A Staffordshire voluntary sector group is celebrating its fifth birthday after securing nearly £1.4million of inward investment to boost communities in Lichfield.
Support Staffordshire, which has assisted more than 1,000 charities and organisations since it was formed, held a special anniversary party at Stafford Gatehouse.
Almost 200 delegates heard how the charity provides help with funding, good governance and a range of business and back office support services, including human resources, marketing and communications and assistance with understanding of new legislation and regulations.
Garry Jones, chief executive of Support Staffordshire, said: “This is a major milestone for our organisation and underlines the important role we play in supporting communities across Lichfield.
“The voluntary sector is a very challenging environment and austerity has given many of our members significant challenges to contend with if they are going to help the communities they operate in.
“Our role has been to give them a strong voice and, importantly, cost effective access to essential services that means they can overcome these hurdles to continue to support local people in getting crucial access to transport, training, help with mental health issues and community projects that offer volunteering and job opportunities.
“The birthday party was all about celebrating what we have achieved and recognising some of our stars that have been on the journey from the very start.”
One of Support Staffordshire’s most successful roles has been in matching volunteering opportunities, with nearly 700 individuals supported to give their time at charities and community organisations in Lichfield.
It offers a free and confidential face-to-face and online recruitment service, helping people to find the opportunities that suit their lifestyle and interests.
More than 800 organisations are members of Support Staffordshire.
Garry added: “While the event was all about celebrating our achievements, it also gave us the chance to talk about the future and how we are looking to do even more to support our members.
“This will involve making the most of a very welcome £200,000 further investment from Staffordshire County Council, even more local collaboration and the possibility of moving to new, larger premises.
“We are also in the process of developing a new corporate strategy, where we are keen to tap into the resources, expertise and skills of small, medium and large companies across Lichfield.”