Funding seminar helps local groups to beat the squeeze

Winchester City Council and Winchester Area Community Action (WACA) have been working together to help voluntary organisations in Winchester beat the funding squeeze. 


More than 70 people, from voluntary and not-for-profit organisations across the District, attended a special funding seminar at Winchester Guildhall last Thursday. They were offered advice on where to find grants and on how to present their organisations and projects to funding bodies. Voluntary organisations were also advised to look at new ways of doing business by reducing overheads, working in partnership, or sharing resources.


Organisations offering advice at the event included the Heritage Lottery Fund, Hampshire County Council, Veolia, Community Action Hampshire, ACRE, the LEADER programme, and the Hants and Isle of Wight Foundation.


Officers from Winchester City Council outlined a move away from traditional grants to a ‘commissioning’ approach, which could potentially provide more opportunities for voluntary groups to bid for funds in return for delivery of specific programmes or initiatives. 


Cllr Lucille Thompson, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Active Communities, said: “We were pleased to see so many groups represented, and responding positively to a rapidly changing funding climate.  Winchester City Council has tried to lead by example during this difficult period, through a programme of radical service redesign and transformation.  We hope this will provide inspiration for other organisations, and we know that the experienced team at WACA can provide invaluable help every step of the way.” 


Winchester Area Community Action is currently co-ordinating a programme of support for voluntary organisations adjusting to the changes, including a series of free training sessions, a booklet of helpful information for organisations looking for funding, and one-to-one support from professional advisors based at the WACA building in St George’s Street.


For more information, contact Melissa Fletcher on 01962 848 019 or check the visit