Welsh Government boosts support for valued charities and third sector organisations in Wales

The Welsh Government is backing volunteers, charities and third sector organisations in Wales who are playing a vital role in response to Covid-19 with funding support to help meet their needs.

The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said:

“I want to acknowledge and celebrate the critical role being played by volunteers, charities and third sector organisations in protecting the wellbeing of Wales, its people and communities.

“With fundraising events on hold due to the pandemic, these organisations are facing a particularly challenging time, but they are still continuing to provide much-needed help and support in our response to Covid-19.

“I recognise the invaluable contribution this sector makes, and that’s why I want to draw attention to funding support the Welsh Government has put in place to help.

“There are two streams of funding available through the Welsh Government Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund, both of which can be accessed through Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).

“Ahead of the Chancellor’s announcement last week, we announced £24m funding to support charities and the third sector across Wales through the Covid-19 crisis. This is significantly more than we will receive as a consequential from UK Government.

“The first funding stream is the Third Sector Resilience Fund. This fund will provide direct financial support to charities and third sector organisations through the Covid-19 crisis to help pay bills and ease cash-flow.

“The Voluntary Services Emergency Fund will support third sector organisations in the community to co-ordinate the massive volunteer response we have seen across Wales. This fund will help organisations cover the out of pocket expenses of their volunteers. To date, 29 organisations have applied for funding.

“Applications for Welsh Government funding through the WCVA website are already being taken, and I want to encourage more eligible organisations to apply for funding.

“The First Minister recently announced details of the £500m Economic Resilience Fund, which will provide additional financial support to organisations which are experiencing a sharp drop in trading as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This fund will help organisations to manage cash flow pressures.

“This fund will reach a significant number of charities and social enterprises, but we’re aware that not all will be eligible. We are therefore calling on the UK Government to provide further financial support for Welsh organisations, and to make sure that funding from the UK Government schemes already announced reach businesses quickly.

“Charities can use the Covid-19 Business Support Eligibility Checker to check their eligibility.

“Finally, I want to say to all the volunteer groups and charities who are supporting the people of Wales right now – thank you. You are amazing.”

ENDS

 

Notes:

  • Further guidance on support available to the third sector during the coronavirus crisis can be found on Welsh Government’s Coronavirus pages.
  • Any third sector organisation in receipt of Welsh Government grant funding is being advised to contact their grant manager to discuss what flexibility can be offered. As a government, we are adopting as flexible an approach as we can to help third sector organisations pay their bills through the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Organisations should also explore the Funding Wales platform to search for funds that are directly supporting the sector in this time of need.

 

Welsh Government Third Sector COVID-19 Response Fund

On 27 March the Welsh Government announced an initial fund of £24 million to support Wales’ voluntary sector in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Welsh Government Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund will support 3 distinct areas of activity:

  1. Helping charities and third sector organisations financially through the crisis (Third Sector Resilience Fund):
    • by providing direct financial support for third sector organisations which need help to get through this crisis
    • by paying their bills and easing cash-flow.
  2. Helping more people volunteer and volunteering services (Voluntary Services Emergency Fund):
    • by supporting third sector organisations in the community who are co-ordinating the massive volunteer response we have seen across Wales
    • helping them to pay the out of pocket expenses of their volunteers.
  3. Strengthening the essential Third Sector infrastructure (Third Sector Infrastructure Enabling Fund):
    • by enabling our funding of Third Sector Support Wales to temporarily increase its own capacity to support the sector, including the development of the Volunteering Wales platform.

 

Third Sector Resilience Fund

This fund is designed to support those voluntary sector organisations that need financial support to survive the current crisis primarily because of an unprecedented fall in their fundraising and donation income. If the financial situation of the organisation is predominately because of a loss in trading income, your first port of call should be the grant support made available by Welsh Government rather than this funding.

WCVA will administer this fund which will involve a blend of 75% grant and 25% initially interest free loan to be available to incorporated voluntary sector organisations towards the costs of ongoing revenue expenditure, including salaries. Organisations can apply for up to £75,000.

Regardless of the reason for the fall in income, on top of this the fund offers a bridging loan option of up to £25,000 to tide voluntary organisations over while waiting for furlough reimbursements from government.

Eligibility criteria can be found on the WCVA page.

Details of the fund and how to apply on the WCVA website.

 Voluntary Services Emergency Fund

The purpose of this fund is to enable those providing vital support to groups such as: people in isolation, the elderly, carers, people struggling to access food etc so that they can be supported during this time.

WCVA will administer a grants scheme, in a fast and robust way to enable the sector to continue and expand their work, especially with volunteers, in supporting people in Welsh communities most at need during this time.

Grants will support not for profit organisations working at a community scale up to a national level in Wales and can be between £10,000 – £100,000.

Details of the fund and how to apply can be found on the WCVA website.