Access to Volunteering Fund has made available grants of between £250 and £5,000. They are to be used to overcome barriers that stop disabled people from volunteering, the money can be used to provide specific equipment or suitable access.
The Fund, which was developed by the Office of the Third Sector as a pilot scheme in Greater London, the West Midlands and the North West, will operate between Autumn 2009 and Spring 2011. The first deadline for applications is 1 December 2009.
The pilot will also test different ways to apply, such as face-to-face pitches and video applications. Charities Aid Foundation, RNIB and Digital Public are the consortium who will manage the grants.
Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector, said: ‘Volunteering is an unbeatable way to build confidence and skills and we want to get as many people as possible volunteering – with or without a disability. We know that there are many barriers stopping disabled people volunteering and this targeted fund aims to overcome these limits.”
John Low, CEO of Charities Aid Foundation, which is overseeing the grants, said: ‘Volunteering enriches the lives of volunteers, the work of charities and the wellbeing of our society. Disabled people have knowledge, skills and experience that are invaluable when shared. I look forward to the success of Access to Volunteering and want to encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the great opportunities it has to offer.’