Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, welcomes the news that Worcester Volunteer Centre has been awarded a new £385,000 grant from the Government through the Transforming Local Infrastructure fund.
The Transforming Local Infrastructure fund is part of the Big Fund, the non-lottery funding arm delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, and financed by Office for Civil Society (OCS), part of the Cabinet Office. The total pool of short-term funding, worth £30 million, is being spent on partnerships of local infrastructure organisations to rationalise and transform the support services they provide to front-line civil society organisations.
Worcester Volunteer Centre plans to use their £385,000 grant over the next 18 months to develop the support services they provide to front-line service delivery organisations in the local area. The project, entitled ‘VITAL (Valuing Infrastructure, Training & Accountable Leadership) in Worcestershire', aims fundamentally to restructure infrastructure organisations and services, so that they are ‘market-led', working together, dynamic and resilient; generating income sustainably and being responsive to local circumstance. The project will be working on services such as business support, volunteering and representation.
Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, said:
"This fund is not designed to support business as usual - it's about supporting organisations with innovative business plans who want to play their part in modernising the landscape of local infrastructure.
"One of our main priorities is making it easier to run a charity. We will ensure that we back the highest quality infrastructure support so that charities get guidance which is local, relevant and enables them to improve their service delivery."
Sally Ellison, chief officer of Worcester Volunteer Centre, said:
"‘We are absolutely thrilled and delighted that Worcestershire has received this grant, especially at this difficult economic time for the voluntary sector. Although we have a lot of work to accomplish over the next 18 months, it will provide us with the opportunity to ensure that our services are accessible, relevant and appropriate to, and for, service delivery organisations in the county.
"I'm sure that the 12 partners, who between them provide a wide range of support services, will relish this opportunity to really improve and modernise their services whilst looking to develop links with new partners. This work will seek to ensure that Infrastructure (Support) organisations look at a variety of ways to develop their sustainability, whilst recognising the need to provide high quality services to the voluntary sector."
Robin Walker said:
"This is great news for charities in Worcester. The staff at the Worcester Volunteer Centre do tremendous work for local charities and I know they will put the funding to good use, supporting the local voluntary sector in innovative and important ways. I am always impressed by the huge amount of volunteering that takes place in Worcester and I will always be firmly supportive of volunteers' own efforts, and the Government's efforts to support them."