During the last financial year, W3RT has managed various funds on behalf of both Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council. Each of these funds and the money granted from them have helped our local community recover from the pandemic, and whether it has been funding to allow organisations to continue to provide food support for vulnerable individuals and families or to allow them to reduce their carbon footprint, every pound spent has allowed organisations to continue to support our community as we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic and likely into a new cost of living crisis. In total, we have awarded £604,624.20 to local voluntary sector organisation in Watford and Three Rivers and below is a breakdown of some of the ways this money has been spent. 

Charity/Charitable Support Grant

In Autumn 2021, the Charity/Charitable Support Grant was launched to support voluntary sector organisations with grants of up to £5,000 to help charities that have been impacted by Covid-19 to resume, develop or innovate their business operations. With traditional fundraising methods being limited due to the pandemic, this fund was vital to allow local organisation in Watford and Three Rivers to access funding that would allow them to develop how their organisation operates and to allow them to adapt their operations in response to the pandemic. 

In total, £97,500 was awarded to 27 organisations in Watford and £47,500 was awarded to 11 organisations in Three Rivers. Across both areas, organisations applied for funding for a range of different costs including: 

  • Improving community centres and facilities, making them more accessible and allowing organisations to complete renovation works.  
  • Purchasing a range of IT equipment including CRM systems and hardware as well as improving the software organisations use. This funding will allow organisations to improve their efficiency, make data entry/management easier and allow them to ensure their data security.  
  • Allowing the organisations to hire consultants on a range of topics including funding, marketing, and businesses development with the aim of being more sustainable and in a stronger position as they emerge from the pandemic. 
  • Paying for staff training including general training such as physical/mental first aid training 

Covid Community Grant Fund

At the same time, the Covid Community Grant Fund launched and offered grants of up to £7,500 in both Watford and Three Rivers for Community and Voluntary organisations to ensure they remain viable and sustainable whilst delivering support to residents who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, £95,000 was made available for each district but due to overwhelming demand, additional funding was secured to allow a total of £440,000 to be awarded across both districts to 51 different organisations. With this funding being available to help with the recovery from the pandemic, a wide range of different projects received funding. These included:

- Funding for mental health support

- Funding to cover organisations' rent and insurance

- Funding to allow organisations to continue to provide hot meals and grocery bags to vulnerable individuals/families

Three Rivers Sustainability Fund

Throughout the year, we have worked with Three Rivers District Council in managing a sustainability fund open for voluntary sector organisation whose projects/activities support the communities in Three Rivers area, and help with the climate change crisis either by promoting sustainability or by reducing an organisation's carbon footprint. In total, £13,624.20 was awarded to 10 organisations with a wide range of projects being funded including:

- Funding to help purchase an electric vehicle to transport sports equipment

- Funding to run craft sessions using recycled materials

- Funding for an organisation to complete environmental surveys with local organisations to help them reduce their environmental impact. 

Household Support Grant (Watford)

Throughout the year, we have supported Watford Borough Council by managing funding to support vulnerable individuals/families who suffer from or are at risk of suffering from food or fuel poverty. As a result, £36,000 has been awarded to nine different organisations, all of whom are working on the frontline on this issue. 

Future Funding from the W3RT Community Funds

As we move into the new financial year, we are delighted to be continuing to managing funding on behalf of both Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council. These include:

- Mayor's Small Grant's Fund (Watford only)

- Three Rivers Sustainability Fund (Three Rivers Only)

- Community Wealth Building and Renewal Fund (Watford and Three Rivers)

For all the details of those funding opportunities, click here

Alex Murray

About

Lead for W3RT CVS, work for Watford and Three Rivers Trust. Helping to strengthen and support the local voluntary sector in #Watford.