Funding news

£2 million Access to Volunteering pilot fund opening for applications - 28 October 2009

Charities in three regions will soon be able to apply for money from a £2m pilot fund that has been set up to encourage more disabled people to volunteer.

The £2m Access to Volunteering pilot fund announced on 30 September will be open for applications on 16 November.

The fund was announced 19 months ago in response to Manifesto for Change, a report by the Commission on the Future of Volunteering, which said disabled people were under-represented in volunteering. The Office of the Third Sector announced that organisations in London, the west midlands and north-west England could apply to the pilot Access to Volunteering fund.

An OTS spokesman said the regions were chosen on the criteria of low levels of volunteering, high numbers of welfare claimants and large numbers of disabled people. A lack of specialist equipment, inappropriate premises and the need for support workers were all cited by the OTS as barriers that discouraged disabled people from volunteering.

According to the OTS, only 32 per cent of disabled adults formally volunteered in 2008/09, compared with 41 per cent of the general adult population.

Organisations wishing to apply to the fund can now register their interest through calling the enquiry line on 03000 123 346.