Active Inclusion Fund

Dec 16, 2022

Over the course of its delivery, the Active Inclusion Fund managed by WCVA has supported 184 organisations, 482 projects and 26,121 participants and has awarded £42 million of European funds.  There are currently 27 Active Inclusion projects running in Wales, all of which will close by the end of December 2022.

WCVA have commissioned a series of videos to highlight the particular ways EU funding has helped some of the hardest to reach communities and people in Wales through the Voluntary Sector.

View the impact videos on the WCVA website.

One of the many projects supported by the fund is the Take Charge programme of Innovate Trust who have been providing support and guidance to people with disabilities since 1967.  Take Charge, operating in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and RCT, aims to improve employment skills and wellbeing and is open to anyone over the age of 25 who has a learning disability or a work-limiting health condition and is not currently working.

Take Charge case study

Amy is a lady who is deaf and has a learning disability. Amy wanted to learn BSL so she can communicate more effectively with her support staff, family, friends and the wider community when she is volunteering. Communicating effectively with others is an essential skill to have both in the workplace and at home. Currently, Amy’s biggest barrier is her lack of effective communication skills because she hasn’t had the opportunity to learn BSL in an accessible way and has resorted to making up a lot of her own signs. These signs can only be understood by those closest to her so it’s important Amy learns some more BSL to move closer towards new volunteering opportunities and employment.

Amy is also passionate about gardening and nature so we have been working together to teach Amy some BSL whilst also educating her about sustainable development. Take Charge was able to provide the one-to-one sessions she needed to improve her BSL and learn more about nature. Amy had only met the Take Charge staff once before yet she was willing to practise new signs with us and work as a team to find the best way to learn, showing excellent perseverance and resilience. Our first session was our introductory BSL work relevant certificate before moving on to our sustainable development themed sessions.

Amy has completed three sustainable development themed sessions with us so far. Her first session was titled ‘Who lives in your garden’. This session aimed to encourage participants to take care of the wildlife in their garden and improve biodiversity. We helped Amy to learn about the wildlife in her garden as well as teaching her new signs for the animals and insects she may find. Amy concentrated well throughout the session. We used a BSL app to help Amy to learn the signs we weren’t confident with. Amy actually used the app herself after we showed her how it works and typed in the words she wanted translating into BSL. Being able to use an app like this will be really helpful for Amy’s BSL development. The app can also be used as a tool to communicate with others. Amy is now confident using signs for various animals and insects in her garden.

Our second sustainable development themed session focused on the benefits plants have on the environment. Amy learnt about photosynthesis and global warming in this session. We also covered the positive impact plants can have on our wellbeing and encouraged Amy to think about which type of plants she would like to grow.

As this session covered a similar theme, we could go over the previous signs Amy had learnt and then introduce some new, plant specific ones. Again, Amy showed great enthusiasm throughout and engaged brilliantly. It has been really helpful for Amy’s confidence for her to show us the signs she could remember. Take Charge was able to provide these sessions at Amy’s pace to ensure she could get the most out of the experience. Amy now knows more BSL than before and is starting to feel more confident when signing to new people. Amy can use some of these nature themed signs when she volunteers at a community garden. Similarly, Amy could go over her signs again during our third session which focused on the Big Butterfly Count.

We feel that Amy is now ready to move on to a more in-depth BSL course. After liaising with Wales Council for Deaf, we have found Amy a free, informal BSL course which is due to start after October half term. This course will help Amy to continue with her confidence and her BSL development.

Find out more about Take Charge on the Innovate Trust website.