We Wish You a Merry ChristMatch: Charity match funding campaign remains open to help Welsh charities cope with seasonal demands


A major charity match-funding initiative by the National Emergencies Trust and Crowdfunder UK has announced it will remain open over the coming weeks to enable Welsh charities and groups to cope with seasonal increases in demand.

The Local Action Fund launched on 22 September to offer funding to community and voluntary organisations to help them counter the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eligible charities simply have to set up a fundraising campaign on Crowdfunder UK, and the National Emergencies Trust will match donations they receive, up to £10,000, from its Coronavirus Appeal.

Since the Local Action Fund’s launch,  more than 100 projects across the UK have signed up to start fundraising. But very few of these projects are based in Wales. The National Emergencies Trust and Crowdfunder UK are urging more charities and groups in Wales to follow the fundraising lead of projects like Advocacy Support Cymru in Cardiff.

Advocacy Support Cymru (ASC) are a leading mental health advocacy charity in South Wales, providing Independent Mental Health Advocacy, Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy and Community Mental Health Advocacy to people most in need. The team at ASC provide suicide intervention solutions, such as training workshops, to ensure more people learn the skills required to intervene and save a life from suicide. Their fundraising efforts will make a huge difference to people in communities across South Wales.

Claire Phillips, Marketing and Business Development Manager at ASC, said: “People’s mental health has been severely impacted by isolation, repeated lockdowns and the stress of the pandemic and unfortunately more people are considering suicide as their only option. We’ve seen an unprecedented demand for our suicide intervention services since the pandemic as not only professionals, but also friends and family strive to help their loved ones with thoughts of suicide. Our training solutions ensure that more people across South Wales are equipped to recognise the early signs of suicide and to intervene to save lives.

The funding from the Local Action Fund will enable ASC to expand this service to meet the rising demand, creating a network of suicide helpers across South Wales and helping to create communities that are safe from suicide. We’re calling on people across South Wales to support our fundraising and help create suicide-safer communities, by donating to the appeal. Every donation made will be match-funded by the National Emergencies Trust (up to £250), so your donation will have double the impact. You can find out more and donate on the Crowdfunder site.”

Mhairi Sharp, CEO of the National Emergencies Trust, said: “The idea of the Local Action Fund is to enable small charities and groups to get back on their feet again after the pandemic dealt many a difficult financial blow. We know that demand for charities’ services often surges during the festive season, so we’ve decided to keep applications for the Fund open and are urging more charities and groups in Wales to apply when they can. We hope this will mean that those who are simply too busy to apply right now don’t need to miss out, while others still have the chance to apply for seasonal financial support.”

The National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal has raised more than £99million since it launched in March 2020 and distributed more than £4million of this through the Community Foundation for Wales, supporting more than 665 projects across the country.

The National Emergencies Trust hopes the partnership with Crowdfunder will enable it to reach more small and micro organisations that may  not yet have accessed funding from its Coronavirus Appeal, either due to lack of awareness or not having the resources to apply.

Rob Love, Co-founder and CEO of Crowdfunder, said: “Over the course of the pandemic, the National Emergencies Trust has been carrying out vital work across the UK, raising over £99million so far to distribute to those in need. This new funding opportunity is an incredible way to help community and voluntary organisations in Wales who might have otherwise been unaware of the help on offer.”

Organisations that are eligible for the Local Action Fund  include registered charities, community interest companies, constituted organisations and non-registered charities, churches and other religious organisations, and other voluntary community organisations. To find a charity to donate to or find out how to apply, please go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/local-action-fund