Project snapshot

CAF Resilience Fund supporting their charitable work
Supporting people with disabilities in the West Midlands

The cause

Disability Solutions West Midlands (DSWM) is a Stoke-on-Tent based charity run by people with disabilities for the benefit of people with disabilities. They provide advice, information, and support services to help people living with disabilities or life-affecting health conditions to:

  • Achieve the best possible quality of life.
  • Gain skills and knowledge to make their own decisions about things which affect their quality of life.
  • Be part of their community and not be disadvantaged for reasons of their disability.

The objectives

After an incredibly busy few years, the DSWM team knew they wanted time to step back and look at the bigger picture to enable them to plan. This involved reviewing the staffing structure and investing in the staff team to improve wellbeing and reduce the risk of burn-out. Supporting the Board was also a priority, to enable the whole organisation to work together to think strategically and take decisions and action to bolster their long-term sustainability.

The impact

Main Grant: £121,000 towards staff salaries, volunteer costs and delivery of support services. This funding supported DSWM’s work with over 10,000 beneficiaries, providing 1:1 and group support, advice, and guidance to help reduce isolation, anxiety and feelings of helplessness. Their welfare and benefits services also supported individuals to maximise their income at a time when the costs-of-living was having a huge effect on the lives and choices of people living with disabilities. Additional staff capacity funded by the Main Grant enabled the team to work together to deliver their Resilience Roadmap; staff and trustees felt included and motivated by the opportunity to work together on this strategic work.

Resilience Support Grant
: £20,000 for consultancy support to focus on leadership, operations and network and partnership development. DSWM worked with their consultant through a series of workshops, away days and 1:1 support to:

  • Develop the CEO and management team’s skills, confidence and relationships.
  • Strengthen the Board’s understanding of its role and individual roles and responsibilities.
  • Attract new trustees to join the board.
  • Bring the whole staff team together to connect and plan. This time spent together, alongside investment in training and development as part of the Main Grant, helped the team feel valued and increased their confidence and skills.

“All in all, it provided the perfect blend of funding and resources to enable busy and progressive charities to strengthen, develop, and build resilience and sustainability in real time with lasting positive impact.”

Mandy Rollins, Chief Executive, Disability Solutions West Midlands

CAF Reslience Fund

The CAF Resilience Fund is a £40 million grant programme generously funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the insurance and long-term savings industry as part of the Covid-19 Support Fund. Read the full report to find out how the fund spported other charities around the U.K.
Read the full report

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