News - Supporting members every step of the way


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Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) has played a key role helping Soul Kitchen become a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) so it can support and feed people experiencing loneliness, food poverty or homelessness.

Soul Kitchen offers this service alongside advocacy support and activities to help improve people’s mental and physical health.

This project is run completely by volunteers and CWVA has offered a range of support to Soul Kitchen on its journey to becoming a CIO.

Over the past year, CWVA has provided more than 24 hours of dedicated support around things like funding, food hygiene training, governance, networking and volunteer management.

Soul Kitchen has also been able to access £12,000 in funding distributed by CWVA.

Helen from Soul Kitchen said: “The help and support we have received from CWVA has been invaluable in our development. 

“As a voluntary group, we’ve really benefitted from the advice CWVA has given us, particularly with our application to register with the Charity Commission.

“The team is always at the end of the phone, or an email away, when we need advice and they’ve helped link us to other organisations and training opportunities.”

Gary Cliffe, Chief Executive of CWVA, added: “It’s fantastic to hear the difference our team has made with the support given to Soul Kitchen.

“There are many small groups like Soul Kitchen in the community that are purely led by volunteers so it’s brilliant that we’re able to support them on their journeys.

“Soul Kitchen provides much-needed support in the local community and we’re looking forward to working with the project further in the future.

“We’re always happy to help at CWVA and I’d encourage anyone who isn’t currently a member to get in touch should we be able to help you in any way.”

Soul Kitchen is currently using the Cheshire West Crowd, a crowdfunding initiative run by the Council in partnership with Spacehive, to raise funds for a van to be used to support services.

How to become a CWVA member

Membership for 2023 will soon be here and, whether you’re a new or existing member, you’re welcome to join the family.

CWVA introduced this small membership fee for the first time in 2022 to continue developing our offer for local charitable organisations.

85 per cent of previous members opted to pay the membership fee, highlighting the high-quality support offered by our team at CWVA. 

The membership offer will include:

  • free or subsidised training
  • networking opportunities
  • specialist funding support
  • advice around governance and managing your organisation
  • access to CWVA’s volunteer platform and support with volunteer management
  • ways for you to have your say locally, regionally and nationally
  • regular communications so you can keep up-to-date with the latest information and advice
  • support with promoting your organisation across CWVA’s platforms
  • much more.

Members will also benefit from all the strategic work CWVA does to champion the community sector so it can be seen as an equal partner, secure opportunities to influence decision making, develop services and lever in funds.

For any organisations with an annual turnover of less than £10,000, the membership fee is completely free.

For any existing members, you need to complete a member renewal form so CWVA can make sure it has all the correct details for your organisation on file.

New members will need to fill in a membership form so CWVA has all the details it needs. 

Even if you qualify for a free membership, you’ll still need to complete the relevant form.

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