Voluntary Action LeicesterShire

Annual Review 2016-2017

An exciting and challenging year

This year VAL has led partnerships of local voluntary groups to win European funded projects, which are already getting long-term unemployed people into work.

We’re committed to “changing people’s lives for the better” and we’re developing new areas of work to support the people and communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Supporting Communities

Part of VAL’s core mission is to improve local communities by contributing to a thriving voluntary and community sector (VCS).

We influence decision makers and provide opportunities for groups to network, learn and grow.

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Encouraging activity

We worked with Sport England to develop a £110,000 fund to improve participation in physical activity in the Coalville and Highfields areas.

Seven organisations were funded to deliver exciting projects like Tag Archery and Get Cycling Leicester.

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Healthwatch Leicestershire

We’ve spent the year listening to local people, scrutinising local services and challenging stakeholders.

We’ve met over 3,000 members of local communities at 202 events, and published five reports on topics from accessing GPs to mental health services.

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Supporting Families

VAL’s Children, Young People and Families team supports local families through a mixture of direct service delivery to parents and carers, and by supporting the growth and development of the local children’s workforce.

Our Choice Advice Service is just one of the services we deliver, helping parents to apply for school places in Leicester City. In 2016-17, the service delivered 82 one-to-one support sessions and supported 643 parents.

Supporting the children’s workforce

This year the Children’s Workforce team delivered over 150 training events to almost 3,000 attendees across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

They also conducted an audit to better understand the safeguarding training needs of the local VCS.

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SENDIASS Leicester

Amy came to SENDIASS Leicester for advice and support when her daughter was diagnosed with autism.

The support they provide is crucial… to have someone who can help you to have a voice and work with the Local Authority is so important

Read Amy's Story

Building Better Opportunities

VAL successfully bid for £4.1m from the Building Better Opportunities fund, jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund and the European Union.

This enabled us to deliver two new projects aimed at developing skills and employability for people in local communities – the GREAT Project and the YES Project.

The GREAT Project

The GREAT (Getting Ready for Employment and Training) Project helps members of families in Leicestershire who are not currently in work or training, to move towards work.

If it wasn’t for you guys then I wouldn’t have been able to come this far.

Read Jo and Jade's Story

YES Project

The YES Project supports young people aged 15-24 years old to take steps towards employment. One of the people they supported this year was Ben.

[YES] has supported me in many different ways… [it] has helped me with my confidence.

Read Ben’s Story

Supporting people with Learning disabilities

This year, VALUES has been really active, and no-one is more active than Maria.

Maria has taken part in the Special Olympics, carried the Olympic torch through Leicester and even met Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Read Maria’s Story

Conference room and office rental

We’ve worked hard to develop the Orange Rooms this year, with new meeting rooms, refurbished offices and new tenants.

We’ve built a new conference space and brought in more tenants, which helps to contribute towards VAL’s

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Breaking new boundaries

We know that vulnerable people and communities receive essential support and resilience from volunteers and local groups. We want to nurture and care for those volunteers and groups now, and into the future.

The support received from VAL has been fantastic, priceless… I will certainly be using VAL’s services to assist in the development of all that I do.

Thank you for reading!

In order for us to keep championing voluntary action in local communities, we need your continuing support. You can support us by sharing this annual review on social media and with your networks.

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Voluntary Action Leicestershire is the trading name of Voluntary Action Leicester. Voluntary Action Leicester is a Registered Charity (No. 509300). Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 1356513. Registered in England & Wales.