Funding for support charity helping Chichester residents

A charity which played a ‘key role’ in supporting the community during the pandemic is to receive more funding from Chichester District Council.

Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester
Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester

During a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (November 23), members agreed that Voluntary Action Arun & Chichester should be funded to the tune of £51,000 per year for up to three years.

The charity, which provides support and guidance to a variety of community, voluntary and charitable organisations, was formed in 2012.

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The council – along with Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council – has been providing money for a number of years but the current agreement comes to an end in March 2022.

Roy Briscoe, cabinet member for community services and culture, told the meeting : “[The council] has had a strong relationship with them for many years.

“Recently they have demonstrated their strengths by playing a key role alongside the local authorities in supporting the rapid and diverse community response to the Covid pandemic.”

Councillors were full of praise for the work of the charity.

Richard Plowman (Lib Dem, Chichester North) said its work and that of its volunteers had been ‘absolutely vital for us getting through the pandemic’.

Adrian Moss (Lib Dem, Harbour Villages) agreed, calling the charity ‘an outstanding organisation’.

The money provided by the council can only be used within the Chichester district.

The charity’s performance is monitored every three months, with an annual report is presented to the Grants and Concessions Panel.

During a previous meeting of the cabinet, where the recommendation to continue the funding was made, it was felt the work of such organisations helped to take the pressure off of the NHS during the pandemic.

Susan Taylor, cabinet member for planning, said: “I think the events of the past 18 months have shown how essential voluntary organisations are.

“In fact, without them, I think hardship would have increased and  certainly expenditure as well.

“There would have been other organisations like the National Health Service and local authorities [who would have had to] take up the slack.”