HINKLEY C money has helped two local organisations make a significant difference to their communities during the school holidays.

'Holiday hunger' has been the term used for low-income families who struggle to afford extra meals in the school holidays, especially when combined with an increase in childcare costs.

The Quantock Foodbank, based in Watchet, received £2,563.34 from the HPC Community Fund as a start-up grant in October 2018.

As a result of the funding, they have supported 961 people over the last year, 431 of whom were children.

Last August they worked with local churches and other charitable organisations to deliver 120 food bags to families in Watchet, Williton and the Quantock area.

Kathryn Flenley, chairman of the Quantock Foodbank committee said: “The HPC Community Fund grant enabled our vision of a foodbank for Watchet, Williton and the Quantock area to become a reality, supporting individuals and families in crisis with food, toiletries and other essential household items until they can regain independence and financial stability.

"Without the support of the HPC Community Fund grant we would not have been able to get off the ground and succeed in making such a difference to those needing help.”

Meanwhile in Bridgwater the St Francis Youth Group was granted £5,000 in April 2018 by the HPC Community Fund to deliver its well-established holiday activities for young people on the Sydenham estate.

Delivered by volunteers, the activities and day trips are a welcome relief for families on low incomes who may not be able to afford additional activities and entertainments for their children during the school holidays.

Gerald Swayne, senior organiser at Bridgwater-based St Francis Church Holiday Club, said: “Many single parent and low-income families look forward to the coach trips and holiday activities that we offer.

"For some, it's their only days out during the school holiday.

"Admission costs to adventure parks, for example, simply would not be affordable and - as many of the families we support don’t own their own car - impossible to reach.”

Other funding recently awarded includes £39,000 to Halsway Manor to deliver an arts project for four primary schools and their communities, 'exploring community identity and cohesion'.

Meanwhile £109,953 went to PROMISEworks, a project to deliver a mentoring project for vulnerable children and young people in Bridgwater and the surrounding area.

The HPC Community Fund, which supports community projects that help to mitigate the impacts and increase the opportunities of the Hinkley Point C development, has also recently awarded almost £450,000 in grant funding to community groups including:

Halsway Manor: Awarded £39,000 to deliver an arts project in four primary schools and their communities, exploring community identity and cohesion in Somerset West and Taunton.

PROMISEworks: Awarded £109,953 to deliver a mentoring project for vulnerable children and young people in Bridgwater and the surrounding area.

The HPC Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF Energy through Section 106 agreements, for communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station, to promote their social, economic and environmental wellbeing and enhance their quality of life.

If you would like to find out more about grant funding from the HPC Community Fund, call Somerset Community Foundation on 01749 344949 or visit hpcfunds.co.uk