12 AprIncreased funding for advice centres
Wantage Independent Advice Centre (WIAC) recently received a boost to their budget, following a £10,000 increase in an annual grant they receive from the Vale of White Horse District Council. The council now provides £53,000 every year to support the centre.
The centre was founded in 1971, and was known as the Community Information Centre until 2001. It moved to its current location behind Barclays Bank on the Market Place in 1995 and works thanks to the help of around 80 volunteers.
They provide a transport scheme for people who are unable to use public transport, to places such as hospitals, the health centre and the shops. They also operate a Good Neighbour scheme, which was launched in April 2009 and provides volunteers to help with small tasks, such as putting up shelves or collecting prescriptions.
The Centre has a range of advice services, including debt management, benefit entitlements, employment rights, consumer rights and many more. With the help of time and expertise generously donated by local professionals, they are also able to provide clients with free legal and business advice. In 2008 the centre received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Matthew Barber, recently visited the WIAC offices to learn all about their work and the challenges they face. He said: “The centre is a shining example of a community pulling together to help one another out. We are committed to helping organisations like this across the Vale and I’m delighted that we’re able to make this extra money available. I know the extra money will be well spent on improving their excellent services, especially as I’m aware they’re currently looking to relocate to larger premises.”
Chairman of WIAC, Geoff Hamer, said: “We are very grateful for this increase, which ensures we can continue providing services to the local community. We are very pleased that the Vale has chosen to support us in this way and we feel it recognises not only the needs of local residents but also the outstanding work carried out by all our volunteers. “
Joint Operations Manager at WIAC, Lisa Benge said: “We are desperately short of space so this is our focus for fundraising for the coming year. Having this very welcome addition to our finances brings the hope of bigger premises a step closer to reality.”
Article source: http://matthewbarber.co.uk/?p=533