Watford Mencap is celebrating thanks to an award of £49,790 from the Department of Health's Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund (HSCVF). This vital funding will help the charity to enhance its work in South-West Hertfordshire through the use of volunteers.

The Watford Mencap project, which will receive almost £50,000 over the next 2½ years, will train volunteers to give advice to people with a learning disability and signpost them to sources of help in health and social care.

Ruth Murray, Watford Mencap's Learning and Leisure Manager supported the bid, commenting: ‘Independent advice and advocacy is extremely important for many people with learning disabilities.’

Watford Mencap is one of only 51 organisations across England to receive funding from the HSCVF Local Grant Scheme 2011. The HSCVF enables these organisations to increase their capacity in volunteering in the health, public health and social care sector.

Each successful organisation was selected for excellence in one of the following criteria:

  • Patient-Led NHS;
  • Delivering Better Health Outcomes;
  • Improving Public Health; or
  • Improving Health and Social Care.

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:

“Volunteers are a great asset in promoting and improving health. The funding I have announced will mean Watford Mencap can get volunteers involved in providing real support, that will help local communities and give the volunteers invaluable experience and skills.”

Ruth Murray, Learning and Leisure Manager for Watford Mencap, was delighted that the charity had won against stiff nationwide competition. ‘It will make a real difference in helping us to reach new people. Thousands of people with a learning disability in our area have little or no support. We will work hard to make sure they can find what they need.’

Watford Mencap provides an Advice and Advocacy service, as well as a range of other services, for people with a learning disability and their families across the districts of Hertsmere, Watford and Three Rivers. It is one of the largest Mencap societies in the UK but receives no funding from national Mencap, raising all its money independently. You can find out more on www.watfordmencap.org.uk

The HSCVF is innovative as the grant package includes integral, capacity building support. The HSCVF funding programme is designed to help voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) become more sustainable in order to deliver an effective role within their local community. VCSEs will also take forward elements of the Big Society by delivering services that will add value to statutory provision in their localities.

Posted on Monday, 14th November 2011