Adur's communities, working together




 old school house.JPG 

AVA supports the Living Wage campaign, Don't Cut Us Out, Keep Volunteering Voluntary and the National Coalition for Independent Action

Stop Press  

Any challenge to NCVO policy line is now "ideological rambling" ?

So well-informed criticism is now dismissed by NCVO as "ideological ramblings". This was their reported response to two recent NCIA reports:-

 The Position and Role of National Infrastructure Bodies Concerning the Cuts to and Privatisation of Public Services


Homes for Local Radical Action: the position and role of local umbrella groups 

 These reports are viewable at: 

At least NAVCA's response  was more realistic and honest, although the probable findings of their own supported commission on the future of infrastructure do not exactly cut matters to the quick.  Read about this this at:

This NCVO response is reminiscent of Mao's 1000 flowers hypocrisy, leaving it a mystery why any local voluntary action groups remain in membership.  Physician, heal thyself.

The Big Society projects unravel

This evening's Radio Four programme The Report (8pm, 14 August) opens the lid further on the receipt, and use, of funds by the Big Society Network's associated projects. It is a grim story for those of us active in our local voluntary sectors. A story of £2 million awarded to projects that achieved little. A story of inadequate evaluation by funders. A story of marketing hype over reality. A story of early promises not to receive public funds belied by later reality. A story of refusal to be interviewed by most of those directly involved, accompanied by a denial from the Big Society Network, and a challenge to the respected National Audit Office's analysis. A story that evokes in many of us the response of "We told you so". So here is the Big Lottery Chair acknowledging that this project was a risk that "failed". What a pity Sir Stephen Bubb did not speak out a bit earlier, or join the growing criticisms that were emerging. What a shame Citizens UK kept their voice quiet for so long. Both were all too willing to contribute to the radio programme, suggesting to the skeptic  that, perhaps, they perceive an emerging new political lay of the land. Citizens UK are now "glad" that they failed to win the Community Organisers contract, that has so far produced only 500 organisers instead of the thousands promised. Suddenly, its targets become "unrealistic", but for sure, that will not be what they put into their tender document.  Where does this leave the contract winners, Locality?

Overall, so many promises, so little reality. We listen for and will attend to the response to the programme,  but they will have to be convincing to win back the local voluntary sector.

No wonder this tiny local voluntary organisation, which like all other grapples with Lottery funding bids and the ideology of outcome monitoring, is mega pissed off. Currently AVA like many others is struggling to balance next year's budget, working to build a good society locally, with the spectre of £2 million haunting the grids of our spreadsheets. Twenty years of funding.


In Defence of Youth Work

The state, the market and the voluntary youth sector

18 September 2014, 11.00 for 11.30 – 4.00
 Brunswick Parish Church Centre, Brunswick St, Manchester, M13 9TQ

 The In Defence of Youth Work campaign is committed to encouraging an open and pluralist debate on the state of youth work at a time of limited opportunities for collective discussion on this and the radical shifts in the landscape in which it is operating. This seminar is IDYW’s latest attempt to help fill that gap. Two of the least debated, even acknowledged, of the ‘radical shifts’ of the last decade have been the voluntary youth sector’s changing relationship with the state and the increasing intrusion of private businesses into its field of activity. The seminar is offered an opportunity to look critically at the impact of these developments and the voluntary youth sector responses.

 The seminar is therefore aimed particularly at youth work practitioners (paid and voluntary), managers and policy-makers in voluntary youth organisations as well as youth work students and tutors and those with perspectives to offer from the statutory and private sectors.  The morning will focus on locating the sector in its current political and ideological contexts and within the wider voluntary sector.  Ian McGimpsey (University of Birmingham) will draw on his research into the effects of neo-liberal policies on youth provision.  Bernard Davies (IDYW and National Coalition for Independent Action - will consider the responses of some national organisations

Cost: As for all IDYW events this will be kept low – Unwaged/Students £2, Waged £7.  To register, email or contact AVA.

Council Tax discounts to local volunteers? 

Do you agree that volunteers should receive discounts on their Council Tax? Who would qualify, and why? What about those in receipt of discounts already? Would wealthier people benefit more? Surely such a payment would reduce funds available to deliver local authority services? How would we know that volunteering provided an effective replacement? Are there plans for rigorous evaluation? Would some people simply prefer to pay their tax to ensure quality local services?  Is this really what volunteering is all about, or are other vested interests at work? Listen to an interesting Radio Sussex discussion at: about a proposal from the Local Government Association.



A creative future for volunteering in Adur  

AVA is working to promote the kind of volunteering that we think matches the wishes of local people,  communities and organisations.  Our observation is that local volunteering springs from personal contacts,  networks and experiences. What does this mean for the future? 

  • A more personal support service to organisations and invididual volunteers,  with an emphasis on quality and responsiveness. This is likely to involve working more intensively with organisations who welcome the benefits of co-operating,  and giving less time to unfocussed or impersonal approaches. 
  • A more energetic dialogue between AVA and organisations using our volunteer cente or working with volunteers, including twice-yearly meetings and other communications. 
  • An initiative involving those organisations who wish to work more closely with AVA to promote volunteering  jointly,  through shared publicity and networks,  learning  events and improved referrals of volunteers amongst organisations 
  • AVA will ensure that volunteers and organisations are helped to make full use of the new (launching September 2014) IVO/Do-It website 
  • We will contine to involve volunteers in delivery of AVA services, providing learning opportunities to ensure that they are aware of local resources, services and networks and are effective in supporting AVA’s activities.  

We look forward to discussing this with you and your organisation,  but meanwhile please feel free to contact Adrian Barritt, Keri Hamblin, Karen Lewis or Sarah Leeding at AVA.


Forthcoming AVA events


Macmillan Coffee Morning Lancing Village Action 10-1 Friday 26 Sept home made cakes, teas etc 

Adur i-pad club Wednesday 10 Sept 10-12 Old School House and every other week same day

Annual General Meeting 12.30 31 October 2014; illustrated talk on the past and future of Shoreham Fort

Adur Community Network Tuesday 9th September meeting 12.30 Old School House speaker Sarah Carroll, Big Lottery

Adur Community Network November  20th meeting  12.30 Old School House talk by Margaret Guest," Don't Cut Us Out"

Adur Community Network January 22nd  meeting  12.30 Old School House speaker Martin Ladbrook on Charity Insurance.

Adur Community Network Mar ch 26th meeting 12.30 Old School House speaker Graham McKindy, Lottery Heritage Fund

Adur Access & Mobility Group September 26th, November 28th, Members' Room, Lancing Civic Centre, 10.30am



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