On Wednesday 23rd September 2021, Voluntary Action Arun & Chichester (VAAC), brought its members and partners together to celebrate another year of fantastic voluntary action in Arun and Chichester.
The AGM, which was held virtually due to coronavirus limitations, was a celebration of not only the work of VAAC, but also of the amazing work done by the local Voluntary sector over the past year. Unsurprisingly, a major theme of the event was the response to the Covid-19 crisis and the way that communities came together to support residents during the pandemic. VAAC’s Impact Report 2021, which was launched during the event, outlined some of the ways that the sector was affected by the crisis, and how VAAC was able to support its members to survive, and, in many cases, to extend their services to support those most in need.
Hilda Sherwood, VAAC Chief Executive, said; “It has been a privilege to lead Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester during the pandemic and to witness the resilience of community groups and charities as they rose to meet huge challenges. I am also very proud of our staff team who have gone above and beyond to support the sector, giving expert advice and information on a range of subjects. We are a free service, so please get in touch if you would like support from us.”
Other achievements that were celebrated included the partnerships that continue to develop, amongst the voluntary sector, and also with statutory and other partners. The need for these partnerships was highlighted during Covid-19, with initiatives such as the Arun & Chichester Food Partnership being set up to support local people. VAAC believes that these partnerships are an integral part of building strong and healthy communities, and will continue to champion partnership working and the sharing of ideas and resources.
In terms of the direct support that VAAC offers to its members, achievements included providing training and networking events for 402 attendees, helping organisations to advertise nearly 100 volunteer roles, with 390 new volunteers registering on the VAAC website, and helping members to raise a massive £401,953 in funding!
VAAC was also delighted to invite Ian Noble from Charity Mentors to speak at the event, and attendees heard about the free service, which matches leaders in the Third Sector to volunteer senior managers and specialists for mentoring and support.
Jenny Garthwright, VAAC Digital Content and Communications Office said of the event; “we were sad that we weren’t able to hold our AGM In person again this year, but we were thrilled to see our members and partners virtually, and to celebrate both the achievements of VAAC over the past year, and the amazing strength and resilience of the voluntary sector. Thank you to all who came, and we look forward to celebrating even more incredible achievements within the voluntary sector next year!”