The First Minister, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, has announced that WCVA will distribute an additional £2.25m of funding to the voluntary sector in Wales through the Third Sector Resilience Fund.
Following the official launch of gofod3 – cancelled last year because of the pandemic, and now a five-day, online event – the First Minister has announced the award and outlined his government’s vision for the voluntary sector in Wales.
Ahead of his speech, the First Minister said:
’The Welsh Government will continue to support the Third Sector and its very important work. We are launching the latest Third Sector Resilience Fund, which will help protect Third Sector organisations that are still vulnerable and put others on a sounder footing.
‘We will again work with WCVA to distribute these funds and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for the work that they have done over the past year to support the sector.’
The Third Sector Resilience Fund for Wales has provided unique support to 235 voluntary sector organisations in Wales since April 2020. It now enters its third phase. The £2.25m is in addition to the £24m of support previously announced by Welsh Government and will move away from the previous mixture of grant and interest free loan, offering up to a £50k ‘survive and thrive’ grant to voluntary sector organisations.
For this phase of funding, WCVA will prioritise organisations who have not previously been funded from the first two phases of this fund and those delivering support to people with protected characteristics.
Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of WCVA, said:
’We are thrilled to be working with Welsh Government again, distributing vital funds to the voluntary sector. The third phase of this particular fund – Third Sector Resilience Fund – will focus on supporting the sector to ‘survive and thrive’ while working towards a fair and just recovery, which is why the decision to prioritise organisations working with protected characteristics has been made.
‘Providing this funding is a deliberate – and welcome – decision on the part of Welsh Government to support volunteers, charities and social enterprises in Wales, most of whom are proving essential in the national response to Covid-19.’
The voluntary sector has played a crucial role throughout the pandemic. Without the vital work of charities and community groups, many people would have found this past year even more challenging. Wales has seen a huge boost to both volunteering and community spirit, and the sector as a whole is keen to make sure this spirit continues. The sector has never been more needed, particularly as Wales begins its work to build back better.
Rachel Morgan, Head of Income Generation at Cerebral Palsy Cymru, explains the benefits of the Fund’s previous phases:
‘Without WCVA funding we would have struggled to maintain our unique services for children and families, and we wouldn’t have been able to think outside the box and come up with alternative forms of fundraising.
‘Last year, our income was slashed by 45% but this funding enabled us to save therapy posts and diversify our income sources. In supporting some of the charity’s core salary costs, Covid-19 emergency funding has directly influenced our ability to deliver essential services to an increasingly vulnerable community, whose needs are progressively severe and complex.’
DETAILS COMING SOON
Details of the next round of funding are still being finalised, and an announcement of the scheme opening for applications will be made shortly. If you want to register your interest and be notified when the fund goes live, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
gofod3 is the biggest voluntary sector event of its kind in Wales, and is being held online this year, between Monday 28 June and Friday 2 July. WCVA is expecting up to 700 attendees to participate in over 60 free events, including masterclasses, panel debates and workshops to navigate a new working post-Covid landscape.