Charities and the third sector can get support during the disturbance caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).
We are also exploring what further support we can provide. This page will be updated when funding announcements are made.
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:
- Helping charities and third sector organisations financially through the crisis:
- 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 (Third Sector Resilience Fund)
- Helping more people volunteer and volunteering services:
- 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 (Voluntary Services Emergency Fund)
- Strengthening the essential Third Sector infrastructure:
- 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 Infrastructure Enabling Fund).
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.
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.
Details of the fund and how to apply on the WCVA website.
Voluntary Services Emergency Fund
The Voluntary Services Emergency Fund (VSEF) in its original form closed to applications on 7 August 2020.
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.
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 aim of this funding will be to contribute towards a fair and just recovery in Wales, focussing on helping voluntary organisations continue emergency support to communities, as well as addressing new needs like mental health and social well-being.
Details of the changes to the fund and how to apply can be found on the WCVA website.
Community Facilities Programme
The Community Facilities Programme is a capital grant scheme operated by the Welsh Government. Grants are available at two levels; small grants of under £25,000 and larger grants of up to £250,000. Grants can be used to improve community facilities which are useful to, and well used by, people in the community.
The programme is open to community and voluntary sector organisations, including social enterprises. The focus of the programme is on increasing opportunity, creating prosperity for all and developing resilient communities where people are engaged and empowered. All applicants are expected to work with partners which can come from the public, private or the third sectors.
In response to the coronavirus, the under £25,000 grant will now allow funding to be spent on purchasing or replacing equipment. This could for example include purchasing ICT equipment to allow staff and volunteers to work remotely and continue to deliver services.
Running your organisation
Guidance and support for running your organisation includes areas such as:
- financial support and grants
- support for employees
- business rates relief.
Support to pay third sector staff
The UK government has announced that organisations, including charities, will get support to help them pay wages.
Using reserves and restricted funds
The Charity Commission has published guidance for third sector organisations on using reserves and restricted funds to help an organisation through the crisis.
Guidance to employers
Read workplace guidance to employers and employees on COVID-19. It will help advise you on ways of keeping Wales safe at work:
- carrying out risk assessments
- helping Staff to work from home
- maintaining physical distancing
- implementing Test, Trace , Protect in the workplace
- measures you can take to reduce the risk of exposure.
Funding Wales is a funding search platform created by Third Sector Support Wales to help charities, community groups or social enterprises find grants and local finance opportunities from local, national and international sources.
As part of the response to the coronavirus crisis, a new coronavirus funding category has been created to bring together funds that are directly supporting the sector in this time of need.
This will contain information on available funds specifically addressing the coronavirus crisis.
We encourage third sector organisations to use Volunteering Wales to recruit volunteers. Visit gov.wales/safehelp to find simple tips and advice to safely help someone who is staying at home because of coronavirus. This might be a friend, family member, neighbour or person in your community.
Advice on how you can safely help vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic is available.
You can visit Volunteering Wales to get involved in volunteering in your local community.
Your local authority may also be running volunteering schemes in response to COVID-19.
County Voluntary Councils also provide support at the local level – search on the Third sector Wales website.
Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence: online training
The new stay-at-home rules are intended to keep us safe and protect the NHS, but not every home is a place of safety. For some, lockdown will increase their risk of domestic violence, emotional abuse, coercive control and even greater isolation.
The new rules could increase abusers’ power and control, leaving victims with little opportunity to access their usual supportive networks such as work, family or community groups.
We want anyone who is still in a position to help to be able to recognise the signs of abuse and know how they can safely help, whether that is one of the thousands of volunteers assisting our most vulnerable, an emergency contractor, postal services workforce, local shops, or supermarket employee. That is why we have made our violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) online learning module accessible to all (temporary measure during coronavirus outbreak).
Wales will not be a bystander to violence or abuse.
Our 45 minute online training can be accessed through guest log on.
More information can also be found on the Live Fear Free website.