As we come to the end of 2022 we take a look back at what we’ve achieved this year.
2022 has been another incredibly busy year for the voluntary sector and WCVA. Now as we come to the end of it, we wanted to share just a few of our highlights from the year.
This year as we all started to move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, we were met with more crises with the heart-breaking War in Ukraine and then the cost of living crisis.
War in Ukraine
As news broke of the War in Ukraine, WCVA worked as quickly as possible with colleagues to help support refugees fleeing from the conflict. We worked with our County Voluntary Council colleagues, WLGA, Welsh Government and voluntary sector experts such as the Welsh Refugee Council, British Red Cross, Housing Justice Cymru, and many others.
Working in collaboration we were able to produce materials aimed at aiding efforts in local authority areas. By meeting regularly, we were able to share best practice, provide updates from Welsh Government to all stakeholders involved and ensure feedback from the frontline was considered in the development of policies.
This resulted in:
- streamlining signposting processes
- provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
- support for those moving out of welcome centre accommodation
- volunteering opportunities to enhance skills and increased independence for refugees
- making best use of offers of help from the public
- pooling resources, and
- preventing duplication of services across the public and voluntary sector.
Contributions from these regular meetings also helped to shape the content available on Sanctuary Wales which included guidance documents on volunteering, employment and voluntary sector support services available.
Cost of living crisis
As the cost of living crisis became apparent, WCVA again moved quickly to support the sector. We issued a survey to gather insight from the sector on how the crisis has been and will continue to affect those using voluntary sector services as well as the impact on voluntary organisations themselves.
Findings from this survey have been used to inform key decision makers of the challenges as well as directing WCVA’s activities. We have hosted four events to bring the sector together and share information on how to deal with specific challenges linked to the cost of living crisis. We also published a cost of living page on our website to provide key updates and resources, which is updated weekly.
As we look to 2023, we know that responding to these crises will continue to be a priority for voluntary organisations in Wales. We will continue to provide support and guidance and ensure the voice of the sector is heard by decision makers.
CONNECTING, ENABLING AND INFLUENCING
WCVA has done more to connect, enable and influence on behalf of the voluntary sector this year, and these are just some of the ways we have done this.
- Since January 2022 we have awarded 250 grants, totalling £11.1 million across six schemes and we issued 15 loans totalling £1.45 million, enabling organisations to make a bigger difference across Wales and beyond
- We delivered 49 training courses and webinars to 968 participants as well as developing 29 bespoke training courses for individual organisations in the sector. We also worked with partners from across Europe to develop Foundations for the third sector, an induction training programme for people joining the sector. The project which was funded through Erasmus+ was piloted in 2022, training 22 learners from across Wales
- We ran a jam-packed events schedule, with over 3,400 participants across 48 events, including our flagship event, gofod3 attended by over 1,000 individuals. We were also pleased to return to the National Eisteddfod held in Tregaron, hosting a stand alongside Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations (CAVO) where we launched the nominations for the 2022 Welsh Charity Awards
- We welcome 130 new members to our community of voluntary organisations, making our shared voice even more powerful and representative
- We were proud to work with Mentrau Iaith to launch the new Welsh Language and Volunteering Framework, a useful toolkit which is part of a wider initiative to enable organisations to actively attract volunteers who wish to use the Welsh Language. We also introduced three new Welsh languages badges to Volunteering Wales where we now have 200 new opportunities showing one of more of these badges. That’s 48.6% of the latest opportunities listed adding at least one Welsh language badge
SHINING A LIGHT ON THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR
We were pleased to bring back the Welsh Charity Awards for the first time since 2019 and were blown away by the nearly 200 nominations across five categories. Working in partnership with ITV Wales again, we were happy to host a small drinks reception to celebrate our five worthy winners.
In addition to the awards, we organised the second Welsh Charities Week from 21-25 November 2022 to recognise and shine a light on the amazing work of charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and volunteers across Wales.
Welsh Charities Week was highlighted in the media 12 times in two weeks, showcasing stories from across the sector in Wales and the hashtag #WelshCharitiesWeek reached over 2 million social media users.
SEE YOU IN 2023!
Now after such a busy year WCVA is taking a break over the holidays from 23 December 2022 until 3 January 2023.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all our members, partners and staff who have made all these achievements possible, and we look forward to working with you all again in 2023!