Ten Suffolk infrastructure charities line up merger

Young Suffolk's Helen Scott-Davies says the move will mean better support and guidance for voluntary sector organisations in the area

Helen Scott-Davies
Helen Scott-Davies

Ten infrastructure organisations in Suffolk have announced a plan to merge into a single body in an attempt to save money.

The new organisation, Community Action Suffolk, will be launched in April and will bring together charities such as Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service, Volunteer Centre Framlingham & District, Suffolk Acre, Young Suffolk and Volunteer Centre Lowestoft.

Helen Scott-Davies, chair of trustees for Young Suffolk, an infrastructure organisation for children and young people, said the groups involved had been talking about the merger for years.

"We are not anticipating any job losses when we become CAS but all staff on contracts across the organisations are covered by Tupe legislation in any case," she said. "The merger will mean much better support and guidance for the voluntary sector across Suffolk.

Scott-Davies said the county’s voluntary sector was under pressure because of cuts.

"The merger means we will have more chance of surviving and making better use of our resources by not duplicating roles."

Will Gibson, chief executive of Suffolk Acre, said the organisations hoped to make savings by merging their communications and finance departments.

"Our board of trustees decided to merge so we could bring our services together and makes a less fragmented offer across the county," he said.

Gibson said Suffolk Acre, which had an income of £1.3m in the year to April 2012, did not yet know if it or any of the other organisations would cut jobs.

The post of chief executive at Community Action Suffolk has been advertised, listing a salary of £50,000 a year.

The other organisations involved in the merger are Babergh Communities Together, Haverhill Association of Voluntary Organisations, Haverhill Volunteer Centre, the Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations and The Community Forum, which is based in Lowestoft.

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