What you need to know about Our Communities Together – a cost of living crisis fund
In July 2022, 30% of people in Wales reported that their financial situation was negatively impacting their physical health, and over 43% reported a negative effect on their mental health.
As the cost of living crisis continues to worsen, it will have a widespread impact on all aspects of life and work in Wales. We are already seeing an increased demand for funding as services look to adapt and expand to address the need they are seeing in their local communities.
The third sector is the glue that holds our communities together. It provides continued support where statutory services stop and it is flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing needs of local people but, it has not escaped the impact of rising costs such as rent and utilities.
We are therefore delighted to be able to open Our Communities Together – a cost of living fund, in partnership with Newsquest Media Group. We have had generous support from Welsh Government, Steve Morgan Foundation, The Waterloo Foundation, Moondance Foundation, Welsh Water, Dragon Taxi’s, Wind2, NatWest Bank Plc and numerous donations from the public.
Following on from the coronavirus pandemic, we are faced with another crisis that is affecting us all. We are all seeing increasing costs of outgoings such as food, fuel and utilities. This current crisis has combined with the ever-rising cost of rent, lack of affordable housing and inflation hitting a 41-year high. All of these factors are rarely matched by an equivalent increase in income, meaning people are struggling more than ever to cover living costs.
Therefore, it’s important that as we launch this fund, we manage the expectations of those who may be looking to apply. We’d really like to support everyone, but in reality, that is an impossible task.
For that reason, we’ve chosen to support organisations running projects that offer the biggest impact. Organisations that will support individuals and families beyond the service that they deliver, helping them to build support networks that will improve longer term resilience into the future.
We hope the funding will be more than just a ‘sticking plaster’ so have chosen to offer longer-term support of group activities and services rather than shorter-term grants to individuals.
For example, the fund will prioritise applications from groups providing services that offer ongoing support such as a weekly luncheon club for older people. This kind of service not only provides a hot and nourishing meal in a warm and safe environment but also offers additional support enabling its clients to build stronger networks of friends whilst also signposting to other agencies.
We’re keen to support work that enables people to end their week with a little more money in their pocket to help them to better manage their outgoings. Organisations running projects offering support for individuals in terms of welfare, grants and benefits advice, or support to get debt under control are welcome to apply.
This fund is not a generic fund. By this we mean that we’re unable to offer grants to groups where support of families and individuals facing hardship and/or crisis due to the cost of living, is not a key focus of their work.
For example, we are unable to consider:
- applications to support core costs of a community centre/sports club/youth club/theatre or drama club etc.
- applications from groups providing bursaries/grants to individuals or families.
- applications from organisations providing mental health or counselling support.
- applications that are requesting funding to subsidise the cost of activities for members.
As this fund has been specifically set up to fund groups supporting those who are in critical need as a direct result of the cost of living crisis, I would encourage you to contact us if you have any questions regarding eligibility.