Community schemes in Monmouthshire have received a boost thanks to confirmation of funding from Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), the national body for voluntary organisations in Wales. As a result, Monmouthshire County Council and GAVO are launching a new scheme called Be Community Plus, aimed at groups and small scale organisations wanting to pilot new projects, upscale existing projects and test out new ideas.
There will be two rounds of funding available and the deadlines for mentoring and funding applications are Wednesday 15th December 2021 (first round) and Monday 14th February 2022 (second round). The Be Community Plus project has three main strands that can be funded: Mentoring, Funding and Training.
Within the mentoring strand there are opportunities for approximately eight projects to access a mentoring scheme, including training, information and practical support for a fixed period, to help them to achieve their aims. Groups will be paired with a professional from the voluntary, public or private sector, who has the appropriate skills and expertise to support their project. Projects can apply for the costs associated with the development of their initiatives and costs will be covered on their behalf.
The funding strand of the project has £15,000 available for approximately ten projects to have purchases made on their behalf in order to test new ideas or expand their existing project. Projects can apply for up to £2,500. This can fund things like venue hire, equipment, materials, specialist training, insurance, and technology.
Councillor Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Community, Well-being and Social Justice a, said: “When it comes to training, Be Community Plus has a total of £10,000 available to create digital training resources that will be free for the community to access. We’re particularly interested in hearing from community groups about what training they would like us to provide – this can include mental health awareness, using social media to promote your community work, leading other volunteers, health and safety, food hygiene, and so much more. It really can be tailored to the needs of each community group and project, so I would encourage anyone interested to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Monmouthshire County Council and GAVO have also put out a request for local people who would be interested in joining a Community Panel, which will help make decisions on funding applications to cover project costs. Ideally, two people per Community Network area, for example Usk, Caldicot and Severnside, Chepstow and Abergavenny (plus surrounding areas). They are also seeking skilled individuals from all sectors and backgrounds, to act as mentors to groups and organisations involved in the mentoring scheme.
“We would also like groups and small organisations that might have a new idea for development or expansion, to participate in the mentoring scheme within this new project. This is a fantastic opportunity to support groups that are creating stronger communities, support vulnerable people and those who want to make stronger links with health and social services – all of which is incredibly important,” said Cllr. Dymock.
If you are involved in a community group or project and would like further information and an application pack for mentoring and funding please contact Fred Weston (firstname.lastname@example.org; 07890 559 566) or Joanne Gillard (email@example.com; 07554 418086).