News From Creating Excellence: South West Forum Wins £0.5million Research Bid
South West Forum, the regional voice for voluntary and community organisations, has won almost half a million pounds of Lottery funding for a major research project of national importance.
The Forum is today celebrating securing a grant of £470,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for a four year project which will measure the economic value of services provided by voluntary groups in the region.
South West Forum Chief Executive, Stephen Woollett, says "This project will be hugely important for all charities and voluntary groups throughout the South West. It will provide hard evidence of just how important voluntary activity is to the region's economy. We know that charities in the South West contribute over £2billion to the regional economy and employ over 60,000 people but we have very little information on the economic benefits of the services they provide - for people and communities in need."
The research project will also help universities to work more closely with voluntary groups and communities in their areas. "There is great enthusiasm for this project from universities throughout the South West. We want to create a long term legacy of real partnership between higher education and the voluntary sector in the region." said Stephen Woollett.
The South West Regional Development Agency has praised the Forum for its initiative and success in attracting the grant. Employment and Skills Manager Nigel Williams said "The intention to strengthen relationships between the voluntary sector and higher education is critical and very timely. We are very pleased the Forum has secured this project which has major regional and national significance."
The project will get underway early in 2010 and further information can be obtained by calling South West Forum on 01392 823758.