The Rural Community Council (RCC) are now lead voluntary community sector organisation, overseeing the Borough Council’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) work across the borough.
This new development, which took effect from 1 June, follows as Shani Smith, Chief Officer of Hinckley-based Next Generation, the council’s current partner organisation, retires and Support Officer Louise Lock undertakes a new role with Fosseway GP Practices.
The RCC is a Leicestershire and Rutland based charity working with individuals and groups to tackle rural and community issues, supporting them to deliver locally led solutions to the issues impacting their area. Their aim is to help communities of Leicestershire and Rutland become happier, healthier, stronger, and more prosperous places to live and work.
Edwina Grant, Strategic & Community Planning Manager and Lead for the Voluntary Community Sector at the Borough Council said:
Next Generation have worked in partnership with the council for the past nine years, overseeing and co-ordinating provision and support available to the voluntary sector across the borough. Whilst the unprecedented events of the last 18 months have presented many challenges, the impact that Next Generation, volunteers and other VCS organisations has had on communities across the borough throughout the pandemic has been invaluable.
It has been an incredible journey since that first meeting of minds with Next Generation, with the council having recognised the need to improve its relationship with the VCS, both in terms of how it listens and responds to the voice of the community, as well as having arrangements in place that enable a thriving and sustainable sector.
Thank you to Next Generation for the many, many hours invested, your commitment, creativity and resilience, to always find a way of making things work for the benefit of all.
Sam Howlett, Director at RCC said:
We are delighted to be taking on the new VCS lead role to strengthen and evolve the VCS partnership. Meeting the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, working with the Borough Council, and building on the solid foundations set by Next Generation. We have already spent the past few months reviewing, redefining, and looking at how to further enhance the VCS partnership offer and look forward to implementing our plans.
Executive member for Voluntary and Community Services at the Borough Council Councillor Keith Lynch added:
The efforts and the success of the VCS, particularly during the many months of the pandemic, can only fairly be described as magnificent. As the VCS moves on under the guidance of the RCC we can feel sure that the standards that have been set for them will be maintained and I wish them all the very best and look forward to working with them. However I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Next Generation, Shani and Louise for all their hard work and commitment and wish them every success in their new ventures.