The spring round of Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) regional engagement events were held in Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan and the Isle of Anglesey, with a focus on the hot topic of the moment: Brexit – and discussion about the potential impacts on community groups.

Brexit was identified as one of the key areas of joint influence for 2019 and the format of the sessions was developed to reflect this.

Jeremy Miles, Welsh Government’s Brexit Minister, gave his key messages for the sector via a video message. He highlighted the sector’s role in healing divisions by supporting the development of a strong, resilient post Brexit society. 

Gaynor Richards MBE, Chief Officer of NPTCVS, encouraged groups to “focus on what’s strong and not what’s wrong with the sector”, to keep a positive focus on the society we want to build for the future.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) is working in partnership with Cardiff University on a project, the Wales Civil Society Forum on Brexit. Charles Whitmore, who is leading the project, presented the rapidly evolving Brexit position, and talked through potential implications for the sector and guidance on no-deal Brexit preparedness. Charles compared Brexit to a perfect storm for the sector, with the expectation that the need for third sector led services will increase as austerity hits and resources from EU investment decline.

The final part of the sessions was facilitated by Resources for Change, recently appointed by WCVA and Welsh Government to undertake research to work with community groups to identify the impact of the Brexit process on the delivery and availability of community services, the financial viability of the sector and its reliance on EU workers. The contributions given by organisations at these sessions will directly inform the outlined research and support any contingency planning and preparations for different eventualities arising from Brexit.

To learn more about WCVA’s work on Brexit and to get involved in the research outlined, please visit WCVA’s website or contact Jessica Williams, E: [email protected]