Thanks for support of Worthing Voluntary Action

I am writing to express our heartfelt thanks to all the organisations and individuals who have supported Voluntary Action Worthing over the past two difficult months.

In particular, I would like to thank the more than 70 organisations and individuals who, over the course of a single day, signed a letter which was sent to all councillors.

This letter asked our elected councillors to “call-in” the officer decision on the award of the voluntary sector infrastructure support contract to a Brighton-based organisation. This would mean that it could be fully scrutinised and debated by elected councillors.

Three Adur councillors and two Worthing councillors put their heads above the parapet and requested a call-in but this was refused by the council’s solicitor. It was, indeed,a sad day for democracy.

However, Voluntary Action Worthing will continue to operate for as long as we are able. We are still Worthing’s officially constituted Council for Voluntary Service, an independent local charity, and the council can’t take this away from us.

Our decision to continue has been made easier by the enormous groundswell of support from Worthing’s voluntary and community organisations.

So many have contacted us to express their concern and anger at the council’s actions and to thank us for the help, advice and support we have provided them now and in the past. These messages have really helped to keep our dedicated staff and committed volunteers – including our Board of Trustees – incredibly buoyant and ambitious about our future plans.

Thanks are due, too, to the Worthing Herald and reporter Oli Poole, for keeping our case in the public eye.

As ever, our core driver is the immense privilege of supporting the charities and communities of Worthing. Our next event is one of our ever-popular Voluntary Sector Forums to be held on Tuesday, March 29, at the Friends Meeting House. If you are in a voluntary or community group and would like to book a place – it’s free! – contact info@vaworthing.org.uk. It is fair to say that we are feeling bruised and battered by our recent experience – but we are unbowed.

With the continued support of the hundreds of truly splendid Worthing voluntary and community organisations, we aim to continue to serve the town we love.

Jaqui Ball

Chair, Voluntary Action

Worthing, Palatine Road

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