Don't miss a story sign up to the North Somerset Times FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Surge of interest in voluntary work predicted due to funding cuts

PUBLISHED: 14:21 09 November 2017

Doreen Smith, the new chief executive of Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS).

Doreen Smith, the new chief executive of Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS).

Archant

Volunteers will play a key role in the future of vital community services, according to the new chief executive of Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS).

Doreen Smith is now leading the organisation, which promotes volunteering and social enterprise for the benefit of the community.

Mrs Smith, who has worked in the sector for 35 years, is hoping to link up with more businesses in the area to show firms how they can help voluntary organisations and run masterclasses so charities can learn from experts.

She is also keen to set up a strategic forum so members of VANS can discuss issues affecting communities and find out how the voluntary sector can help.

She said: “VANS is about community benefit and supporting organisations to run effectively with volunteers.

“Volunteering has been around a long time and I think there’s going to be another surge of interest towards volunteering.

“They can play a key role in providing services when the NHS and councils can’t due to a lack of funding.

“These organisations now have to look creatively and be innovative and that’s why they are looking at the voluntary sector.

“There has already been a lot more interest in what volunteers can provide.”

VANS is working with the clinical commissioning group to ensure the voluntary, community an social enterprise sector is represented in plans for health services across North Somerset.

The group has 177 members and according to the 58 organisations who took part in a recent survey, they benefited from 60,000 volunteer hours per week which saved them £32million a year.

The sector benefits businesses but it is also rewarding for volunteers who gain new skills, experience or a sense of purpose.

Mrs Smith said: “Voluntary organisations often don’t have the funds to be able to pay for a website designer or a graphic designer to produce their report. These are the kinds of things businesses can provide.

“I believe businesses are looking to be able to provide social enterprise opportunities for their staff to be able to contribute to communities.”

Any businesses interested in joining VANS or those keen to learn about volunteering can visit www.vansweb.org.uk

Other News Stories

15:49

A Portishead family have raised tens of thousands of pounds in the wake of their eight-year-old son dying from a brain tumour.

Read more
14:00

A five-year-old boy has raised more than £100 for a Perthes disease charity.

Read more
12:00

Clevedon’s Curzon cinema is celebrating the most successful year in its 106-year history.

Read more
11:15

A world champion windsurfer visited preschoolers as new sports equipment was delivered.

Read more
07:47

Strong winds and heavy rain is set to batter the North Somerset coastline overnight (Wednesday).

Read more
07:11

Scaled-back plans to build almost 70 homes where children used to play rugby have gone public.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

School and road schemes in North Somerset will be overseen by a new head of major projects.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

Nine volunteers worked together to clear a well-used path in Portbury on Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:13

Weather forecasters believe North Somerset could see snow fall over the next 24 hours.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:57

Some winter-time magic will cast a bright glow over Portishead next month.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the North Somerset Times e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Clevedon Tide report

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder

Find planning applications