As lockdown restrictions start to lift gradually in Wales, we, the members of the Wales Funder’s Forum, would like to reassure voluntary organisations and social enterprises in Wales that work to look at how we support Welsh organisations through the next phase of the pandemic; the “recovery” phase, has already commenced.
It is important that the decisions made about new recovery funds and non-financial programmes of support are informed by the needs of Welsh communities and the organisations that serve them. As such, a large amount of work is being undertaken by funders in Wales to review how current response funds have been used and to consult with our grant holders, members (where applicable) and other stakeholders about what they need to see them through the coming months and years. If you see a survey, event, or other form of engagement activity being undertaken by a funder or membership body, we encourage you to participate and ensure your views and needs are included in our planning.
We understand that voluntary organisations in Wales are currently facing concern and uncertainty about both their immediate and longer-term future. WCVA estimates that the voluntary sector in Wales will have lost approximately £230m in income during the first three months of lockdown. There will sadly, but inevitably, be a new landscape of the sector on the other side of this pandemic.
Whilst it is not possible for funders to fill the gap in income, the Wales Funders Forum continue to work collaboratively to ensure that the funding that is available is spent well and reaches as many organisations as possible. We hope to help alleviate some of the concern and uncertainty felt by the sector in Wales with the programmes we will be announcing individually in coming weeks and months, and are grateful for your patience in allowing this work to take place.