A grant scheme for voluntary organisations providing vital support during the Coronavirus crisis. This fund aims to support a fair and just recovery for people in Wales.

Voluntary Services Emergency and Recovery Fund

WCVA delivered the Voluntary Services Emergency and Recovery Funds (VSEF and VSRF) between March 2020 to March 2021. The combined funds administered totalled £15m.

As the immediate effects of the pandemic emerged, WCVA worked with Welsh Government to design this scheme to enable the provision of vital voluntary sector services for the benefit of Wales’ communities.

The aims of VSEF were to support voluntary organisations to:

  • Maintain or increase activities that support the vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Ensure voluntary sector organisations had the resources needed to deliver vital services for their communities
  • Encourage stringent health and safety protocols during all activities that safeguard voluntary sector staff, volunteers and beneficiaries

WCVA were able to administer £7.5m in emergency grants and as the demand shifted more towards recovery activity, an additional £7.5m was allocated from Welsh Government for a second phase of grants. The aims of VSRF were to enable:

  • Funding a fair and just recovery for people in Wales
  • Work towards reducing inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent emerging inequalities from becoming entrenched in communities
  • To fund adaptations to ensure continued provision of essential services for the most vulnerable affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with government requirements

The activity funded by VSEF and VSRF has helped the sector support the most vulnerable across Wales in response to COVID-19, projecting engagement with almost 13,000 volunteers and supporting over 1,000,000 beneficiaries. The work of voluntary organisations over the last two years 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.

Distribution of awards

Applicants were given the opportunity to select local authority areas where their project would benefit communities. The map below shows the areas of project delivery across both the Voluntary Services Emergency and Recovery grants.

VSEF Delivery area

Sample feedback from awardees

‘Thank you for your support. This has been a lifeline for our organisation and with this funding we’re able to meet the needs of our service users in North Wales’

‘We are a small charity, and the funding was a great resource for our community and an opportunity for us to provide the community with support that was much needed’

‘We are extremely grateful for this award – it was critical to us being able to develop and grow our service provision to help meet the demand’.


To read more about how WCVA has delivered the VSEF and VSRF grant schemes please see the reports in the downloads below. 



Category | Impact & evaluation |

Wales funders response evaluation executive summary

Category | Impact & evaluation |

VSRF Summary Report

Category | Impact & evaluation |

VSEF Summary Report

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