Support for local groups

Two new regional initiatives have been launched for charities in London and the south-west.

In the London borough of Southwark, two charities have formed a support agency for 2,000 voluntary and community organisations in the local area. Community Action Southwark was formed by the merger of the Southwark Community Care Forum and Southwark Action for Voluntary Organisations.

The new organisation has won a three-year contract from Southwark Council to manage the new council for voluntary service in the borough.

"We are now in a position to give an enhanced service to the voluntary sector in Southwark," said Les Alden, chair of Community Action Southwark. "I want us to build a dynamic resource centre for the whole of the local voluntary and community sector."

Meanwhile, the Charities Information Bureau South & West has launched a new website. The site, created with funding from Sport England, will extend a funding advice service to the whole of the south-west of England. Previously, the service was available only to fundraisers in Wiltshire, Swindon, Bath and north-east Somerset.

"With more than 200 people already using the fundraising databases, the impact we will able to make helping people across the south west with their fundraising will be significant," said Rosemary Hopgood, chief executive of the Charities Information Bureau.

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