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Volunteering One Lancashire gets underway

John Freeman
Volunteering One Lancashire, a new pilot project taking place across the county, will support volunteers and voluntary groups.

Backed by Lancashire County Council, the Project aims to create new volunteer hubs across the county for Volunteer Groups to work together.

The three hubs will encourage people to volunteer, help organisations find volunteers and enable volunteers to gain new skills to help their work.

It will also develop links between voluntary groups in Lancashire to share information and good practice.

The county council is investing almost £130,000 from a Central Gateway Grant in this pilot project, which will run for a year. Additional funds have also been drawn from One Lancashire - a support network for voluntary organisations, which is funded by the government.

Once completed, the pilot will be reviewed to look at its successes and plan a way forward to further develop volunteering across the county council.

To cover the whole county, three hubs will be created:

  • North: Lancaster, Morecambe, Fylde and Wyre

  • East: Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley

  • Central: Preston, South Ribble, Chorley, and West Lancashire

At present, schemes that support volunteering take place in some parts of the county, but not others . This pilot will fill these gaps and provide countywide coverage, while building on the work of existing networks and volunteering schemes.

"By working closely with groups who are already involved in the voluntary sector, we can target this service in a much b! etter way than the county council could have done on its own," explains County Councillor Mark Perks, who is Chair of the Cabinet Working Group for the Third Sector.

"Voluntary work takes place all across the county and can bring tremendous benefits to people and communities. We want to support their work and the introduction of Volunteering One Lancashire will be an important part of this support."

In total, seven jobs will be created - two for each hub and a part time project co-ordinator. Other work at the hubs will be done by volunteers, helping to create more volunteering opportunities in the county.

The One Lancashire project will be led by Selnet - the social enterprise Lancashire network - with support from other agencies to deliver the project in each area.

Volunteering Lancashire is a network of volunteer infrastructure organisations. This multi-agency partnership aims to promote high quality volunteering and encourage a greater number and diversity of volunteers that will in turn improve access, services and resources.

The One Lancashire partnership was established February 2012 as a result of a successful bid to Cabinet Office for Transforming Local Infrastructure funding. The partnership has six core members with Selnet acting as the lead agency and the accountable body to the Cabinet Office.

The transformation programme is designed to improve support and services to voluntary, community and faith sector organisations and social enterprises in Lancashire.

• Further details about One Lancashire can be found at