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Harrogate and Ripon councils for voluntary service merge

Karen Weaver, chief executive of Harrogate CVS, has become head of Harrogate & Ripon Centres for Voluntary Services

Harrogate CVS
Harrogate CVS

The councils for voluntary service in Harrogate and Ripon have merged in a bid to become more sustainable.

The organisations came together on 1 April to form Harrogate & Ripon Centres for Voluntary Services.

Karen Weaver, chief executive of Harrogate CVS, which had an income of £485,000 in 2011/12, has become head of the new organisation. Frances O’Reilly, interim chief executive of Ripon CVS, which had an income of £329,559 in 2011/12, will leave when her contract finishes at the end of April.

Jackie Snape, vice-chair of HARCVS, told Third Sector that the organisations wanted to provide a more even level of service across the area. Merging would help the organisations provide the best possible services, she said.

"It is also a difficult time for all charities, including infrastructure organisations, and it’s important that both organisations remain sustainable – that was one of the factors behind the merger," she said.

Asked whether there had been any redundancies, Snape said: "All of the people from Ripon who were involved in current and ongoing projects are remaining with the organisation."

Both existing offices will continue to be used by the merged organisation. Harrogate branding will be used with the organisation’s new name for now, said Snape, but new branding might be considered in the future.

She said three trustees from the Ripon CVS had joined the Harrogate board, which will oversee the merged organisation.

Tony Collins, chair of HARCVS, wrote in its newsletter: "Mergers are not easy, but we have taken advice, taken our time and the end result is worth it. It is tougher than ever to secure funding for this vital behind-the-scenes support and development work, and this places us in a very strong position going forwards."

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