The National Lottery Community Fund has made a huge difference to Suffolk’s 5,000 charities and voluntary organisations by funding the work of Suffolk ProHelp for the next three years.
Suffolk ProHelp, a scheme run by Community Action Suffolk, partners professional firms with causes and voluntary sector organisations that need specific support.
The expertise and input provided by the various companies has ranged from legal and financial advice, to building consultancy, HR services, engineering assistance, marketing, and longer term strategic planning.
Over the last two years Suffolk ProHelp has supported 166 voluntary sector organisations ranging from village shops to arts projects, scout groups to village halls equating to £168,000 worth of support. Funding from the National Lottery Communities Fund will enable Suffolk ProHelp to build on this success and add to the wider support Community Action Suffolk provides to strengthen the impact of the voluntary sector.
Stephen Beales Chair of Suffolk ProHelp said; “We are delighted that the Big Lottery has seen the value and unique contribution of Suffolk ProHelp and has agreed to fund us going forward for the next three years.
“We aim to develop and extend our work by aiding more organisations and helping their communities thrive as result. We also aim to involve more firms and broaden our range of expertise.”
Angela Lee-Foster, who manages Suffolk ProHelp, added: “Professional expertise is often out of the reach of many community organisations in Suffolk yet essential to their development. The National Lottery Community Fund has fully funded us for the next three years and we aim to help at least 50 organisations increasing each year and provide professional expertise worth over £100, 000 and rising as the project extends.
“We will also continue to offer our very successful Learning Lunches, with support from special venues across Suffolk, to share professional expertise as widely as possible on a range of subjects.”
“In order to meet our ambitions we need to involve more professional businesses.”
Stephen Beales added: “The generosity of firms involved with the scheme has made a significant impact and contribution in Suffolk. Going forward we are looking to see how the wider business community can support our work by joining us as professional members and also sponsoring us making us less reliant on grant funding in the longer term.”