Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service launches Covid community recovery programme thanks to National Lottery funding

Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service (PCVS) has launched a new Voluntary CommunitySector (VCS) Recovery programme, aimed at improving the lives of those most impacted by Covid-19 and poverty.

By Ben Jones
Saturday, 5th March 2022, 10:11 am
Monitoring and performance Officer, Kirsty Warren.
Monitoring and performance Officer, Kirsty Warren.

PCVS has been supported in doing this by over £380,000 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Representatives from the organisation say that it is clear that communities up and down the country continue to feel the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular pressures on personal finance and the impact on mental health that this can have.

PCVS’ mission through their VCS Recovery Programme is to build strong and vibrant communities that are resilient and feel empowered to tackle current and future challenges across the sector.

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VCS Recovery Lead, Zoe Dunstan.

This will be achieved by continuing to run and develop the already established and successful forums that have proven to define and tackle overarching issues currently faced by Peterborough’s communities. These include mental health, disability awareness and domestic abuse.

The forums that currently run are chaired by leaders from PCVS’ members organisations, whose dedication and passion has allowed the forums to continue and thrive, serving those most vulnerable people within the city.

These forums help to support and find solutions to the societal issues that they face, which have been heightened as a result of the pandemic.

PCVS is committed to conducting further research into whether there is a need for developing new forums for example, in the areas of cultural and languages, digital inclusion and debt and poverty.

The latter will be centred around exploring the idea of setting up a Poverty Truth Commission in Peterborough where the aim is to involve those whose lives are affected and blighted by poverty when making crucial decisions.

To help deliver the VCS Recovery Programme, PCVS has announced the recruitment of two new members of staff - Monitoring and performance Officer, Kirsty Warren and VCS Recovery Lead, Zoe Dunstan.

Kirsty has worked within the charity and community sector for over 10 years and is aware of the challenges faced by those on the front line of support as well as those trying to report and evidence effective working. She is looking forward to bringing her expertise to the project by ensuring delivery is on track and achieving outcomes, whilst also supporting forum members.

Zoe has worked in the charity sector for the past six years, supporting individuals with their mental health and wellbeing and raising awareness of Young Carers. She is really excited to be driving the VSC Recovery Project forwards.

Zoe said: “I hope to encourage our members from the Charity and Voluntary Sector to stay connected with each other, and build strong relationships across communities in Peterborough. We can do this through the themed forums and by working together, we will identify gaps in service and provision for the people that are needing our support.

“I believe that we are stronger together and that by working collaboratively we will be able to create innovative solutions and seek funding to ensure the right support is in place for the people of Peterborough who need it the most.

I am looking forward to meeting as many of our members as possible to see how we can further support them.”

Helen Bushell, Senior Head of Regional Funding for London, South East and East of England at The National Lottery Community Fund, added: “While the last two years have proved extremely challenging for communities up and down the country, one thing that has been a consistent source of hope and inspiration has been the hard work and dedication of voluntary organisations like Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services. Its work has allowed many vulnerable people within the city to look to the future with renewed optimism and provided a lifeline that has enabled the wider community to better prosper and thrive.”

With more than 500 members, PCVS has been supporting Peterborough’s charities and volunteering groups for 40 years. PCVS membership is free and offers access to invaluable advice and guidance on various areas of running a charity, group or organisation.

If you would like to find out how they can support you or want to get involved in one of their forums, contact [email protected]