26 March 2010
Government grants to reduce the 9% gap in volunteering in the UK, between disabled people and the rest of the population have been announced today.
Amongst the grant recipient is Whizz Kidz, a children’s charity in London. It has received £5,000, which it will use to enable young disabled volunteers to volunteer, either in their headquarters (helping with fundraising, communications, and administration) or at Whizz Kids’ wheelchair skills training schemes and Ambassador clubs. They will also purchase a special hoist to ensure that volunteers with severe disabilities can take part in volunteering activities.
Helen Rathbone, Whizz-Kidz Volunteer Co-ordinator, said:
“This funding is key in allowing us to reach out to more disabled young people, giving them the chance to develop their skills through volunteering opportunities with Whizz-Kidz. The funding process was very simple, enabling us to get started with the project straight away.”
Often disabled people are prevented from volunteering because of a lack of special equipment, inappropriate premises, the extra costs of travelling and need for support workers to provide physical and communications assistance.
Over £200,000 in grants has been given out to 55 organisations in London, the West Midlands and the North West to support disabled people who want to volunteer.
Supported by the Office for the Third Sector, Access to Volunteering Fund aims to increase the number of disabled volunteers by breaking down the barriers they currently face when wanting to volunteer.
Angela Smith, Minister for the Office of the Third Sector, said:
“Disabled people should not face barriers to volunteering. They should enjoy the same opportunities as anyone else. The Government is committed to breaking down the barriers which face disabled people who wish to help others.
“It’s great to see such a range of organisations taking part in this initiative which will bring reciprocal benefits to both parties and will hopeful encourage more organisations to take part.”
Some of the other 55 grant recipients include:
Access to Volunteering is a pilot project operating in three test areas – Greater London, West Midlands and the North West. The Charities Aid Foundation is managing the grant process.
The next deadline for grant applications is Monday 19 April 2010.
Further information can be found at: