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New rounds of funding unveiled for Bolton’s volunteer sector

New rounds of funding unveiled for Bolton’s volunteer sector

The partners behind Bolton’s Fund have announced the upcoming rounds of funding that will help tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the community.

Bolton’s Fund is a voluntary sector grants programme delivered by Bolton Council, NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Bolton at Home and Bolton CVS.

It launched in November with VCSE groups of all sizes invited to submit bids for different rounds of funding, each targeted at addressing a key priority in the community.

But scheduled funding rounds were placed on temporary hold at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

A one-off COVID-19 Resilience Fund was set up to support local good causes, aided by a £20,000 donation from the Sir James and Lady Scott Trust.

A revised schedule for upcoming funding rounds has now been unveiled and organisations across the borough are urged to plan ahead to prepare their bid submissions.

The Bolton’s Fund partners are in regular contact with charity and volunteer groups across the borough, hearing about the experiences of people living in Bolton, the support the sector needs and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This feedback, along with public health data, has directly influenced the upcoming funding phases so that grant money can be used to address the pressing issues facing Bolton.

The upcoming funding rounds are:

  • September 2020: Digital Inclusion (grants up to £1,500 and up to £5,000)
  • October 2020: Supporting Social Enterprise (grants £10,000-£25,000)
  • November 2020: Health and Wellbeing (grants up to £1,500, up to £5,000 and £25,000+)
  • November 2020: Children and Young People (grants £10,000-£25,000)
  • January 2021: Climate Change (grants up to £1,500 and up to £5,000)

Application criteria will be different depending on the size of grant and the priority of the fund.

Details will be released ahead of each funding round and more information can be found on the Bolton CVS website (www.boltoncvs.org.uk).

The final decision on awarding grants will be taken by an independent panel.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet for Stronger Communities, Cllr Nadim Muslim, said: “Delivering a fair and transparent grant system is one of the main goals of this council and our partners.

“Bolton’s Fund provides such a system, giving all groups an equal opportunity to access the funding they require to help those in most need.

“We’ve always been proud of Bolton’s voluntary sector, but the last few months have show beyond doubt what a vital service they provide to us all.

“I urge everyone to look at the bidding criteria and make sure you have plenty of time to submit a strong bid.

“We all look forward to seeing this money put to good use in our community.”

Darren Knight, Chief Executive at Bolton CVS, said: “We work closely with volunteer groups across the borough, including the many organisation on the frontline of the community response to COVID-19.

“These insights have given the Bolton’s Fund partners a better understanding of the challenges facing the sector.

“Based on this feedback, funding rounds have been adjusted to make sure money is used for priority projects that will have the biggest impact.

“In addition to the support on offer through Bolton’s Fund, Bolton CVS is always on hand to offer advice and guidance by ringing 01204 546 010 or visiting boltoncvs.org.uk.”

Chair of Bolton CCG, Wirin Bhatiani, said: “As a proud partner of Bolton’s Fund we are pleased to see the new schedule of funding announced.

“We really value the work of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector  in Bolton, and it is a priority for Bolton CCG to support its development through investment.

“During the pandemic, the voluntary sector has proved invaluable and helped hundreds of people in need.  

“Covid has also highlighted some areas where more support is desperately needed, enabling us to focus funding on some really important areas over the next few months.”

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