Uncertain future for voluntary groups in Calderdale

Calderdale Council is looking to support voluntary groups in the borough
Calderdale Council is looking to support voluntary groups in the borough

Voluntary groups in Calderdale are facing uncertain futures and challenges as the Council looks to secure the future of organisations.

The voluntary and community sector (VCS) is facing huge challenges but the Council has said it is committed to working in partnership with these important local organisations that provide services and support to some of Calderdale’s most vulnerable residents.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Councillor Susan Press, said: “We are proud that Calderdale has strong culture of volunteering and community action, and it’s important we continue to support local voluntary and community organisations through challenging times.

“We’ve played a pioneering role in developing our relationship with the sector and have been nationally recognised for the innovative projects we’ve pursued in partnership with the VCS, such as our work on asset transfers and looking at how the sector can play an even more important role in our local economy.

“We want this work to continue and to formally recognise the contribution that these organisations make to our communities, and help them secure a sustainable future and access additional external investment.”

Council leaders have already held discussions to strengthen the Council’s relationship with the VCS.

This includes working with key local organisations like the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Sector Support Calderdale, Voluntary Action Calderdale and Locality on new ways to support communities.

The Council has also looked at ways to further support local organisations with asset transfer requests. To date, the Council has undertaken 15 asset transfers to a range of community organisations, and also registered nine assets of community value.

Additional funding will be set aside from the allocation to the sector to enable one-off help for organisations in crisis.

Community Foundation for Calderdale Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the VCS Chief Officer Group, Steve Duncan DL, said: “I am extremely pleased that the Council is planning to formally recognise the importance of the VCS to the future of Calderdale.

“As Chair of the Chief Officers Group we have been discussing with the Council how we raise the profile of the sector, both the challenges that organisations are facing with cuts in grant funding and increased demand but also the sector’s resilience and ambition to be a real partner for the Council.”