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Voluntary support organisation vows to continue helping community groups

A Lichfield voluntary support group says it will continue to expand the services it offers.

The future shape of groups across the region had been uncertain after the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Consortium of Infrastructure Organisations (SCIO) missed out on a key county council contract.

However, the chief executive of Lichfield District Community and Voluntary Sector Support (CVS) said they hoped to continue building on the work of recent years.

“It is disappointing to lose the contract to a Stoke-based organisation after many successful years of working with Staffordshire County Council, particularly when we are only half way through a Big Lottery-funded transformation programme that will lead to even better services for our members in the future,” Rose Vakis explained.

“Over the years we have helped hundreds of organisations attract millions of pounds of funding to support their valuable work and we sincerely hope the new contract holder will work with us and add value to the fantastic range of local services we currently deliver.

“Recent success in the Staffordshire Volunteer Awards and also being selected as one of only 12 national pilot areas for Building Health Partnerships working with our health colleagues in south east Staffordshire, are cause for celebration and will directly benefit local people.”

The SCIO’s six-year deal with Staffordshire County Council to develop training and support services ended after the Vast organisation was awarded the new contract.

They had previously supplied support in areas such as funding applications, helping organisations to find the right volunteers, providing low cost meeting rooms and business planning support.

But the consortium of eight district-based groups has outlined its continued commitment to serving local communities.

Jill Norman, Chair of SCIO, said: “Our partners have extensive knowledge and experience of providing help to all types of groups – from large voluntary groups and income generating social enterprises to the smallest community group with just a few volunteers.

“Some partners have developed their services over more than 50 years and know their communities inside out. We want to ensure that all aspects of support are accessible and available to all.

“Some exciting ideas are under development so watch this space for further news.”

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