Emma Baars was invited to speak at Voluntary Action Worthing’s celebration forum, held on Thursday as a final send-off marking 25 years of work for the community.
The organisation will close at the end of January, as Worthing Borough Council withdrew its funding in 2016 following the controversial tendering of the voluntary services contract.
Both Voluntary Action Worthing and Adur Voluntary Action lost out and, instead, Adur and Worthing Community Works was appointed to create the support and networks that help people and organisations to use their time, expertise and energy effectively.
Emma, who has recently been appointed, said: “I can see the strength of feeling and I can offer some understanding. I am sorry I can’t say more about it than that, having not been here.
“It was an honour to be part of their goodbye event and I was so pleased to have met so many of the trustees.”
A trained social worker who has worked in the voluntary sector for 12 years, she has lived in the area for five years, first in Shoreham and now in Worthing.
Emma said: “I am a passionate believer that things get done because people make them happen. It takes all sorts and different people to get things done.
“We love our town and I am fond of Adur and Shoreham as well, because I have lived there. I have always offered an open door policy and that won’t ever change. What I can ensure is that our offer is balanced.”
Referencing the popular Voluntary Action Worthing forums, where people have the opportunity to learn, network and exchange information, she said: “If this is what is working, then this is what we need to do.”
The Community Works Lunchstop is an opportunity for groups to share their work in an open forum, raise questions, share ideas, meet others and have some lunch in a supportive informal environment.
Dates so far include March 19, 12pm to 2pm, in Shoreham and April 2, 12pm to 2pm, in Worthing. Locations are yet to be confirmed but these are drop-in sessions, no need to book.
Adur and Worthing Community Works is based at Worthing Town Hall, on the left as you go in the accessible entrance in Chapel Road, and drop-in sessions are held every Monday from 1pm to 5pm.
There is also a Volunteer Centre in the office on Wednesdays but appointments are needed for this one, email [email protected] or telephone 01903 207735 to book a slot.
For more information, visit www.bhcommunityworks.org.uk