7 May 2019

When it comes to Europe the last year has provided us with a lot of twists and plot changes, lots of people hear the word ‘Europe’ and switch off. That means that this Europe day it is more important than ever to shout about some of our achievements to show the real difference European funding continues to make across our communities in Wales.

europe flag

The last year has seen our Active Inclusion fund work with 75 projects who have in turn supported more than 1900 people, many of who are some of the hardest to reach in our communities.  Over £6.5m of funding has been awarded.

In June last year 25 organisations received a share of £3.5m from the Active Inclusion fund and we shone the light to see how this money was helping to tackle the disability employment gap, find out more here.

For world mental health awareness day members of our Active Inclusion team visited the Arts Factory in Ferndale, who are running an Active Inclusion project, funded by the European Social Fund, called 'Changing People, Changing Lives'., find out more about the visit here.

In September 2018 our Social Business Growth fund announced and additional £1.5m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to continue to provide their innovative mix of grant and repayable finance to social businesses throughout Wales.  This funding has helped organisations increase their turnover as well as their social impact, whilst creating new, meaningful and sustained jobs in local communities.

Building on the success of the Social Business Growth fund we were also able to launch an entirely new strand of funding worth £1.2m (ERDF) - the Community Asset Development Fund. This fund provides support to social businesses who are keen to take on or expand community assets.

The team toured around the country throughout November to build interest in the scheme and these events were well received.  The level of interest has been significant, and we hope to announce some new awards in the coming weeks.

March saw WCVA's annual event Gofod3, all the European projects were busy delivering workshops and building networks with people from across the sector. Active Inclusion delivered three workshops to help show the level of support provided by the team to organisations delivering projects. Prime Cymru, NPTCVS and the Arts Factory told their stories of what is really like to deliver an Active Inclusion Project.

The 3-SET team worked to bring together a visual representation of WCVA's journey with European funding which was revealed at Gofod3. The journey shows how the funds that we have developed over the years have led to what we are delivering today.  Since 2000 WCVA have -

  • Invested over £10m to help third sector organisations grow
  • Over £100m in European funding has gone to employability projects
  • Over 10,000 people have found full time employment as a result of funding provided
  • Over 60,000 people have had their confidence improved

You will find more information about our journey here.

Are you running a European project? Do you want us to share the stories of your successes? Get in touch with the 3-SET team with your stories 3set@wcva.org.uk.