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Background

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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 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 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.

How to apply.

Economic Resilience Fund

On 30 March the First Minister Mark Drakeford announced a new £500 million fund to provide extra support to the Welsh economy, businesses and charities experiencing a sharp drop in trading as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Find out if your charity is eligible for support from the new Economic Resilience Fund.

Full details on the eligibility criteria can be found on the COVID-19 Business Support Eligibility Checker on Business Wales. 

Running your organisation

Support to pay third sector staff

The UK government has announced that organisations, including charities, will get support to help them pay wages. 

Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working during the coronavirus outbreak. Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit – will be eligible for the scheme.

Information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK.

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 guidance to employers and businesses on COVID-19. It will help you advise staff on:

  • coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • preventing the spread of coronavirus
  • what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus has been in a workplace setting
  • what advice to give to people who have travelled to specific areas
  • the certification of absence from work resulting from coronavirus

Funding Wales

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.

Volunteering

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.

The Live Fear Free helpline is available 24 hours a day – call free on 0808 8010 800,  text 0786 007 7333, email info@livefearfreehelpline.wales or webchat.

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