Cash grants to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

Volunteer grants

Sunderland City Council has launched a new grant scheme to help the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) survive the Covid pandemic.

From today VCSE organisations based in and delivering activity in Sunderland can apply for a cash grant of either £1,000 or £10,000 through the Local Support Scheme.

The grant scheme has been announced as part of Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

Councillor John Kelly, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, said: "We know that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic many organisations will be experiencing financial pressures. That's why we've put this scheme in place to support the sustainability of this vitally important sector.

"Voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations play a crucial role at the heart of their communities, never more so than during the current pandemic so it's important that we do everything we can to help them through this difficult time."

The council run scheme will provide financial support to VCSE organisations who are unable to benefit from national support schemes including Small Business Rate Relief Grant and the Discretionary Grant Fund.

Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Paul Stewart said: "The scheme is very much in line with our Community Wealth Building Strategy. This scheme recognises the importance of local VCSE organisations in delivering the city’s ambitions for social and economic wealth and how they have a key role in moving Sunderland forward to becoming a fairer and more prosperous city."

Two grants are available:

* Grant of £1,000

This grant is available for small VCS groups i.e. resident’s associations, sports clubs and community groups. Organisations are required to have basic governance in place, for example, a Management Committee, Dual signatory bank/building society account in the organisation’s name and a Constitution in place before 11th March 2020.

* Grant of £10,000

This grant is available to organisations that operate from community buildings which have had to close due to the crisis and/or are losing a regular income which would usually cover expenditure costs i.e. staffing costs, premises costs. It is aimed at registered charities, Community Interest Companies (CICs) with 3 or more non-related Directors, or larger community groups established before 11 March 2020.

Organisations are eligible to apply for the grant even if they are currently in receipt of a grant from a council Area Committee. But, only if they have not been successful in securing funding from the Small Business Grant Fund, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund or Discretionary Grant Fund and do not have adequate reserves to support your organisation in the short term.

The application process will ensure that grant awards are only made to eligible organisations. Organisations can apply online at https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/vcse-grants and, if successful, can expect payment to be made within 14 working days. Applicants will be prompted to respond to a series of questions and may need to provide supporting documentation.

Organisations have three weeks to get their applications in before the application process closes at midnight on Sunday 21 June.

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