WCVA’s Voluntary Services Emergency Fund, which has awarded almost £7.5million to voluntary organisations in Wales, will be changing in August to reflect the changing needs of the sector.
In the 15 weeks of operation the Voluntary Services Emergency Fund (VSEF) has awarded almost £7.5million in response to emergency grant requests from voluntary organisations on the front line in Wales. VSEF was funded by Welsh Government to support the voluntary sector to expand and adapt services, meeting new challenges caused by the pandemic.
The activity funded by VSEF has helped the sector support the most vulnerable across Wales in response to COVID-19, projecting engagement with almost 6,000 volunteers and supporting over 700,000 beneficiaries over the coming months. The work of voluntary organisations over the last four months has been incredible and invaluable, providing communities with essential lifelines, tackling isolation, and improving community cohesion.
BMMR Parish Trust, for example, used VSEF grant funding to expand their food hub and food distribution services, responding to an increase in requests for support with essentials in their community.
You’ll find more examples of the activity funded via VSEF here.
Entering the recovery phase
As lockdown measures are eased and voluntary services resume some face to face activity, Welsh Government and WCVA will open a new phase of the emergency grant scheme to enable the sector to address different challenges in the coming stages of the pandemic.
VSEF in its current form will be closing to applications on 7 August 2020 at 5pm. From 17 August 2020, the new phase of grant funding will become available to help the sector address the challenges now arising as we move into the recovery phase of the pandemic.
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said: ‘Charitable organisations, voluntary sector organisations and volunteers have played a vital role in the response to Covid-19, and the Welsh Government’s support for the third sector won’t end here.
‘As life begins to return to a new normal, and shielding for our most vulnerable citizens ends in August, we will be opening a new funding scheme to enable organisations to meet new needs and respond to new challenges.
‘I want to acknowledge and celebrate the invaluable contribution made already by the third sector in Wales, which has provided much-needed help and support during a particularly challenging time. Thank you for continuing to work tirelessly to support communities throughout Wales. Your dedication has been an inspiration.’
The aim of this funding will be to contribute towards a fair and just recovery in Wales. Guidelines on what will be funded in the next phase of the grant scheme are currently being developed, and further details will be announced as soon as possible.
If you are planning on applying to VSEF ahead of 7 August, please contact Sian Baker Maurice on 02920 431778, before you submit, to discuss your proposed request.