Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) has released its Annual Review, revealing that it has boosted the local economy by £1.7m through its employability projects, with other key achievements including supporting 612 voluntary groups and facilitating £3.3m in funding for 37 of them through its Voluntary Sector Support Service.
According to the 2018/19 Annual Review, VAL’s employability projects, YES and GREAT, have seen over 170 people being helped into employment, resulting in £1.7m being added to the economy through average wages. These projects have supported people in the region to overcome barriers and challenges that have prevented them from finding a job or seeking further education and training.
Originally founded in 1965 as the Leicester Council for Social Services, VAL has been helping volunteer and community groups for over fifty years across a range of services encompassing education, employment, support and funding for some of the hardest to reach and most marginalised people in society.
It is now a charity with an income of over £3.5 million, delivering multiple projects and contracts that drive social good in local communities.
More recently, VAL has adapted to the changing economic climate by diversifying its income and delivering projects that directly improve the lives of the people it works with. It is the lead partner on the YES Project and the GREAT Project, both funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund, and has delivered national services including Healthwatch and SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service) in the local area.
Anil Majithia, Chair of VAL Trustee Board, said:
“VAL’s fundamental aim is to change people’s lives for the better, which we do directly and with the support of partners. Following a difficult year in 2017/18, it gives me great pleasure to be able to report a much improved financial and operational performance for 2018/19.”
Kevan Liles, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, added:
“Thanks to the hard work of our trustee board, our staff and our volunteers, we have started this year in a better, more sustainable position. Despite the challenges, we are full of hope for the future and looking forward to seeing what the coming year brings.”
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