The work at VANL continues to change rapidly.

Since we heard that our funding was not to be renewed, we have been busily looking for ways to find funding to continue to deliver our services to would be volunteers and the voluntary and community sector.
For instance, several offices are available for hire in our Robert Street building, and they come with additional services if you need them – everything from office services such as photocopying, through to training, networking and other advice.

The primary aim of Voluntary Action is to support local charities and voluntary organisations, but to do that work we are being forced to find new ways to generate income, such as renting out our building and finding other ways to raise funding, to enable us to offer a reduced service to our member groups, and all because of the cuts imposed by government. It is very sad that things cannot continue as they were, but we hope to keep helping our member groups, communities and the people of North Lincolnshire.

Today, the large meeting room is hosting a training course for the Lincolnshire Volunteer Card Scheme, which will help trainees to develop new skills for volunteering including safeguarding, customer care, equality and diversity, and Health and Safety. This training will be really useful to people running groups which depend on their volunteers, bringing their skills up to date and helping them to get the jobs done more efficiently. I noticed that one of our trustees was availing himself of the opportunity, so you can’t deny that we think it’s a Good Thing!

Vickie, my colleague down the corridor, has just spent a day sailing around the Humber on a beautiful sailing vessel named Pickle, for which she is now, as part of her work for the Volunteer Centre, looking for volunteers. Nobody can say that VANL work is boring!

The unfortunate part of this situation is that we may have to begin to charge for our services, e.g. Development work, networking, and funding advice, which may well be a burden to many already-pressured and low-income, locally owned and managed, good causes. Training, office services and room hire may be the subject of increasing charges.

The good news for Scunthorpe and area is that if you are a very small business and you need a helping hand to get started – an office, or even a ‘hot desk’, advice, training – you can now come and talk to VANL, as we can help small businesses to get off the ground by offering them premises plus (plus help from our expertise gained over many years’ service to the voluntary sector, who are NOT amateurs – just community-minded!) The voluntary sector excels in networking, finding low-cost solutions, and finding the expertise necessary for the job. Come and talk to us! And by spending your money in this way, you contribute to helping many local good causes!