Garfield Weston Foundation launches major new support package to help Welsh charities plan for the future

  • Welsh charities are expecting to help more people with less income according to research by the Weston Charity Awards.
  • Day to day pressures are stopping Welsh charity leaders from planning for the future.
  • The Garfield Weston Foundation is launching the Weston Charity Awards in Wales today offering ambitious Welsh charities a year-long package of free leadership coaching by Pilotlight along with funding.
  • Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and Director of Pobl & Gwaith/People and Work who have previously benefitted from the Pilotlight Programme call on supporters and staff of Welsh charities to take advantage of the opportunity. Other previous participants in the Pilotlight Programme include Pontypridd YMCA and Arts Factory in the Rhondda Valleys.

New research by the Weston Charity Awards among leaders of small and medium sized charities highlights that Welsh charities expect to do more with less next year, mirroring a trend across the UK.

A handful of charity leaders based in Newport, Cardiff and Swansea responded to the UK-wide survey revealing that the difficulty of keeping up with day to day pressures was stopping all of them from attending to their charities’ long-term needs.

60% of Welsh charity leaders surveyed expected their income to stagnate or decline in the same period. In spite of this, the same proportion said that they were expecting to help more Welsh people in need in 2018.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation announcing the expansion of the Weston Charity Awards to Wales said:

“Small charities are the lifeblood of Wales, helping people of all ages overcome a range of issues.  Charities tell us they urgently require leadership and strategy support to ensure they are able to keep doing what they do well. That’s why we are asking people in Wales to tell charities that mean a lot to them about the Weston Charity Awards. We’re offering charities a helping hand so they can continue to help your community in the years to come.”

Each of the twenty winning charities will benefit from a year of intensive leadership coaching through the Pilotlight Programme along with £6500 in funding. Applications from small to medium sized Welsh charities will be accepted for the first time this year. Charities with income under £5million that provide frontline services in the fields of Community, Welfare and Youth are eligible.

Pobl & Gwaith/People and Work is an educational and employment charity operating across Wales.  The charity has previously benefitted from participating in a year-long programme of leadership coaching through the Pilotlight Programme. Charity Director Dr Sarah Lloyd-Jones said:

“Participating in a year of intensive leadership coaching provided People and Work with a valuable opportunity to think about where we were going as an organisation and how we might get there. We used the process to have discussions which shaped a programme of action and change for People and Work over the last two years. I urge supporters and staff of other Welsh charities to consider how the Weston Charity Awards could help them face the future with confidence.”

Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action said:

“I am delighted that the Weston Charity Awards are coming to Wales in 2018. Everyone in Wales knows someone who benefits from the services of our several thousand charities, big and small, yet the research highlights how difficult it is for charity leaders to plan for the future when faced with so many immediate pressures. Welsh charity leaders will relish the opportunity to access top tier leadership coaching and they will also know that donors dig deeper when they are confident that the charities they support are effectively run.”

Gillian Murray, Chief Executive of Pilotlight which manages the coaching and mentoring component of the Weston Charity Awards said:

“We’re currently working with some fantastic charities in Wales – including Bridgend charity KPC Youth – and we expect to identify more ambitious local charities to help next year. The benefits of focussing on leadership development and organisational strategy are overwhelming. Charities report that within two years of completing the Pilotlight Programme they are, on average, reaching 53% more people and achieving 28% income growth.”

Applications for the Weston Charity Awards open on 1st December 2017. Charities can find out more about the Awards on the Weston Charity Awards website. https://westoncharityawards.org/