THE Welsh Government has pledged a £1 million donation an appeal launched by the the Free Press Series to help the most vulnerable in our community through the cost of living crisis.

‘Our Communities Together’ was set up by the Free Press' publisher Newsquest in partnership with Community Foundation Wales earlier this year.

The appeal asks businesses, people and organisations to donate money, which will then given out as grants to community groups who to support local initiatives helping people through the financial crisis.

Today the Welsh Government has committed a major donation to the fund.

Free Press Series: From left, Community Foundation Wales chair Alun Evans, Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt and Newsquest regional editor for Wales, Gavin Thompson, outside Butetown Pavilion, Cardiff.From left, Community Foundation Wales chair Alun Evans, Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt and Newsquest regional editor for Wales, Gavin Thompson, outside Butetown Pavilion, Cardiff. (Image: Michael Williams)

Announcing the donation on a visit to a community project in Cardiff, Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “As a society we are increasingly reliant on the voluntary sector to provide support to the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“They play a vital role through the likes of childcare support, foodbanks helping households feed their families and advice services about how people can maximize their incomes.

“We’re glad that we can make this donation to the Cost of Living Fund and would urge other organisations to make donations themselves too, as this fund will make a huge difference to communities across Wales.”

Richard Williams, chief executive of Community Foundation Wales said public services were under pressure across the country and the voluntary sector was vital in helping fill some of the gaps.

However the cost of living crisis has put many such groups at risk.

“If we want these groups to still be here beyond this crisis, we as a society need to come together to support them – that’s why we need support from people and businesses in Wales now more than eve,” he said.

“We are delighted to have received this generous donation from Welsh Government and hope that it will encourage more people to get involved and make a big difference to the many people struggling through the cost-of-living crisis.”

Gavin Thompson, editor of the Free Press, said the appeal came about because journalists on the ground could see the challenges communities were facing.

“Things aren’t getting easier for our readers right across Wales,” he said. “That’s why Newsquest, together with Community Foundation Wales, launched Our Communities Together, because - from Wrexham to St David’s and Newport to Cardigan – together we can help make the lives of people who are really struggling a little better.”

And he appealed for people to keep giving.

“The more businesses and organisations who can join the Welsh Government in pledging donations in the final weeks of the appeal, the more we can do to help,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to our news titles sharing the stories of how this money helps people in the coming months.”

Alun Evans, chair of Community Foundation Wales, stressed that money form the appeal will help causes right across Wales.

“We need to help people who are suffering in this time of high inflations and need. And it’s our job to make sure that the help goes where it’s needed,” he said.

What is the Our Communities Together cost of living crisis appeal?

The cost-of-living crisis has not only impacted individuals and families in Wales but also voluntary sector organisations who are seeing significant increases in operating costs.

At the same time as the voluntary sector in Wales is facing increased costs, it is also facing a rise in demand for the services it provides.

Voluntary sector organisations help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities with help and advice around debt and benefit support; access to food, clothing and other essential items; support for older people and much more.

Community Foundation Wales and local news publisher Newsquest launched the Our Communities Together – a cost of living crisis appeal to support charities and community organisations across Wales to help those most affected by the cost of living crisis.

The appeal has already been supported with donations by Welsh businesses such as Wind2 Limited, Welsh Water and Dragon Taxis and now by Welsh Government.

How can I support the Our Communities Together appeal?

You can donate to the appeal using the QR code below or via the appeal website.

Free Press Series: Scan this QR code to donate to the Our Communities Together appeal.Scan this QR code to donate to the Our Communities Together appeal. (Image: Newsquest)

To make the most out of each donation, donations up to £25,000 from individuals can be matched, matching every £1 donated with an additional £1.

Thanks to Steve Morgan Foundation, The Waterloo Foundation and Moondance Foundation, Welsh businesses can also make their donation go further with match funding.

How can I apply for funds?

The fund will be open to applications for grants in the coming weeks. Details of how to apply will be announced soon and well publicised in Newsquest local news titles and on the Community Foundation Wales website.