WESSEX Community Action has been given a prestigious accreditation for its work supporting the voluntary sector after a rigorous assessment.
The group has been awarded a Local Infrastructure Quality Accreditation by the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action after assessors interviewed staff, trustees and stakeholders. The assessors looked at how WCA demonstrates leadership and advocacy, creates partnerships, supports increasing the sector’s capacity and encourages volunteering.
The charity, which works all over Swindon and Wiltshire, supports community groups with training and guidance to help make them more resilient, represents the voluntary sector in dealings with council and health leaders and runs forums for small groups and charities to give them a stronger voice.
Chief Executive Amber Skyring said:
“I’m very proud that we have been successful in this and pleased for the staff. The accreditation reflects our value and impact in supporting the local, voluntary, community, and social enterprises across Wiltshire, and will further instil confidence in the high standard of service that we deliver.
“We are delighted because we have delivered an extraordinary level of services and support to the community over the last few years, despite having to navigate a pandemic and the cost of living crisis.”
She said the assessment had been a useful exercise:
“It was an opportunity for us to look at what we are doing and what evidence we are collecting to show that we provide that level of support, so it was like a check and balance for us as much as reassuring anyone that comes to us.”
One aspect of the group’s work which came in for praise was the Wiltshire Volunteer Managers Steering Group and Forum, which it runs to provide a platform for volunteer managers and co-ordinators to share knowledge and discuss opportunities.
Mrs Skyring said:
“It’s an example of the high-quality support we give to the voluntary sector and it is great that the work of our Partnership and Engagement Lead Anita Hansen has been recognised.”
Maddy Desforges, CEO of NAVCA, which is the national membership body for local infrastructure organisations, said:
“We’re delighted Wessex Community Action has achieved the LIQA. We know that local voluntary and community work thrives when it can access the right support.
“Achieving the LIQA means local charities, community groups and those who want to get involved in volunteering can be assured the services they access will be effective and high quality.”
Mrs Skyring added:
“It is really pleasing we’ve been recognised in this way because we see ourselves as cheerleaders for the voluntary sector. This quality mark will really help people feel reassured when they knock on our doors and ask for something that they’re going to get good quality advice and support.”