STATEMENT TO MEMBERS
It is with great sadness that the trustees of West Sussex Council for Voluntary Youth Services (WSCVYS) will be recommending to you, our members at our AGM on 19 June that the organisation closes for 30 September. WSCVYS has served the voluntary children and young people’s sector across the county for many years, providing training, guidance and support to over 100 youth organisations supporting tens of thousands of children young people and their families, and it is with great regret that the Trustees have been forced to recommend closure.
The trustees recognised the organisation’s vulnerability several years ago as funding priorities changed and financial support for infrastructure organisations was reduced or redirected to frontline delivery. A strategic decision was made by the trustees in 2011 to maintain staffing levels and to use the organisation’s reserves in order to continue to deliver the essential services that we have provided to our members and community. Throughout this period our staff team worked tirelessly to reshape the organisation’s offer and develop new revenue streams. We have always communicated our vulnerability to you, our members and to funders – as well as our commitment in trying to find solutions to the funding gap so that we could continue delivering essential infrastructure support.
The organisation has reviewed its services, consulted with members and undertook a considerable programme change. Products were developed and opportunities sought as we focused our attention on quality, inclusion, safeguarding, representation, information and communication while we continued to support the members and the sector.
Sadly, despite our best efforts to reposition WSCVYS and in the absence of sufficient new funding, the organisation, following a consultation process with the staff, has been forced to make all staff redundant. There will be some activities that can be transferred to other organisations, and every effort will be made to ensure the achievements of WSCVYS provide an ongoing legacy for the children and young people’s voluntary and community sector across the County.
Our current position is that reserves will maintain our organisation until late summer 2013 and the team is working an extended notice period. This will enable us to continue supporting both our members and community while resources remain available to do so and to support our brilliant team of staff as their term of employment comes to a close. We will have a special final month of delivery in September which includes our last conference and some small contract wrap-up/hand-over.
At our AGM on Wednesday 19th June 2013, the trustees will recommend to the membership:
“Due to insufficient funds and the many unsuccessful attempts to secure additional resources, West Sussex Council for Voluntary Youth Services will be unable to continue operating. The trustees recommend to the membership, that the organisation should prepare for closure from 31st August 2013 (there will be some final delivery in September) with any remaining assets to be disposed of in accordance with the Articles of Association.”
We will of course continue discussion with all our stakeholders over the next few months as to how we can best support the children and young people’s voluntary and community sector as we wind down operation. A Legacy Plan has been produced by our staff, which we will endeavour to implement, so that elements of our work might possibly continue without us. Sadly it will not replace our experienced staff, systems and practices.
We have publicised our AGM over the last months and formal invitations will follow shortly. We do hope to see as many members and friends on the evening as possible to help us through this difficult period. Both at the AGM and before the event I will be pleased to answer any questions that you might have.
WSCVYS would like to thank all its supporters who have contributed to its success and achievements over the years, and is certain that the children and young people’s voluntary and community sector will continue to play its part in transforming the lives of children, young people and their families in West Sussex. We are proud to have contributed to your invaluable work for the past 35 years. Thank you for allowing us that privilege.Les Pond
WSCVYS is a charitable company limited by guarantee,
Company Number: 07371252, Charity Number: 1138115