A stronger voice with volunteers

A NEW organisation is being launched to give volunteers across the county a stronger voice.

The Northumberland Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Assembly, run by Connect4change, provides an inclusive and independent forum for voluntary and community groups.

It will inform, engage with, co-ordinate and champion the views of these organisations and aims to be a mechanism for better engagement and influence with public sector partners, as well as improve access to high-quality support services.

Having just consulted the sector on what they want to see from the new Assembly, the first session on Tuesday will provide an opportunity to ask questions, share views, get involved and make connections. Planning will also begin for the future, including the setting of collective priorities.

Julie Dodson, of Connect4change, said: “The VCS Assembly is the forum where we can come together for the benefit of everyone living and working in Northumberland.”

Three Northumberland-based organisations – VoiCeS Northumberland, which is acting as the lead agency, Adapt North East and Social Regeneration Consultants – came together to form Connect4change.

The partnership was initially set up to oversee the provision of voluntary and community sector support services in Northumberland, from October 2011 to March 2014.

The first VCS Assembly session will take place in Stannington Village Hall between 9.30am and 1.30pm.

For more information, call 0800 0235023 or visit www.connect4change.co.uk