Three organisations win ECOE community fund grants, but it remains open to applications

SEADREAM will devise and deliver sessions on how to save energy and hope to signpost families in the direction of help available should there be signs of fuel poverty among the participants

SEADREAM will devise and deliver sessions to schoolchildren on how to save energy and hope to signpost families in the direction of help available should there be signs of fuel poverty among the participants

The community fund is very important to Exeter Community Energy, and even more so in these difficult times. We draw on the income from our ten solar power sites to fund groups in and near Exeter working on clean energy and fuel poverty. These funds can help build back better.

This year, ECOE has a total of £6,990 available. We made awards to three groups: Transition Exeter, Hospiscare and SEADREAM.

Transition Exeter

Transition Exeter’s mission is to inspire and support positive local action in Exeter. It promotes actions including those related to reducing carbon footprints and fighting climate change. We awarded Transition Exeter an £1,000 grant because it wants to help set up a Community Emergency Centre in Exeter city centre. It will be in an empty shop or premises, modelled on examples other cities. This is really important at a time when town and city centres are under threat. The aim is for the centre to be:

  • A source of information about saving energy and reducing emissions. It will provide information about products, providers, grants where appropriate and other kinds of support.
  • A space for community events, meetings and training related to climate and ecological emergencies.
  • A space for community groups, enterprises and charities sharing similar values, for hire on commercial basis, reduced cost or available free.  These could include repair cafes, and other activities to reduce waste, enhance a circular economy and share resources.

Those who will benefit from the project include:

  • People who want advice to help to reduce their carbon footprint, to cut their fuel bills or to support biodiversity in their area;
  • Local community organisations and businesses who might wish to share the space to promote their sustainability activities;
  • All citizens who will benefit from action on the climate and ecological emergencies. This could be through a healthier diet and lifestyles, active travel, knowing about local collective action that they can join, and through the impact in reducing emissions and promoting biodiversity.
  • There may be educational benefits through providing resources to schools.

The second funding award went to Hospiscare. It offers clinical services and hospice care, encouraging people to see death as an important part of living, as well as to cherish those reaching the end of their lives. We awarded them £460 to provide LED fittings at the nursing team’s office in Exmouth.

The teams work across two offices, occupied throughout Covid-19, but the current fittings are outdated and inefficient. The offices are often used seven days per week including late evenings. The fittings will therefore significantly reduce energy consumption at the site. They would also provide a better level of lighting for the nursing teams and improve the overall environment for working. The award will benefit nursing staff and volunteers who use the office.


The third award went to SEADREAM, which stands for Science and Engineering Around Devon, Research, Education And More! SEADREAM’s directors are three female doctorates. They are all passionate about inclusivity and accessibility to fun and meaningful Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM). So they deliver inspiring activities across the south west that shatter gender stereotypes and promote care for the environment. They increase confidence, develop skills, break down barriers and lead by example. During COVID 20–40% of children remain at schools. But teachers are struggling to balance in-class education with home learning.

Due to this, SEADREAM will use an award for £920 to devise and deliver sessions on how to save energy. As a result, it hopes to steer families towards help available should there be signs of fuel poverty. The project will benefit 6-8 cohorts of around 25 children, families and teachers in schools belonging to the Exeter Learning Academy Trust. This includes four primary schools and the secondary school, Isca Academy. SEADREAM will provide resources for children in school and at home but learning remotely. SEADREAM will also merge experience with creating inspiring resource boxes, producing teaching support material, delivering “live” sessions via Zoom or Google classroom.

Have a project? Then you can still apply for funding

We expect ECOE’s community fund  to make over £170,000 available over the 20 year lifespan of our solar panels. Through these 2021 awards to Transition Exeter, Hospiscare and Seadream, we aim to strengthen local communities. Because we did not use up our total available funds for 2021, the community fund remains open to applications on a rolling basis. Find out more here.