Dudley CVS have been a huge support to our organisation in its application for charity status. They have provided sound advice and guidance throughout the charity application process. In addition, guidance has been offered on how best to complete a funding application.
Becky has been tremendous support. She has shown diligence and remained patient with us at all times, taking the time to explain the stages that we need to consider and guiding us to make good appropriate choices for the best interests of the organisation. She has provided clear responses to any queries that we have raised throughout the process.
I am quite sure that our organisation would not have had the confidence to move forward towards charity status. It is a matter that has been discussed on previous occasions but it was the help and involvement from Dudley CVS that allowed us to navigate our way through the application.
CVS has helped majorly with several funding applications (many of which have been successful). Representation on LA boards, forums, steering groups etc which championed the work we do. Being made aware of upcoming opportunities for partnership working. Networking opportunities with other sector orgs.
I found the support beyond beneficial. Staff I have worked with have gone above and beyond to support our work and have always been approachable, realistic with expectations and available.
Your support has helped us secure funding, have the confidence to sit on various boards, represent other voluntary orgs, form meaningful partnerships and help in planning for sustainability.
Becky helped us set up our constitution, apply for our grant by helping us do our business plan , helped us sort out our liability insurance and much more.
Becky made something that could have been quite difficult really easy to do with her help and support. She also gave her contact details so we could contact her regarding any issues or questions we may have had.
We wouldn’t have even known where to start if it hadn’t been for Becky. We are now running a very successful youth club with over 70 children registered. We get around 40 children most weeks and the feedback from them has been great.
We generally get support by way of information, briefings, volunteering support etc. During last year we accessed specific support from DCVS Funding Officer to help us develop an application for funding from Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund. We had previously benefited from similar support for a previous application to Big Lottery, which had been successful.
Martin is very knowledgeable and well organised, offering a high standard of advice and guidance. He takes time to understand what we are trying to achieve, acts as a critical friend and helps keep us on track at all stages. This helped us to hone our application to meet the funders requirements and ensure our project was viable. Having this quality of external advice is essential to an organisation of our size where capacity for strategic development is limited.
We have increased the range of services that we provide to our clients (both survivors of brain injury and their carers/families). We have increased the numbers of people we support and their independence and quality of life, thus reducing demands on statutory services. The latest Lottery Funding will enable us to develop services further, in particular our outreach into communities and early support in hospitals and clinics.
Becky met with us several times when we first joined together to form a “Friends Group”. She helped us to do some brainstorming about what we wanted to achieve. Then she helped us set up with a constitution and she gave us some contacts at the Council.
It was free! And it was freely given, by which I mean that Becky never indicated that she didn’t have time for us and has continued to be available for me to ask questions.
In the first few meetings it helped to move us along. Becky took on responsibility for a constitution and this gave us something to talk about and helped us to feel that we were an actual thing. Without Becky’s involvement I’m not sure how much the group would have developed. She has given us a structure, that means we continue to try and achieve something!
About 50% of our volunteers who have started volunteering with us this year have come from direct referrals from Dudley CVS. Dudley CVS not only helps us as a charity recruit volunteers but also enable volunteers to discover new organisations and start in roles they may not have thought of by themselves.
Dudley CVS have also been great at offering advice and providing links external resources.
Whenever I have had questions about volunteering issues I have always had a quick response. I also have the feeling that I can ask anything no matter how small or stupid the questions may seem. If they don’t know the answer (as was one query I had regarding DBS checks) they were very helpful in advising where else I could look for support.
Dudley CVS have provided extensive support and training in how to manage volunteers. With the formation of Black Country Radio in September 2016 from two previous stations it was an opportunity for our organisation to update and review how we manage the over 100 volunteers that support the station.
Dudley CVS have been massively helpful. The knowledge that the share with community organisations is fantastic – and they are always there to answer a query or provide guidance. The networking they provide across Dudley MBC is also really important.
We’ve been able to develop up to date policies and guidance for our volunteers – as well as more detailed organisational knowledge in how to recruit, manage and support volunteers.
Dudley CVS provides great support to so many voluntary organisations which a wide variety of different needs. Their advice is second to none – which makes working with volunteers easier for an organisation and should seek to enhance and improve any volunteer experience with an organisation. Keep up the brilliant work.
Dudley CVS have supported Sandwell Financial Services Hub with their advice, expertise and knowledge around volunteers. They have been a ‘Critical Friend’ to ensure our volunteering policies, procedures and processes are of a high quality that enables our volunteers to develop and flourish.
Dudley CVS also supply us with high calibre volunteers who have developed and moved to employment, training and other activities.
The team at Dudley CVS are friendly and helpful, therefore even the simplest of enquiries is answered with empathy. Also, the range and breadth of knowledge and experience of the team is exceptional.
We have been able to:
- Recruit high calibre volunteers
- Gain support for our volunteers
- Understand how the law impacts on volunteers and what we need to do
- Develop robust volunteer policies
- Improve the quality of our volunteering practices
- Access to networks and other agencies who also have volunteers.
Without Martin’s support I don’t think our bid would have been successful. We gained £252,000 in Reaching Communities Big Lottery funding. The project launched in Dudley in January 2016.
An excellent service.