Back at the beginning of 2015, VAST Services (1920) launched the VAST Bursary Fund, created for the voluntary sector across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. And now it’s back for 2020!
The fund awards local charities and non-profits grants of up to £500 towards VAST’s eligible business services which include accountancy, bookkeeping and payroll services, graphic and website design, various training subjects, and consultation.
Aiming for impact
The aim of the fund is to enable charities, community groups and social enterprises in the local area to access business services, which, for some third sector groups, can all too often be services that are sacrificed when funding is sparse and difficult to access.
By providing funding VAST can assist local voluntary sector groups to access services that may also be outside of the many financial constraints the sector has. Saving vital funds this way means that local VCSE’s re-distribute funds throughout the organisation which will allow staff and volunteers more time and money to focus on reaching outcomes and maximising impact.
Although the criteria for the fund is less restrictive than other funding streams, the Bursary is available exclusively to groups based, or primarily working, in Staffordshire and/or Stoke-on-Trent.
Organisations applying for a grant from the Bursary Fund must be either a full or associate member of VAST and have an annual income of less than £250,000. Click here to become a member.
Easy as 1-2-3
- Apply: Complete the simple application form.
- Assess: The panel assess the applications which have passes the initial checks.
- Award: All applicants will be notified of the outcomes of their applications.
The Bursary application process is simple with just a straightforward form to complete and submit before 3:30pm the last Friday of each month (except December).
Applications that pass the initial checks (membership, criteria and governing documents) will be forwarded for assessments by the panel. Once the Panel meeting has taken place, all applicants are notified before the 25th of the following month.
“The application form was easy to complete – a nice change!” – Bradeley Community Centre.
Applications are received and assessed on a monthly basis by a panel made up of members of VAST’s management team and, since the fund was launched in the February of 2015, the panel have awarded over £45,000 to more than 100 organisations in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Funding for Fenton
The HUB Fenton was awarded a Bursary grant back in June 2015 to enable them to expand their marketing abilities and reach more residents in the local community.
“The bursary has helped us to gain support for all the little things that we didn’t have time or expertise to do. It will certainly help us to move forward with getting our organisation noticed.” – The Hub Fenton.
For some organisations, marketing can be tough to implement with limited time and resources. The Bursary allowed them to learn more about marketing and what strategies to use, which was hugely beneficial to the organisation and enabled them to use their skills to benefit existing and new service users.
The next deadline for Bursary applications is 3:30pm on Friday 24th January. Applications must be submitted via the VAST website.
Details on criteria and how to apply, together with terms and conditions, can be found over on the VAST Bursary Fund page