Adur Voluntary Action

A member of the Adur and Worthing communities

About Adur Voluntary Action

Adur Voluntary Action (AVA) is an independent movement of voluntary, community and charitable groups and a registered charity founded in 1959. Our members work co-operatively to support one another in mutual aid, self-help, and the building of warm, trusting networks of activity.

Find us online

Visit our website at

Join one or more of our mailing lists:

Email updates

Cancel Join now

Main mail list

Cancel Join now

Upcoming events

Adur Poverty Forum to be launched
Adur Churches Forum

Latest posts

Poverty Forum 22 November

For Immediate Release

Looking for local people with direct experience of poverty and exclusion tojoin the Adur and Worthing Poverty Truth Commission

Adur and Worthing Poverty Truth Commission Hold Poverty ForumLunch Event at The Shoreham Centre.

Plans are moving ahead to set up the Adurand Worthing Poverty Truth Commission (AWPTC). The Adur and WorthingPoverty Truth Commission aims to generate solutions for the local area bybringing together decision makers with those with first-hand experience ofpoverty. We are holding a free ‘PovertyForum Lunch’ in association with AdurVoluntary Action on Wednesday 22 November 2017 from 10.00 – 13.00pm atthe ‘Shoreham Centre’.

The Poverty Forum Lunch aims to recruit local people whowould like to engage in meaningful dialogue through the sharing of personal experiences.We offer a neutral space and welcome all members of the local community andlocal organisations who have direct experience of or support those who havedirect experience of all forms of poverty and exclusion. The new AWPTC website launched today can befound at

The formation of a local Adur and Worthing Poverty TruthCommission arose out of the June 2016 Shoreham Poverty Hearing.


Notes to Editor

For more information please contact Wayne Green 07973490179

Adur and Worthing Poverty Truth Commission consists of localmembers of the community.

The Adur and Worthing Poverty Truth Commission recentlysecured funding from WestSussex County Council. This initiative is also supported by Adur Churches Forum and Adur Voluntary Action.

Poverty Forum Launch

Poverty Forum Launch

A fierce focus on contracts, competition and outsourcing has leached away the spirit and energy of volunteering and community action

Excellent article by David Walker reproduced here for your interest and the sound of a powerful ring of local truth for those who wish to hear. A small group of us have been saying this nationally for over a decade, but to absolutely no apparent avail.

A fierce focus on contracts, competition and outsourcing has leached away the spirit and energy of volunteering and community action

Everyone wants a harmonious relationship between councils and the voluntary sector. The Lords committee on charities, chaired by Michael Bichard, published a report (pdf) in March (which still awaits a response from ministers) hailing a genuine partnership approach. Commentators such as John Tizard, who knows both sides well, continue to produce recipes for collaboration, while Julia Unwin’s inquiry hopes for peace and tranquillity.

But it’s not going to happen. That’s partly because of austerity and financial pressure on town and county halls; they simply can’t restore the grants regime of yore. And charities too often fail to lodge the blame for spending cuts where it belongs, with the David Cameron and Theresa May governments, which have devolved cuts to councils that have, in turn, pared away local spending.

It’s also a matter of attitude: many on the council side believe the only proper relationship between a public body and a “partner” is contractual, based on a formal undertaking to pay for and provide a service – preferably one that can be closely calibrated with numbers. And if a relationship is contractual, that means being seen to minimise cost, even at the expense of freezing out smaller, local non-profit organisations.

Such beliefs are part of new public management – the imported doctrine that emphasises measuring performance against objectives – that has carried sway in the UK for the past four decades. It may now be on its last legs, but chief executives and councillors of all political parties, including Labour, are still tightly wedded to contracts, competition and outsourcing. Charities in England get about £7bn from councils, half of their total income from government. Most of that comes in the form of contacts for services.

Of course many councils, including Labour Wigan and Tory Essex, have warm and productive relationships with the voluntary sector. Chelmsford and Newcastle upon Tyne, in particular, have used Social Value Act provisions energetically to promote local charities.

When the volunteers are out cleaning up parks or running the café in the nature reserve, everything is fine – but marginal. Equally, you can travel the length of England and hear tale after tale of bad blood, suspicion and the divisive effects of harsh funding regimes, with smaller organisations feeling squeezed and marginalised by Barnardo’s and the other giants. Yet even if the good old days of Gordon Brown’s reign returned – total government funding to charities peaked in 2009/10 – tensions would remain. There are endless tales about harsh funding regimes, with smaller organisations feeling squeezed and marginalised.

At root, it’s about trust. “If I tried to contract for what [a community hub] is doing, it would fall apart,” says one north-west chief officer. But the grants she gives that neighbourhood charity are tiny. It’s inconceivable that councils would grant aid to a charity to supply a major service such as child protection or drug addiction without insisting on impacts, evaluations and all the apparatus that surrounds value for money; in other words, on a contract. But contracting, as is well attested, imposes tough burdens on charities and penalises the smaller fry, which cannot afford extensive teams of bid writers, lawyers and all the pressure on trustees that brings. Contracting also leaches away the spirit and energy – amateur in the best sense – behind volunteering and community action.

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, secretary general of the independent Unwin inquiry into the future of civil society, says charities may have been fatally tainted by new public management and competition. Celebrating their status as entities engaged in the pursuit of social good has inadvertently set businesses free to pursue private good, “almost at all costs”. But Sriskandarajah doesn’t acknowledge how those same businesses have taken the lion’s share of public service outsourcing, leaving charities the crumbs and difficult bits. Quite why companies would, as he suggests, adopt a broader responsibility for social outcomes isn’t clear.

