From watertight roofs to accessible ramps, to multi-use games areas and huge composting bays....the Veolia Environmental Trust continues to support it all!
The Veolia Environmental Trust was established in 1997 under the Landfill Communities Fund*. Since then, Veolia has contributed over £85m to the Trust. These funds have been used to support in excess of 2,400 community and environmental projects in England.
In June 2020, the Board of Trustees awarded a further £867,000 to 22 brilliant community projects. Grants ranged from a supplementary grant of £8,000 used to build a porch and accessible toilet at a community centre in Brentwood, up to a £75,000 grant to contribute towards replacing a community skate park in Dorset.
This isn't new to us. During the past 23 years, our grants have supported 2,511 projects.
Let's take a look at some recently completed initiatives.
Safe passage for years to come
in the National Forest
The Moira Furnace Museum is surrounded by woodland in the heart of the National Forest. An existing boardwalk, over a pond and watercourse into the woodland park, was in need of replacement to continue providing a safe and accessible route for visitors to enjoy the space and interact with the natural environment.
Through a grant of £19,000, the Trust supported the project to purchase sustainably sourced wood, ensure safe and responsible removal and disposal of the existing boardwalk and finally install the new boardwalk. The natural materials were selected to be in keeping with the local environment and help in conserving existing habitats. An enhanced sense of community was created as local volunteers supported contractors throughout the process. The boardwalk now provides access for many visitors to the site, including educational trips for school children.
Project Category: Public Footpath
Grant Value: £19,000
Grand Awarded: September 2019
Project Completed: April 2020
Project Category: Community Farm
Grant Value: £75,000
Grand Awarded: June 2019
Project Completed: March 2020
Opening up a city farm's
facilities to the Thames Path
The Surrey Docks City Farm opens its gates free of charge allowing visitors to get outdoors and learn about farming, food production and the natural environment whilst in the centre of London. Instead of starring as a unique feature to the Thames riverfront, the farm had become obscured by planting hedges.
The farm has undergone refurbishment work to two riverfront buildings, providing flexible spaces for educational and community use. To entice more visitors, the farm opened up a landscaped main entrance direct from the Thames Path, with a wider walkway and natural seating areas. To support the increased number of visitors, the Trust granted £75,000 for the next stage of the project - toilet facilities! The toilet block may be less glamorous than the new enchanting entrance, but crucial all the same for the farm's visitors.
Enhancing the safety and accessibility of a Sikh Temple
Grays Gurdwara, a Sikh Temple in Grays Thurrock, provides a space for several community groups to use with the aim of encouraging community cohesion and development. The Gurdwara committee sought to improve the safety of the building and the accessibility of the space.
Through a grant from the Trust, the Gurdwara upgraded their fire alarm system, created a classroom and improved the ground floor surface with a newly tiled floor. These improvements benefit a diverse range of community groups who are welcome to use the space.
Project Category: Community Centre
Grant Value: £27,318
Grand Awarded: December 2018
Project Completed: January 2020
*The Landfill Communities Fund is a tax credit scheme enabling operations of landfill sites in England and Northern Ireland to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs). The Veolia Environmental Trust is a qualifying EB and as such is able to use this money to fund community and environmental projects.