By Sharon Nanan-Sen

On Thursday 8th November, WVSC celebrated 30 years of supporting the Voluntary and Community Sector in Wolverhampton. The event, at the Light House, included contributions from local charities and social enterprises including Gatis Community Space, Hope Community Project, Service User Involvement Team (SUIT), x2y LGBTQ Youth Group and Gazebo Theatre. There were also examples of Voluntary and Community Sector organisations being commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide discrete services.

The messages were clear; the voluntary and community sector in Wolverhampton is alive and kicking, open, vibrant and resilient despite the challenging economic environment currently and of the last few years.

Some of the statistics were staggering, for example:

  • there are over 11,900 formal volunteers in the city within the Voluntary Sector
  • the value of voluntary time is up to £36 million
  • there are over 19,000 years of combined service in the sector

It was good too to have the support of Mark Taylor, Deputy Managing Director and Voluntary and Community Sector Champion at Wolverhampton Council who outlined that with significant city challenges around inequality, income, skills and health and well-being and with fewer Council resources, that unity, partnership and a ‘one city’ approach is key to the success of the city. Mark said; “We value the contribution of the Voluntary and Community Sector and want to work in equal partnership”.

Jon Eastwood, Head of Regional Funding Midlands for the Big Lottery Fund spoke about the Big Lottery’s support of social enterprises and social investment through the Access Foundation and the new agenda for Awards for All and Reaching Communities with ‘people in the lead’ and bringing good ideas forward through collaboration and partnership.

Through SEW we are supporting social enterprises to apply for the Enterprise Development Fund at the Access Foundation.

To view the full wvsc30 report click here.

For more information on SEW please contact Sharon Nanan-Sen, Social Enterprise and Investment Adviser by email snanan-sen@wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk or on 01902 773761

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