The Salford Third Sector Fund Grants Programme – a two year partnership between Salford CVS and Salford CCG, funding voluntary and community groups supporting wellbeing – has been found to have a significant positive impact, valued at over £11.4m; over seven times the £1.6m awarded.
The evaluation, which was carried out by Voluntary Sector North West and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, found that the partnership was effective, the programme was well designed, and a robust application process has boosted overall standards in the third sector.
Although Salford CCG funded the programme, Salford CVS were given relative freedom to administer the grants. The evaluation highlighted the importance of this degree of separation, saying that it had identified ‘the competency of Salford CVS in managing the programme from design, through to delivery; and in strategically developing the capacity of the voluntary and community sector.’
158 voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in Salford received funding through the programme, in addition to 69 primary schools. A review of all the grants awarded showed that they generally promoted healthy eating in children, provided new community facilities and reduced isolation, and improved capacity in the third sector.
The programme has been hailed as a success, and Salford CCG have already agreed to roll out the programme for another three years. The evaluation recommends that the values of the programme are ‘replicated across Greater Manchester’, and that the programme is joined up to other agendas.
Warren Escadale, VSNW’s Chief Executive said that “this highly successful grants programme shows that effective partnerships between the NHS and third sector are not about over prescriptive contracts but about developing a shared vision and framework, and then giving freedom to partners when they are best placed to deliver.”
“Our evaluation shows that grants can be the most effective way to award funds, particularly for smaller organisations who do not have the capacity to extensively monitor their own work. Trust between partners is vital, and the history of joint working between the NHS, council and third sector in Salford no doubt underpinned this.”
To view the summary of the Salford Third Sector Fund Grants Programme, click here
To view the full evaluation of the Salford Third Sector Fund Grants Programme, click here