Today, on International Day of Charity, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, thanked charities and volunteers across Wales for making life better for their communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Volunteers and charities in Wales have made a huge difference throughout Covid-19 lockdown and beyond. I want to thank the charities and volunteers of all ages and from all parts of Wales who have signed up to help their communities since March.
“Communities across Wales are feeling the benefits as time goes on. Shared commitment reinforces vibrant, caring communities, where citizens are bound together by close ties of co-operation and team work, inequalities are reduced, and the most vulnerable among us feel supported.
“Every single volunteer is valued and appreciated. Please continue to offer your services in whatever way suits you best – just be sure to keep yourself and others safe.”
Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) said:
“Charities here in Wales and around the world help to support communities to be more resilient and inspire inclusivity - never has this been more important than in 2020.
“At the start of the year, communities in Wales suffered the devastating effects of storm Dennis, which was closely followed by the COVID-19 crisis. Charities and voluntary groups rallied around to help support our communities and have been, and will continue to be, vital in the recovery.
“At WCVA, every day is the day of charity, but today we celebrate the recognition of all the amazing organisations which are so instrumental in our society, especially during these turbulent times.”
Jane Hutt continued:
“On International Day of Charity, I want to reflect on and celebrate the huge contribution made by charities, third sector organisations and volunteers in Wales. Thank you – you have literally saved lives.
“Your tireless generosity has delivered vital help and support where it was most needed, and I hope you will be able to continue to offer your support as autumn turns to winter.”
The Voluntary Services Recovery Fund (VSRF) replaced the Voluntary Services Emergency Fund (VSEF), and was launched on 17th August. It will enable organisations to adapt and deliver services to communities throughout Wales, especially relating to specific challenges which have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic, like mental health and social well-being.
Huw Lewis, Third Sector Development Manager at Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations, said:
“There is no doubt that Welsh Government funding has made a huge difference by ensuring the long-term sustainability of many community and third sector organisations in Blaenau Gwent. Volunteers and charities have been able to continue to deliver vital services to some of the most disadvantaged members of our community.”
The new Voluntary Services Recovery Fund is now open for applications.
The Third Sector Resilience Fund remains open for applications, and will continue to provide direct financial support to charities and third sector organisations to help pay bills and ease cash-flow.