senior Communications Manager, EDF Renewables
Email: lindsey.southworth@edf-re.uk
Eimear Cassidy, Community Fund Co-ordinator
Email: eimear@foundationscotland.org.uk
Phone: 0141 341 4968

About The EDF Longpark Community Fund

EDF Longpark Community Fund benefits those living in the Parish of Stow in the Scottish Borders. The Fund provides grants to support charitable activities that:

  • Enhance quality of life for local residents.
  • Contribute to vibrant, healthy, successful and sustainable communities.
  • Promote community spirit and encourage community activity.

An annual amount of £45,000, rising in line with inflation, will be paid into the Fund for the operating life of the wind farm.

A Community Panel, made up of people who live, work or volunteer in the parish decide how grants are awarded from the Fund.

Groups and organisations working to benefit people in the Parish of Stow can apply to the Fund. Your group must have a constitution (a governing document or set of rules) and be set up on a not-for-profit basis. It does not need to be a registered charity to apply.

About EDF Renewables

EDF Renewables is part of one of the world’s largest electricity companies and our investment and innovation in the UK is bringing down costs for consumers and bringing significant benefits for communities.

With our operating portfolio of 36 wind farms and battery storage unit (almost 1GW) we are providing some of the much needed new affordable, low carbon electricity to the UK.

Work is well underway on the 450 MW Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind farm project which is in the Firth of Forth and we’ve extended our Edinburgh office to accommodate around 60 new team members.
We have more than 2 GW of renewables projects in planning and development and half of those are consented. We also have offices in Rainton Bridge near Durham and in London and Dublin.

About Foundation Scotland

Foundation Scotland distributes charitable funds on behalf of over 400 individuals, families, charitable trusts, companies and public bodies. As a registered charity, it provides cost effective and tax efficient giving and funding distribution services, distributing over £11 million each year.

Its developmental approach, partnerships with communities of interest and place, and in-depth knowledge of the charitable and community sectors ensures that funds entrusted to Foundation Scotland for distribution make a real difference to people’s lives. The Foundation also holds around £60 million in charitable endowments.

As part of this work, Foundation Scotland administers over £5 million in community benefit payments annually, linked primarily to renewable energy projects. The Foundation works with more than 300 communities across Scotland and a wide range of project owners, supporting the set-up and on-going activities of over 60 community benefit funds.

The Foundation favours a long-term view, promotes and harnesses community strengths and supports decision-making processes that are inclusive, accountable and community led.

In 2019, Foundation Scotland was shortlisted in the ‘Best Engagement’ category in the Scottish Green Energy Awards. The awards provide recognition and celebration for professional excellence in the renewable energy industry.

For more information visit www.foundationscotland.org.uk