Helping people to help others

Coun. Andy Tatchell, CVS chief officer Christine Blythe, Susan Hughes MBE from the CVS, and Coun, Charlie Briggs, Mayor of Burnley
Coun. Andy Tatchell, CVS chief officer Christine Blythe, Susan Hughes MBE from the CVS, and Coun, Charlie Briggs, Mayor of Burnley
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Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Services recently celebrated another year of making a difference in the community.

At its annual general meeting earlier this month, the headline achievements from the past year were impressive: £1.7m. of external funding won for voluntary and community groups in the local area; 630 people supported into voluntary positions; and time worth £400,000 put back into the community by local volunteers supported by CVS.

Chief Officer Christine Blythe said: "We continue to do what we have always done: we help people into volunteering; we help voluntary organisations to grow and thrive; and we help give voice to voluntary organisations so the council, the NHS and other decision makers and funders are alert to the sector’s concerns.

“But the CVS also provides what I would consider essential services. Last year our volunteer drivers in our Communicars service provided 13,000 passenger journeys for people who for many reasons cannot use public transport.

"This helps to protect vulnerable residents from social isolation and enables them to attend social events as well as get to GP appointments. In the past 12 months, through our Community Connectors project, we also helped over 300 people to access non-medical support through voluntary and community organisations.

That project is funded by the local NHS. Ask any GP: they will tell you that, everyday, people come to their surgeries with non medical issues such as low self-esteem and other social, emotional or practical needs. We can help those people find the right support they need and that will hopefully help them turn their lives around. That it turn helps free up GP time to deal with medical cases.”

The Mayor of Burnley, Coun. Charlie Briggs, who is also the president of the CVS, which is partly funded by Burnley Council, added: “The CVS has been part of the fabric of Burnley for over 83 years. Over the years it has grown and adapted to respond to changing times but it has always supported the health, wellbeing and welfare of our people.

"I would like to commend staff, trustees and volunteers for their commitment and expertise, and for the advice and support they bring to people and groups in Burnley and Padiham.”