A grant from the Westminster Foundation has allowed Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) to provide the same level of support for members during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
CWVA connects charitable organisations, businesses and volunteers to help the community grow and thrive in west Cheshire. It currently has 700 members, offering valuable support around good practice, volunteering, funding and forming partnerships with local businesses.
The Westminster Foundation is an independent organisation, representing the charitable activity of The Duke of Westminster, Grosvenor Family and Grosvenor businesses that provides long-term sustainable help and direction to vulnerable young lives.
Funding from the Westminster Foundation has bought new IT equipment for the CWVA team, allowing them to work remotely during the COVID-19 crisis.
While face-to-face meetings that are usually an important part of CWVA’s work are currently put on hold, the team is still supporting all members virtually wherever possible, with the voluntary and community sector continuing to provide invaluable support for communities in these times.
As part of the coordinated community response in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, CWVA has also been supporting those new initiatives appearing in communities and signposting volunteers so they can help in the fight against COVID-19.
Clare Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive at CWVA, said: “Like everyone else, the way we’re working has changed significantly over the last couple of weeks.
“The funding from the Westminster Foundation has made a significant difference as it means the support we can offer our members hasn’t changed.
“We might not be able to hold one-to-one meetings or networking events in person, but the new technology has allowed the team to continue to do some of these things in a different way.
“Without this support from the Westminster Foundation, we wouldn’t have been able to adapt to the current situation like we have.
“Not only has it helped in the current circumstances, but the new technology is also going to mean we’re a lot more flexible as a workforce in the future.”
Kate Brown, Director of Westminster Foundation, added: “Community groups are facing so many challenges at the moment, just when people need them the most.
“Our hope – through this funding – was to remove just one of these challenges and support CWVA in maintaining the same level of important support to their members during this crisis.”
The Westminster Foundation has also donated £250,000 towards the Council’s Community Response Fund, which is helping community initiative responding to COVID-19. CWVA has helped broker this donation and supported the application process.