Volunteer fund extends grants scheme

The Voluntary Action Fund (VAF) is delighted to announce that its popular small community grant programme is being extended for a further year - so small community groups and voluntary organisations can apply for up to £1,000 and receive free training if their annual income is under £25,000.

Previously known as the Community Chest programme, it was so successful that VAF’s effective targeting during 2008-12 saw the small grants help over eleven hundred community groups and organisations across all local authority areas in Scotland to sustain and improve their activities.

The grant is aimed at Scotland’s small and often volunteer-led groups that make a vital difference to their communities. Their activities keep communities vibrant and encourage community empowerment and participation, providing essential local services whilst contributing to social capital, resilience and wellbeing.

Groups can apply for funding for a wide range of activities or operational costs. However, VAF is particularly keen to fund activities that will help build and develop strong organisations, for example; training for committee members and volunteers; visits to other organisations and conferences or professional support and consultancy.

VAF is also keen to fund groups working with disability or health related issues; people who are excluded due to their ethnic origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation and families and young people.

Groups applying for funding will be eligible to receive free training on vital topics including how to make successful funding applications, how to manage money in a small organisation, how to measure their success and also understanding Charity Law. Applications for the Community Grant programme (CGP) will be considered three times a year, and should be submitted by 16 July 2012, 17 September 2012 and 14 January 2013. The application form and guidance notes can be downloaded from the VAF website at www.vaf.org.uk, or for further information contact the Community Grants team at the Voluntary Action Fund by telephone on 01383 620780.