Providing funding opportunities for the voluntary and community sector

Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) has helped Chester Used Furniture Enterprise (CUFE) distribute nearly £25,000 and give charities and community groups across the city a real boost.

After CUFE closed last year, its Board of Trustees asked CWVA to hand out surplus funds, inviting charities and community groups identified by CUFE needing support during the COVID-19 pandemic to send in their applications.

Many organisations in the voluntary and community sector have had to adapt during the pandemic and change the way they deliver their services to people in west Cheshire.

As the go-to organisation for the sector, CWVA was able to quickly distribute grants and help members continue delivering their valuable services.

The surplus funds helped the likes of Live Laugh Lache, Dial West Cheshire, Live Cheshire, Kids Bank, Cheshire West CAB, Here and Now, The Pantry for Blacon, The Bren Project, Women’s Housing Action Group, Blacon Youth FC, Chester FC Community Trust and Blacon Community Hub CIC.

Clare Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive of Cheshire West Voluntary Action, said: “Following the closure of CUFE, we were glad we could help with the distribution of residual charitable funding.”

“It’s inspiring the way our sector has adapted over the last six months or so and made sure the people they normally support can still access their services.

“Many of our members have had to deliver their services in ways they’ve never done before so it’s nice to be able to offer them funding opportunities like this.

“The CUFE Board requested we sent out invites to charities and community groups that needed a boost in these challenging times.

Clare Babbs, Chair of the Chester Used Furniture Enterprise Board, added: “CUFE was the only local furniture recycling charity that has always given out grants and recycled its profits into Chester’s community and voluntary sector.

“Even in our first year and for our three years of existence, we distributed small grants to groups in the sector.

“We are obviously very sad to have had to close the charity as we know it could have helped so many people in the current climate.

“We explored every available premises and called on the help of partner organisations, but we just couldn’t find suitable alternative accommodation and faced no other choice.

“Trustees were devastated to have to make 15 local people redundant and lose our seven faithful volunteers.”

CWVA helps communities in west Cheshire grow and thrive by connecting charitable organisations, volunteers and businesses to champion social action.

For more information about CWVA and the range of services it offers members, visit: cwva.org.uk.

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