Welsh Government thanks volunteers and announces £ 4m new voluntary sector grant funding, on International Volunteers’ Day
Today, on International Volunteers ‘Day, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip took the opportunity to say “Thank you” to many volunteers who have made a difference in Wales this year, and announced a new £ 4m grant fund for organizations’ the third sector working in partnership with the public sector.
A wide range of voluntary work and community action has been key to Wales’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly to support the most vulnerable in the community.
This support has been vital to maintaining the health and well-being of many people. It has helped reduce the pressure on public services, and thus saved lives.
Jane Hutt said:
“I would like to thank all the amazing people who have, and have been, working in our communities across Wales.
“You have already made a huge difference across the communities of Wales. Community groups have shown how well volunteers work together, and I would like to commend and celebrate those efforts. It’s great to hear about the innovative and creative ways in which communities have supported each other. Striving together produces unforgettable results, and volunteering can have a huge and beneficial impact on the volunteers and those they support. ”
Voluntary and community action across Wales has focused strongly on supporting vulnerable people and the groups and communities most affected by Covid-19, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and people disabled.
A new £ 4m short-term grant funding scheme has now been launched. It will help ensure that this vital work continues, supporting the most deprived geographic areas and communities, and promoting partnership between public bodies and third sector organizations for maximum impact.
This funding will support volunteering and community action as we recover from the Covid-19 crisis, helping grant recipients to introduce new systems and arrangements and develop long-term community support services.
Jane Hutt went on to say:
“This grant scheme will have a positive impact economically, socially and culturally. It will strengthen local communities, foster community cohesion, and provide long-term support for the most vulnerable.
“Throughout the restrictions this year, volunteers, third sector organizations and community groups came together to show spirit and conviction to support local communities.
“Keep doing whatever you can to support your local area – it all makes a difference. Remember to stay safe, stay local, and follow the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 guidelines. Together, we will keep Wales safely. “
Ruth Marks, CEO of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, said:
“This year, volunteers have been at the forefront of responding to the pandemic in the community in Wales, and this is the case worldwide. Since the beginning of 2020, over 22,000 people have signed up to volunteer on the Volunteering Wales website. These volunteers have provided vital support to a multitude of individuals, which has helped ease the pressure on the Health Service.
“WCVA has seen some truly amazing examples of volunteering and the impact this support has had, so we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has volunteered during this challenging year.
“The voluntary sector has also experienced huge financial difficulties during the pandemic, so funding such as the Coronavirus Volunteer Recovery Grant is vital to ensure voluntary organizations can continue to operate. WCVA will continue to work together in close partnership with public sector bodies and the County Voluntary Councils to ensure that the sector receives the much needed funding and support. “