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Community Champions Celebrate Posted on Thursday, 1 September 2022

VASL Community Champions celebrates in style!

50 people (clients, volunteers, partners and VASL staff) met in Market Harborough to celebrate the end of the first Community Champions project which ran from July 2017 – Aug 2022 and the beginning of phase 2. The project alleviated loneliness by setting up befriending matches, offering support with digital inclusion, organising regular social and learning opportunities, working in partnership with similar organisations and facilitating inter-generational dialogue.

Everyone enjoyed a strawberry cream tea in a room festooned with Lottery bunting, Lottery flags  and bright flowers. At one end James, from Harborough District Council had set up a display of eight panels produced by secondary schools in the District to reflect their memories of each decade of the Queen’s tenure. This display was part of the local Platinum Jubilee celebrations and linked  with the Jubilee memories workshops Community Champions organised with partners.

Introductions were made, and conversations and laughter filled the air. People who had been in contact only via the phone saw each other for the first time. Volunteers from the early years of the project heard how the project had developed, and met new clients.

Rohini gave a speech thanking the amazing CC team for their dedication, praised VASL Staff/Trustees and Maureen, the Charity Manager for their unstinting support and said a huge “THANK YOU” to the National Lottery Community Fund for funding the project twice, over 8 years. This was a real vote of confidence in VASL as a respected delivery organisation. Rohini also paid tribute to the contribution of the project Steering Group who discussed how the project could be improved. Finally she explained that none of the project’s achievements could be delivered without the volunteers and clients engaging with project events and activities. “VASL CC volunteers are of the highest calibre and we are blessed to have their support” Certificates of appreciation were presented to all volunteers.

The event ended with Rohini briefly explaining how CC2  would build on the foundations of CC1, and encourage clients to get more connected with community events and groups, both locally and online.

The second phase of Community Champions began 1st September and has been given funding by the National Lottery Communitiy fund until 31st August 2025.