Organisations were advised and supported to apply for funding resulting in
The economic value of volunteering equates to
Stratford Districts Development Officer was approached by L and Q Housing in February 2021 to see if WCAVA would be able to identify and submit applications from 5 organisations, in 2 weeks, to support their application for National Partner status with Sport England and their Tackling Inequalities fund. The Tackling Inequalities Fund has been created to try and help reduce the negative impact on activity levels in under-represented groups, with a specific focus on lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.
In view of the short timescales, it was decided to approach and work with groups who met the Tackling Inequalities criteria and had a recent good relationship with the Stratford office.
The groups that came on board were: Citizens Advice South Warwickshire, Change Grow Live (CGL), Stour Health and Wellbeing Partnership and two projects which did not immediately have a host, the Community Builder project and the Meon Vale Estate. All of the projects would contribute to the District’s Social Inclusion Partnership priorities.
In April 2021 L and Q came back to say they had been successful in their National Partner application to Sport England and that the 5 initial projects submitted had passed Stage 1. What was now required was full detailed applications and the provision of due diligence information from the 5 groups. The Development Officer was able to part complete all 5 applications as all the groups had limited capacity and then passed them back for the groups to add contact details and due diligence information before they submitted.
Two projects also had to be found hosts and after considerable work, the newly formed Meon Vale Residents Association and Stratford District Council came on board, with Everyone Active, the local Leisure provider, also recruited to get involved in the projects.
Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) were written for the 3 organisations which had no paid staff and very limited capacity. The PIDs included aims, background, priorities, risk assessment, project gant chart and role descriptions.
Role job packs were also created for the Stour Health and Wellbeing Partnership to recruit their volunteer project team, chair and project lead. Project leads were also sourced for 2 other projects.
Finally, all Stage 2 applications were submitted for a total of £26,556 and all are now being reviewed by Sport England. CGL are the first group to be approved.
A number of people joined Funding and Groups Development Officer Michelle Black and Volunteering Coordinator Tina Wragg for a net-walking event.
As part of Small Charity Week, it was decided to get people together to meet other people working in the voluntary sector, so they could chat and make contacts.
Seven people walked two miles around Nuneaton in the lovely sunshine.
Heather Thompson from Oakwood School said, “It was a lovely morning. We were able to meet other people who worked in the community and help us promote our school and build links with the local community.”
Since the walk, Michelle has linked Heather with Heart Community Rail who are looking for funding and groups to use a disused room on platform five at Nuneaton Railway Station. It has potential to be a community room with a little café. It was suggested that it could be utilised by people wanting experience in the hospitality industry. This would be a great opportunity for the job coaches and students to be involved in.
Pupils from the school also joined the walk and were able to talk to Tina about volunteering opportunities and had a chat with Vicky and Lynette from the Borough Council about gardening opportunities.
Sandy Bassi is fairly new to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, in the role of Project Officer for the Transforming Nuneaton project. She hasn’t been able to visit much of Nuneaton during lockdown, so the event gave her the opportunity to walk around the town’s park and see the Leisure Centre.
She said, “It was also good to see some of my council colleagues from the community on the walk, as well as make links to enable me to promote Transforming Nuneaton and raise awareness of the project to people living and working in the town.”
The route took the group from the Newtown Centre, through Riversley Park, up to the Heritage Centre and round to the Pingles Leisure Centre, then headed back through the park back to Newtown. Volunteer Shelia provided refreshments after the walk, so people could have a drink and chat some more.
Funding and Group Development Officer Michelle Black said, “The walk proved a good event for people to get outdoors and start seeing people face to face again now lockdown restrictions are being eased. It provided a start to networking in the voluntary sector again. It is something that may well be repeated after the final lock down restrictions are lifted,
hopefully on the 19th July 2021.”
Across Solihull and Warwickshire, there is a real need for basic bid writing skills, especially amongst smaller groups and those that are new to the sector (and new to fundraising).
Many groups lack experience and confidence when it comes to writing funding bids, and the process can seem quite daunting. WCAVA’s FGDOs spend a lot of time supporting groups in this area. By offering an overview (via Zoom due to Covid restrictions), we were able to reach out to many groups at the same time.
Meeting the Challenge
We delivered an Introduction to Bid Writing, via Zoom, as part of Small Charities Week. 21 people attended, representing 19 different groups – eight of which worked with communities in Solihull, ten in Warwickshire, and one in both areas. The session lasted 90minutes and included our “You’re the Panel” exercise, in which participants discuss the merits, or otherwise, of three example bids (which had been emailed in advance).
The training was very well received, with 100% of those who completed our feedback survey saying the session was informative and useful, with a knowledgeable presenter, and that they would recommend it to others. Comments included:
“Great webinar, the practical examples and group input were especially helpful.”
“It was a good mix of information delivered lightly and well.”
“I enjoyed the webinar and especially liked the chance to go through the three bids and discuss them as a group afterwards.”
For further information please contact us