Many groups have written testimonials for Voluntary Action Worthing to celebrate its work over 25 years and express sorrow at its closure.
These testimonials are featured in the Legacy Report, produced to document the organisation’s efforts in supporting groups in the town.
The report is being sent to funders and decision makers, so they are made aware of the impact its closure will have on small charities and organisation.
Margaret Bamford, retired West Sussex Deputy Lieutenant, wanted to contribute to the Legacy Report, ‘not from the inside but from without’.
She said: “I’ve already expressed deep sadness about the impending demise of VAW. I feel bereft that we are shortly to lose such a priceless resource.
“The voluntary sector in Worthing provides a truly magnificent service. Their contribution includes almost every area of community activity; whether support for preserving the culture or ecology of the town and its surrounding areas, or supporting essential social support services for elderly, disabled, or otherwise vulnerable adults and children.
“The range is varied and massive. Voluntary Action knew them all and had a supporting database to supplement the human memory. Where is this rich knowledge to be preserved and access when needed?
“I am truly proud to live in Worthing with its limitless fund of goodwill and generosity available to contribute to the community and, indeed, people who have the skills and enthusiasm to organise effectively.”
Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden said: “When local authority funding cuts came into force it was vital for groups to work together. Julia was excellent at making this happen. In the last few years her input was invaluable to so many groups. There is no substitute for local knowledge: Julia knew every small group and had built close relationships with them all.”
Cruse West Sussex said: “VAW was helpful to Cruse in West Sussex in many ways and I am deeply sorry that the organisation is closing. Worthing is a very community minded town and offers so many wonderful things on a voluntary basis. VAW supported this activity and I think contributed much to Worthing’s care for the weak and disadvantaged.”
Diverse Community Empowerment Services said: “I think the major point to make is how much a part of the voluntary sector in Worthing VAW has been. Voluntary Action Worthing is unique in that a real embedded interest in our locality was central to the work it did. We are losing a driving force that stands for local values in the community.”
Age UK West Sussex said: “Worthing Voluntary Action was the one local VA that discussed policy and principles in depth (certainly when it was CVS), this was refreshing and important.”
A Great Get Together said: “Voluntary Action Worthing offered a very valuable service and I was grateful for the time and information I received from them. I was not only able to give A Great Get Together direction but came away with a greater understanding of what type of business model to work towards. I gained confidence to move forward, which in turn was of benefit to others in the community.”
Friends of Tarring Park said: “VAW helped Picnic in the Park with a donation that helped us to fund extra toilets (badly needed) on the day. The hire of a juice bike and fruit and milk for the same. The object of the Picnic in the Park was a cheap day out for families and anyone who would like to come.”