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Read our February 2020 Newsletter
See the latest news for charities, voluntary and community groups in the New Forest.
Charity merger will put communities first
An exciting proposal to merge two successful and influential Hampshire based charities has been unveiled.
Communities First Wessex and Community First New Forest have successfully served the community and provided effective support for charities and voluntary sector groups in their respective areas for many years.
The two organisations have been considering how they might work in closer collaboration seeking to save money and combine management functions whilst continuing to invest in local, frontline community services and support to improve the reach and impact of the voluntary sector.
The two organisations believe that a merger is the best way forward and they are now working towards implementing this on 1 April 2020.
The new organisation will provide joined up support and services across more than 50% of Hampshire and will continue to have a presence, both in the New Forest and across the wider operating area of Communities First Wessex.
We will maintain close links with local groups and be responsive to their needs, whilst also looking outwards to ensure that new funding opportunities are pursued to the benefit of our local communities.
Both charities help voluntary and community groups to deliver greater impact for their communities by harnessing the commitment and enthusiasm of local volunteers, providing advice and support with fundraising and delivering specialist training to the charity sector.
The charities also provide much needed critical community services including transport for older and disabled people, specialist counselling services, shopmobility and support for vulnerable adults and young people.
“We firmly believe this merger will create a stronger, more efficient and effective organsisation to sustain and advance services for the benefit of our local communities.
It is a great opportunity to create an organisation which will have real impact across a large part of Hampshire.
We will have the scale and capacity to bid for more substantial funding, to compete for larger contracts and to invest in developing new services.
Our ability to do this is all the more important in the light of current, and prospect of further, reductions in public sector funding, reductions which mean many more people are likely to need charity support.
Our whole organisations, Board members, staff and volunteers are delighted at the prospect of this merger.”
Beverley Jones, Chairman, Communities First Wessex
Mary Falk, Co Chair, Community First New Forest
Community First New Forest is a passionate charity that seeks to improve the quality of life for people and communities living in the New Forest District and surrounding districts.
Who we support:
- Voluntary and community groups and volunteering
- Older people and people with a disability
- Children, young people and families
We do this by:
- Providing support and advice to local voluntary and community groups
- Helping people to volunteer
- Delivering local services that help people with their needs
Our services include:
- Community support and development
- Volunteer Centre
- Community Transport
- Hire of mini buses to local voluntary and community groups
- Moped loans for young people
- Young Carers
All of our services will put you at the centre – your needs are important to us and we are committed to providing the best possible service.
Many people have told us that we make a difference and they have said how much our help is appreciated. What you think and feel matters to us – we want to be sure that we are there for you and really helping you.
Please have a look at our services and see how they might be able to help you or someone you know.
Thank you to all our funders for their support; it is appreciated and is vital to our work and the difference we make together. Our key funders are Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and Big Lottery. A list of our funders can be found via this link.