Thirty volunteer centres fear closure because of council cuts

Volunteering England chief Justin Davis Smith warns that the government's £42.5m infrastructure funding might be too late to save them

Volunteering England chief Justin Davis Smith
Volunteering England chief Justin Davis Smith

Thirty volunteer centres have warned that they might have to close down or stop providing some services because of local authority funding cuts, according to Volunteering England.

Staff at the centres have written to the umbrella body setting out their fears about the future, even though the government has promised £42.5m of funding for volunteering infrastructure.

Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, said he was "extremely anxious" about the cuts. He warned that the government’s new £42.5m fund for volunteering infrastructure, announced in its green paper on giving last month, would not be available in time to save volunteer centres hit by significant cuts in council funding.

"I am worried that exciting opportunities will be lost where volunteer centres will be closing down before the new fund comes into effect," he said.

"If a community loses its volunteer centre, it loses the heartbeat and the brain power that enable the volunteering movement to thrive."  

Davis Smith said that about 90 per cent of the 250 volunteer centres that were members of Volunteering England received funding directly from local authorities.

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