£51k grant awarded to Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester

An organisation that played a key role in supporting Chichester's Covid-19 emergency response has been awarded £51,000 in grant funding from Chichester District Council for the next three years.

Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) assists local charities, social enterprises and community groups, and has over 200 member organisations across the Chichester District. Many of those groups are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. VAAC does this by providing one-to-one advice, training and networking events to help organisations develop and run services.

The council has worked closely with VAAC since its inception in 2012 and provides grant funding, along with Arun District Council, West Sussex County Council, and a range of other sources.

At a Full Council meeting on 23 November, it was agreed that the council would contribute £51,000 core funding to VAAC for three years from April 2022, once the current funding agreement ends in March 2022.

Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Communities, Sport and Culture, says: “We recognise the importance of a successful and resilient voluntary and community sector, particularly in light of the impact of the pandemic on our residents.

“We have had a strong relationship with VAAC for many years and the charity recently demonstrated their strengths by playing a key role, alongside local authorities, in supporting the rapid and diverse community responses to the Covid pandemic.”

The services provided by VAAC include:

  • Governance advice;
  • Volunteer recruitment assistance;
  • Training;
  • Fundraising guidance; and,
  • Networking and peer support opportunities for similar local organisations.

Roy adds: “The grant will ensure VAAC can continue to provide theinfrastructure needs of the voluntary and community sector so that the organisation can, in challenging times, respond to increasingly diverse demand.”

Hilda Sherwood, Chief Executive at Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester, says: “We want to thank Chichester District Council for their continued financial support towards the work of VAAC. This last year has been a challenging time for all, however, our partnerships have strengthened throughout the district and we are proud at what the voluntary sector has achieved in supporting the needs of its communities.

“We will be using the funds to continue our work in advising and developing voluntary sector organisations, both grassroots community groups and larger charities, and also promoting the need for more volunteers whose skills and experience are invaluable.”

Many local member groups received support from VAAC to help them respond to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the impacts to service demand, staff and volunteers, and income.

VAAC is a registered charity managed by a board of local trustees. To find out more, visit: www.vaac.org.uk

Notice Date: 26/11/2021