Charities and organisations working hard to tackle loneliness and isolation in Newport have been awarded vital grants by Western Power Distribution (WPD) from its Community Matters Fund.

Among the beneficiaries announced is Operasonic, a creative music community group, which has been awarded £8,790.

WPD’s grant will allow the organisation to support its local community with a weekly connection choir for isolated people experiencing homelessness or vulnerable housing in Newport.

"Funding from Western Power Distribution will allow Operasonic to expand its music delivery work in Newport and start a choir especially for individuals affected by homelessness,” said Operasonic’s Rhian Hutchings.

“This is the next step in making sure that music is there for everyone in our community and opening new spaces where people can celebrate their community through music."

Alison Sleightholm, WPD’s resources and external affairs director, said: “The pandemic, with its lockdowns and social distancing measures, has inevitably led to feelings of loneliness and isolation for some groups and people in Newport.

“We’re pleased to be able to help tackle this growing issue by supporting charities who provide crucial interventions and help build better mental health.

“It’s great to see the first charities and organisations receive their grants. They are providing crucial care and that will make a real impact on local lives.”

WPD is the UK’s largest electricity distributor, responsible for delivering power to homes, businesses and vital services through its lines and cables in the South West, South Wales and the Midlands.

Its Community Matters Fund is paid for by the company’s shareholders and distributes £1million a year.

The fund has been developed to build on the legacy of its successful ‘In This Together – Community Matters’ Covid response fund, which supported hundreds of organisations across WPD’s licence areas in 2020.

This is the second round of grants from WPD’s ground-breaking fund, which has previously supported organisations in Newport in their mission to tackle fuel poverty last winter.

For more information, visit Follow the fund on social media via #WPDCommunityFund.