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An appeal to support voluntary sector organisations in the cost-of-living crisis is to benefit from a £1m donation from the Welsh Government.

First published:
6 April 2023
Last updated:

Our Communities Together – a cost of living crisis appeal’, set up by Community Foundation Wales in partnership with Newsquest, will support grass roots voluntary organisations to cover rising costs and meet higher demand levels.

The appeal will provide support through grants of £2-5k per organisation, to the grass roots voluntary sector so they can continue to support the most vulnerable people in our communities.

These services include the provision of help and advice; access to food, clothing and other essential items; help with childcare; support for older people and much more.

They are facing increased demand and strain on their resources, with figures provided by Third Sector Support Wales showing the number of organisations needing support rising from 2,457 in 2018-19 to 4,317 in 2020-21.

This trend has continued in the first three quarters of 2022-23, with 3,850 organisations already supported.

Voluntary sector organisations have been filling some of the gaps that public sector organisations have been meeting the needs of as they deal with increased demand post-pandemic, but the cost-of-living crisis is putting many of them at risk to make ends meet and continue providing a service.

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt, who visited Steps4Change to see first-hand how they are supporting people in Butetown, said:

“As a society we are increasingly reliant on the voluntary sector to provide support to the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“They play a vital role through the likes of childcare support, foodbanks helping households feed their families and advice services about how people can maximize their incomes.

“We’re glad that we can make this donation to the ‘Our Communities Together – a cost of living crisis appeal’ and would urge other organisations to make donations themselves too, as this fund will make a huge difference to communities across Wales.”

Our Communities Together – a cost of living crisis appeal is seeking donations to enable it to support small, grassroots, voluntary sector organisations which are supporting people through hardship.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Wales, said the grants from the Our Communities Together – a cost of living crisis appeal would prioritise support to organisations providing services to help people living in the most deprived areas of Wales and people from protected characteristic backgrounds most affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

He said:

“We are delighted to have received this generous donation from Welsh Government and hope that it will encourage more people to get involved and make a big difference to the many people struggling through the cost-of-living crisis.

“If we want these groups to still be here beyond this crisis, we as a society need to come together to support them – that’s why we need support from people and businesses in Wales now more than ever.

“The grants from this appeal will go a long way to ensuring that the organisations supporting those most in need can keep doing so now, and in the difficult months to come.”

Steps4Change provides community support for vulnerable families, including through food distribution, and is the type of organisation that is likely to benefit from the Our Communities Together – a cost of living crisis appeal.

Tony Ogunsulire, Director of Steps4Change, speaking during a cookery class for children at the Butetown-based facility, said:

“It improves their confidence and communication, and gives them life skills that will benefit them as they get older.

“It helps change mindsets and their relationships with fruit and vegetables, so they’re more likely to cook than get a takeaway.”

He added:

“It’s great to see that the Welsh Government is working to help the needs of the community. This funding from Community Foundation Wales would help cover our costs so we can keep doing lessons like this.”