New Opportunities For Volunteers

Groundwork London to Wandsworth's volunteering support service

Leading charity Groundwork London will place a large number of volunteers in a wide range of volunteering projects across the borough over the next three years with funding from the town hall.

The council will invest £380,000 to encourage more people to take up volunteering opportunities in projects that benefit the community. 

Groundwork London will set up volunteer outreach teams and use a mobile volunteer centre that will visit schools, community centres, job centres, hospitals, colleges, and places of worship to develop volunteering opportunities in a wide range of organisations and projects.

It will also use new technologies like social media to create an online volunteer clearing-house where volunteers can be matched with local worthy causes.

The organisation is a leading member of a network of charities, set up in the early 1980s, to support and help people and organisations create better neighbourhoods, build skills and job prospects, and to live and work in a greener way.

Groundwork London employs 190 staff with expertise in community engagement, supporting deprived communities, business, finance, fundraising, wildlife and conservation, youth work, and project management. It is halfway through an existing six year contract with the council, which is working to improve the borough’s environment. It is also working on creating a new Wandle regional park encompassing the green space around the banks of the river, stretching from Wandsworth to Croydon.

It was chosen as the council’s voluntary sector partner following a detailed analysis of a number of high quality bids from organisations seeking to win the contract to run volunteering services in the borough.

Seven bids were initially received and these were whittled down to the five best and highest quality tenders.

As well as scoring highly for the quality of their service, Groundwork London also offered the best value for taxpayers – delivering a saving of just under 30 per cent on the existing contract price.

Cabinet member for finance and corporate resources Cllr Maurice Heaster said:
“This is an exciting time for the voluntary sector in Wandsworth. We will be working closely with Groundwork London to recruit more volunteers for good causes and to extend and enhance the opportunities for them to contribute to the wider community.

“When it came to selecting our partner in this very important area of work, we looked very closely at what all the tender organisations were offering to do and their level of expertise. At the same time we also made sure we stuck to the well established Wandsworth maxim of striking the best possible value for money deal for our local taxpayers.

“I’m delighted to say that having taken all these important factors into account Groundwork London were the clear winners. They have a well-established track record in this field, especially with working with volunteers, and have the capability and the expertise to deliver a great new future for volunteering services in Wandsworth.”

Groundwork London will begin work in April and will be supporting the council in meeting its corporate objective to “build a prosperous, vibrant and cohesive community”.



  January 13, 2011

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