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MP praises volunteer centre at award presentation

Monday, 31st October 2011.

Staff at Haverhill Volunteer Centre have received another big vote of confidence in the quality of service they provide in the form a quality award from Volunteer England.

Centre manager Elaine Hewes received the certificate officially on Friday from Haverhill MP Matthew Hancock at the centre's annual meeting.

The award recognises the high quality of service provided by the volunteer centre, along with six others in Suffolk.

The Haverhill centre first received the award three years ago, but when it came up for renewal this year they joined forces with the other centres to reduce the workload on all of them required to qualify for the award.

Centre chairman Chris Briggs told the annualmeeting the centre had done well in 2010/11, in that it had turned a slight deficit into aslight surplus, but things were looking bleak for the coming year.

The centre does not receive enough in its grants from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council to cover the cost of running it, so it relies on income from projects which it picks up.

"We're going to be strapped for cash," said Mr Briggs, "because there are very few projects about at the moment, if any. The council grants are insufficient to run the office and it is only thanks to the work of staff Elaine Hewes and Gaby Chick that we survive."

Mr Hancock thanked Elaine and Gaby for the work they did, and congratulated them on gaining the certificate again.

"I would like to put formally on record the gratitude of the whole of Haverhill for the work you do," he said. "You work far harder than anybody asks you to.

"You turn a small amount of funding and time and effort into much, much more for the whole community."

Mr Briggs said they had been inundated this year with people sent down to them from the job centre to improve their CVs by doing volunteer work.

"We've had to close the door because there are just too many," he said. "We couldn't cope with it."

The meeting heard a presentation by Kay Newman, St Nicholas Hospice's neighbour co-ordinator about the hospice neighbours team, which currently has 13 neighbours and 12 patients in Haverhill.

Haverhill Online News

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