Voluntary action group for Chichester and Arun has funding cut by 20 per cent

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A voluntary action group has spoken out to say they are ‘disappointed and concerned’ over a 20 per cent cut to its funding agreed by Arun District Council.

Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) has said that the cut, which is set to take place from April 2017, will seriously impact on the support and advice it provides for voluntary and community groups across Arun and Chichester districts.

VAAC’s helps 390 plus members to start new organisations and ongoing support to find funding, recruit volunteers and give them the tools to run effectively.

Tony Sneller, chairman of VAAC, said: “This reduction in our funding comes on top of a 20 per cent reduction by WSCC that will take effect between 2016 and 2018.

“We have had to reduce our staffing and use reserves to deal with this, with the intention of continuing to provide an excellent service to our members.

“To mitigate the impact of this further cut we will have to revise our services and dig even deeper into our reserves.

“The holding of reserves is good practice encouraged by the charity commission but there will come a point where we will no longer have sufficient reserves to plug the increasing ‘hole’ in our budgets. At this point the future of our organisation will be at risk.

“The VAAC trustees will do all we can to minimise the negative impact on our members and we are grateful to our staff and volunteers for their dedication and commitment to our many members, especially at this difficult time.”

VAAC is held in high regard by its members, as Jan Sheward from Cancer United stated: “VAAC is an extraordinary organisation with the most extraordinarily skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated team. 

“Cancer United has been a member of VAAC for four years during which time the VAAC team has been an invaluable asset offering its help and support with many different projects and grant funding applications.

“We are appalled that the council has seen fit to slash the VAAC budget and would ask them to seriously re-think about doing that.”