Devizes based charity, Community First has announced that it is to form an alliance with Chippenham based charity, DEVELOP – which supports the voluntary sector in Wiltshire.
DEVELOP (formerly the Volunteer Centre Wiltshire) recently launched an appeal for support following a cut to its statutory funding. Whilst the appeal was successful in raising some funding for the charity, the future sustainability of the organisation was still in doubt.
Transferring its existing offering to Community First ensures a future for DEVELOP’s services and enables Community First to increase its Community Development offering.
The terms of the transfer, which is expected to complete in early July, involve the creation of a new community support initiative for local charities and groups who would otherwise be affected by cuts to local services. The new initiative will operate under ownership of Community First and will include digital resources, volunteering and community based support services.
Once the transfer of services is complete, DEVELOP will remain open as a registered charity in a limited capacity to fulfil contractual agreements, before being dissolved once these agreements are completed.
DEVELOP Chief Executive Jane Windle-Hartshorn said: “We are grateful for the support we’ve had and we wanted to ensure a lasting legacy for our work. Integrating our services with those currently offered by Community First will allow us to continue our work to support local groups and charities at a time when they need it most.”
Community First, whose aim is to improve the quality of life and economic wellbeing of people and local communities throughout the county, has ambitious plans for the new offering. These include enhanced volunteering services, downloadable digital resources, funding support and a creative agency for the non-profit sector.
Community First Chief Executive Lynn Gibson said: “We are delighted that the services offered through DEVELOP will not be lost. The amalgamation of key services of both organisations will create a new enhanced joined up offer for communities and organisations across Wiltshire”.
The new service for charities and community organisations in Wiltshire will launch in Autumn 2016.