Back in 1996, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation recommended that each council should have at least one councillor and one officer with a long-term vision for the voluntary sector, and seek to proactively manage the relationship. Unless and until those relationships are decontracted, this fissure in the local space between civil society and political responsibility can only grow.

Adur Voice November 2017 packed with local news and views

Download " Adur Voice" Nov 2017 here:

To join our mailing list go to:

One emergent future?


"West Sussex Emerging Futures CIC pioneers the concept of ‘mid-point allegiance’, between professional service providers and the individuals and communities they serve. We work closely with mutual aid and recovery groups as well as individuals, associations and local organisations to develop a landscape in which everyone can participate and benefit. To complement this, we also actively support and develop social entrepreneurs with local initiatives.

As part of our mid-point allegiance, we aim to ‘pass it on’. This means sharing skills and knowledge from academic and professional sources that can safely be used by lay individuals to help themselves and those around them.

Emerging Futures acts as a connective catalyst; building relationships which spark creative, disruptive innovation with the aim of increasing community health and vitality and in turn improving community safety. In West Sussex, we are taking a strength based approach to assessment of needs and an asset based approach to community development. West Sussex is incredibly diverse in cultures, environments, resources and opportunities. By engaging with these diverse communities and the myriad of community builders and role models within them, it is easy to demonstrate that recovery is not only possible but visible and holds the promise of a rich and fulfilling life for all and everyone."


Yes, it's real. Brave New Speak indeed. Perhaps we need to launch a dictionary of patronising buzz-words masking platitudes, veiled cash flows and political agendas?

Job Opportunity


Sompting Big Local

£21,962 full-time 37 hrs p.w.

5% pension contribution

Sompting Big Local areseeking a Development Officer. The postholder will support Sompting residents in organizing and working together to identify their own needs and aspirations, and to take joint action to improve the quality of their lives,also working to influence decisions which affect their community.

This is a challenging post which requires an understanding of and passion for the values whichunderly all Big Local projects funded by the Local Trust, as well as ability to work with communities.

The Community Development Officer will be employed by AVA (Adur Voluntary Action), which is recognized by the Local Trustas locally trusted organization for Sompting Big Local. They will be accountable to the SBL Co-ordinator, working closely with SBL and AVA staff andvolunteers.

The post is offered from the date of appointment until 31 March 2020. Further details available from: Emma Crowter,SBL Co-ordinator, email: emmasbl@outlook.comphone: 01903 905899.

New Carers' Cafe launch

Carers’ Café

Tuesday 12thDecember 2017



The Co-op Community Space

Ham Road, Shoreham-by-Sea

This is an informal meetingfor anyone who has caring responsibilities – an opportunity to meet and chatwith others.

Coffee and biscuits on sale

Adur Poverty Forum to be launched

Posted on behalf of Adur Churches Forum
Adur poverty hearing to be launched
22 Nov 2017 at 10:00am
until 22 Nov 2017 at 1:00pm
The Shoreham Centre

Adur Voluntary Action AGM

This year's AVA Annual General Meeting will be at the Old School House, Shoreham-by-Sea, on Friday 1st December, 12 noon onwards.


Peter King of the Adur and Ouse Conservation Trust to speak about their exciting new Lottery-funded project in Sompting
01 Dec 2017 at 12:30pm
until 01 Dec 2017 at 3:00pm
The Old School House
Ham Road
Shoreham by Sea

Transforming local government: essential reading for West Sussex's local authorities and NHS

Independent, critical evaluations are not something we see much of in West Sussex. Here's an example to whet the appetite:

The Centre for Welfare Reform has published a major report offering an independent evaluation and critical review of the work of Barnsley Council.

The report brings together data from multiple evaluations and a fresh analysis of publicly available data. It demonstrates:

Barnsley is making positive progress, despite austerity, by shifting power and control to local people, families and communities

Barnsley is making this progress despite harsh cuts that unfairly target the places where people are poorer - Barnsley has already lost more than 31% of its funding and cuts in benefits will take £129 million per year will be taken out of the local economy

Barnsley is deprived of its fair share of resources by a system of centralised power and spending in London - if public spending was shared equally Barnsley would have £0.75 billion more in local spending. Barnsley only controls 11% of local spending and most remains in Whitehall

The capacity of local people, which Barnsley Council is beginning to tap, is enormous - equivalent to £1.7 billion in public spending (which is about the same as all current public spending in Barnsley)

This report has been written by Dr Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform. Dr Duffy commented:

"Barnsley's achievements are significant, because they are not based on another management fad or theory. Instead local leaders have been working hard, for over 12 years, to shift the balance of power towards local citizens, families and communities. None of this is easy, but the benefits have been very significant, especially when you consider the enormous pressure placed on local government by austerity.

"I particularly hope that this report will provide hope to those in the United Kingdom who still believe in social justice, fairness and the role of local government. Barnsley don't see themselves as a service provider; instead they aim to respect and strengthen local communities and raise people's expectations. Barnsley is a proud Northern town and it expects to achieve great things.

"This report is also relevant to the current debate on devolution. It demonstrates that the current balance of power is not neutral. Barnsley are losing out financially and politically, because power is centralised in London. Current discussions of devolution will not change this unless there is a more fundamental discussion about the financial and constitutional protections that places like Barnsley need."